The people of Maharashtra regard their food as 'Anna he poornabrahma' which means 'anna', or food is equal to 'Brahma', or the creator of the universe. In other words it means food is God, thus it should be worshiped. Maharashtrians also believe in offering their food first to the lord as a thanksgiving ritual for all that he has given. On festive occasions, some specific mithais (sweets) are offered such as Ukadiche Modak (Ganesh Chaturthi) and Satyanarayan Puja Sheera.
The Range of Cuisine Edit
Maharashtra is a huge state, thus a variety of delectable cuisines are found here. With distinguishing flavors and food styles eating becomes an enriching activity altogether. Maharashtrian cuisine is divided into two, Konkani, and Varadi. These cuisines are quite different from each other, but both of them use a lot of seafood and coconut.
Grated coconuts is used as a spice in many dishes, but the coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium. Peanut oil is the main cooking medium and in vegetables lots of peanuts and cashew nuts are used. Kokum is another unique feature, it is a deep purple berry which gives a pleasing sweet and sour taste. It is commonly used in a digestive appetizer called the sol kadhi, which is served chilled.
Non-Vegetarian and Vegetarian Specialties Edit
The most popular seafood of Maharshtra is the bombil or the Bombay duck, which is normally served batter fried and crisp. Almost all non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are served with boiled rice or with bhakris, soft rotis (bread) made of rice flour. A pancake made of rice, urad dal and semolina is called vada or amboli. This a special rice puri, eaten as a part of the main meal.
Brinjals or Eggplants are the most popular vegetable of this region. A popular preparation of brinjals is bharlivangi or baby brinjals stuffed with coconut. Maharashtrian fare is incomplete without papads, which are eaten roasted or fried. Puran poli is the most popular dessert of Maharashtra. It is roti (bread) stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour, and shreekhand. Shreekhand is sweetened curd containing flavors of cardamom and saffron.
Festive Cuisine Edit
Some of the festivals celebrated in Maharashtra are Gudi Padwa, Holi, Haritalika, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and Makara Sankranti. There are many special dishes, mostly sweets are prepared exclusively during these festivals. On the occasion of Gudi Padwa Soonth Panak and sprouted Chana Usual are prepared. Puran Poli is prepared on the festival of colors Holi. Similarly, on Haritalika Coconut Potali is prepared, on Ganesh Chaturthi Karanji and Chakli, on Diwali Shankarpali, Badam Halwa, Chakli and Karanji are prepared and Shengdana Chikki is prepared on the occasion of Makar Sakranti.
Cuisine For Weddings Edit
In India, marriages are a special occasion, held lavishly. Similarly, in Maharashtra it is held extravagantly, which includes inviting guests for an elaborate meal. Meal is served on a banana leaf and is entirely vegetarian in nature, cooked without onion and garlic.
It has a range of vegetables along with coconut gravy, green mango chutney, cucumber and peanut salad, rice, puris, golden dal called `varan' and a sweet dish like jalebi. Apart from these there is also a creamy basundi or saffron-scented shrikhand. `Mattha' or coriander-flavored, salted buttermilk complements the meal which ends with a sweet `paan' called `vida'.
Maharashtrian Specialty Edit
The cuisine of Maharashtra completes itself with mouthwatering food. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra is the also the food capital of the state. Some of the popular snacks that can be enjoyed here are Chaat, pani puri, bhelpuri, pav bhaji, and dosai, etc. These are mostly sold on the streets and on the beaches, where people gather in the evenings to unwind.
Apart from vegetarian snacks, non-vegetarian snacks are also available like Muslim kebabs, baida roti (an egg roti stuffed with minced meat), tandoori chicken, seekh kebabs, and fish koliwada.
In Mumbai, 'paan', a mouth freshener can also be enjoyed in a very artistic form. One of the popular variety of paan is the Cold and Sweet paan in which the sweet filling is chilled.