Maharashtrian Cuisine: Everything You Need To Know

Pav Bhaji

Maharashtrian Cuisine is one of the most popular and well known for its unique flavour and taste and for wide varieties of dishes ranging from mild to medium-spice to extremely spicy food.  This cuisine has abundance use of aromatic and flavourful ingredients such as coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts.

Maharashtra is a state that occupies the central and western part of India that covers the long coastline along the Arabian Sea. The most prominent physical feature is the Deccan Plateau separated from the Konkan coastline by ghats.  The varied demography reflects the local cuisine, ingredients used and cooking techniques.

Popular Regional Cuisines of Maharashtra

Maharashtrian cuisine is well known for its subtle varieties and strong flavours of local cuisines – Kolhapuri, Malwani, Varadi, Khandeshi, Deshashtha. Every local cuisine of Maharastra has unique flavour combinations and uses its own local spices and ingredients to compliment the flavour of the dishes.

Kolhapuri: This is well renowned for its spicy traditional delicacies. Most of the dishes are made with fresh homemade spice blend and onion-garlic chutney.  

Malwani: A popular cuisine from the coastal part of the Maharashtra – Konkan region. Malvan is a town in Sindhudurg district on the West Coast region of Maharashtra. Although this cuisine is predominantly well known for non-vegetarian food, there are few popular vegetarian delicacies too. This cuisine has extensive use of coconut in various forms – freshly grated, fried, dried, coconut paste and coconut milk.

Varadi:  The delectable cuisine from the Vidarbha area towards the interior of Maharashtra and away from the coastline. The cuisine has a good balance of spices with generous use of powdered coconut and besan (gram flour).

Khandeshi: This cuisine is from North West Maharashtra that has extensive use of kala masala. In fact, this is one of the fiery and spiciest cuisines of Maharastra. Peanut oil, dry coconut and dark, tiny lavangi chillies are the hallmark of their cooking. 

Deshashtha: This cuisine is spicier and richer than its Konkan counterpart. Vegetables and curries are more complex and layered in terms of the spices used and it uses less coconut sometimes doesn’t use it at all. Iconic Goda Masala is from this cuisine and every household has its own unique version.

Popular Maharashtrian Cuisine Dishes

Vada Pav: One of the most popular street foods of Maharashtra. Battered and deep-fried spicy potato dumplings sandwiched between burger buns and layered with spicy chutneys.

Kothimbir Vadi: A savoury crispy snack made with gram flour, coriander and spices.

Pudachi Wadi: Deep-fried snack made with gram flour and spices.

Pav Bhaji: A famous street-side dish where a soft bun is served with spicy mashed potatoes, vegetables and a dollop of butter.

Bajra

Bharli Vangi: A delectable dish made with baby eggplants. Eggplants stuffed with coconut, peanuts and spices mixture and cook until soft and delicious.

Amti: Maharashtrian style simple yet flavourful dal.

Zunka: The most popular side dish made with gram flour, usually served with Bhakri.

Pithla Bhakri: One of the most comfort foods of Maharashtrian cuisine. Pithla is a spicy curry made with gram flour and onion. Bhakri is a flatbread made with whole wheat flour.

Modak: A popular sweet dish specially made for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Rice flour dumplings stuffed with jaggery, coconut, saffron mixture and steamed.

Vangyache Bharit: A fire-roasted eggplant mashed and cooked with onion and spices.

Shev Bhaji: A thick gram-flour crispy snack topped over spicy thin gravy.

Kombdi Vade: A staple dish of the Konkan region. These are mildly spiced deep-fried fluffy bread made with rice flour and urad dal.

Sol Kadhi: Refreshing and soothing drink made with kokum fruit and coconut milk.

Vegetable Kolhapuri: Mixed vegetable curry made with a special spice mix.

Missal Pav: One of the most popular spicy snack or breakfast dish made with potatoes, bean sprouts and freshly ground spice blend. It is served with soft buns.

Puran Poli: Sweet flatbread stuffed with chana dal and jaggery mixture served with a dollop of ghee.

Bajra Bhakri: A gluten free and healthy flatbread made from millet flour.

Jwarichi Bhakri: a healthy, wholesome and fibre rich flatbread made from sorghum flour.