Bombay may be the capital but pune, much further in land, is its soul. When wheat is
preferred by north and rice in south, maharashtrians eat both but use the rice in different
forms- from steamed rice flour dumpling (MODAKS) served at ganesh puja to delicate rice
flour biscuits (Anarsa) served at diwali.
Anarsa is a light, airy, lacy biscuit with slightly chewy texture and very difficult to make.
First rice is socked for several days, in fresh water each day, and then dried, pounded to fine
flour. It is then mixed with jaggery and little oil and left in a open tin for around 5 days. The
mixture will have a texture of soft dough. The dough is patted into thin rounds on a leaf lined
with poppy seeds and then deep fried in medium hot oil.
In a typical wedding banquet, foods are arranged on thali in a very special order like the
numbers on a clock, the left side is for seasonings, relishes and savories, the rite for
vegetable, split peas ad sweets. At 12o’clock position is the most basic seasoning- salt,
following it on left are the wedges of lemon, a fresh coconut chutney, then 2 fresh relishes
(Koshimbirs) one made with cucumber bits and crushed peanuts-, other with boiled and
mashed pumpkin with ground mustard and yoghurt. Then a sweet and sour mango chutney
and then comes the savories- papadam, sago crisps and a few bhajjas (vegetable fritters)
To the rite hand side of the salt came- Aruchi bhaji another wet. Batata bhaji is popular as a
dry one- potato cooked in cumin seeds, curry leaves lime juice with a touch of coconut and
sugar. Wet one may be brinjal preparation flavoured with Maharashtra’s famous Kala
masala-(contains usually roasted and ground cinnamon, cardamom, sesame, cumin and
pieces of black coconut)
Next comes sweets which include, jalebis, a special kheer made with semolina dough rolled
and cut to resemble rice.
Then placed on a masala bhat/ fried rice with vegetable such as cabbage etc with puran
The first course is served at 6 o’clock position and may be a small mould of rice with toovar
dal and little pouring of ghee.
The Marathas belonging to working class and agriculture were India’s best warriors. They
have eaten and enjoyed what ever comes in their way. On hunt they marinate quail in
yoghurt; clove and black pepper wrap them in wet clay and put into shouldering fire to bake.
Marathas eat their food hot and unsweetened. Kolhapur is famous for its hot lamb dishes and
villagers around Kolhapur are known to drink up the rogan of the dish. Traveling west from
Kolhapur, one reaches ratnagiri on the konkan coast. This area has a distinction of producing
best mangoes in the world- Alphanso. Maharashtrians only eat fresh mango as a fruit but also
make juice and eat with freshly fried poories and chircoot , a spice similar to Szechwah
peppercorn is used on the konkan coast for the preparation of fish dishes.
Bombay the state capital and also western India’s principal sea port has vibrant blend of
different cultures and food habits. Crawford market which was built in 1871is used for the
sale of fresh products- best oranges from Nagpur, cherries from Kashmir , sweet and sour
lichis from Dehradun , ugary baby melon from Lucknow and Alphanso from Ratnagiri. In
spite of different taste, there is one equalizer in Bombay to which everyone succumbs- that is
The time sun down this favourite snack is made of a tossed mixture of puffed rice , wheat
flour crisps , chopped onion , chopped boiled potatoes , 2 chutneys one is made up of green
coriander and green chillies and another a thick sweet and sour tamarind and dates and lastly
topped with sev, a fine vermicelli made out of chick pea flour.
POPULAR DISHES FROM MAHARASHTRA
TOMATO SAAR: Saar is not exactly soup. They are soupy and eaten with Indian breads or
FARAVSI BHAJI: it is a green bean dish cooked with either urad, moong or yellow split
peas. The dish is cooked in a reverse double boiler method- the food is in the bottom pot and
water on top. In result the food is cooked in the minimal water that drips down as
condensation. It is a nutritious protein dish.
BATATA AMBAT: It is a potato dish cooked with tomatoes and fresh coconut,
AROOQ: it is a minced chicken fritter contributed by Iraqi Jews who are settled in Bombay.
KOLHAPURI MUTTON: it is a fiery hot mutton dish, very much liked by mahrattas who
were once the bravest of Indian warriors.
TOMATO PALAK BHAT: rice dish cooked with tomato and spinach.
BHOPLA CHA BHURTA : Tempered mashed ashgourd.
MASALYACHI VANGI : Sliced of brinjal cooked with flavored coconut paste garnished
with green coriander leaves
ARBI CHI BHAJI : Sweet and sour arbi preparation.
BUND GOBI CHI KOSHUMBIRI: Cabbage and mung dal preparation, having strong
flavor of hing.
KATACHI AMTI : It is ground peanut and chana dal preparation, enriched with gram flour,
hing , jaggery and garam masala.
VARAN : Grated coconut and toovar dal preparation
POMFRET MASALEDAR : Pomfret in rich masala
BOMBAY DUCK KABAB: Shallow fried stuffed Bombay duck
MUTTON PULLAO: Rich mutton pilaf
VALCHI KHICHDI: Spicy rice and val / sprouted field beans (whole) preparation
BATATA VADA : Mashed potato balls, coated with besan batter and deep fried.
BHEL PURI : Spicy chat preparation made of puffed rice , boiled diced potato, coconut and
tomato, served topped with meetha chutney.
BESAN LADU: Mixture of cooked besan and rava, sweetened with sugar and shaped into
KAJU CHI VADI : Ground cashewnut sweet pudding.
DUDH PAK : Rice kheer preparation
PURAN PULI : Thick sweet breads stuffed with sweet and ground cooked chana dal and