Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Popti - The Harvest Festival of........ errrr....... Roha

I happen to live in a tiny town called Roha which is close to the coast of Maharashtra, India. Now every region has a special something about it that defines it and makes it famous. Considering the fact that majority of Indian population depends on agriculture (I hope I’m not sounding like my economics textbook!) it is obvious that the season of harvest is much awaited. Now just as every region has a Harvest Festival, we in Roha celebrate a party known as “Popti.” (It feels so weird while writing over here in English. I’d never imagined that the concept of Popti would be written about on the internet.” It’s just the cool stuff that we village ppl do! Yay!

Today I take pride in introducing to my global blogger friends the awesome thing that is… Popti. So here is how it goes. Basically it is the celebration of the harvest of beans that we call ‘Vaal’. I really don’t know what its botanical name is ;-)

This is what you need:

From Stuff I Learnt Today

Some rock salt

From Stuff I Learnt Today

Leaves of this plant called ‘Bhambrut’. The leaves are velvety and the juice has medicinal properties too.

From Stuff I Learnt Today

The main stuff… The Beans
Plus you’ll need onions, potatoes, eggs, chicken and chilly powder.

From Stuff I Learnt Today

First you line an earthen pot with the leaves and put a layer of the beans in it.

From Stuff I Learnt Today

Sprinkle some salt over it. You can place onions and potatoes filled with chilly powder in between

From Stuff I Learnt Today

Then go the eggs and the chicken pieces (optional)

From Stuff I Learnt Today

The pot is further stuffed with the leaves up to its neck. Then it is place in fire usually created by lighting the dry leaves and wood in and around the farm.

From Stuff I Learnt Today

This is done for about half an hour.

From Stuff I Learnt Today

The pot is then removed from the fire and then kept for few minutes (Standing Time)

From Stuff I Learnt Today

The whole contents of the pot are emptied into a bowl after removing and discarding the leaves.

From Stuff I Learnt Today

The leaves impart a great and different flavor to the whole thing and even without fancy ingredients it gets a sensational taste.
I guess I don’t need to tell you how to eat it! SO TUCK IN!

This post is dedicated to my good friend Shilpa. Poor dear does not have net access at her hostel. So she goes to a net-cafe, copies all the stuff that I write about, and then reads it when she gets back. Now ain't that sweet?

Plus as she cannot comment on the blog, she cares to sms me the thoughts on each and every post. Thank you Shilpa! I owed you this one.

PS: Shilpa loves Popti and so THIS post is dedicated to her!

PPS: Guys say Hi to Shilpa...


Mayuresh said...

Nice effort to educate people abt local harvest festival

Chatterbox said...

Hope you have a good time enjoying the celebration and yummy delights.

I am glad to learn a bit more about your local culture :)


Uncommon Sense said...

a very different dish i would say, and can assume it tastes super, esp because of the cooking method invovled

Roshmi Sinha said...

Glad to learn about Popti. Hope to read many more such interesting and enlightening post... about our culture/tradition/festivals :)

Saurabh Panshikar said...

Thanks a lot... Maybe readers will come up with a contribution of their own.

Thanks a lot... I surely did enjoy the celebration and also writing about it.

Totally man... If you do plan to drop into Roha sometime, maybe we can arrange it for you

Hey nice to hear from you after a long time... maybe you could write one on the same lines too...

Chanz said...

never heard about this one... Bt it definitely looks intereting.. n healthy too.. :)

btw, Hi shilpa.. :)

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

A big big biiiig HAI!! To Shilpa!!
: )

And the post was amazingly presented!
nice pics...So you publizing ROHA and the ROHA culture... ;~)
GOOOOD work!!!!

Saurabh Panshikar said...

AAAIIIINNNNGGGG? Healthy? You ruined the fun by saying Healthy! lol JK
Its not very popular so you may not have heard of it...
Thanks for the comment tho

You are welcome (this is the first time I'm not thanking via comments)

Saurabh Panshikar said...

A big thank you..... Just trying to prove that 'burnt onions' do taste gr8! lol

Nethra said...

Hi shilpa...
That thing looks so delicious but we dont celebrate "popti" so I will never get to taste that thing. :(

Saurabh Panshikar said...

Never say Never... Come over and we'll try something

buckingfastard said...

ahh dat luks tasty!! man i need some...tired of hostel food re!!1

kudos shipla...dats sum serious effort..makes us blogger feel worthed!! hope ur hostel authorities get net soon

Arjun said...

Wow! That was nice to know. Thanks for sharing such stuff.

And yeah, Shilpa is sweet. My 'Hiiiiii' to her. :)


Shilpa Garg said...

That was interesting and learnt something new this morning! Cool!
With pictures et al Popti sure looks tempting! :)

Sorcerer said...

Its..Its different..
THis was totally different post..Good one dude..I think such 'gyan' would stay alive through blogs.
Nice work

shilpa said...

hey saurabh thank u vry vry much for dedicating me the post..i was very surprised to read the last lines...u can imagine my reaction as when a girl wins a tag of miss india hw she would react the same was of mine...thanks once again...and i am much confident to make popti alone...ur style of presenting the post was gr8 wit the pictures...cooool...rock dude..and wanted to say hi to all ur blooger friends..hiiiiiii!!!

sangeeta said...

Hi Saurabh
even i'd love this popti i am sure but would like to know about this leaf Bhambrut , can you post a better picture so that i can identify?Any idea of it's botanical name.
Thanks for dropping by my blog n please let me know if you try coconut oil extraction is a regular at my place n many of my friends are doing it regularly ....good luck.

Shas said...

Dats choo chweet of you.
Hiya Shilpa!!

Thanks for sharing about was informative.

Saurabh Panshikar said...

It sure it.... A popti party is highly reco for hostel ppl

Thanks man... I really really wanted to share this

@Shilpa Garg

Thanks man... I'd planned for this for a long time... Would like to read something from you on similar lines

Pleasurez all mine!

Hey I'l get back to you with the bhambrut soon

*blushes on being called sweet*

Thanks a lot.

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Karthik said...

Popti sounds awesome! Hope it tastes awesome too.;)
Now I know what I should ask you when I come to Roha. Popti!

The post has been yummily presented. *slurp slurp*

Saurabh Panshikar said...


Now you know what you can do when you come hunting for me in case I do not comment on your post!
Thanks for the appreciation dude

Manjari Singh said...

hi shilpa

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Though i am a veggie, I really liked the traditional method of cooking! Thanks for sharing the info :)

Saurabh Panshikar said...

Oye post pe comment kaun karega?

This can me done totally veggie too... The non-veg stuff is purely optional.

Preeti said...

That was awesome Saurabh! Learnt a whole lot about a new festival. Thats the best part about India! The multitude and variety is so much, we can learn something new everyday! :)

Saurabh Panshikar said...

Thanks a lot... Maybe you could share your India with us too

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

Cool... always nice to hear abt new stuff...

Saurabh Panshikar said...

thanks man... Feeling nice that I shared it

Anonymous said...

Good Work Shilpa...
I was wondering are thier any marath mule people around.

But Yes ! ur there...

Grt Work

Leo Club of Bombay Garodia Nagar said...

Dear Saurabh,

You forgot one magical ingredient in the popti... thats "Ajwain". Which cuts the acidity of the vaal and enhances the flavor.


Anonymous said...

have you tried covering eggs with mug & then placing them next to fire? instead of putting them inside Hundi?? must try. we use that method.

Anonymous said...

Saurabh ..bhambrut leaves kai ahet mala samajla nahi ..mhanje tyacha kahi dusra naav ahe ka.. Plz help bro..

Shashank said...

Dude!!! Thank god I found something on this. I had the priviledge to enjoy this popti when I was posted in Mahad at a village.I just wanted to ask for a favour..Can you please arrange for some bhambrut plant seeds to me??

I am back to delhi and I am unable to search for the same aromatic plant here. I want to grow and plant it here.

Shirin said...

Hi Saurabh,

This is a great read. I learnt about popti from a friend and have been intrigued since then. I am a food writer and blogger from Mumbai and would like to learn more and experience this lovely tradition of making popti. How can I get in touch with you for this and what's the season for val harvest? Please let me know. You can write to me on


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