Cuisine Of Maharashtra
It is a state located in South West India. The word Maharashtra comes from the words ‘Maha’ meaning Great and ‘Rashtra’ meaning Nation, thus rendering the name ‘Maharashtra’ (Great Nation). It is the second most populous and third largest state by area in India. It is also the richest state in India, divided into six revenue divisions, which are further divided into thirty-five districts. The six administrative divisions in Maharashtra state are Amravati, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nasik & Pune.
Overlooking the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea is the western
state of Maharashtra, which presents a strong blend of the
traditional and the contemporary—each co-existing with the
other with surprising ease.
The culture of Maharashtra, which reveals itself in many ways, is
also reflected in its local cuisine. Though most people are not very
familiar with Maharashtrian cuisine and it has yet to find its way
into five-star kitchens, there does exist a large and interesting
The cuisine of Maharashtra has its own distinctive flavors and
tastes. It can be divided into two major sections–the coastal and
the interior. A major portion of Maharashtra, which lies on the
coast of the Arabian Sea, is loosely called the Konkan and boasts
of its own Konkani cuisine, which is a homogeneous combination of
Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisines. Besides the
coastal cuisine, the interior of Maharashtra—the Vidarbha area,
has its own distinctive cuisine known as the Varadi cuisine.
As in most of the other states of India, rice is the staple food
grain in Maharashtra too. Like the other coastal states, there is
an enormous variety of vegetables in the regular diet and lots of
fish and coconuts are used.Chicken and Mutton is more widely eaten in the central region of Maharashtra.
Grated coconuts spice many kinds of dishes, but coconut oil is not
very widely used as a cooking medium. Peanuts and cashew nuts
are widely used in vegetables and peanut oil is the main cooking
medium. Another feature is the use of kokum, a deep purple berrythat has a pleasing sweet and sour taste.
Regional divisions of cuisines in Maharashtra
Maharashtrian cuisine is mainly divided into two, Konkani and Vidarbha.
These cuisines have their different variations with influences from other cuisines such as Goan,Saraswat etc.
The Konkan is a coastal strip of land bounded by the Sahyadri hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Maharashtra's Konkan coast includes the districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Thane
Locally Available Ingredients
The traditional crops of the Konkan region, the West coast of
Maharashtra, are coconuts, mangoes, cashews, rice and a variety
of pulses. The region also grows a great quantity of kokum, a
sweet-sour fruit. Fish is available in vast varieties and seafood is
in abundant supply. All these ingredients find place in the
traditional and exotic Konkani food.
Aadoli or Addoli as called in Konkani ~ the traditional kitchen chopper and grater.
Traditional Grinding/ Milling Stone or Daantey as its termed amongst Konkanis.This is a traditional Grinding/ Milling Stone used and found in many a Konkani houses. Some of them use Blenders and Mixers nowadays out of sheer convenience. This stone is called Zaatuh in Marathi, Zaatey in Goan Konkani and Daantey in GSB Konkani.
Chulha is an open flame cooking equipment made from bricks ,cowdung(gobar),mud ,etc.fuel used is charcoal,wood,coal or cowdung cakes.
Among seafood, the most popular fish is Bombil or the Bombay
duck, which is normally served batter fried and crisp. Bangda or
mackerel is another popular fish in the Konkan. It is
curried with red chilies, ginger and triphal. Pomfret is another
popular fish eaten barbecued, stuffed, fried or curried.Pamphlet triphal ambat is a traditional dish in which fish is cooked in creamy coconut gravy that greatly enhances its taste.
Besides fish, crabs, prawns, shellfish and lobsters are also
relished by the Konkans. A popular prawn dish is
the sungtachi-hinga kodi, which consists of prawns in coconut
gravy, blended with spices and asafetida
· Mori Chi Aamti (Shark Curry) is a highly popular dish, along the Konkan coast. It is basically a spicy Shark curry.
· Solkadhi or Soul Curry is an energizing curry drink, highly popular in Konkan. It is made from coconut milk and kokam.
· Bangda Fry is a popular dish, especially in Mumbai. The head of the fish called "Bangda" is thrown and the other part is fried as a whole.
· Khavda Curry is an extremely delicious dish which consists of a local Konkani bird called "Khavda".
· Bombil Fry or Bombay Duck Fry is an immensely popular dish, especially in north Konkan regions like Mumbai and Raigad.
· Paplet Saar is a dish consisting of Pomfret cooked in traditional Malvani fish curry. This dish is especially popular in Mumbai.
· Phanasachi Bhaji is an exotic vegetarian dish, which is made from Jackfruit, chillies and spices.
· Kaju Chi Aamti is a spicy curry of cajus (cashews). It is a spicy preparation and is savoured by the Malvani populace.
· Fish Koliwada is an appetizer which has its origin in the coastal city of Mumbai and is the traditional dish of ethnic Mumbaikars, the Kolis.
Breads and cakes
· Ghavan is a fried pancake and is especially popular in Sindhudurg district. Its netted appearance gives it an even more enigmatic feel.
· Khaproli is a sweet dish, highly popular in southern Konkan. The dish consists of a fluffy pancake dipped in yellow sweet juice.
· Tandalachi Bhakri is a Bhakri made of rice flour. It is the Malvani equivalent of the Maharashtrian Jowari Bhakri or
Bajri Bhakri, which is popular across the Deccan.
Vidarbha is the eastern region of Maharashtra state made up of Nagpur Division and Amravati Division.
Situated in central India Vidarbha has its own rich cultural and historical background distinct from rest of Maharashtra. The region is famous for growing oranges and cotton.It is less economically prosperous compared to the rest of Maharashtra. The largest town in Vidarbha is Nagpur.
Even though Marathi culture is most dominant, Vidarbha has been a melting pot of Telugu speaking people from south, Hindi speaking central India and tribal people of Chattisgarh. Vidarbha is famous for the Varhādi dialect of Marathi language spoken in the rest of Maharashtra. the Varadi cuisine of interior Maharashtra uses a variety of vegetables,peanuts and cashew nuts. Peanut oil is the main cooking medium, the cardinal principle is that oil should not be visible in a dish and therefore vegetables are usually steamed.
Locally available Ingredients
As the Vidarbha region is away from the coast the use of fish and coconuts in the food is not much.Peanuts and poppy seeds are widely used as thickening agents.
Most of the other ingredients used are similar to the rest of Maharashtra.
Note :Equipments used are quite similar to the one’s used in the whole of Maharashtra.
Famous culinary food items prepared
Zunka is the dry version of Pithale prepared with the gram flour.
It is prepared with chana dal, wheat flour and gram flour. These are balls which are fried in oil and served with tomato sauce or chutney of any type.
Varhadi Aloo Bhat
This Maharashtian recipe of rice and yogurt simmered with spices makes a great meal by itself. It is also known as Vagharelo aloo bhat and it is the Maharashtrian version of vegetable pulao.
This is yet again a deep fried preparation made from whole moong dal, chana dal, toor dal, barbate dal, whole urad dal,
Laal Bhoplyachi Kheer (Pumpkin Kheer)/ GULSHELA
As the name rightly suggests it is a kheer made from pumpkins. It s a very rich and a flavourful dish due to the ghee, milk, sugar, saffron, cardamom.
Malvani cuisine is the standard cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa, and some northern parts of West Karnataka. Although Malvani cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, there are many vegetarian delicacies. Although it is an independent cuisine, it overlaps Maharashtrian cuisine and Goan cuisine. Malvan is a town in the Sindhudurg district on the west coast of Maharashtra.
However not all of the cuisine is hot and spicy. The 'Konkanastha Brahmin' style of food is quite bland yet very tasty and vegetarian too.
Fish dishes dominate the Malvani cuisine. The fiery seafood curries may be a bit too spicy for some people, but are quite tasty. The Malvani cuisine is very similar to Goan or coastal South Indian cuisine.
The cuisine as mentioned above is influenced a lot by local ingredients such as coconut, amchur, fish, raw mango (kairi). The malvani cuisine is not realy a lot different from any of the west maharashtrian cuisine except for an excessive use of coconut, kokum, which makes the food sweet and tangy.
Equipments used in malvani cuisine are not very unusual. Any normal household in maharashtra may be having the same equipments as in the Malwan region. Those may include coconut grater, wok (kadai), degchi etc. But the speciality restaurants having malwani cuisine may have some additional equipments as a deep fat fryer, grills etc. As grilled fish and fried fish is prepared on a large scale in daily meal at any malwani meal. Also some times we may find earthernware used as this region is quite famous for the good quality of clay thus they often use cooking utensils made out of clay.
As the food is influenced by various cultures as the maratha, portugese, the arabs they do not restrict their cooking methods to one particular way. Fried, roasted, grilled etc. Are various ways used for cookin here in malvan as per the demand by various recipies. Other than the ones mentioned above a typical maharashtrian meal made in this region might need equipments like a tava, pressure cooker, kadai (wok), coconut grater( it is used on a large scale, coconut being used very liberally in this region).
Steamers may be used as well for ‘ukdiche modak’ which is a speciality from the region which is a steamed sweet momo.
Various specialities from the region:
§ Kombdi Vade(कोंबडी वडे) or Murgh Malvani is a non-vegetarian dish, which is quite popular in Maharashtra. The dish consists of the traditional Malvani chicken curry (including chicken pieces with bones), vade (like a puri, which is a fluffy, fried bread of wheat and nachni flour), onion, lemon and solkadhi.
§ Malvani Mutton Curry is a highly popular dish throughout the Konkan region. It is similar to Murgh Malvani except that the spices are slightly different.
§ Kavda Curry(कवड्याचां मटण) is an extremely delicious dish made from a local Konkani bird called "Khavda".
§ Sukat bombil chutney is a preparation made from dried Bombay duck fish which is pickeled in a spicy combination of garlic and chillies.
§ Kurli masala is a crab preparation made in coconut base flavoured with malvani masala and tamarind.
§ Steamed oondees is a snack time dish made from idli rava flavoured with various spices and a dominant flavour of curry leaves basically of a manglorian origination.
§ Ambya kolu is kind of a stew made from mangoes sweetened with jiggery and thickened with rice flour.
§ Fish Aamshe-Tikhshe (Bangda/Prawns/Tarle) is a red,spicy,tangy fish curry.its very authentic, mangalorian fish curry. variation can be done with prawns, or tarle fish.
§ Mutton/Chiken in coconut milk is a Mangalorean style mutton curry with a flavour of coconut milk.not too spicy but very tasty as the coconut milk blends well with our spices.
§ Ambaya Sasam is a very traditional malvani dish. Very quick and easy to make. IT is sweet and spicy dish. Tastes best when served with rice and dalitoy.
Breads and cakes
§ Ukdiche modak is a special dish which resembles a momo but has a sweet filling made out of coconut and jaggery or sugar.
§ Surnoli is a fermented pan cake made from rice flour, poha(rice flakes), coconut and jiggery.
Kolhapur (also known as Karveer) is situated on banks of the sacred river Panchganga flowing in southwest part of Maharashtra, India. Famous as the residence of the mother goddess 'Mahalaxmi alias Ambabai'
History of Kolhapur
§ Kolhapur is having history of more than 2000 years. This is mainly divided in three parts.
Kolhapur was an imperative Buddhist base during 3rd century BC. There's evidence to prove the same. Even today this place is termed as Dakshin Kashi and is believed to be 108 kalpas old (1 kalpa = 100 years).
§ People of Kolhapur are big foodies and so are their appetites!!!! Kolhapuries can eat a lot. Kolhapuri food is spicy and flavourful and has many variations in it.
§ Typical kolhapuries cannot do without mutton and some typical mutton recipes are actually worshipped by them. But veg preparations are also very interesting here with a beautiful blend of various aromatic and flavourful spices. Some of the famous and typical kolhapuri recipes are given below:
Specialities from Kolhapur region:
§ 1. Thalipeeth:
§ 2. Missal Kat ( missal thin curry):
§ 3. Kharda:
§ 4. Zunaka:
§ 5. Bharli Wangi ( stuffed brinjals)
§ 6. Puran Poli:
Information: In the rural areas,Puran Poli is rolled over oil unlike in cities where rice flour is used for the purpose. When made in large uantities, it is dried and stored. Also in Rural areas, the Puran Polis are comparatively less sweet and are generally served with 'Gulawani'
§ Gulawani is jaggery water with cardammom powder served as accompaniment with Puran Poli.
§ 7. Katachi Aamti:
§ 8. Masale Bhaat:
§ 9. Kakavi
§ 10. Pudachi wadi
§ 11. Usachy rasatlya polya
§ 12. Kadbu
Kolhapur is famous for many other vegetarian delicacies and dishes like kadakni, lasoon chutney, patavdya, purnachi dind, wada kombda, gharge ,dahi kanda etc
§ 1. Tambda Rassa (red curry):
§ 2.Pandhara Rassa( White Curry):
§ 3. Suka Mutton (Dry Mutton):
§ 4. Mutton Masala:
§ 5. Mutton Fry:
§ 6.Gawran Chicken (Rustic Chicken):
§ 7.Kolhapuri White Mutton(lamb) Soup & Pulav Balls
§ 8.kolhapuri mutton rassa
§ 9.Khula rassa
Other non vegetarian dishes are vada kombda , muttonacha loncha etc.
Street Food Of Mumbai
The street food in Mumbai plays a very important role in every mumbaikars life as it mainly consists of fast food suitable for a fast life as in Mumbai. The owners of these street food kiosks are easily filling up their pockets by selling off fast food and many people being attracted to it due to fast lifestyle and the tasty and cheap food provided by these food stalls. The food served here is usually kebabs, frankies, chaat preparations, famous Mumbai dishes pav bhaji and wadapav.
Also there are stalls put up during various festivals serving some of the particular dishes which you may find only during those few days. For eg: You amy get sausages during the Bandra fest. conducted near Basilica of Mount Mary in Bandra every year.
There are also streets in Mumbai in almost every area serving such street food which is popularly known as ‘khaw gallis’ here in Mumbai.
The street food in Mumbai is not particularly from a part of the country. It has various dishes from various parts of the country like chaat, kebabas, dosas and idlis etc. you will also find the Indianised version of Chinese cuisine served and appreciated by people on a very large scale.
TYPES OF STREET FOOD
Chaats ( sev puri , bhel puri )
Pani puri , ragda patice
Juices ( orange , apple , mango , lemon )
Festivals in Maharashtra:
1) Ganesh chaturthi: This festival is celebrated all across Maharashtra. It is celebrated in September month of the year. During this festival irrespective of the region modaks are offered to Lord Ganesha. Modaks are sweet fried or steamed(usually found in west Maharashtra) momos with a filling made out of coconut.
2) Diwali: This festival inspires a variety mouth-watering preparations like karanji, chakli, kadboli, anarasa, shankarpali, chirota, shev, chivda and varieties of ladoos like Dink ladoo, Besan ladoo, shingdana ladoo, Rava ladoo, and so on are consumed in Maharashtrian households by children and adults alike. Diwali is considered one of the most auspicious festivals in Maharashtra.
3) Holi: On this spring festival day, people enjoy a puran poli, a sweet, stuffed chappati made of channa dal and refined flour (maida), served warm with clarified butter or a bowl of milk or sweentened coconut milk.
4) Makar Sankranti: this festival is celebrated on the 14th of January marking the beginning of uttarayana that is the northward journey of the sun. This day people fly kites and distribute sweets made of til(sesame) and gul(jaggery). Also many people make rotis stuffed with mixture of sesame and jiggery.
5) Gudi Padwa: This festival marks a beginning of the new year. And is celebrated with great enthusiasm across the state. On this day a proper maharashtrian vegetarian meal is cooked with a lot of sweets as well as fried pakodas and puris or sometimes pooran-polis as well.
A special chutney is made that day which is offered to God which has all the flavours in it i.e. Neem for bitter taste, jaggery for sweetness, green chillies for spicy flavour and raw mangoes for tangy or sour flavour. This is a maharashtrian traditional chutney still made in many households.
Way to serve in Maharashtra.
11 o clock salt and then going downwards at 10 o clock lemon wedge 9 o clock chutney or pickles
8o clock koshimbir or kachumber
7 o clock dry preparation but not dry veg. accompaniment. Eg: watleli dal or panchamrut.
At 12 o clock a bowl is placed with dal, amti or kadhi. If the sweet served is of flowing consistency then it is served in a bowl after the placement of the dal’s bowl.
1 o clock dry vegetable accompaniment is served.
2 o clock vegetable preparation with gravy.
3 o clock any other veg. preparation is made is served, if the sweet served is dry then it comes at 3 o clock or 4 o clock.
5 o clock the bread prepared is served.
6 o clock boiled with dal is served and if any other rice preparation is prepared then it comes above the plain rice.
Any deep fried snack item being prepared like papad, pakodas etc is served above rice preparation in the centre of the plate between rice and bowls with dal or kadhi.