Varhadi Thali at Buzz, The Gateway Hotel, Hinjawadi – Reviewed

Varhadi comes basically from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra which is quite a dry land round the year, one of the reasons their cuisines have homemade ingredients. Basically, Vidarbha region have two types of cuisines - Saoji and Varhadi. The difference is the spice level; Varhadi towards the milder side; still a killer for people who can't take spice. Eyes, nose and ears open with the first bite.

Coming on to Varhadi Thali, authentically it has Patodi Rassa Bhaji (Gramflour cooked and put in spicy curry), Zunka (Again gramflour or chickpea flour cooked and tempered with onions, mustard, ginger garlic), Pithala, Bhakari, Bharli Vaangi (Stuffed brinjals), Puran Poli with lots of ghee poured, Gola Bhaat and Vada Bhaat. Varhadi cuisines is dominated by Chickpea flour (besan) preparations along with Black Pepper, Mustard, Red Chilli powder (obviously), Dried Mango powder.

Finding traditional and authentic food out of any region is a difficult task. I had heard a lot about the Varhadi Thali and being a spicy food lover, I had to try this. Few places in Pune offer Saoji and Varhadi cuisine but never tried them so when I was invited by Mr. and Mrs. Nanavati to relish one of the specialities of executive chefs at Buzz, The Gateway Hotel, Hinjawadi. Mr. Ashish, Mr.Kaushik and Mr. Akshay, I accepted.

Tables were pre-booked and after having chit chats with chefs, we were served Kairi Panha, much needed raw mango drink in summer. It was truly refreshing and could not stop myself after having one.
A five bowled chutney tray was next along with Wheat Kurdai. Kurdais were exceptional. Green Chilli Thecha, Karla chutney, Jawas chutney, Peanut chutney each one of them had distinctive taste but Chilli Thecha ruled them!

Woah! Then came our loaded huge Varhadi thali—big, colorful, full of aroma and variety. It had Tomato Saar, Moongachi Usal, Zunka, Patodi Rassa, Shev Bhaji, Bharli Vangi, Bhakri, Sambharwadi, Puranpoli, Gol Bhaat and Vada Bhaat. Where to start from? What to eat first? Everything was just par excellence.

  • Tomato Saar, sort of soup, is made with grinding ginger, garlic, chillies and coconut with tomato puree. Surely was increasing appetite. 
  • Usal was very nice could have been better by adding more spices.
  • Zunka was perfectly made with delicious tempering. Tasted best with Bhakri.
  • Shev Bhaji and Patodi Rassa were surely tasted superb. Traditional recipe made with gramflour and curry.
  • Bharli Vangi was another star with stuffed brinjals in an exceptional gravy.
  • Sambharwadi is a spicy roll stuffed with fresh coriander, coconut, peanut and spices. A rare snack to find in Pune. Flawlessly made.
  • Masale Bhat were nice with amazing combination of spicy flavours and mouth-watering textures
  • Vada Bhat were scrumptious with aroma of rice and crunch of vada (cooked gramflour chunks)
  • Special mention for Puran Poli which had perfect balance of sweetness and thickness. Served with ghee it was a meal in itself. Not to be missed! 
One of the best Varhadi Thali you can get in Pune.
Last but not the least, the team who put a lot of hard work, efforts on bringing magic to the plate. Applaud! 
You can book your table at..
The Gateway Hotel, Xion Complex, Wakad Road,Hinjawadi, Pune
020 30163553
Buzz - The Gateway Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato