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Food & Cuisines in Maharashtra

The traditional cuisine of Maharashtra is as distinct as its culture and people. With a taste of its own, the state of Maharashtra boasts of a cuisine unique to their culinary etiquettes. There is also a very wide variety in their cuisine, which ranges from spicy to plain. It has something to please everyone’s taste buds. Rice, wheat, jowar, vegetables, bajri, lentils and natural fruits are the stand out elements in this cuisine.

The culture of Maharashtra equates Brahma, the Universe’s creator to food, as a result of which Maharashtra has a culture of offering food first to god. On the occasions of festivals and fairs, special sweets are offered to gods.

There are basically two different branches of Marathi cuisine- Varadi and Konkan. Maharashtrian coastal areas are bordered by the Arabian Sea. This coastal front is known as Konkan and has a unique cuisine which is a blend of Gaud, Malvani, Saraswat, Goan and Brahmin cuisines. The non-coastal part of Maharashtra which is often termed as Vidharba is home to the Varadi cuisine.

In the traditional cuisine of Maharashtra, vegetables are blessed with a sedate and aromatic delight while the fishes and meats come steamy hot and spicy. The Konkani cuisine relies heavily on the use of coconut and spices.

The Cuisine of Kolhapur is heavy on Mutton and Spices, whereas the culinary culture of Vidharba is full of garlic and red chilies. The state Capital also contributes with its unique dishes that are eaten world over.

Staple Dishes

  • Poli or Chapatti - It is bread made out of simple flour of wheat.
  • Bhakri - This resembles the multi grain bread of urban areas as it is made up of several flours which Jowar and Bajra as the key ingredients. It is mostly made in rural areas.
  • Rice - One of the staple foods of the coastal areas, Rice also forms an important part of the culinary cuisine of Maharashtra. Rice is not the staple food across the state though.

Bhajis in Maharashtra are the spiced up vegetables. The main ingredients in Bhaji are mustard, garlic and onion. Rassa is another interesting offshoot of Bhaji. The vegetarians in Maharashtra use the basic vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes to make a gravy and curry of the vegetables. Groundnut oil is mostly used in cooking. The kala masala or goda masala is the secret behind the uniqueness of this cuisine.

The warrior communities of Marathas started the non-vegetarian culture in the cuisine and now it has become extremely popular in the state. Chicken and Mutton are the most sought after dishes besides the variety of sea food.

Appetizers

Maharashtra also has a unique and distinct culture of snacks and street foods. Their taste is such that they have famed themselves across the globe. Although, several south Indian dishes have gained popularity in the region along with several Punjabi ones, the original appetizer culture of Maharashtra is still alive.

Following are some of the iconic Marathi dishes:

  • Chivda: Rice is flattened and then later spiced. This dish is so popular that England calls it as Bombay Mixture.
  • Poha: Flattened rice again serves as the basis for this dish. This is one of the most famous of the dishes in a Marathi household and is often accompanied by a warm cup of tea. The traditional Marathi weddings also serve these prepared with load of onion called Kanda Poha. As the two families get together to arrange a marriage, this is the dish that is traditionally served to them.  Batata Poha is another offshoot of this traditional poha where a handsome amount of potatoes are used with these Pohas. Dadpe poha is yet another noteworthy dish in this section. It is basically a combination which combines green chillies, fresh coconut ginger and Poha. Other embellishments such as spices and lemon juice are further added to enhance its tangy taste.

Konkan Cuisine

The cuisine of the Konkan is loaded with coconut, spices and coriander. They are prepared in deep and interesting vessels. Tamarind and Raw Mango is often used to tender the curry a sour twist.

Mumbai Chaat

The life of Mumbai is very fast, hence to support the super fast lifestyle of Mumbai, the chaat becomes an absolute must. Usually spicy and hot, these chaat dishes in Mumbai are made fast and savor the delicate taste of authenticity to serve everyone’s mouth.

Special Marathi Dishes

It is only fair to assert that Mumbai can serve as the Political as well as Culinary Capital of the state. Pani Puri, Chaat, bhelpuri, vada pav and pav Bhaji are some of the stand out dishes. Streets and Beaches are the best place to have these. Apart from these, an array of Non Vegetarian dishes can be savored that are served by the Marathi Muslims in the city.

Savor the Taste of Royal

The Maratha Rulers donated their wealth and strengths on the beautiful land of Maharashtra. They also blessed the land with a unique royal cuisine. The sea has also laid a major part in shaping its cuisine which relies heavily on the sea food. The Viva Paschimi hotel is the upper most name in this cuisine and serves the most authentic and delicious dishes.

 

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