Maharashtra is a rare state in India that possesses a wide range in terms of cuisine. The cuisine of the locals i.e. Marathi people tends to range from spicy to very spicy. Crops such as wheat, jowar, rice, bajri, vegetables, and lentils form the basis of a typical Maharashtrian diet. People from the coastal Konkan region in the state are mainly seafood eaters and popular fishes in this region include Bombay Duck, Pomfret etc. Usually peanut oil or safflower oil is normally while cooking Maharashtrian food. However, depending on the type of food ghee i.e. clarified butter is also often used.
The unique feature or what can also be termed as the USP i.e. Unique Selling Point of the state’s cuisine is the spices. So depending on the region, religion, and caste spices are used. And depending on the spices used the food can range mild to extremely spicy. Another feature that is unique to the cuisine of this state is the wide range of delicacies that are available. The following are a few popular delicacies in this state according to type of food
The following are a few popular delicacies in this state according to type of food
- Meat and Poultry:
- Malvani Chicken: Is a typical Maharashtrian curry that originated from the Malvan region and hence the name of this delicacy. This curry is essentially coconut based and includes spices such as turmeric powder, garam masala powder, green chillies etc. This curry is normally spicy to taste.
- Kombdi Vade: Is a dish from Konkan region. This delicacy essentially is a deep fried flat bread prepared from rice and urid flour. It is usually served along with the Malvani chicken curry.
- Pandhra Rassa: Essentially is a mutton dish prepared from coconut milk. This delicacy is a gravy which is white in colour.
- Seafood and Curries eaten along with rice:
- Kolambi Pulao or Bhaat: Is essentially a rice delicacy in which fresh prawns (also known as shrimps) is cooked along with chilli, garlic, and basmati rice.
- Bombay Duck Fry: A popular fish dish. The fish is called Bombay Duck or Bombil. In this delicacy the fish is fried in chilli garlic paste, red chilli powder, masala powder, and rice flour.
- Kadhi: Is a type of curry that is prepared from a combination of buttermilk and chickpea flour (besan).
- Solkadhi: Is a type of soup/curry that is made from coconut milk and Kokum, which is a plant, called “Garcinia Indica”. This plant is popular in the Konkan region.
- Beverages and sweet/deserts:
- Kokum Sarbat: Is a form of juice made from the plant called Garcinia Indica.
- Puran Poli: Is a popular sweet delicacy. It consist of a buttery flat bread which is stuffed with jaggery, yellow gram dal, plain flour, cardamom powder, and ghee. It is usually prepared during festivals.
- Modak: Is a form of a sweet dumpling that is either steamed or fried. It is supposed to be Lord Ganesh’s favourite sweet and hence prepared as an offering to please the lord during the Ganesh festival held in August.
- Aamras: Which means Mango Juice is a popular form of sweet/desert. While sugar and at times milk used as additives.
- Shrikhand: Is sweetened yoghurt which is usually flavoured with saffron, cardamom, and charoli nuts. It is usually prepared during Maharashtrian New Year i.e. Gudi Padwa.
- Pedha: A popular sweet in the shape of a round ball that consists of a mixture of khoa, sugar, and saffron.
- Snacks/Street Food:
- Pohe: Popularly known as “Kande Pohe” is a snack made from flattened rice. This snack is often served to guests during teatime.
- Vada Pav: Is a very popular street food in this state. It consists of fried mashed potatoes which is sandwiched in between a pav i.e. bread bun made of wheat.
It is quite clear that Maharashtra as a state provides for a wide range of delicacies ranging from proper meals to snacks and sweet/deserts. With variety being the Unique Selling Point i.e. USP of the Maharashtrian cuisine. The choice between what to eat and what to avoid entirely depends upon you. So here is hoping that “the force of your choice will always be with you”.