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16 reasons why Maharashtra rocks

Traditional Maharashtrian cuisine is a plethora of flavours and aromas that require you to sit back for a moment and actually appreciate it before you let the indulgence begin. Right from the humble vada pav to opulent stuffed pomfret, you can be rest assured that anything that comes out of a Marathi kitchen is nothing short of jhakass. 

Take a look at these 16 classic recipes that make us fall in love with Maharashtra all the more.

1. Vada pav zindabad!

Food on the run for the ever so busy Mumbaikar…A garma garam batata vada, which is gram flour coated deep fried mashed potato ball, sandwiched between slices of chutney slathered Mumbaiya style pav bread - is Dubbed as the common man’s burger this one is delicious and light on the pocket so it manages to keep everyone happy – always.

2. Kolhapuri fataka

Kolhapur is as celebrated for these two delicious rassas or curry preparations as it is for its famed chappals. The fiery red tambda rassa is as spicy as it looks while the pandhra, which literally translates to white, is sweet and nutty. Prepared with mutton and sometimes chicken base this thin curry along with thin chapattis is a meal to die for.

3. Kadhi for the soul

A delicious kokum and coconut milk based beverage – the taste of a sol kadhi is as refreshing as its pretty pink hue. A bunch of fresh coriander and the slightest hint of green chilli pack the much needed punch in this digestive drink.

4. Sundar ani sasta!

The staple food of the farmers of the land - zunka bhakar has been made available by the government at several zunka-bhakar kendras across the state for under Rs. 10. A chunky flatbread made with jowar or rice flour is served with a thick gram flour sabzi called zunka. Crunchy sweet onions and spicy green chillies served with the zunka bhakar are testimony to the fact that the simplest things are most often the best.

5. Cutting chai’s companion

Deep fried squares of a steamed gram flour and coriander cakes kothimbir wadi is nothing short of a fancy tea time snack. The crispy exterior and the soft interior are a perfect match for each other and satisfy with each bite. You could eat this with dried garlic chutney or with sweetened curd or both!

6. Usal and missal

Usal is a thick curry that is made with high protein mixed sprouted legumes changes with every kilometer in the state with just the slightest variations. Add a handful of crunchy farsan over the usal and it gets into the avatar of a missal. With a sprinkling of raw onions and a dash of lemon juice this spicy concoction is one of Maharashtra’s most famous street foods. Here the pav makes an appearance again and works brilliantly to polish off all that delicious gravy.

7. Mast masala

This one pot meal is a perfect blend of cooked rice tossed with select veggies, spicy goda masala and peanuts. Finished off with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and grated coconut, masale bhaat is almost too simple and quick to whip up for something that ends up being so delicious.

8. Kombdi Palali

A spicy Marathi style chicken curry served with deep fried puris made with exclusive vade flour. The vade have a delicious earthy flavour and the slightest hint of crispness around the edges which along with the spicy chicken curry is a match made in culinary heaven.

9. Spice bomb

Maharashtrian cuisine has a fine balance of recipes ranging from fiery hot to mild and a thecha definitely sits on the top of the spice meter. A coarsely ground green chilli, garlic and cumin chutney this one can accompany and add a spice kick to everything from vada pav to dal bhaat.

10. Lai Bhari

The rich coastline of Maharashtra has given birth to a number of iconic seafood recipes. A whole pomfret stuffed with a fresh coriander mint and green chilli masala and sometimes even with tiny prawns locally known as karandi – this one is every seafood lover’s dream meal.

11. Dal chawal the Marathi way

Just like in the other states of India Maharashtra too has a staple dal and rice preparation called as varan bhaat. Toor dal cooked with a simple tempering when served piping hot with a portion of rice and some achar or bharleli vangi (stuffed brinjal) is one of the simplest forms of comfort food for any Maharashtrian.

12. Gheun tak

Baby eggplant stuffed with a delicious spicy classic Maharashtrian goda masala, scraped coconut and ground peanuts. The sweet spicy flavours of a bharleli vangi can add plenty of oomph to a simple meal of  varan bhaat.

13. Ganesha’s favoutite

Lord Ganeshas favourite food, modaks are steamed rice flour dumplings with a sweet jaggery and coconut filling that have the slightest fragrance and hint of flavour from cardamom. These make an appearance every Ganesh Chaturti as a humble offering to the god with tons more prepared for modak crazy family and friends.

14. Buttery bhaajnee

Roasted multigrain flour dough or bhaajnee is shaped into a round and pan fried on a tawa. The thalipeeth has a unique cracked texture and a tiny hole in the center on which a dollop of homemade butter sits and eventually melts and gives the thalipeeth with a unique delicious flavour.

15. Bombay duck – that’s fishy

Bombil or Bombay duck is a fish that every self-respecting non vegetarian Maharashtrian loves. This slimy soft fish is flattened, coated in a batter and fried to crisp perfection. The crunchy exterior is a complete contrast to the fish inside that just melts as you put it into your mouth.

16. Sweet dreams

Thin wheat flour roti’s with a delicious puran stuffing in the middle. The puran which is made with a mixture of boiled mashed chanadal cooked with jaggery and cardamom powder melts as it hits your tongue. With a dollop of ghee or toop as it is known in Marathi, this sweet roti is nirvana for many Marathi food fanatics.

Check out these and a bunch of other Maharashtrian delicacies right here on sanjeevkapoor.com

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.