Food of Maharashtra
Maharashtra, a state in western India, has a diverse culinary heritage that offers a wide range of delicious and flavorsome dishes. Here are some popular traditional foods of Maharashtra
Maharashtrian cuisine is known for its bold flavors, extensive use of spices, and diverse range of dishes. The cuisine of Maharashtra can be broadly classified into two categories: coastal and inland.
The coastal regions of Maharashtra, including Mumbai and the Konkan region, have a strong influence on the cuisine. Seafood plays a significant role in coastal dishes, and coconut is a common ingredient. Some popular coastal dishes include:
Malvani cuisine is spicy flavors. Fish curries, such as Malvani fish curry, are popular, along with dishes like kombdi vade (chicken curry served with fried bread), sol kadi (a tangy drink made with coconut milk and kokum), and tisrya masala (spicy clams).
Konkani cuisine is a blend of Maharashtrian and Goan culinary traditions. It features dishes like konkani fish curry, bangda fry (fried mackerel), solachi kadhi (kokum curry), and kaju usal (spicy cashew stir-fry).
The cuisine of the inland regions of Maharashtra, such as Pune and Nagpur, is characterized by a balance of flavors and the use of traditional spices. Some notable dishes include:
Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread made with a filling of jaggery and lentils. It is a popular festive dish enjoyed during celebrations and special occasions.
This cuisine is known for its fiery and spicy flavors. Kolhapuri chicken, mutton, and vegetarian dishes are popular, along with special masalas (spice blends) like the Kolhapuri masala.
This cuisine hails from Nagpur and is known for its spicy and robust flavors. Saoji chicken, mutton curry, and kebabs are some of the signature dishes. The cuisine often incorporates black pepper, dry red chilies, and poppy seeds.
Varan Bhaat is a simple and comforting dish consisting of dal (lentils) and steamed rice. It is a staple in Maharashtrian households and is often served with ghee, pickle, and papad.
Bhakri is a type of unleavened bread made from various flours like jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), or rice flour. It is a common accompaniment to curries and is a part of daily meals in rural Maharashtra.
Mastani is a popular dessert drink originating from Pune. It is a thick milkshake made with a combination of ice cream, fruits, and nuts, and sometimes topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
These are just a few highlights of Maharashtrian cuisine. Each region within Maharashtra has its own unique specialties and local delicacies, contributing to the rich and diverse culinary tapestry of the state.
Vada Pav-Food of Maharashtra
Known as the “poor man’s burger,” Vada Pav consists of a deep-fried potato dumpling (vada) served in a bread bun (pav) along with chutneys and sometimes accompanied by fried green chilies.
Vada Pav is often considered the quintessential street food of Maharashtra. It consists of a deep-fried potato dumpling (vada) placed inside a bread bun (pav), along with chutneys, and sometimes accompanied by fried green chilies. It is a popular snack that can be found in almost every corner of Maharashtra.
Puran Poli-Food of Maharashtra
It is a sweet flatbread made from a filling of jaggery (a type of cane sugar) and lentils (chana dal). It is usually enjoyed with ghee (clarified butter) or milk.
Puran Poli is a traditional and popular sweet flatbread or stuffed roti from the state of Maharashtra in India. It is especially popular during festivals and special occasions. Puran Poli has a delightful combination of flavors and textures, making it a beloved dessert in Maharashtrian cuisine.
Misal Pav-Food of Maharashtra
A spicy and flavorful dish, Misal Pav consists of sprouted lentils (usually moth beans or mixed sprouts) cooked with spices, served with a bread roll (pav), and garnished with chopped onions, farsan (a crunchy snack), and coriander leaves.
Poha-Food of Maharashtra
Poha is a popular breakfast dish made from flattened rice flakes cooked with mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions, turmeric, and other spices. It is often garnished with sev (crispy fried noodles) and served with a side of lemon.
Bharli Vangi-Food of Maharashtra
Also known as stuffed brinjal or baingan masala, this dish features small brinjals stuffed with a spicy coconut-based filling and cooked until tender. It is often enjoyed with chapatis or rice.
Sabudana Khichdi-Food of Maharashtra
This is a fasting dish made with soaked tapioca pearls (sago), roasted peanuts, and spices. It is commonly consumed during religious fasting periods and is gluten-free.
Modak-Food of Maharashtra
A popular sweet dumpling, Modak is made from rice flour dough filled with a sweet mixture of jaggery and grated coconut. It is steamed and often served as an offering during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Kanda Poha is a quick and easy breakfast dish made with flattened rice, onions, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and turmeric. It is a staple in many Maharashtrian households.
Shrikhand is a popular sweet dish made from strained yogurt mixed with sugar, saffron, and cardamom. It is often served chilled and enjoyed as a dessert.
Batata Bhaji is a simple yet delicious Maharashtrian dish made with potatoes. It consists of boiled and mashed potatoes cooked with mustard seeds, turmeric, green chilies, and other spices. It is often served with puris (fried bread) or as a side dish with rice.
Sabudana Vada is a popular snack made with soaked and drained tapioca pearls (sago), mashed potatoes, peanuts, green chilies, and spices. The mixture is shaped into patties and deep-fried until crispy. It is commonly consumed during religious fasting periods.
Shrikhand is a popular dessert made from strained yogurt (hung curd) that is sweetened with sugar and flavored with saffron, cardamom, and sometimes garnished with chopped nuts. It is a creamy and indulgent sweet dish often served chilled and enjoyed as a dessert or as part of festive meals.
Pithla Bhakri is a popular traditional dish in Maharashtra, especially in rural areas. It is a thick gram flour (besan) curry flavored with onions, garlic, turmeric, and other spices. It is served with Bhakri, which is a type of unleavened bread made from jowar (sorghum) or bajra (pearl millet) flour. This combination makes for a nutritious and hearty meal.
Kothimbir Vadi is a savory snack made from fresh coriander leaves (kothimbir), gram flour, and spices. The mixture is steamed or fried until crisp and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Kothimbir Vadi is enjoyed as a tea-time snack or as an appetizer.
Matki Usal is a popular Maharashtrian curry made with sprouted moth beans (matki). The sprouts are cooked with onions, tomatoes, spices, and sometimes grated coconut. It is a protein-rich and flavorful dish often served with pav (bread roll) or rice.
Kombdi Vade is a traditional chicken curry dish from the coastal regions of Maharashtra. It consists of a spicy chicken curry made with a blend of traditional spices and coconut milk. It is often served with Vade, which are deep-fried bread made from a mixture of rice flour and lentil flour.
Ukadiche Modak is a steamed version of the popular Modak sweet. The dumplings are made from rice flour dough and filled with a sweet mixture of jaggery, coconut, and cardamom. It is a must-have during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and is considered a favorite of Lord Ganesha.
Bhakarwadi-Food of Maharashtra
Bhakarwadi is a crispy and spicy snack that comes in Maharashtra.
It consists of a spiral-shaped roll from a dough of gram flour and refined flour, stuffed with a mixture of spices, coconut, and sesame seeds.
The rolls are then deep-fry until golden brown.
Solkadhi-Food of Maharashtra
Solkadhi is a refreshing and tangy drink from coconut milk and kokum.
It is often good for digestion after a meal or served with spicy dishes to balance the flavors.
Solkadhi cooling properties and is popular in coastal Maharashtra.
Kanda Batata Poha-Food of Maharashtra
Kanda Batata Poha is a variation of the popular Poha dish.
It includes poha with onions (kanda) and potatoes (batata), along with mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, and other spices.
It is a light and flavorful breakfast or snack option.
Aamti (Maharashtrian Dal)
Basundi is a traditional and delicious Indian dessert that originates from the western states of India, particularly Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is a sweet, creamy, and thickened milk dessert made by simmering milk for an extended period and flavoring it with cardamom, saffron, and nuts. Basundi is often served as a dessert during festive occasions and celebrations.
Here’s how you can make Basundi at home
- Full-fat milk: 1 liter (about 4 cups)
- Sugar: 1/2 to 3/4 cup (adjust to your sweetness preference)
- Cardamom powder: 1/2 teaspoon
- Saffron strands: A pinch (soaked in 1 tablespoon warm milk)
- Chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews): 2-3 tablespoons
- Raisins: 1 tablespoon (optional)
- Begin by boiling the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan or a wide, thick-bottomed vessel. Use full-fat milk for the best results.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Stir the milk occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and forming a layer of cream (malai) on top.
- Continue simmering and stirring the milk for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it reduces to approximately half its original volume. This process allows the milk to thicken and become creamy.
- Add sugar to the simmering milk and stir well. Continue to cook and stir until the sugar completely dissolves and the Basundi thickens further. This may take another 15-20 minutes.
- Add the cardamom powder to the Basundi and mix well. The Basundi should have a rich, creamy texture at this point.
- Add the saffron strands soaked in warm milk to the Basundi for a delightful flavor and color. Stir well.
- Add chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews) and raisins (if using) to the Basundi. Reserve some nuts for garnishing.
- Continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, allowing the nuts and saffron to infuse their flavors into the Basundi.
- Once the Basundi reaches your desired consistency (it should be thick and creamy), remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Chill the Basundi in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
- Garnish with the reserved chopped nuts before serving.
- Basundi can be served warm or cold. It can be enjoyed as is or with puri (fried bread) for a traditional Indian dessert combination known as “Puri and Basundi.”
Basundi is a delightful dessert that captures the essence of Indian sweets with its rich, creamy texture and aromatic flavors. It’s perfect for special occasions and celebrations, and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Kairi Cha Panha
Bombil/Bombay duck – Maharashtra food delights for non-veggies
These are just a few more examples of the diverse and delicious food that Maharashtra has to offer.
The cuisine of Maharashtra showcases a unique blend of flavors, spices, and regional specialties, making it a culinary delight for food enthusiasts.