MAHARASHTRIAN CUISINE INTRODUCTION: It is well known that the people of Maharashtra consider their food as Anna he
poornabrahma meaning they consider anna, or food, equal to Brahma, or the creator of the universe. Food is God and should be worshipped. Apart from this, the people of this state also believe in offering their food first to the lord as a
thanksgiving for all that He has given. Especially, on festive occasions, some specific mithais (sweets) are offered Maharashtra cuisine is largely influenced by
seafoods and the cuisine that is popular in the interiors of the state presents a strong blend of the traditional and the contemporary preparations.
GENERAL FEATURES OR CUISINE CHARACTERISTICS: 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 nonvegetarian 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 andamboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and
semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal. 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 regular diet and lots of fish and coconuts are used. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of dishes
in Maharashtra cuisine. Coconut is extensively used in cooking. In the coastal cuisine of Maharashtra, fresh coconut is added to the dishes, while in the
Vidarbha region, powdered coconut is used for cooking. In Maharashtra cuisine, peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut
oil is used as the main cooking medium. Wide use of kokum, which is a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste is also seen in Maharashtra.
Jaggery and tamarind are also used in most vegetables or lentils so that theMaharashtra cuisine pertains a sweet and sour flavor while the kala masala(special mixture of spices) is added to make the food
spicy. Among seafood of Maharashtra cuisine, the most popular fish is bombil or the Bombay duck which is normally served batter fried and crisp, while in the
vegetarian fare; the most popular vegetables are brinjals. Bangda or mackerel is another popular fish in coastal Maharashtra. .Pomfret is another popular fish eaten barbecued, stuffed, fried or curried. Besides fish, crabs, prawns,
shellfish and lobsters are also relished by the coastal Maharashtrians. Maharashtra cuisine is incomplete without papads, which are eaten roasted or
fried. A typical feature of Marathi food is the masala papad in which finely chopped onions, green chilies and chat masala are speckled over roasted or fried papads.
The most popular dessert of Maharashtra is the puran poli, roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour. In Maharashtra, the regional festivals and food
go together and every dish brings a special significance along with it. the most loved snacks, followed by bhelpuri, pani puri, pav bhaji
The paan culture has been raised to an art form amidstMaharashtra cuisine. The famous Cold and Sweet paan is sweet filling and chilled.
COOKING STYLES IN MAHARASHTRA The vegetables are more or less steamed and lightly seasoned so as to retain their nutritional value. There is almost no deep frying and roasting.
SERVING A MAHARASTRIAN MEAL They are very particular about setting food items on a taat(platter). Even in their daily life they follow this rule.
MAHARASHTRIAN DISHES GHADICHI POLI or CHAPATI: Unleavened flat bread made of wheat, more common in urban areas.
BHAKRI: Bread made from millets like jowar and bajra, form part of daily food in rural areas. PACHADI: A typical Maharashtrian dish which is tender brinjals cooked with green mangoes and ornamented with coconut and jaggery.
VARAN: It is a plain non-spicy or lightly spiced lentil flavoured heing and jiggery, made with split Pigeon pea (Toor dal). TOMATO SAAR: Maharashtrian spicy tomato soup.
VADA PAV: Popular Maharashtrian dish consisting of fried mashed-potato dumpling (vada), eaten sandwiched in a bun (pav). This is referred to as Indian version of burger and is almost always accompanied with the famous red chutney made from garlic and
chillies, and fried green chilles. BHARLI WANGI: This is a very traditional Marathi curry, Bharli Vangi or "Stuffed Eggplant". Whenever one feels like eating
something spicy in meals, this is a favorite option in all Marathi families. It goes great with poli, bhakri or rice. Puran Poli: It is one of the most popular sweet
item in the Maharashtrian cuisine. It is made from jaggery (molasses or gur), yellow gram (chana) dal, pain flour, cardamom powder and ghee (clarified butter). It is made at almost all festivals. A meal containing puran poli is
considered "heavy" by Marathi people. Modak: This is a sweet dumpling popular in Western India. The sweet filling is made of fresh coconut and jaggery while the shell is of
rice flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed. The steamed version is eaten hot with ghee. Modak has a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh.
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