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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Maharashtra on your plate

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What makes Marathi Katta so popular that its food has takers from the other end of the city too? WOW! finds out 

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Fasting days, especially during festivals, means we either skip the meal or look for rice alternatives. Typically, you expect lower consumption of food on those days. But Marathi Katta, a little home-style restaurant in the bustling bylanes of Sultan Bazar turns the tables on that concept and offers more choice than on other days. Their regular thali of 12 items goes up to 18 or 20 dishes on special days. Well, they even have Farali Fries or Upwaas French Fries made of potatoes sprinkled with amaranth flour for those who fast. 

Started in 2017, this eatery offers Maharashtrian delicacies every day, with even better stuff during days such as Ashaad Ekadasi and Karthik Poornima. What’s even more attractive is that the cooking staff are all women.  Started by entrepreneurs and friends Nilam Lahankar and Renuka Phadke, it was opened to cater to the local Maharashtrian crowd, 2.5 lakh citizens as of now in the twin cities. 

Finding the restaurant is not difficult but parking is, as it is near the Sultan Bazar police station and has barely any space, unless you are the first to visit in the morning at 10 am when they begin. “Lack of parking has never been an issue as we supply via the food delivery apps. Our fare is so popular that we have people calling from Somajiguda and Banjara Hills saying they are sending their car and asked us to pack and keep things in their car, or send it via pick up services such as Dunzo,” says the manager Ambareesh about the eatery.

This 25-seater has simple décor with photographs depicting Maharashtrian culture of men dressed in turbans and Gandhi cap and women in nathhs (nose pins) and their heads covered with their sari pallus. The first two hours are for breakfast items such as Poha, Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Khicdi, Misal Pav and other such Maharashtrian vegetarian specialities. Lunch comprises thali and a la carte but their meals with bhakri (roti), pitla (curry), thecha (green chilli pickle) and varan bhath Maharashtrian dal chawal are popular. We ordered their Sabudana Khichdi and it turned out to be light, fluffy and mildly flavored with the taste of shenga (peanuts). Just before you label it as bland comes the red, fiery Misal Pav, a loaf of bread that is eaten with boiled sprouts cooked in a spicy dry coconut gravy. Luckily, it did not have oil floating on the surface like it is at other places serving similar fare. 

An all-day diner, it is difficult to get a table in the evenings. Festivals also see a major rush as they rustle up modaks, kheers and shrikand. “We have no branches but with increasing demand for our food, we have started catering and we cater to even 20 persons with an advance notice of two days,” says Ambareesh. 

Wow! pick: Misal Pav

Meal for two: Rs 500 

Near Naya Bazar Government School, Next to Sultan Bazar Police Station, Hyderabad

Tel: 9849887115

Timings: 10 am to 10 pm

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2.8k
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