Reliving ‘Appa Chi Khichdi’

Appa has been a favourite with Punekars since decades. Appa snacks centre in Shaniwar Peth has a very interesting history.  Appa came from his village in Karnataka way back in 1960s to start a small snacks centre within the premises of the Deccan Gymkhana Club. It was a small canteen with couple of long benches just enough to seat 8 to 10 people.
In a very short time this canteen became a hit and people began to recognize it by “Appa chi Khichdi” – which was The crowning glory of The spread Appa offered. The joint was famous amongst the residents of Deccan area though people from across Pune flocked there.  Some would remember how he would charge premium rates for the premium quality of the food, while some would remember the taste which made him the legend.
There were many things he did differently and ‘Khichdi Kakdi’ was one of them. We usually include crushed peanuts in the khichdi while he added them in the kakdi (cucumber) raita as well. This gives the dish a whole different flavour. Some would also remember his matar usal which wasn’t based on coconut gravy instead on gravy made from black masala. The sambar for idli and wada were prepared differently, with different consistencies. The wada was not the usual medhu wada but it was more like wada which is used to prepare dahi wada. The difference is that this wada is soaked in water after it is deep-fried. Appa’s popularity traversed all classes – economic or social.
A few years ago, after Appa’s death, his eatery closed down. But as they say, ‘A legend never dies’. An effort led by Sangram Deshmukh saw  Appa reopen in a new form at Shaniwar Peth. The legend thus lives on.
Appa still serves fresh, hot, khichdi kakdi, matar usal (now with an option of brown or white bread), sheera made in pure ghee and his daily specials such as idli sambar, wada sambar and more. One more speciality is the shev that they serve with idli sambar is absolutely fresh and delicious. Although, it is upto an individual to opt for shev on various dishes, this shev is worth a try. The chutney made from chana dal is interesting. The sambhar which is served with wada is spicy and thinner but very tasty. The main advantage with Appa is that you can order half the dish which means you can have a single idli, half khichdi and so on. This gives you a chance to try multiple things. The pohe and cut dosa too are worth a try.
The small snacks centre in Shaniwar Peth has managed to retain the quality and flavour of the food from the original “Appa” joint. For people from the older generation who miss Appa chi Khichdi and for people from the younger generation who really wish to try a different, yet lip-smacking Khichdi, they need to head towards Appa.

One Comment Add yours

  1. satish says:

    आप्पा ची खिचडी एक नंबर. काय टेस्ट आहे भारी।
    सतीश कादम


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