India is a land of culture and more so, the land of delicious cuisine. Right from the peak of Jammu and Kashmir to the tip of Kanyakumari, India proudly boasts about the plethora of dishes that each cuisine comprises of. The ‘state in focus’ for this piece is Maharashtrian cuisine.
Maharashtra is a beautiful state that embraces the pristine beauty of nature as well as the glittering lights of its urban centres. Besides, Mumbai, one of the busiest cities in this state, you also have other cities like Pune, Nagpur, and Lonavala where you can enjoy Maharashtrian culture. Having said this, the people of Maharashtra are very traditional and are extremely proud of their ethos. Now, you all have heard about the beautiful beaches in Maharashtra, right? But, do you know about the lip-smacking dishes that the state offers?
If you ever feel like eating something spicy and sweet, something that makes your heart skip a beat – Maharashtrian dishes are worth your craving. Right from the bites of Vada Pav to the sips of Keri Panna, there’s a whole lot to relish. So, if you are visiting the state, here is the list of Maharashtrian dishes that you must definitely try during your trip: –
1. The Yellow Flatbread – Puran Poli
Starting with one of the traditional dishes of Maharashtra, Puran Poli is a type of Indian sweet flatbread. It is made by stuffing chana, desiccated coconut, jaggery or cane sugar, and nutmeg powder into the flatbread which is made from wheat flour. It is basically prepared during festivals and other grand celebrations.
2. King of Street Food – Misal Pav
If Jethalal Gada from the famous Indian show “Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma” loves anything else other than Jalebi Phapda, it is Misal Pav. One of the most famous Maharashtrian dishes which is deemed the king of this state’s street food. It is made of Misal which is a spicy curry made of moth beans and Pav which is an Indian bread roll. The dish is garnished with different types of Indian munchies like farsan, sev, aloo laccha, to name some. Other than these, it is also topped with coriander leaves and lemon and served with a glass of buttermilk.
3. An Evening Companion – Pudachi Vadi
From the western parts of Maharashtra comes the yummiest evening snack that can reignite you after a tiring day. Pudachi Vadi is made from a mixture of dried desiccated coconut, coriander leaves, chilli powder, and other Indian spices. This mixture is filled into an outer coating of gram flour which is then deep-fried. This dish is best served with a hot cup of masala chai as a sumptuous evening snack.
4. Saviour from the Blazing Heat – Keri Aamti
One of the popular Maharashtrian dishes to beat the scorching heat of summer is Keri Aamti or Kairichi Aamti. It is a combination of sweet and spicy thick gravy which is made from raw mangoes and authentic Indian spices that is served with steamed white rice. When the fragrance of the spices combines with the tangy flavour of raw mangoes, the taste you experience is divine.
5. What inspired Momos – Modak
Another traditional dish of Maharashtra and the favourite of Lord Ganesh, Modak is a sweet dish that is savoured by everyone in the state. The authentic Modak is made from grated coconut mixed with jaggery which is then filled into an outer shell made from rice flour mixed with a little bit of maida. During Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations, you can find Modak in different flavours like chocolate, pista, and kesar, to name some.
6. A Healthy Snack – Kothimbir Vada
If Jethalal loves Misal Pav, Gokuldham society’s ‘ekkameva’ secretary Mr Aatmaram Tukaram Bhide loves all the Maharashtrian dishes. But, his favourite one is Kothimbir Vada! One of the tastiest Maharashtrian foods, this snack is made by mixing coriander leaves with besan and water along with some Indian spices and then steaming it to get a cake-like structure. It is cut into square pieces and finally served with some spicy chilly and mint chutney.
7. Feels of Malaysia in India – Pandhra Rassa
Rated amongst the top 10 Maharashtrian dishes in India, this delicacy is straight from the roots of Kolhapur. Pandhra Rassa is a soup which is prepared from the broth of chicken or mutton with a base of coconut milk, sliced onion, cashew paste, chilli, and other spices. It has a different sort of flavour which stays put on your tongue for a long time.
8. Prince of Street Food – Pav Bhaji
Photo Credit : Neha, WhiskAffair
One of the most famous Maharashtrian dishes – Pav Bhaji is what Marathi people live for. There is an unsaid understanding between Indians and Pav Bhaji which can be understood only when the delicious flavours of Pav Bhaji touch the tip of your tongue.
9. The All-rounder – Thalipeeth
A multi-grain pancake, this famous Maharashtrian dish is also savoured in the regions of North Karnataka. Thalipeeth is made from a special type of flour called ‘bhajanee’ which comprises of roasted grains viz. rice, wheat, bajra, and jowar and legumes like chana and urad. The dough is mixed with chopped onion, coriander leaves, and other vegetables and spices to enhance the taste even more.
10. A Spicy Dose – Bombil
As they say, always save the best for last. Bombil or Bombay Duck is hands down one of the best Maharashtrian foods that you can ever have. Before you come to the conclusion that it is a duck dish, let’s agree to disagree! It is rather a fish. Though it gives a pungent smell while being cooked, the flavour after that – svadista! Spicy in taste, it tantalizes your taste buds like nothing else.
If you are reading this, you’d be wondering – “Who creates a list of Maharashtrian dishes and doesn’t include Vada Pav?!” Well, it is so staple a dish that we all have, at one point or another, savoured it.
Besides this assorted list of Maharashtrian dishes, you will come across a lot of other dishes and drinks like Sol Kadhi, Tambda Rasa, Bharli Vahge, and many such lip-smacking delicacies. So, the next time you take a Maharashtra tour package, make sure you add ‘going on a Maharashtrian food trail’ to the things you plan to do during the trip.