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Home > City Resources > Food & Dining > Maharashtrian Cuisine
Maharashtrian Cuisine

Maharashtrian dishes are just beyond words, a perfect blend of aroma and taste. Maharashtrians use enormous variety of vegetables, seafoods and coconuts in their regular diets. The golden rule of their cuisine is that the cooking medium must not be seen.

Rice is a staple food in Maharashtra. The vegetables are more or less steamed and lightly seasoned so as to retain their nutritional value. Peanut oil is the main cooking medium. The most popular vegetable here is brinjal. A popular style of cooking brinjals is Bharlivangi or baby brinjals stuffed with coconut. Another typical dish is the Pachadi, which is tender brinjals cooked with green mangoes and flavoured with coconut and jaggery. Peanuts and cashewnuts are also widely used. Coconut is the main ingredient in almost all the dishes. The speciality of Maharashtrian cuisine is they use jaggery and tamarind together so that the food has a sweet and sour flavour.

Maharashtrian cuisine is mainly of two types. A major portion of Maharashtra, which lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea, is otherwise called the Konkan, which is a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisines. Besides the coastal cuisine, the interior of Maharashtra - the Vidarbha area, has its own distinctive cuisine known as the Varadi cuisine.

Seafood is also very popular among Maharashtrians - the bombay duck, mackerel and pomphret are the common fish here. Besides fish, crabs, prawns, shellfish and lobsters are also relished by the coastal Maharashtrians.

All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes 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 main meal.

The people of Maharashtra are known for the aesthetic presentation of food. In formal meals, the guests sit on floor rugs or red wooden seats and eat from silver or metal thalis and bowls, placed on a raised chowrang, a short decorative table. To avoid mixing of flavors, each guest is given a bowl of saffron scented water to dip fingers in before starting to eat the next delicacy.

Here are some of the recipes from Maharashtra's Cuisine

Aamti Kobhi Zunka Pavta Batata
Kohlapuri Rassa Batata vada  


Ingredients: ( Serves : 4)

2 cups split moong beans (moong daal)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tomato (chopped)
3-4 green chilies (sliced)
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1tsp black mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
1tsp turmeric powder
1tsp cumin seeds
2 1/2 cups water
3tbsp vegetable oil
Chopped coriander leaves


Bring the daal to boil in the water and simmer until soft and mushy. Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. As soon as they pop, add the asafoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute and add the cooked daal. Bring to a boil and add the tomatoes, salt and coriander leaves. Remove from the heat and keep it covered.
Serve hot.

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Kobhi Zunka

Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 small heads cabbage (finely shredded)
6tbsp gram flour (besan)
1tsp black mustard seeds
few curry leaves
1tsp turmeric powder
1tsp cayenne powder
1tsp coriander powder
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
1tsp cumin seeds
4tbsp oil


Heat a heavy bottom pan and gram flour, roast it constantly stirring to avoid lumps formation, on a moderate heat. As soon as the smell and color changes, remove it from the heat.
Heat oil in another pan and add mustard seeds, allow them to pop. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté for a minute.
Add cabbage, turmeric, coriander, cayenne powders and salt, mix well.
Lower the heat and add little water. Cook until cabbage is done but crisp.
Increase the heat and dry the liquid and add the roasted gram flour, stir well. It will absorb the liquid and oil to form clumps. Break off the clumps to cook them.
When the flour is cooked remove from the heat.
Serve hot.

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Pavta Batata

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

11/4 cup Lima beans (Soaked overnight)
2 medium Potatoes (peeled & cubed)
1tsp. black mustard seeds
1tsp. turmeric powder
1tsp. Cayenne powder
1tsp. coriander powder
A pinch of Asafoetida
Salt to taste
1 medium Onion (finely chopped)
4 tbsp. fresh coconut (grated)
Chopped coriander leaves

Cook the beans in enough water till cooked but not too soft.
Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, allow them to pop. Add asafoetida and onion . Fry till onions become translucent.
Now mix turmeric, cayenne, coriander, salt and potatoes. Add little water and cook until potatoes are soft.
Gently mix in the cooked beans, coconut and coriander leaves.
Serve hot.

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Kohlapuri Rassa
Ingredients: ( Serves : 4)

For Marinade :

2/3rd cup curd / plain yogurt
2tsp minced ginger
2tsp minced garlic
1tsp cayenne powder
1tsp garam masala powder
1tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For Curry :

11/4th pound lean lamb (trimmed and cubed)
2 Onions (finely chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
3 cups fresh coconut (grated)
1-inch piece of cinnamon
6 cloves
8-10 black peppercorns (crushed)
1tsp aniseed
2/3 cup oil


Mix all marinade ingredients and add lamb pieces. Stir well and set aside for 30 minutes.
Heat 2tbsp. oil in a heavy pan and add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and aniseed. Sauté for a minute and add onions and fry till golden and add coconut. Sauté until brown. Add chopped tomatoes and stir and take off from the heat. Allow to cool.
Grind the mixture in a processor.
Heat the remaining oil and add marinaded lamb pieces and marinade mixture and add little water, cover and cook until done.
Now add the ground mixture and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Serve hot with boiled rice.

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Batata vada

3 Large Potatoes (boiled and mashed)
3 onions (chopped)
3-4 Green chilies
1"piece of ginger
3-4 flakes of Garlic
2 cups Gram flour (Besan)
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Red chili powder to taste
1tsp turmeric powder
1tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
1 Lemon juice
1tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
A pinch of baking soda
Oil for frying


Make a fine paste of ginger, garlic and green chilies.
Add the paste, chopped onions, coriander, salt, sugar, and a pinch of baking soda and lemon juice to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
Heat 1tsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves allow to splutter.
Now add it to the potato mixture and mix thoroughly.
In bowl add gram flour, little salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and make a batter (neither too loose nor too thick) using water.
Make small balls of the potato mixture.
Dip each in the batter and deep fry on medium flame till golden brown.
Serve hot with Chutney and tomato sauce.

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