Maharashtrian Cuisine is distinguished for its spicy and mouth watering taste. The
culture of Maharashtra is reflected in its local cuisine. Maharashtrian meals are
systematically planned and cooked. The vegetables are more or less only steamed and
very lightly seasoned so as to retain their dietary value. There is almost no deep frying
and roasting in Maharashtra cuisine recipes. In Maharashtra, the regional festivals and
food go together and every dish brings a special significance along with it.
Overlooking the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea, Maharashtrian cuisine is largely
influenced by sea-foods and the cuisine that is popular in the interiors of the state
presents a strong blend of the traditional and the contemporary preparations. The
coastline of Maharashtra is usually called the ‘Konkan’ and boasts its own Konkani
cuisine, which is a harmonized combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin and
Goan cuisines. Besides the coastal Maharashtrian cuisine, the interior of Maharashtra or
the Vidarbha area has its own distinctive cuisine known as the Varadi cuisine.
3. Geographic Location -
Located in the heart of India, with a command of the Arabian Sea
through its port of Mumbai
Maharashtra is situated in the western part of India .
The state is divided into 6 divisions and 36 districts, with the state
capital being Mumbai, the most populous urban area in India.
The Sahyadri Range is the physical backbone of Maharashtra.
The Konkan, lying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range
is narrow coastal lowland, barely 50 km wide.
Even Godavari River and Krishna River flow from there and go till
the Bay of Bengal.
4. Historical Background -
Maharashtrian cuisine can be traced back to the ancient Vedic
period, when the food was cooked on a clay stove called a chulha.
The cuisine has been influenced by Maratha, Mughal, Portuguese,
and British rule over the years. The Mughal influence is seen in the
use of dry fruits and meat in dishes such as biryani and kebabs. The
Portuguese influence is seen in the use of vinegar and bread in
dishes such as vindaloo, and the British influence is seen in the use
of eggs and potatoes in dishes such as egg curry and potato bhaji.
The Islamic and European influences were imbibed particularly by
the royal kitchens of the early Marathas, such as the Gaekwads of
Baroda or the Bhonsales of Tanjavur. In regular households the food
remained simple and basic,”
There many delicacies to be celebrated, such as the Ninaava — a
sweet dish whipped out by the Kayastha community, or the Kanhole
— a multi-layered pastry, or the variety of kheers served and the
littleknown Champakali, Mande, Pudachi Vadi or Varan Chakoli.
~ Tannu Priya
5. Seasonal Availability -
Summer dish is "Kairi Panha," a tangy raw mango drink that's
both refreshing and energizing. Raw mango is widely used in
various dishes such as "Aamti" (a tangy lentil curry) and
"Aamras" (a sweet mango pulp).
Monsoon (June to September): Monsoons bring with them a
burst of greenery and an abundance of fresh vegetables.
You'll find dishes like "Kanda Bhaji" (onion fritters) and
"Sabudana Vada" (tapioca fritters) savored during this time.
Another monsoon favorite is "Pakoras" (deep-fried snacks)
made with seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, or
Winter (October to February): Winters in Maharashtra are
mild, and the cuisine reflects the season with heartwarming
delights. One popular winter dish is "Undhiyu," a mixed
vegetable curry made with winter vegetables like yam, beans,
and fenugreek leaves. Another winter favorite is "Puran Poli,"
a sweet flatbread filled with jaggery and lentil stuffing. These
are just a few examples, but Maharashtrian cuisine offers a
wide array of dishes that vary with the seasons. Each
~ Tanvi Burman
6. Special Ingredients -
Pav Bhaji Masala - Pav Bhaji masala is a spice blend commonly
used in Indian cuisine. It typically includes a mix of spices like
coriander, cumin, fennel, black pepper, dried mango powder etc.
Goda Masala - A traditional spice blend made with various spices
like coriander, cumin, sesame seed, coconut etc.
Kokum - A souring agent used in curries and solkadhi.
Coconut - Widely used in various dishes, especially in coastal
region to add texture and flavour.
Kala Masala - A dark and aromatic spice blend, typically made
with roasted spices like black cardamom, stone flower and dagad
Jaggery - A natural sweetener used in many Maharashtrian
dessert and savoury dishes for a balance of flavours.
Lavangi Mirchi - A small and fiery chilli variety commonly used to
spice up Maharashtrian dishes.
Amba Haldi - This variety of turmeric has a slightly different taste
and is used in specific Maharashtrian preparations.
Pav bhaji masala Goda masala
Kokum Goda masala
Kala masala Jaggery
Lavangi Mirchi Amba haldi
~ Taniya Mistry
7. Special Equipments -
CHOOL: It is a cooking stove made out of mud. Dry cow dung or wood is used
for firing the stove.
THIKRA: This is a tawa made from mud which is used to make breads. This gives
an earthly flavor to the dish.
MANDE TAWA: This is a wok – like equipment made out of a special
earthenware pot. This pot is upturned and fire is lit from the bottom. Mande is
made out of a dough of rawa and maida.
MODAK PATRA: This is copper vessel made for making modaks.
PATA – WARWANTA: It is a rectangular piece of stone, approximately 2ft by 1ft
on which the spices are ground with a stone pestle.
GUNDPONGLU TAWA: This is a tawa that resembles an idli tawa and is used for
making steamed dumplings.
KHALBHTTA: It is a cast iron vessel which is used to powder dry masalas and
spices. A heavy iron rod is used to pound the spices.
PURANCHEY YANTRA: This is a kind of sieve. It is used for making a paste of
chana dal and jaggery used for making puran poli.
VEELI: This is a sickle – shaped blade fixed on a wooden block used for slicing
and chopping of vegetables.
Thikra Modak Patra
Pata – Warwanta Gundponglu Tawa
8. Staple Diet -
Rice is the staple food grain in Maharashtra cuisine, alike the many other states
of India. The staple in the Vidarbha region hardly eat rice and their most
preferred staple is jowar and bajra. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes of
Maharashtra cuisine are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis
made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake
made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the
Cereals are also commonly eaten in the coastal part of the state which includes
Vatana, Val, Moong and Arhar.
The Maharashtra cuisine includes an enormous variety of vegetables in the
Lots of fish and coconuts are also used. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of
dishes in Maharashtra cuisine. Coconut is extensively used in cooking and as an
embellishment. In the coastal cuisine of Maharashtra, fresh coconut is added to
the dishes, while in the Vidarbha region, powdered coconut is used for cooking.
9. Staple Festival and Seasonal Food -
Maharashtra, a vibrant state in India, is known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse festivals celebrated throughout the year. These
festivities are marked by a delightful array of traditional dishes that add flavor and charm to the celebrations. Let’s explore some of the
special dishes enjoyed during the festivals in Maharashtra.
Puran Poli : Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread that holds a special place in Maharashtrian festivals, especially during Holi and Gudi Padwa.
Made with a filling of jaggery, split chickpeas (chana dal), and aromatic spices, this delectable treat is a perfect blend of sweetness and
spice, symbolizing the essence of joy and harmony during these auspicious occasions.
Modak : The quintessential Maharashtrian dessert, Modak, takes center stage during the grand festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. These
mouthwatering dumplings are filled with a delightful mixture of grated coconut, jaggery, and cardamom. The devotion and love poured
into making Modaks make them even more special when offered to Lord Ganesha as a symbol of reverence.
Ukadiche Modak : While Modak is a year-round favorite, Ukadiche Modak holds a special significance during Ganesh Chaturthi. Unlike
its steamed counterpart, Ukadiche Modak is prepared using rice flour and is a labor of love, requiring meticulous skill to shape them
perfectly. These steamed dumplings are a must-have offering to Lord Ganesha, evoking blessings and prosperity.
Shrikhand : Shrikhand, a luscious yogurt-based dessert, is savored during festivals like Gudi Padwa and Diwali. Prepared by straining
hung curd and blending it with saffron, cardamom, and sugar, Shrikhand is a delightful treat that leaves a lasting impression on the
taste buds. It’s often served with pooris to enhance the festive feasting experience.
Batata Vada : Batata Vada, a popular street food in Maharashtra, becomes a staple during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali.
These spicy potato dumplings, dipped in gram flour batter and deep-fried to golden perfection, are enjoyed with green chutney and
pav (bread). The crunchy exterior and flavorful interior make it an irresistible festive snack.
Kothimbir Vadi : Kothimbir Vadi, a delectable coriander fritter, is a favorite during Ganesh Chaturthi and other celebrations. Made with
fresh coriander leaves, gram flour, and spices, the dish is steamed, sliced, and then shallow-fried until crispy. Kothimbir Vadi delights
with its vibrant green color and delightful taste.
Poha Chivda: During Diwali, households in Maharashtra prepare Poha Chivda, a savory and crunchy snack. This mix comprises flattened
rice (poha) combined with roasted nuts, spices, and other savory ingredients. It’s a perfect munching delight to accompany the festive
spirit and add a burst of flavors to the celebrations.
~ Syed Mohammad Muaaz
10. Best Maharashtrian Restaurants -
Chaitanya : Located in Dadar West, this restaurant serves Authentic Maharashtrian food.
Diva Maharashtracha : This restaurant serves three different cuisines, each with its own
menu card. The Maharashtrian cuisine there is the best among them all.The Kothimbir
Vadi here is certainly a must-have.
Highway Gomantak : Every time you have fish cravings, Highway Gomantak should be
your go-to spot. This restaurant has been running for a very long time and has been
known for its Authentic Maharashtrian cuisine.
Mi Marathi : This restaurant serves some unique Maharashtrian dishes that will make
you. Their Misal Pav is the best among them all.
Nav Chaitanya : The best thing you can do for your body is to drink Sol Kadhi on a
regular basis. Why, you ask? Not only does it have a lot of probiotics, but it also tastes
yummy! At Nav Chaitanya, you can start off your meal with a glass of Sol Kadhi before
you move on to the spicier stuff on your plate.
~ Swastika Guha Neogi
11. Conclusion -
In conclusion this exploration of Maharashtrian cuisine has undoubtedly
sparked a greater appreciation for the richness and diversity of India’s culinary
landscape. As we celebrate the flavors of Maharashtra, we are reminded of the
power of food to unite people, evoke emotions, and create lasting memories.
Through this project, we hope to inspire others to savor the unique tastes of
Maharashtra and embrace the cultural essence that resides within each
~Syed Mohammad Muaaz