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Maharashtrian (or Marathi) cuisine is cuisine of the Marathi people from the state of Maharashtra in India. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a range from being mild to very spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit form Staples of Maharashtrian diet. Traditionally, Maharashtrians have considered their food to be more austere than that of other regions in India. Also, because of economic conditions and culture, meat has traditionally been used quite sparsely or only by the well off until recently. Maharashtra and particularly, the metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Pune tend to be cosmopolitan and this has influenced the food habits of the urban population. For example, the Udupi dishes like idli and Dosa are quite popular and also Chinese dishes. Nevertheless, distinctly Maharashtrian dishes such as puran poli , ukdiche Modak, and 'aluchi bhaji remain popular.
- 1 Regular meals and staple dishes
- 2 Regional Specialties
- 3 Special Occasions and Festival delicacies
- 4 See also
- 5 Citations
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Regular meals and staple dishes
Maharashtra is a large state with widely different geographic regions. In addition, the urban areas have different traditions than the rural areas. This difference is reflected in the way food is prepared and consumed. Nevertheless, there is similarity also in the way the food is served. For example, Maharashtrian meals (mainly lunch and dinner) are served on a plate called thali. Each food item served on the thali has a specific place. The bhaaji is served in the plate on the right hand side while the chutney, koshimbir are served from left going up the periphery of the circular plate. The papad , bhaaji are served below the koshimbir with the rice and poli served at the bottom of the circle closed to the diner's hand. The puran is served at the top in the inner concentric circle. The amti, rassa is served in separate bowls placed on right hand side of the diner. Water is placed on the left hand side. Traditionally, the food was consumed using the right hand rather than with any cutlery.It is considered ill mannered to use left hand while eating. In some communities such as Deshastha Brahmins, traditionally food was served in courses. In these households, the first course was Varanbhat or plain lentils soup with boiled rice, lemon , salt and Ghee. This was followed by thali type main course. the final course was steamed rice with homemade yoghurt (dahibhat). In the coastal Konkan, abundance of fish, rice and coconut has made these the staples for most of the population including the Goud Saraswat Brahmins.
The staple dishes of Maharashtrian cuisine are based on flat bread and rice. The flat breads can be wheat based such as the traditional trigonal Ghadichi Poli or the round chapati more common in urban areas. Bhakri - bread made from millets like jowar and bajra, form part of daily food in rural areas. As many areas of Maharashtra are drought prone, traditionally the staple food of the rural poor has been as simple as Bajri Bhakri accompanied by just a raw onion , a dry chutney or a Gram flour preparation called Zunka or Pithale. This meal has, however, become now fashionable among the urban classes too.
The bhaajis are vegetable dishes made with a particular vegetable or a combination of vegetables and requires the use of Goda masala, essentially consisting of some combination of onion, garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, green chillies and mustard. Depending on the caste or specific religious tradition of a family, onion and garlic excluded in cooking. For example, a number of Hindu communities in Maharashtra and other parts of India refrain from eating onion and garlic during Chaturmas (broadly equates to the rainy monsoon season). Until recently, canned or frozen food was not widely available in Maharashtra and India. Therefore, vegetables used in a meal depended on the seasonal availability. For example, Spring ( March - May) brings harvest of cabbage, onions, potatoes, Guar Tondali, Shevgyachya shenga, Dudhi, Marrow, and Padwal. The Rainy Monsoon Season brings green leafy vegetables like Aloo. Gourds like Karle, Dodka and Egg plant also become widely available in this season. Carrots, tomatoes, Cauliflower, French beans, peas etc. become available in the cooler climate of October to February.
A particular variant of bhaaji is the rassa or curry. Vegetarians prepare rassa or curry of potatoes and or caulifower with tomatoes or fresh coconut kernel and plenty of water to produce a soup like preparation than bhaaji. Varan is nothing but plain dal, a common Indian lentil stew. Aamti is variant of the curry, typically consisting of a lentil (tur) stock, flavored with goda masala, tamarind or amshul, jaggery (gul) and in some cases coconut as well. One of the masalas that gives Maharashtrian cuisine its authentic flavor is the goda (sweet) masala or kalaa (black) masala. Dry bhaji made from boiled potatoes is popular in the Brahmin community.
Non-vegetarian dishes mainly use chicken, mutton (mainly goat), fish and other seafood. The Kolhapuri taambda rassa (red curry) and pandhra rassa (white curry) of chicken and mutton from the southern city of Kolhapur and the varhadi rassa or (varhadi chicken curry) from the Vidarbha region are especially well known throughout Maharashtra. In the coastal regions of Konkan popular fish and seafood varietiers with includes Bombay duck, Pompfret, Bangda, prawns and crab. These are either used in curries, cooked with rice or fried.
Along with green vegetables, another class of food stuff popular in Maharashtra is various beans, either whole or split. The split beans are called Dal and used in a variety of ways. such as turned into amti or thin soup, added to vegetable such as Dudhi or cooked with rice to make Khichadi. Whole beans are cooked as it is or more popularly soaked in water until sprouted. Unlike Chinese cuisine, the beans are allowed to grow sprouts for only a day or two.Curries made out of sprouted beans are called Usal and form an important source of proteins for the mostly vegetarian population . The beans commonly used in Maharashtra includes peas, Chick peas , Mung , Matki, kidney beans, Chavali (black eye bean), Hulga or Kulith and Toor (Pigeon Peas). Out of the above Toor and Chick peas form part of the staple diet in a variety of ways.
A typical Urban Maharashtrian lunch or dinner usually starts with Poli (chapati), accompanied by one or more bhaaji(s) (cooked vegetables) and a koshimbir(vegetable salad) along with some sides(usually pickles, Chutneys, papad (Poppadom)), Kurdai, Sabudana papdya or Sandge. This is usually followed by a second course of varan(lightly or unspiced Daal preparation), aamti (spicy Daal preparation) or rassa with rice. As with most of Indian cuisine however, each region and /or community has its own quirks, preferences and variations of the above general format. For example, coastal people prefer to add grated coconut and sugar where as people fas from coast love to add ground peanuts or sesame seeds and jaggery to all their vegetable preparations. Some places prefer spicier vegetables curry with lot of green or red chillies.
People of Maharashtra being mostly Lacto-vegetarian , either by choice or economic necessity, rely heavily on milk and milk products for their essential proteins. The Preferred milk is that obtained from water buffaloes. Milk is used mostly for drinking, for tea or for preparing home-made yogurt. The yogurt is made with live culture of Lactobacillus bacteria. The Maharshtrian cook always saves a portion of the culture called virjan for making next day's batch. Yogurt is used in everyday meals for eating with boiled rice , for making buttermilk, Kadhi, or as a base for Koshimbir and Raita. Koshimbir is very common and healthy addition to the plate. Typically made from raw vegetables mixed with yogurt and ground roasted peanuts (Danyache Kut). Raitas made with different types of vegetables such as cucumber or carrots are variants of koshimbir.
Vegetable and lentil preparations
- "Amti" (Sweet and Sour Lentil Curry, made with Tamarind and Jaggery)
- Batatyachi Bhaji (Potato preparations)
- Vangyache bharit Baingan Bharta (Aubergines/Eggplant salad)
- Dalimbya (Beans)
- Farasbichi Bhaji (French beans)
- Palkachi Takatli Bhaji (Spinach cooked in buttermilk)
- Kelphulachi Bhaji (Banana/plantain bloom)
- Fansachi Bhaji (Jackfruit preparation)
- Walache Birdha
- Varhadi rassa (Saoji curry) :A gravy from Varhad region mainly used in preparing meat dishes. The gravy is commonly used in making chicken curries.
- Mutton Kolhapuri Taambda rassa[dead link] (red curry)
- Mutton Kolhapuri Pandhra rassa (white curry)
- Chicken Maratha
- Mutton Maratha
Soups and consommés
In Indian cuisine soups are consumed along with the main course. Some popular soups are:
- Kadhi- Served with Khichadi, boiled rice or as part of the Thali.
- Solkadhi - prepared from coconut milk and Kokam.
- Tomato saar - Maharashtrian spicy tomato soup
- Kokam saar - Soup prepared from dried fruit of Kokam (Garcinia indica)
- Varan - plain non-spicy or lightly spiced daal lentil with split Pigeon pea (Toor dal)
- Aamti - Thin Spicy soup with toor dal base or Mung dal. Served in the main course or the Thali.
- Katachi Aamti - Sweet, hot and sour soup prepared from Chana or Chickpea dal
Pickles and condiments
- Ambyache lonche (mango pickle)
- Limbache lonche (lemon pickle)
- Awlyache lonche (amla pickle)
- Mohoriche lonche (mustard pickle)
- Ambe-haladiche lonache (fresh turmeric pickle)
- Mirachiche lonache (Chilly Pickle)
Jams and jellies
- Muramba (A kind of preserve, made from jaggery and seasonal fruits)
- Sakhramba (A kind of preserve, made from sugar and seasonal fruits)
- Puran Poli: It is one of the most popular sweet item in the Maharashtrian cuisine. It is made from jaggery (molasses or gur), yellow gram (chana) dal, pain flour, cardamom powder and ghee (clarified butter). It is made at almost all festivals. A meal containing puran poli is considered "heavy" by Marathi people.
- Gulachi Poli : Made specially on Makar Sankranti in typical Brahmin households, the Gulachi poli is a heavy meal similar to the Puran Poli. It is made with a stuffing of soft/shredded Jaggery mixed with toasted, ground Til (white sesame seeds)and some gram flour which has been toasted to golden in plenty of pure Ghee. The dish is made like a paratha i.e. the stuffed roti is fried on Pure ghee till crisp on both side. Tastes heavenly when eaten slightly warm with loads of ghee.
- Modak: is a Maharashtrian sweet typically steamed (ukdiche modak).,  Modak is prepared during the Ganesha festival around August, when it is often given as an offering to lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, as it is reportedly his favorite sweet. For more info, visit . Modak can also be fried with various sweet stuffings.
- Karanji: is a deep fried dumpling with a filling of grated coconut sweetened with jaggery and flavoured with powdered cardamom seeds. It is also known as Kanavale. It is one of the popular sweets prepared for Diwali celebrations.
- Gulab Jaam: are balls made of dense milk (Mava/Khava) and bleached wheat flour fried in ghee (clarified butter) and then dipped in sugar syrup.
- Shevaya chi Kheer: is prepared by cooking shevaya (vermicelli) in milk. The preparation is sweetened with jaggery or sugar, flavoured with powdered cardamom seeds and finally garnished with chopped nuts. Kheer is also made of Rice, Semolina, and Dudhi (white gourd).
- Anarsa : It is made from soaked powdered rice, jaggery or sugar. The traditional process for creating the Anarsa batter could be tedious to modern day homemakers since it takes almost 3 days. First the rice is soaked in water for 3 days - the water needs to be changed every day. After this, the rice needs to be dried slightly leaving slight moisture. The moist rice is then ground into a fine powder - the powder retains the moisture so even though it is powdery in consistency, when pressed together hard in your fist, it tends to retain a shape. This is known as the Pithi. After this the Pithi is mixed with ground refined sugar. If you started with 100gms of dry rice (before soaking), then you need to take 100gms of ground sugar. Mix the two together properly and then with your hands, create cricket-ball sized lumps out of this mix. The moisture in the rice ensures the lumps retain shape. This mix can be stored for a long time at room temperature as long as it is sealed in an airtight container to prevent the moisture from soaking the sugar further. Whenever Anarsas are to be prepared, mash half inch piece of banana and mix into an entire cricket-ball sized lump. The banana ensures the sugar dissolves so be careful not to mix too much of banana. The resultant dough should be very soft yet retain shape. Small flat discs with about 2 inches in diameter are created by flattening a small ball of the dough over a layer of poppy seeds - just on one side. These disks are fried with poppy coated side first into hot ghee.
- Chirota: Made by combination of rawa (Semolina and maida Plain flour
- Jilbi: Sweetened chick-pea flour deep fried in spiral shapes, then coated in sugar syrup.
- Shankarpale: Sweetened flour deep fried in small square/diamond shapes.
- Basundi: Sweetened dense milk dessert.
- Amras: Pulp/Thick Juice made of mangoes, with a bit of sugar if needed and milk at times.
- Shikran: An instant sweet dish made from banana, milk and sugar.
- Shrikhand: Sweetened yogurt flavoured with saffron, cardamom and charoli nuts.
- Narali Bhaat : Sweet rice made using coconut with special flavoring given by cardamon and cloves. This is the special dish for the festival; of Narali Pornima which falls on the Full moon day in the Hindu month of Shravan (August)
- Ladu: It is famous sweet snack in Maharashtra mainly prepared for Diwali
Appetizers or snacks
There are lots of snack and side dishes in Maharashtrian cuisine. Some quintessentially Maharashtrian dishes are:
- Chivda: Spiced flattened rice. It is also known as Bombay mix in Foreign countries especially Great Britain.
- Pohay: pohay or pohe is a snack made from flattened rice. It is most likely served with tea and is probably the most likely dish that a Maharashtrian will offer his guest. During arranged marriages in Maharashtra, Kanda Pohe (literal translation, pohe prepared with onion) is most likely the dish served when the two families meet. Its so common that sometimes arranged marriage itself is referred colloquially as "kanda-pohay". Other variants on the recipe are batata pohe (where diced potatoes are used instead of onion shreds). Other famous recipes made with Pohe (flattened rice) are dadpe pohe, a mixture of raw Pohe with shredded fresh coconut, green chillies, ginger and lemon juice; and kachche pohe, raw pohe with minimal embellishments of oil, red chili powder, salt and unsauteed onion shreds.
- Upma or sanja or upeeth: This snack is similar to the south Indian upma. It is a thick porridge made of semolina perked up with green chillies, onions and other spices.
- Surali Wadi: Chick pea flour rolls with a garnishing of coconut, coriander leaves and mustard.
- Vada pav: Popular Maharashtrian "Fast food " dish consisting of fried mashed-potato dumpling (vada), eaten sandwiched in a Wheat bun (pav). This is referred to as Indian version of burger and is almost always accompanied with the famous red chutney made from garlic and chillies, and fried green chilles. Vada pav in its entirety is rarely made at home, mainly, because oven cooking at home is not common.
- Matar-usal- pav :It is a dish made of green peas in a curry with onions, green chillies and sometimes garlic. Its eaten with a western style leavened bun or pav. Another form of Matar usal is made in konkan areas or by Brahmins especially in Pune - this has a gravy of coconut, coriander, ginger-garlic and green chilly ground together and then fried into a Phodni. Some water and green peas are added and boiled till the peas are cooked and have absorbed the taste of all the condiments.
- Misal Pav:Quintessentially from Kolhapur. This is made from a mix of curried sprouted lentils, topped with batata-bhaji, pohay, Chivda, farsaan, raw chopped onions and tomato. Also some times eaten with yogurt. Usually, the misal is served with a Wheat bread bun.
- Pav bhaji: This speciality dish from lanes of Mumbai has mashed steamed mixed vegetables (mainly potatoes, peas, tomatoes, onions and green pepper) cooked in spices and table butter. The vegetable mix is served with soft Wheat bun shallow fried in butter and chopped onion. Sometimes cheese, paneer (cottage cheese) are added.
- Thalipeeth: A type of pancake. Usually spicy and is eaten with curd.
- Zunka-Bhakar: A native Maharashtrian chick pea flour recipe eaten with Bhakri (flat bread made either with bajri (Pearl millet) or Jwari (Millet)}
- Sabudana Khichadi: Sauted sabudana (Pearls of sago palm), a dish commonly eaten on days of religious fasting.
- Khichdi: Made up of rice and dal with mustard seeds and onions to add flavor.
- Bakarwadi: This spicy fried pastry is eaten as a tea time snack. Especially popular is that from Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale in Pune.
- Bhadang: Spiced puffed rice.
- Shira Semolina pudding
- Chana daliche dheerde
-  Ghavan.
Kolhapuri misal and the pandhara rassa are some of the common dishes and popular throughout India
Maharashtrian cuisine like most of the Indian cuisines is laced with lots of fritters. Some of them are
- Kothimbir vadi: Coriander (Cilantro) mixed with chick pea flour and Maharashtrian spices. There are plenty of variants of this dishes some deep fried, some stir fried and some steamed.
- "Kobi chya wadya" Cabbage rolls: Shredded cabbage in chick pea flour.
- Kanda Bhaji: onion bhaji fritters, one of the more popularly consumed Maharashtrian dish. It commonly sold by Vada pav vendors.
- "Batata bhaji": Deep fried, fine potato slices coated in chick pea flour batter.
- "Mirchi bhaji": Deep fried, chillies. Some people prefer these coated in chick pea flour batter.
- "Alu wadi": Colocasia leaves rolled in chick pea flour, steamed and then stir fried.
- Mung dal wade
- Sabudana wada
- Surana-chi wadi
- Methi wade made with leaves of Fenugreek plant
The cuisine of Maharashtra is largely influenced by the landscape, the people and the crops grown in various regions. It is not only memorable for its subtle variety and strong flavours, but also because of the legendary hospitality of Maharashtrians. In affluent homes, feasts often start at mid-day and end when the sun turns towards the western horizon.
The people are known for the aesthetic presentation of food, which adds extra allure to the feasts. For instance, in formal meals, it is a practice to sing sacred verses to dedicate the meal to God. The guests sit on floor rugs or red wooden seats and eat from silver or metal thalis and bowls placed on a raised 'chowrang', or a short decorative table. Rangolis or auspicious patterns of coloured powder are drawn around the thali or the chowrang. To avoid mixing flavours, each guest is given a bowl of saffron scented water to dip the fingers in before starting on the next course. There is a specific order of serving of savouries and sweets, curries and rice or rotis, and a person who does not know this is not considered to be well trained in the art of hospitality. Agarbattis spread fragrance everywhere and the host believes the satisfaction of his guests to be his true joy.
Mumbai, the capital of the state of Maharashtra, is a cosmopolitan city and so one can find almost all type of food here. For example, Indian dishes such as Gujarati thali or Udipi Dosa as well as International cuisine such as Chinese. Vada pav and Pav bhaji may be regarded specifically as dishes that originated in Mumbai.fish is one of the most popular foods in Mumbai.
The traditional crops of the coastal Konkan region are coconuts, mangoes, cashews, rice and a variety of pulses. The region also grows a great quantity of kokum, a sweet-sour fruit. It is used as the souring agent in curries in place of tamarind or tomatoes. Kokum is also used on its own for making a soup. Fish and seafood is available in Konkan in vast varieties and in abundant supply. All these ingredients find place in the traditional Konkani food. A typical Konkani meal, therefore, will have fish curry served with rice. Those who are lacto-vegetarians will again have rice as their staple with vegetables and lentils. Popadams prepared from rice flour are also a Konkani specialty.
This region is rich in sugarcane fields, rice paddies and milk. Well-irrigated farms produce plump, juicy fruit and vegetables throughout the year.
In the winter months, coconut kernels cooked in sugar syrup and eaten with peanuts and fresh chana is a popular dish. Winter also means plenty of milk, and typical milk sweets like basundi, masala milk, shreekhand and kheer. It is a social event in these areas to go to the riverbank for a picnic or row down the river to eat young roasted corn-cobs (hurda) of Indian millet(jwari) with hot garic/chill chutney. Milk, nuts, rough bhakaris (flat bread) of jwari (millet), hot meat curries and chilli-spiked snacks are favourite foods here.
Vidarbha's cuisine is usually spicier than that of the coastal and southern regions. The ingredients commonly used are besan, or chickpea flour, and ground peanuts.
Home of Marathas, Pune is a historic city. The food of these communities is delicate, sparsely designed and lacto-vegetarian. Puneri misal, thalipeeth, Puri bhaji and Dalimbi usal are regarded inexpensive but tasty and nutritious at the same time. However, since Pune is a large metropolitan city with diverse population, regional food from all parts of India and beyond is available in the city. Bakarwadi is another snack popular in Pune. Chitale a brand is famous for its bhakarwadi all over Maharashtra.
Kolhapur is as famous for its spicy mutton curry as it is for the Mahalaxmi temple and the royal palaces. The dish is popularly called 'Matnacha rassa and is served with a white gravy called (Pandhra(white) rassa(gravy)) which is made from bone stock. The White gravy dilutes the pungency of the curry. A chilli red gravy for the mutton curry is popular for those who like hot curries. The curries are usually eaten with Chapatis. "Kolhapuri Thecha" is a popular spicy Chutney item made from green chilly, onion, garlic, salt and other spices. Kolhapuri Misal is popular as a spicy breakfast or convenience dish.
As a result of the long Islamic Moghul rule in the region, the cuisine of Auguranbad has been highly influenced by the North Indian method of cooking, . Aurangabad's food is much like Moghlai or Hyderabadi food, with its fragrant pulaos and biryanis. Meat cooked in fresh spices and herbs is a speciality, as are the delectable sweets.
The city of Nagpur inherits a glorious history and varied rich cultural influences and has burgeoned in recent times as a gourmet city. There are unusual snacks, curries, pulaos and sweets to pamper avid eaters. The food is generally spicy, with a good amount of ghee, and peanuts, dried copra and dal are often the basis of the flavours. Nagpur is also famous for its spicy non-veg preparations known as Saoji preparations, that are generally made by using clove-pepper paste instead of red chilli powder.
The city of Solapur has a mixed culture of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka. The most popular dish is Shengachi poli or Groundnut bread, which is sweet bread or poli just like Puran poli. Another popular item to accompany many dishes is peanut chutney or spicey mixture of crushed peanuts, red chili powder salt, and other spices. Solapur being one of the biggest cultivators of Jowar in India, one can enjoy crisp Jowar bread. Solapur is also famous for its "Khara Mutton" (Mutton Achar) or salty goat curry.
Jalgaon is known as the district of Banana and sugercane. Popular dishes include Shevanchi Bhaji, wange bharit(Baingan bharta or roasted eggplant/aubergine preparation), (Urid Daal), Bharleli wangi ( Stuffed Brinjal), Thecha (Mix of Garlic and Green chilies) to accompany many dishes, Bhakari (flat white millet bread) and spicy mutton. This place is known for its wide variety of Papads which includes Papads of Jowar, Udid, Nagli(Nachani), Rice etc. In This region people prepare a snack that translates "Wheat Flakes". Brinjal (eggplant/aubergine) is major crop in the district here and therefore finds widespread use in regular meals as well as special occasion meals.
Special Occasions and Festival delicacies
Maharashtrians celebrate their festivals with characteristic fervour and food forms an integral part of the celebrations.
Sweetmeats are identified with particular festivals:
The special dish for Narali Purnima is naralibhat which is rice cooked with sugar and coconut.
The most delectable offerings during Ganesh Chaturthi are modak, small rice or wheat flour dumplings stuffed with coconut and jaggery. The dumplings are either deep fried or steamed. Traditionally, these are offered in a set of twentyone to the idol of Ganesh before being consumed by the worshippers. They are best when served with ghee.
Diwali is considered one of the most auspicious festivals in Maharashtra. Diwali inspires a variety of snacks like Karanji, chakli, kadboli, Anarsa, Shankarpali, Chirota, Shev, chivda and varieties of ladoos like Besan ladoo, rava ladoo. The snacks mainly served as part of Diwali breakfast. They are also served when friends and families visit during Diwali or are exchanged with them.
Many Maharashtrian communities observe the Khandoba Festival or Champa Shashthi in the month of Mārgashirsh. This is a six-day festival, from the first to sixth lunar day of the bright fortnight. Households perform Ghatasthapana of Khandoba during this festival. The sixth day of the festival is called Champa Sashthi. For many people, the Chaturmas period ends on Champa Sashthi. As it is customary in many families not to consume onions, garlic and egg plant (Brinjal / Aubergine) during the Chaturmas, the consumption of these food items resumes with ritual preparation of Vangyache Bharit (Baingan Bharta) and rodga, small round flat breads prepared from jwari (white millet). 
Makar Sankranti falls on 14 January when the Sun enters Capricorn. Maharashtrians exchange Tilgul or sweets made of jaggery and sesame seeds along with the customary salutation Tilgul Ghya aani God Bola, which means Accept the Tilul and be friendly. Gulpoli, a special type of chapati stuffed with jaggery is the sweet dish of the day. Other parts of the menu include Bhakri with sesame seeds, and a mixed Vegetable curry called lekurwali bhaaji.
On this spring festival day, people enjoy a sweet stuffed chappati called puranpoli. The stuffing or the puran for the chapati is made from Gram flour and Jaggery. The chapati is best served warm with Ghee, milk or sweetened coconut milk.
Other delicacies prepared exclusively for festival days are shrikand, motichur ladoo, basundi and kheer.
Traditional Wedding Menu
Until a few decades ago, the traditional menu among Maharashtrian Hindu communities for wedding day used to be a lacto-vegetarian fare with mainly multiple courses of rice dishes with different vegetables and dals. Some menus also included a course with Puris. In some communities, the first course was plain rice and dal with Masala rice (Masale bhat) served in the next course. The main meal ended with plain rice and Mattha. One of the favorite curries to go with this menu and also other festivals was that prepared from Taro (Alu in Marathi) leaves. Buttermilk, with spices and coriander leaves, called Mattha is served during the meal to go down with the meal. The popular sweets to go with the wedding menu were Shreekhand, Boondi Ladu, and Jalebi (Jilebi in Marathi).
A large number of Marathi Hindu people hold fast on days like Ekadashi in honour of Lord Vishnu or his Avatars, Chaturthi in honour of Ganesh, Mondays in honour of Shiva, or Saturday in honour of Maruti or Saturn. Only a certain kinds of foods are allowed to be eaten. These include milk and milk products, fruit, sago (sabudana), potatoes, nuts such as peanuts, purple-red sweet potatoes (called ratali in Marathi), Rajgira (Amaranth seeds) and varyache tandul (Shama millet. Thus a calorie and carbohydrate- rich fasting menu can be prepared by selecting from the items listed above. Popular fasting dishes include Sabudana khichadi or peanut soup (danyachi amti). Most of the allowed food items for fasting such as sago, peanuts or potatoes are New World crops or based on them.
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