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Crispy Spring Rolls AKA Bhakarwadi @ Chitale Bandhu

I grew up around three big time Bhakarwadi lovers – my parents and my sister. We would refrigerate it to prolong its shelf life, and then warm it up in the microwave prior to consumption. This would considerably change the flavors, for the better mostly, except at times, when it would end up getting burnt from inside. But most of the times, it was for the better, it tasted much better than the fresh ones. And despite all of this, none of us ever looked at Bhakarwadi as a crispy spring roll. I came across an advertisement for Chitale Bandhu’s Bhakarwadi marked as crispy, tasty spring roll, which spiked my curiosity, which got the better of me, and I just bought a packet.

Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale is a famous shop in Pune. Chitale has a few other businesses in its kitty as well, and the sweet shop is very famous with multiple outlets across the city. It began in 1950 as a manual unit, and has moved to much greater heights since then. The biggest and the largest outlet is on Bajirao Road, which is the oldest outlet as well. The second outlet to be opened was at Deccan Gymkhana. Most of Chitale Bandhu’s Bhakarwadi is manufactured at Ranje Shivpura unit near Pune, which has two automated manufacturing lines dedicated to Bhakarwadi production. The Bhakarwadi is even exported to various countries across the world.

Bhakarwadi is a traditional savory snack from the state of Maharashtra. It is a flour-based roll, filled with a stuffing made from poppy seeds, grated coconut, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, asafetida, salt, sugar, etc, rolled together like a Swiss roll. The roll is cut into bite-sized slices before being deep fried and served. There are variations of it popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan as well, but it enjoys the highest popularity in Maharashtra, especially Pune and Kolhapur.

Chitale Bandhu’s Bhakarwadi is one of the best I have ever had. Living in Vadodara, where there is another popular Bhakarwadi manufacturer – Jagdish Farsan, Chitale Bandhu’s Bhakarwadi is considerably milder than Jagdish’s, which is super spicy and hot. It is undoubtedly one of the hottest selling items at the shop, and almost every customer who walks in, definitely leaves with a packet.

The good thing about Chitale’s Bhakarwadi is that it remained fresh and consumable for a considerable period of time, even without refrigeration. This would simply imply that the product is well friend and the stuffing inside is fully cooked. Sometimes, when the stuffing inside is not cooked properly and still remains damp, the Bhakarwadi loses shelf life steeply. Chitale’s Bhakarwadi was far from that and definitely goes to establish it’s quality. Taste-wise it is really nice. The stuffing is generous and you definitely don’t feel you are eating fried dough balls at any time.

I already ordered my second packet, and would be soon ordering my third and fourth and so on too. Mom loves it, while my sister still prefers Jagdish. Bhakarwadi lovers can really specific at times.


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