Imagine you are sick with fever or a sore throat. What would you like to eat? If I was posed this question, I would say, “Metkut Bhaat”.
It was not easy for me to decide what to make for RCI: Maharashtrian cuisine; I wanted the dish to be something very special and unique to me. So, when I started rewinding my favorite dishes since childhood, one dish topped the list. Metkut Bhaat Tup Loncha ani Limbachi fod has been my favorite since I was a kid. This is a Maharashtrian specialty and an ultimate comfort dish for all seasons. I think the love for metkut has been passed on from generations to generations.
Metkut is a simple powder; it’s a mixture of spices and daal. It has a smooth texture and spicy taste. I don’t exactly remember mom making this, but we sure used to purchase Bedekar special metkut a zillion times. When I would be down with fever, metkut bhaat would be the only dish I would eat. Of course, mom would make me skip the pickle, to which I would agree with a frown.
For me, discovering the recipe and making metkut at home was like discovering an age-old secret. Don’t you think that sometimes we are unaware how easy it is to make something and we keep getting it from stores? That’s what happened in this case. I would have never imagined making metkut is so easy. The best part is all the ingredients would be readily available in your pantry. Here goes the method for making this delicious spicy powder.
(Adapted from Annapurna)
1.Heat a pan on medium flame. Add 1 cup harbhare (kala chana or black chickpeas), 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup urad daal, 3 tsp wheat flour. Fry till the udad daal becomes light brown. This would take around 8 minutes. You will know it is fine to turn off the gas from the aroma.
2.Grind the above fried mixture with 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp asafetida, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp cardamom powder, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder. Sieve to get a fine powder.
3. Store in a jar or air tight container. This powder can be used for several weeks.
Serving suggestion: Take a small ball of cooked rice. Add 1 tsp metkut, 1 tsp ghee, and 1 tsp lemon juice to the rice. Mix well and enjoy with pickle. You can also add metkut to waran bhaat if you don’t like eating dry dishes.
Verdict: No more store bought metkut packets for me. I was elated on tasting this savory powder mixed with steaming rice. The taste was exactly how I remembered it. The US mixtures are pathetic. I had a tough time grinding all the ingredients. If you have a coffee maker, I think it would be easier to grind using it. This is a must-try for all Maharashtrian food lovers.
The recipe for metkut also happens to be Vaishali’s debut post. Some other Maharashtrian comfort foods that I found were:
Nupur’s Waran Bhaat
Manisha’s Wangi Bhaat
TC’s Shevgyachya shenganchi amti