Maharashtrian cuisine is a treasure trove of flavours and textures, and one of its most cherished snacks is the humble yet delightful Bhakarwadi. Hailing from the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Bhakarwadi is a savoury, spiral-shaped snack that packs a punch of flavours with each bite. In this blog, we’ll take a journey into the world of Bhakarwadi, exploring its history, ingredients, preparation, and why it’s a beloved treat for locals and those who have enjoyed savouring it.
A Brief History of Bhakarwadi
The origins of Bhakarwadi can be traced back to Maharashtra, where it has been a part of traditional snacks for generations. The word “Bhakarwadi” itself is derived from two Marathi words, “bhakar“, meaning flour and “wadi”, meaning a round snack. Over the years, it has remained a popular tea-time snack and has become an essential part of festive celebrations in Maharashtra.
Bhakarwadi is made from a combination of simple yet flavourful ingredients:
1. Gram Flour (Besan): The base of Bhakarwadi is gram flour dough mixed with spices, making it both crispy and savoury.
2. All-Purpose Flour (Maida): Maida is used for the outer layer of the snack, giving it a contrasting texture to the inner filling.
3. Spices: A blend of spices such as cumin, sesame, poppy seeds, and red chilli powder creates a characteristic spicy and aromatic filling.
4. Coconut: Grated coconut is a vital filling component, adding a hint of sweetness and nuttiness to balance the spices.
5. Tamarind: Tamarind pulp creates the tangy and slightly sour taste that makes Bhakarwadi unique.
6. Jaggery: Jaggery is added to provide a subtle sweetness that complements the other flavours.
7. Oil: Typically, groundnut oil is used for frying, which imparts a distinct taste to Bhakarwadi.
Making Bhakarwadi is a labour of love involving multiple steps:
Preparing the Filling:
The gram flour is roasted with spices, coconut, tamarind, and jaggery to create a flavorful mixture.
Making the Dough:
A soft and pliable dough is prepared using all-purpose flour and water.
Small portions of the dough are rolled out into thin circles, and the spicy filling is spread evenly. The dough is then rolled into a tight cylinder.
Slicing and Frying:
The rolled dough is sliced into small rounds, and these spirals are deep-fried until they turn golden brown and crispy.
A Maharashtrian Delight
1. Flavor Explosion: Bhakarwadi is an actual explosion of flavours in your mouth. The blend of spices, sweetness from jaggery, coconut nuttiness, and tamarind tanginess creates a harmonious taste profile.
2. Texture Contrast: The outer layer is crispy and crunchy, while the inner filling is soft and savoury, providing a delightful textural contrast.
3. Versatility: Bhakarwadi is not just a tea-time snack; it’s a versatile treat that can be enjoyed on its own or served as an appetizer during festivals and special occasions.
4. Long Shelf Life: Due to its deep-fried nature, Bhakarwadi has a long shelf life, making it an ideal snack to store and enjoy over time.
Bhakarwadi, with its rich history, complex flavours, and irresistible crunch, is genuinely a Maharashtrian delight. Whether you’re savouring it with a cup of hot chai or sharing it with friends and family during festivities, Bhakarwadi is a testament to the culinary ingenuity of Maharashtra and a snack that continues to win hearts across India and beyond.