Maharashtrian cuisine, much like Marathi cinema, has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts – and for good reasons. Some of the most authentic dishes from the state are finding fans from across the country. This has prompted locals and chefs alike to elevate the cuisine to new heights.
From sweet Puran Polis to spicy Misal, Maharashtrian dishes are a roller coaster of flavours. Being close to the coastal region, Maharashtrians food has a strong presence of coconut in most of its dishes, along with lentils, ginger, garlic and garam masala. Apart from wheat, locals also prepare Bhakris from different flours- Rice, Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Jowar (White Millet).
And, if you are in Mumbai, you can get all of these. Simply follow our guide below and set off on a gastronomic tour of Maharashtrian dishes while you are in Mumbai.
Kande PoheA traditional breakfast, kande pohe is made using soaked flattened rice flakes that which is tempered with fried onion, green chilli, curry leaf, peanuts. Often eaten as a tea-time snack, it is topped with dash of lemon juice and garnished with coriander and freshly grated coconut. Apart from being Maharashtra's favourite breakfast dish, kande pohe is an integral part of the arrange marriage scene. Among Maharashtrian families, the formal meeting between a boy and girl with their families is traditionally known as the chaha-pohe karyakram or kande pohe karyakram. This is the marriage prospects' chance to connect and understand each other. Interesting, eh? Want to know more about this matchmaking dish?
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Vada Pav; Image courtesy: Ashok Vada Pav
Along with being the most affordable dish, Vada Pav also has a celebrity status across globe. This humble snack is the best way to kill hunger if you’re suddenly craving for something to eat.
Vada Pav is a deep fried ball with an outer covering of besan flour and filling of masala potatoes, which is placed between breads. It’s spicy but is guaranteed to find a sweet spot in your heart pretty soon.
Where : Aram at Fort (CST), Rajmata vada pav Center at Thane, Ashok vada pav at Prabhadevi and Dheeraj Vada Pav opposite to Mithibai College.
Cost : INR 10 to INR 20
Misal & Usal Pav
If you love spicy food, then this is a must-have. Yet another very popular street food, Misal is basically prepared from Usal, which is a combination of Green gram (Matki) with 3 to 4 different types of beans. The curry based Usal is topped with raw onions, tomatoes, farsan; served with slice of lime to balance the spiciness and Pav (local bread) to turn it into a Misal.
Some people prefer Usal, which is served with Pav and Potato Bhaji in the curry.
Where : Mamledaar Misal Pav at Thane, Mama Kane at Dadar and Mee Marathi at Vile Parle East.
Cost : INR 50 to INR 75
Apart from Modaks, Puran Polis are also served to deities during festivals or pujas. The dish shares its similarity with stuffed parathas. However, the only difference is that these are sweet in taste.
The filling in the bread or Poli is a mix of jaggery, chana dal (yellow gram) and cardamom, while the outer dough is prepared of refined flour and served with ghee. Though the dish is very challenging to make, the end result is delicious. Just don’t make it a habit to have it every day!
Where: Panshikar & Co at Dadar and Tambe Arogya Bhawan at Dadar
Cost: INR 20 to INR 25
If you are bored of regular ice cream, this dessert will definitely win your heart. Falooda comprises of seviyaan/vermicelli, sabja (basil seeds) and milk topped with ice cream, dry fruits and rose syrup. We’re already salivating!
Where : Baadshah at Crawford Market, Baba Falooda at Mahim and Blossom at Ghatkopar East.
Cost : INR 100 to INR 150
Image courtesy: LivingFoodz
Modak is the traditional sweet of the state and is offered to Lord Ganesha as it is considered to be his favourite. There are various varieties of this dessert. However, the one closest to Maharashtrians is definitely Ukadiche Modak that literally translates to ‘steamed modak’. The outer layer is made of rice flour while the filling is a mixture of coconut, cardamom and jaggery.
Where : Modakam at Prabhadevi
Cost : INR 25 to INR 30 per piece
Maharashtrian ThaliThali is the ubiquitous dish of India with different states offering different varieties of the dish. A Marathi thali consists of Bhakri, Varan Bhaat (Dal & Rice), Salads, Thecha (Chutney), sweets, lentils and pulses. A Maharashtrian thali is full of flavours, spices and nutrients. Go try it already!
Where : Malwani Kalwan at Versova, Hotel Sachin at Dadar and Vishnuji Ki Rasoi at Thane
Cost : INR 250 to INR 350
PiyushPiyush is a smooth and creamy textured dessert in which Shrikhand, another famous Indian sweet, is mixed with either buttermilk or curd and milk. This dessert looks like Lassi but is thicker in consistency and sweeter in taste. The drink is garnished with pistachio and saffron.
Where : Prakash Shakahari Upahaar Kendra at Dadar and Girgaon Katta at Borivali West.
Cost : INR 30 to INR 40
Miscellaneous Dishes: Thaalipeeth, Kothimbir Vadi and Zunka Bhakri or Pitale
Thaalipeeth is an Indian version of savoury pancakes, prepared with the dough of four flours, chopped onions, green chilies and coriander leaves.
Kothimbir Vadi is a snack item prepared out of coriander leaves. It can be either steamed or fried and is served with chutney.
Zunka Bhakri or Pitale is an easy to cook item which belongs to the rural Maharashtra. It is made of chickpea or besan flour. To the wet mix of the flour, mustard seeds, stir fried onions, garlic paste and curry leaves are added.
Where : Tambe Arogya Bhawan at Dadar, Amey at Bandra East, Aram at Fort (CST), Vinay Health Home at Charni Road, Metkut at Thane and Ladu Samrat at Parel
Cost : INR 50 to INR 60
Now go explore the wondrous cuisine of Maharashtra across Mumbai. Come back and thank us later!
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