Region : Maharashtra
Culinary Delights : Zunka Bhakar, Pathawadi, Vada - Bhat, Puran Poli
The Maharashtrian cuisine is prepared, keeping health in mind, than just being cooked; the food is prepared in such a way that the nutrients of the vegetables are not lost in the process of cooking. The food uses a combination of vegetables, dal, spices and other ingredients that give the food more of a unique sweet-sour taste, which has a long lasting effect on anyone who tries the extraordinary Maharastrian cuisine. The food is enriched with exotic spices, lentils and other greens, not only to ensure taste but also to guarantee health. Coconut is also extensively used in these cuisines, to enrich the food quality, along with nuts which give a rich taste to the food. Kala Masala is a special mixture of particular spices, mostly handpicked and homemade, used particularly in the Maharashtrian cuisine.
The Varadi cuisine uses a special type of gram Masala made out of Besan used in the preparation of non-vegetarian food. Apart from the cuisines, people also concentrate on the presentation of the food; this includes washing ones hands in saffron water, which is supposed to enhance the food. The other aspects include setting up the plate that comprises of salt, pickle, and salads, later filled in by food, curry and other dishes.
A Maharashtrian cuisine is never complete without chapatti or bhakari rotti, in combination with vegetable curry. Papads are another addition to the favorites; they can comprise of ordinary to sweet, or pepper, or even masala papads - which are sprinkled with onions, chillies and chat masala. No meal in the Maharashtrian cuisine is complete without its mouth watering desserts that include the sweet kheer, the rich shrikandh and the heart melting basundhi.
During the festive season, the entire appearance of the Taat - the plate in which the food is served - is changed completely, adorned with occasionally prepared sweets and snacks.
During the Ganesha Festival, people invite Lord Ganesha into their homes by offering Modak, which is considered to be the Lord’s favourite. Puran Poli is another sweet dish which is nothing but a chapatti like dish, filled with sweetened flour, dal and other sweet mixtures.
It is a must that the Maharashtrian Cuisine consists of not less than five sweet dishes that adorn the traditional plates. In short, it can be said that Maharashtra is never complete without its Maharashtrian cuisines.