Maharashtrian Cuisine

Like with most regional cuisines of India, the Maharashtrian thali is also arranged to achieve a balance of flavours and nutrition. So alongside chutneys, wafers (papad), chopped/grated salad (koshimbir), sprouts (usal) and lentils – tempered (amti) and untempered (sadha varan), you will also find vegetables cooked in different ways (bhaji), rice (bhaat), rotis, yoghurt or buttermilk, and sweets (the popular ones being shrikhand/amrakhand, gulab jam, kharvas, puran poli), followed by betel leaves stuffed with spices (vida).

Traditionally the meal begins with hot rice and varan, to which you add a spoonful of clarified butter, and as any Maharashtrian will testify, there’s nothing better in life than varan bhaat.

Maharashtrian Dishes are not just tempting but lip smacking & delicious too. These dishes are full of flavors and spices. Some people (who are not from Maharashtra) find Maharashtrian food a little hot and spicy, but still can’t keep away.

The mid-western state of Maharashtra in India is home to popular cities like Mumbai (Bombay) and Pune. This state has a beautifully merged touch of coastal and central plateau tastes, since it stretches from the rocky rain drenched western ghats to the north central parts of the Deccan plateau.

Maharashtrian (or Marathi) cuisine is cuisine of, those from the state of Maharashtra. Where food is concerned the range and variety are plenty and tongue tickling. Here you will find strong aromas of spices (like black Maharashtrian masala)as well as garlic and ginger in abundance. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a wide range from being extremely mild to very spicy dishes. The staple dishes of Maharashtrian cuisine are based on bread and rice, while lentils (pulses) play an important role as well.

Vegetable dishes in this area are called Bhaji along with bread made of all kinds of flours called Bhakri as well as the usual Indian bread chapati are part of the daily meals. Maharashtrian curries are usually on the watery side and called Rassa and not thick like the curries from the North.

Some of the Most Popular Maharashtrian Dishes are:

  • Pohe: Pohe is a snack made from flattened rice. It is most likely served with tea or as a breakfast dish and is probably the most likely dish that a Maharashtrian will offer his guest any time of the day.
  • Misal Pav: Quintessentially from Pune. To prepare Misal first ‘Usal’ which is a water based curried preparation of cooked sprouted lentils is first prepared and then topped with batata-bhaji, pohay, Chivda, farsaan, raw chopped onions and tomato. It is sometimes eaten with yogurt to cut the spice and is always served with dinner roll type bread called Pav and lemon wedges.
  • Pitla Bhakri: Pitla Bhakri is a rural food of Maharashtra, the staple food amongst the farmers and village folk. It forms part of the typical Maharashtrian cuisine and has in the last two decades become quite popular amongst the more cosmopolitan city dwellers as well.
  • Puran Poli: Puran Poli is one of the most popular sweet item in the Maharashtrian cuisine. It is most of the times prepared during festivities or any other special occasion.