Jhopdi Misal pav in Pune, Ganesh Peth
Dunno if you remember the song ‘Jalta hai badan’ from the 1983 movie Razia Sultan. I did, when I visited a new and unique street food concept and had the misal pav in Pune, called Jhopdi .
Ok! Maharastrian food’s spicy. I’ve heard many tales ’bout the super-tasty Mutton Kolhapuri and its bottom-burning qualities. In that regard, Jhopdi was my first real brush with the spicy Maratha cuisine.
So, me and my friends Atul and Pankaj were roaming around Rasta Peth, looking for misal pav in Pune. Wwe came across this place called Jhopdi, next to Alpana Talkies in Ganesh Peth. Strange name for a restaurant, but it looked nice from outside, so we went in. And lo! The ambience was stunning. Typical Maharastrian look; very rustic and creatively put together. For a moment, I just stood and gaped. This level of interiors in Ganesh Peth (which isn’t an upmarket sort of area) was totally unexpected. Superb, I must say! And people! This is street food we’re talking about. You get vada pav for Rs.7 and misal pav for Rs.14 here. I’ve never seen a street food joint done up so beautifully.
Misal Pav at Jhopdi
After looking around, we sat down in one of the low-tables and ordered a Misal Pav. Man! The stuff was spicy. Very very tasty, but spicy. After gulping down a gallon of water, I was forced to remember Khayyam-saab’s ‘Pyas bhadki hai…jalta hai badan‘ from Razia Sultan. Now, the Misal pav in Pune is supposedly less spicy than the Kolhapuri version. I can only imagine what will the Kolhapuri Misal do to me and its not if I can’t have or don’t like spicy food. Spice apart, I loved the Misal Pav and the different layers it’d to offer. Though one can’t discern the layers in the final dish, but that’s how its made. A layer of phodniche pohe (flattened rice, with a tadka of mustard seeds, green chillies) at the bottom, then the batatayachi bhaji (potato with onion, spices), post that the matki usal (sprouted moth/मोठ beans cooked with spices) and then a layer of chopped raw onions and then topped with tarri or kat (a dry-coconut-driven extremely spicy curry) and finally topped with some sev/chiwda to add a bit of crunch.
Misal (meaning mixture) is such a wonderful combination of these layers; it brings tears in to your eyes (literally; though more due to the chilly), but jokes apart, I loved the Misal. And the reason why Pav’s given along is that when you feel the heat of the chilly, you’re supposed to bite in to the pav, which makes the experience bearable (for people like me).
All in all, the Misal Pav in Pune is wonderful. Now I’m dying to taste the Kolhapuri version. The difference between the two’s the level of spice and usually the phodniche pohe’s missing in the Kolhapuri version.
And here’s a video of Jhopdi’s stunning interiors. If you’re in Pune, a visit to Jhopdi’s a must.
Video of Jhopdi interiors
Address and map of Jhopdi in Pune
Jhopdi’s in Ganesh Peth, near Alpana Talkies in Pune.
Happy hunting the misal pav in Pune and chow-chow!