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Dunno if you remember the song ‘Jalta Hai Badan’ from 'Razia Sultan'. I did, when I visited a new and unique street food concept in Pune: Jhopdi.

Ok! Maharastrian food is spicy. I’ve heard tales about super tasty Mutton Kolhapuri and its bottom-burning qualities... and Jhopdi was my first real brush with spicy Maratha cuisine. My friends Atul and Pankaj and I were roaming around Rasta Peth in Pune checking out secondhand bikes when we came across Jhopdi (next to Alpana Talkies). Strange name for a restaurant, but it looked nice from the 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 area) was totally unexpected. Superb, I must say! And the people! This is street food we are 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.
After looking around, we sat down in one of the low tables and ordered Misal Pav. Man! The stuff was spicy. 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 Puneri Misal Pav (Pune-style Misal Pav) is supposedly less spicy than its Kolhapuri version. I can only imagine what the Kolhapuri Misal will 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 had to offer. Though one cannot discern the layers in the final dish, that’s how it’s made. A layer of phodniche pohe (flattened rice, with a tadka of mustard seeds and green chillies) at the bottom, then the batatayachi bhaji (potato with onion and spices), post that the matki usal (sprouted beans cooked with spices) and then a layer of chopped raw onions and topped with tarri or kat (dry coconut-driven spicy curry) and finally topped with some sev or chiwda to add a bit of crunch.
Misal (i.e. mixture) is a wonderful combination of these layers; it brings tears in to your eyes (literally; though more due to the chilli) but jokes apart, I loved the Misal. And the reason why Pav has given along is that when you feel the heat of the chilli you’re supposed to bite into the pav, which makes the experience bearable (for people like me). All in all, the Puneri Misal Pav is wonderful. Now I’m dying to taste the Kolhapuri version. The difference between the two is the level of spice and usually the phodniche pohe’s missing in the Kolhapuri version.
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21-SEPTEMBER-2012 Maggi D'souza
Hey the Akha masoor and pitla is out of this world at Jhopdi Restaurant. The Concept is too good. Keep it going !
21-SEPTEMBER-2012 rizwan
Hi Guys ! Just to inform u all that very shortly i shall be starting Gaavraan Chicken and bhakri, along with tambda rassa. Do drop in tofeast the new addition Regards Rizwan
11-JULY-2012 dr anam
After getting imfo from your blog, I visited jhopdi missal. Its too great. Lovely ambiance, great interior, and mind blowing authentic food. Tried jhopdi missal, just too good. The pitla bhakri-akha masoor taat is fabulous. I must say, every body just do visit. This place rocks with its perfect Maharashtrian charm . Puneri ........Dr Anam
27-APRIL-2012 Dr Sufana
Hey the place is mind blowing . Out of this world. Just tooooooooo gooooooood and spicy yaar. Every one do visit and feast on this joint !
27-APRIL-2012 rizwan contractor
Thanks Mr Chowder, just to inform you that I have added akha masoor pitla bhakri Taat and also shakahari pandra rassa and tambdya rassyaat sandagyachi bhaji, ultya tavya var uddvileyli roti. Do visit "Jhopdi Missal"... Regards Rizwan
25-MARCH-2012 sandeep khandekar
Mr Singh, was surfing for spicy food and got the pictures of Jhopdi Misal. The photos R "GR8". Shall be visiting shortly and let you know of the taste. I have tried many other joints, but they have all gone stale ... nothing new about them. Let me try Jhopdi and shall give my feed back.
25-MARCH-2012 rehan
visited jhopdi missal and man it's amazing. The typical Maharashtrian taste, the ambience, the service ...... just too good. We not only loved the missal , but feasted on the akha masoor and pitla bhakri. Thanks chowder singh ! You showed us the way to feast on authentic spice.
17-MARCH-2012 Daneesh
Love it... mouthwatering!
17-MARCH-2012 mandira sinha
lovely... you seem to be very passionate about food.
14-MARCH-2012 Chowder Singh
Namrata. If I've understood your question correctly, then the Misal's more like a curry. Very different from Vada pao, which's fried.
14-MARCH-2012 Chowder Singh
Puneeta. I agree. The Maharastrian stall at Dilli Haat dishes out some super stuff. They also have an outlet in the Ambience mall in Gurgaon.
14-MARCH-2012 Puneeta Chadha Khanna
Puneeta Chadha Khanna I love Missal Pav the maharashtra stall in Dilli haat serves a good version! Chowk in Dlf Promenade Saket used to serve Maharashtra food, Nizam, Karim parantha wala, King Kulfi together... sad they closed down.
14-MARCH-2012 Namrata Guha
How different is this from their staple vada pav?
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