Maharashtrian food in pictures

Ganpati visarjan: Maharashtrian cuisine in pictures 30 stades

India is a diverse nation and its cuisines too vary from region to region. While food from Punjab, Gujarat, West Bengal and South India has travelled across the country, Maharastrian cuisine is relatively lesser known. Traditionally, this cuisine has been seen as functional and not given to much embellishment.

While the cosmopolitan cities of Mumbai and Pune have adopted foods from other parts of India and the world, different regions of Maharashtra have their own unique dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Some ingredients commonly found in Maharashtra kitchens are tamarind, coconut, kokum (garcinia indica, a plant of the mangosteen family), goda masala and metkut masala (powder made from dry roasted rice, wheat and lentils along with spices).

The Vidarbha region to the north-east of the state has a spicy cuisine that is not for the faint-hearted. Some popular dishes are gola-bhaath and pithla-bhaath besides thalipeeth and puran poli — the quintessential Maharashtrian sweet dish. The other world-famous sweet from the state is ukdiche modak, synonymous with the 11-day Ganpati festival, which starts with Ganesh Chaturthi and ends with visarjan (idol immersion into water) on Anant Chaturdashi.

The Khandeshi cuisine from north-western Maharashtra is also very spicy, thanks to the liberal use of small lavangi chillies. Khandeshi mutton, ghotleli bhaaji (mashed brinjal dish) and dubuk vadi are the hallmark dishes.

The cuisine of Desh region, identified with the Deccan plateau, largely consists of bhakri (a flatbread made using rice flour or jowar or other millets) served with spicy vegetables along with rice and dal.

The coastal Konkan region has varied influences from Goan, Saraswat and Gaud Brahmin cuisines. Located between the sea and the Sahyadri hills, the beautiful region has a rich vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare including Bombay Duck, patholi (a sweet, rice dumpling, steamed in turmeric leaves), bharli vangi, kolombo and kadamb.

Malvan region in south Konkan has its own distinct dishes. The use of coconut and a variety of fishes is the hallmark of this cuisine. Kombadi vade and sol kadhi are two popular dishes of this region. As Maharashtra braces up for Ganpati visarjan on September 1, here’s a look at the state’s most famous dishes compiled by Team 30 Stades:

Ukdiche modak are steamed dumplings with an outer rice flour dough and a coconut-jaggery stuffing. These modaks are the most popular offering to Lord Ganesha during the 11-day Ganpati festival in Maharashtra. Pic: Flickr
Ukdiche modak are steamed dumplings with an outer rice flour dough and a coconut-jaggery stuffing. These modaks are the most popular offering to Lord Ganesha during the 11-day Ganpati festival in Maharashtra. Pic: Flickr

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Sol Kadhi is a soothing preparation made using kokum fruit and coconut.  It can be served as a drink or as a curry in thali. 30 stades
Sol Kadhi is a soothing preparation made using kokum fruit and coconut. It can be served as a drink or as a curry in thali. Pic: Flickr
 Malvani thali with fish curry in coconut gravy on the left, a seasonal vegetable, a non-coconut curry, sol kadhi and dry fish in the centre.  30 stades
Malvani thali with fish curry in coconut gravy on the left, a seasonal vegetable, a non-coconut curry, sol kadhi and dry fish in the centre. Pic: Flickr

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  Bhakri, a flatbread made using rice flour or jowar or other millets, is the most common accompaniment to gravy dishes as well as dry vegetables 30 stades
Bhakri, a flatbread made using rice flour or jowar or other millets, is the most common accompaniment to gravy dishes as well as dry vegetables. Pic: Flickr
In Kombdi Vade, kombdi is chicken curry (with bones), vade are fluffy fried dumplings of rice flour) served with onions and sol kadhi.
In Kombdi Vade, kombdi is chicken curry (with bones), vade are fluffy fried dumplings of rice flour) served with onions and sol kadhi. Pic: Flickr
 Pithla, from the Vidarbha region, is a spicy curry made using gram flour (besan) and onions and served with rice or bhakri.
Pithla, from the Vidarbha region, is a spicy curry made using gram flour (besan) and onions and served with rice or bhakri. Pic: Flickr

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 Khandeshi cuisine from north-western Maharashtra uses of small lavangi chillies besides khandeshi masala blend that gives a deep rich colour  and flavour to the dishes. 30 stades
Khandeshi cuisine from north-western Maharashtra uses of small lavangi chillies besides khandeshi masala blend that gives a deep rich colour and flavour to the dishes. Pic: Flickr
Food of the coastal Konkan region is marked by heavy use of coconut and fish. Bombay Duck, or bombil  above is a boneless fish (not duck) made in multiple variations.  30 stades
Food of the coastal Konkan region is marked by heavy use of coconut and fish. Bombay Duck, or bombil above is a boneless fish (not duck) made in multiple variations. Pic: Flickr
Bharli Vangi from the Konkan region are small eggplants stuffed with  peanuts, coconut, jaggery, goda masala, tamarind paste and other spices
Bharli Vangi from the Konkan region are small eggplants stuffed with peanuts, coconut, jaggery, goda masala, tamarind paste and other spices. Pic: Flickr

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Pav Bhaji, the famous street food of Mumbai, is a  spicy curry of mixed vegetables cooked, served with pavs (local buns) and a generous helping of butter and onions.
Pav Bhaji, the famous street food of Mumbai, is a spicy curry of mixed vegetables cooked, served with pavs (local buns) and a generous helping of butter and onions. Pic: Flickr 
Vada Pav is another famous and much-loved snack --  potato patty is served in a bun with garlic, tamarind and green chutneys.  30 stades
Vada Pav is another famous and much-loved snack — potato patty is served in a bun with garlic, tamarind and green chutneys.  Pic: Flickr

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Patholi is a sweet, rice dumpling, steamed in turmeric leaves. Pic: Flickr
Puran poli, Maharashtra’s celebrated sweet dish, is flatbread stuffed with boiled and ground chana dal, jaggery and cardamom. The water strained from boiled dal is used to make katchi amti, a thin, tangy preparation. Pic: Flickr

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3 thoughts on “Maharashtrian food in pictures

  1. Nand Kumar R says:

    Interesting. While a few delicious dishes and snacks of this cuisine are hugely popular in the country, restaurants exclusively serving Maharashtrian cuisine are not so visible even in Mumbai. Unlike those of Punjabi, Gujarati, or the South Indian states. For that matter, we also know little of the foods from Odisha, Himachal and Northeast. Perhaps you can take this up as a feature.

    • Priya says:

      I second this opinion.There are lot of maharashtrians in North India .I would to like to see resturants catering to authentic Maharashtrian cousine lovers

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