Sattvic Maharashtrian thali is a collection of many recipes that are rich in the sattvic guna (sattvic quality). You will find various flavors of Maharashtra in this Thali that I am sharing here.
In Ayurveda, the emphasis is on a Sattvic diet for healthy living. Particularly for keeping our minds clear, happy and at peace. The original Sattvic diet enhances the development of higher consciousness. The word sattvic means “pure essence”. Sattvic foods are pure and balanced, offering feelings of calmness, happiness, and mental clarity.
Significance of Sattvic Thali
Energy derived from foods we consume affects our mind and our body. Some foods cause our mind and body to become lethargic. These are Tamsic in nature. Some stimulate the mind to cause a rush of thoughts and restlessness. These are Rajasic in nature. Sattvic foods are the ones that provide a perfect balance. They are foods that are abundant in Prana – the universal life-force that gives life to all sentient beings in both plant and animal kingdoms.
The Sattvic thali is like a symphony of flavors – sweet, salty, bitter, sour and tangy – all in a single plate. But the most important ingredient in the Sattvic thali is love – lots of love. Foods prepared with love add to the Sattvic quality of the dishes served.
About Sattvic Thali
My venture into the Sattvic thali happened due to Ganesh festival that we celebrate at our place. Every year on Ganesh Chaturthi, we invite Lord Ganesha to stay with us and bless us with the opportunity to host Him. During his stay, we prepare Sattvic food and offer it to the Lord. We consume the food as prasadam only after offering it to Him. Among Indians, Sattvic foods have special religious significance as well.
While many Indian households prepare Sattvic foods during religious festivities. But many are now also adopting this as a part of their lifestyle.
Items in the Sattvic Maharashtrian Thali
Indian Thali system can seem a bit overwhelming when served. But it is not. The items in the Sattvic Thali are easy to digest. Consume the items in the order of the spiciness – starting from mild and peaking mid-way before returning back to mild. The order of the items below reflect this spice curve.
We usually start the Maharashtrian thali with varan-bhaat. A plain rice dish with sparsely flavored varan (dal), it helps in preparing the tummy for the flavors of the remaining items.
Bhajji is basically fritters. Fritters are of many types. Onion fritters are most popular in Maharashtrian. But this being a Sattvic thali, I have made fritters of cabbage. Onions and Garlic are Rajasic and hence not allowed in Sattvic diet.
Koshimbir is a cucumber raita. And it acts as a salad. The cucumber, tomato and yogurt has a soothing effect on a body and improves digestion. It also cools the tummy in case of spice overload.
A simple Sattvic potato vegetable without onion and garlic. It has a simple tadka with gingerly flavors. It is an amazing dish to have with poori’s (Indian fried flatbread). Potatoes are considered Sattvic or Rajasic depending upon the school of thought.
Pooris are Indian fried flat bread. They taste amazing with Shrikhand, Amras (sweet mango pulp), Potato vegetable, koshimbir and many more.
Shrikhand is a yogurt dessert. It is made from hung curd. and liberally sprinkled with lot of dry fruits. Cardamom and Saffron enhance the flavors of shrikhand.
Masale Bhaat is a traditional Maharashtrian Masala rice. While it usually has ivy gourd, you can also make it with eggplant or potatoes.
Katachi Amti (coming soon)
Whenever there is Puran Poli in the menu, there is katachi amti as well. The strained water of boiled bengal split gram used for puran poli forms the basis for this dish.
Matki Usal (coming soon)
Matki is a gravy made from moth bean. And it is a popular dish that you will find in any Maharshtrian restaurant.
Chapati is a simple whole wheat flat bread. It is made using pure wheat flour, salt, water and spoonful of oil. It is a part of Indian staple diet.
Puran is a sweet paratha and is most popular in the state of Maharashtra. You can have it with a dollop of homemade ghee or with potato bhaaji. Though there are many who prefer to have this dish with a cup of milk.
Kadhi is made from yogurt with a ghee tadka to it. It is lightly flavored and tastes amazing with rice or chapati.
Basundi is a sweet evaporated milk flavored with cardamom and sprinkled with dry fuits. You can have it independently or with pooris. Both are great options.
Modak is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert. It is a sweet dumpling that is made from rice flour or wheat flour. It contains coconut and jaggery stuffing.
There are different ways to make modak. You can fry the modak or create steamed versions like steamed dumplings.