The history of Mumbai's Panshikar Sweets and an insight into the world of Maharashtrian Mithais: Scoop Whoop
|Pedhe at Panshikar Sweets|
I did a piece on Maharashtrian sweets, the awareness of which is not very high among most non-Maharashtrians in Mumbai, for my recent ScoopWhoop Diwali column. I talk about popular Mumbai restaurants and share their stories in this column.
|Mr Panshikar receives a Diwali gift from from one of his cutomers|
I got the contact of the owner of the Panshikar Sweets outlet at Mahim, Mr Prakash Kamlakar Panshikar, through my food blogger friend, Sassy Fork.
It was a busy morning, with people coming in to place their mithai orders, but Mr Panshikar kindly took out the time to speak to me.
|A customer has a sip of refreshing piyush|
I felt a sense of nostalgia while I pranced around the shop like a happy puppy that morning, finding out the oral personal histories of the owner and the workers, noting the cultural nuances and traditions around sweets and observed the sweet making process and tasting the products at various stages of their preparation.
|Diwali sweets in the making on site|
In my market research days I would have entered that morning’s work as ‘ethnography’ in the time sheet in office.
In this case, I rushed back to Candies, took out my laptop and filed the story for my column.
That pretty much summed up how life has changed for me and I feel very fortunate on this count.
There are many Panshikar Sweets in the city and each has its loyal band of fans. I asked Prakashi what was the reason for this.
He told me that the original Panshikar outlet is located at Thakurdwar at Girgaon in South Mumbai. It was started by Prakashji’s uncle, the late Bhalachandra Narayan
Panshikar, in 1921. That shop still exists and is very popular.
The 67 year old Mr Prakash Kamlakar Panshikar has been in the family business all his life. He used to sit at the Panshikar shop near Dadar Station ,which was founded by his father, the late Mr Kamlakar Narain Panshikar, in 1931. Mr Prakash then set up his own shop near the Citylight Market in 1984, which is where we met that Diwali morning .
There are a number of Panshikar outlets across the city of Mumbai in places such as Girgaon, Dadar, Matunga, and now in the suburbs too in areas such as Bandra east, Goregaon and Vile Parle.
Each run independently by members of the Panshikar family, including some by the direct descendants of the late Bhalanchandra Narayan Panshikar.
To know more about the history of Panshikar Sweets, and to get an insight into what Maharashtrian mithais are about, please read my latest column in Scoop Whoop