Today, we are visiting Maharashtra to give you the top 21 traditional food items of the land of the brave Marathas. These dishes can make you drool with just one mention of them.
India is an ancient country constituting states. Every state brings with it its unique culture and tradition. Along with it comes a long list of dishes that belong to each state.
When you visit any place, it is mandatory to have a little pre-researched knowledge of the best food that the place offers. After all, it is the food that takes us places, right?
List of Top Traditional Dishes of Maharashtra
- Pav Bhaji
We all have tasted pav bhaji at assorted wedding buffets, right? But that is not how it is supposed to be. Confused? Have you ever tasted one at any street stall of Maharashtra?
If not, make it on your to-do list. There is nowhere better in the world than to have it piping hot on a rainy day from a shack. The thick moderately-spiced bhaji and fresh, greasy, and crispy pav can make you drool.
- Vada Pav
Vada pav is the Indian version of burgers. It has an aloo patty stuffed between two thick slices of bread just like the burger buns. Apart from the patty, there is also a mix of Indian spices and salt sprinkled which give it its characteristic taste.
Another addition is the fried green chilies served with it. Vada Pav is pretty much the state food of Maharashtra. It is very economical, easily available, and filling.
There is absolutely no chase when it comes to finding the best of it. Just hit any roadside vendor and you will be good to go.
- Puran Poli
Puran Poli is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert. It is made on all special occasions and festivities. It is nothing but a sweetened version of stuffed paratha.
Puran Poli is made up of plain flour, jaggery, yellow gram, cardamom powder, and a dollop of homemade ghee. It is loved by kids and elders alike.
The best Puran Poli that you can find is at any traditional Maharashtrian home, made by a mother.
- Misal Pav
Misal Pav is ethnically from Pune but it is enjoyed at every street in Maharashtra. It is a street food that is eaten for breakfast. However, people love it just at any time of the day.
Misal Pav constitutes of tangy lentil curry, made of moth beans, served with pav. At times it is also served with a dollop of curd in case the curry is too spicy.
There are other types of misals as well such as Puneri Misal that is topped with poha, Nagpuri Misal that is topped with chiwda, Kolhapuri Misal that is topped with usal, and Mumbai Misal which is the spiciest.
We all know what a modak is, isn’t it? Also, we love modak just like Lord Ganesha. The festival Ganesh Chaturthi has made modak famous all over the world.
It is prepared using rice flour for the outer covering and grated coconut, cardamom, and jaggery for the stuffing. The traditional modak is still very much the first love of people.
However, over the years people have come up with varied versions for the filling like chocolate, paneer, Kesar, dry fruit, and many more.
- Bharli Vangi
Bharli in Marathi means stuffed and Vangi is brinjal. This is a traditional Marathi dish that will make you fall in love with brinjal. Yes, the otherwise non-existent vegetable for us.
It is prepared by a special recipe that is sacred to the elders of the state. The main ingredient, though, is the ethnic ‘Goda Masala’. It adds a dash of flavor to the dish.
Now, do not be surprised if you hear anyone say that brinjal is their favorite vegetable, maybe they love it in this version.
- Ragda Pattice
Ragda Pattice is an indispensable part of the Maharashtrian cuisine. You cannot just leave it out. It has a unique taste and also the way it is prepared.
It is prepared using curried dried peas and patties. The potato patties are dipped in the Ragada curry, topped with the chaat chutneys, chopped onions, tomatoes, chilies, sev, and cilantro.
This dish is a regular at all food joints as well as big restaurants across the state. It is a true definition of perfect street food.
Another of the traditional desserts of the state is Sreekhand. It is made during the festivities of Dushehra. However, it is also a must at all Maharashtrian weddings and celebrations.
It is made up of sweetened yogurt. When added a dash of saffron and cardamom powder, it acts wonders for the yogurt. This results in our lovely Sreekhand.
Also, you can find this in most of the sweet shops around the year with no hustle at all. You are bound to droll over it for days.
Poha is nothing but flattened rice. It is the declared breakfast at every household in the state. It has nutritious goodness and besides that, it is yummy too.
It is prepared in many ways, for instance, Kanda Poha which is made wit sauteed chopped onions, Batata Poha the one with diced potatoes, Dadpe Poha has grated coconut, green chilies, and lime in it, and last but not the least Kachcha Poha which is tossed in oil with red-chili powder and raw onion.
It does not matter which kind of poha you are eating as long as it is served alongside a hot cup of ginger tea. You are in for a treat with this one.
- Kothimbir Vadi
Kothimbir is Marathi for coriander and Vadi means wedges. This one is a snack that is easily available at street vendors and is very crispy.
This crispy snack is made up of coriander leaves, gram flour, and spices. This one is a hit with the locals. The best way to enjoy this is with a hot cup of tea beside an open window or under a shack while it is raining.
There is no good reason so as to why you should miss out on this one. Add it to your list of must-haves and savor it when you get a chance.
Bombil or Bombay Duck is a traditional dish belonging to the coastal regions of the state. It is a very popular dish and people who visit the state do hunt for the best of it.
The dish is usually served fried in butter with a drizzle of lemon and raw onion by its side. There is nothing that can even compare to the delicacy that this one is.
It is best-enjoyed piping hot during the rainy season. Do not forget to try this when you visit the region next time.
Rassa or Varhadi or Taambde or Pandhra, whatever name you have come across is all the same. This is a non-vegetarian dish that can have mutton or chicken or any seafood in it.
Rassa traditionally means curry preparation. All the non-vegetarian attributes of it have a different style of curry with it but they are all called Rassa.
Pandhra Rassa is a curd-based white curry but is spicy just in the right amounts. Varhadi is a chicken curry that originated in the Vidarbha region. Taambde is the red curry made with Kolhapuri chilies, and Matnacha is a mutton red curry which is very spicy.
- Sol Khadi
Sol Khadi is a traditional appetizer and is a regular site at weddings. Also, you can easily spot vendors selling sol khadi in earthen pots on a hot sultry afternoon.
It is prepared with kokum in coconut milk. The coconut milk is spiced using green chilies, kokum, fresh coriander, and a few more spices. It has a characteristic pink color due to kokum.
It has excellent digestive qualities too. If you get a chance, dive into a full cup of this drink and freshen up yourself.
Aamti is a regular Marathi dal. It has a sweet aromatic smell that you can identify even from a distance.
It is nothing unique but the same dal used by everyone else but what is different is the style of cooking it. Due to its popularity, it spread to the nearby states too. Today, there are over 50 styles to cook the same Aamti dal.
Whatever be it, the original remains a favorite across the country. Make sure to try it when you are in the vicinity.
Who does not know bhelpuri now! Bhelpuri is THE snack that we all just love. Precise;y because of its tang taste and also the fact that it is light on the stomach.
Bhelpuri is a street snack in the state. It is prepared using puffed rice, chopped vegetables, coriander, lemon, and also some roasted peanuts garnished atop.
Now, who will not like it? Even just by reading, it has the capability to make anyone’s mouth water.
Basundi is a customary dessert of the state. It is a must-have on all occasions and whenever you feel like having a dose of sweetness to your meal.
It is prepared by condensing boiled milk when it is left half of its original volume. The flavors are enhanced by adding sugar, cardamom, and saffron.
There are different types of basundi like custard apple basundi, angoor basundi, and more. Angoor Basundi has small rasgullas in the mix.
- Kairi Cha Panha
Kairi means raw mango. Kairi Cha Panha is a raw mango drink that is known for its marvelous refreshing qualities.
It is made up of raw mango pulp mixed with jaggery and other assorted spices. It has a thick consistency which can be adjusted as per preference.
The summer season witnesses many vendors selling aam panha. People quench their thirst and rejuvenate their lost spirits.
Summer season is all about mangoes. How is it possible that the state does not have its own traditional mango dishes! Aamrus is a very loved-by-all dish.
The pulp is extracted from the mangoes manually and then cooked. The aamrus is thick in texture and tastes delicious only when prepared the authentic way.
It is served with hot puris and chapatis. Also, sometimes ghee or milk is added to its to increase its flavor manifolds.
Kadhi is an important member of a traditional Maharashtrian thali. It is a curd-based yellow curry with small pakoras in it. And it is just delicacy that you can never get over.
It is made up of buttermilk, chickpea flour, and spices. Also, it has small ball-sized fritters that are traditionally made up of chickpea flour but over the years, there have been many variations.
In the end, it is garnished with a tempering of red chilies and mustard seeds. This is a lip-smacking dish that cannot be resisted in any way.
- Sabudana Khichdi
Sabudana is none other than sago or tapioca starch and Khichdi is nothing but a cooked mixture. It is a traditional dish relished during fasts and festivities. Also, many like to have it for breakfast too.
It is made by overnight soaked sabudana and crushed peanuts in pure homemade ghee. It has a variety of other attributes like green chilies and coriander too.
The granular texture of the dish makes it even more savory and delicious. It is often served with plain curd or peanut chutney.
- Pithla Bhakri
Pithla is an ethnic Maharashtrian dish. It is popularly called the ‘Farmer’s Dish’. When you run out of veggies, this is the solution for your lunch or dinner.
It is the comfort food for many as it does not require much effort or time either. Many think it is a bit blad but that can be easily adjusted as per taste by varying the number of spices.
It is said that a serving hot pithla with rice or bhakri can surely take away all the tiredness of the day and replenish your lost energy reserves.
Every state boasts of rich culture, brave history, and traditional food. Whenever we visit any place, the first thing that we wish to do is to try the local cuisine.
However, not knowing what is best of the place that often leads us to miss out on some of the delicacies. We wouldn’t’ want that fro yo. Hence, we curated this list for you that contain s the best of Maharathrain dishes.
If this article helped you enjoy your trip a bit better, do spread the love. Share it with your friends and family.
*featured image credits: Tawheed Manzoor – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
Meet the literarian of our group! She loves crafts, paintings, poetry, food, and can lip-sync dialogues from F.R.I.E.N.D.S all day. The world of words fascinates her, a true logophile. A typical millennial with an old touch.