Saturday, July 24, 2010

The 10 Most Popular Maharashtrian Dishes

Pohay (Pohe)

Pohay or Pohe is a snack made from flattened rice. It is most likely served with tea or as a breakfast dish and is probably the most likely dish that a Maharashtrian will offer his guest any time of the day. It has a no. of variations the most common being Kanda Pohe (meaning pohe prepared with onion). Other variants on the recipe are batata pohe (where diced potatoes are used instead of onion shreds), 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 un-sauteed onion shreds.

The dish is garnished with different things like fresh coriander, grated coconut, crushed peanuts or Sev(fried potato shavings).

Misal Pav

Quintessentially from Pune. To prepare Misal first 'Usal' which is a water based curried preparation of cooked sprouted lentils is first prepared and then topped with batata-bhaji, pohay, Chivda, farsaan, raw chopped onions and tomato. It is some times eaten with yogurt to cut the spice and is always served with dinner roll type bread called Pav and lemon wedges

Pitla Bhakri

Pitla Bhakri is a rural food of Maharashtra, the staple food amongst the farmers and village folk. It forms part of the typical Maharashtrian cuisine and has in the last two decades become quite popular amongst the more cosmopolitan city dwellers as well. It consists of "Pitla," a pasty-looking dish prepared from the powdered version of "Dal," a popular pulse. Pitla is usually eaten with "Bhakri," a bread made from either "Jowar" or "Bajra," both of which are cereals. It is usually accompanied with Khanda Bhaji(raw chopped onions in a spicy chilli paste). Pitla Bhakri can be enjoyed in Pune at one of the select restaurants serving typical Maharashtrian cuisine or many as road side vendors. 

Sabudana Khichdi

"Sabudana" is a local food base prepared from the latex of of the Sago Palm (Pearls of sago palm). The name given to it by the English is "Sago" which is tapioca starch or cassava starch white granules. Sabudana is white in color and granular in texture. The grains are globular in shape and look somewhat like the tiny thermocol balls used for packaging delicate materials. The ready-to-eat dish prepared from it is known as "Khichdi," which roughly mean "mixture." Sabudana Khichdi is a popular breakfast item and is one of the few food products that are allowed to be eaten when Maharashtrians undertake holy-fasting known in Marathi as "Upaas."

Bharli Vangi (Stuffed Eggplant)

A very traditional Marathi Vegetable dish is Bharli Vangi or "Stuffed Eggplant". Almost every cuisine has traditional recipes for stuffed vegetables, and eggplant especially lends itself well to being stuffed in a variety of ways. This Marathi recipe is delicious uses of peanuts and coconuts as the stuffing along with a variety of spices. 


The Wada-Pav also spelled Vada-Pav is a fast-food snack...The Indian Burger! It consists of a spicy, deep fried potato based patty (called the "Wada") sandwiched between a thick square of bread that is similar to a burger bun (called the "Pav"). Thus the name Wada-Pav. This dish is usually served with sweet & sour sauces called "chutney" and fried salted green chilies. 

Wada pav is popular only in the state of Maharashtra, and not so well known in the rest of India. It is the preferred noon-time snack for the masses and is sometimes had even for a main meal. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is very economical (Priced at Rs.3-Rs.6), filling and easily available. In a city like Pune or Mumbai there are numerous wada-pav stalls and no matter where you may be in the city, you can always find one just around the corner. 

Aamti (Maharashtrian-Lentils/ Dal)

Aamti is the special way of preparing or dallentils  in Maharashtra. Aamti is a little spicy, a little sweet and a little tangy. The word aamti can also used to describe other curried preparations, but the aamti dal stands solid as the pillar of everyday food, making it a staple of almost every meal. Aamti is a good illustration of the generous use of jaggery or unrefined sugar in Marathi cooking which lends a slight sweetish tinge to even savory foods. 

Aamti can be made with different lentils or dals and is known by different names like Katachi aamati (made with Chana Dal), or Golyanchi Aamti (fried Balls in Dal) or Massor Aamti (made with red lentil) thought the most traditional Aamti is made with Tur Dal. 
Amti is best served with fresh steamed rice and a dollop of ghee (clarified butter). 

Rassa (Taambda/ Pandhra/ Varhadi)

The non-vegetarian Maharashtrian dishes include mutton, usually of sheep, lamb or goat, chicken, fish and other seafoods. Rassa is a popular type of curry prepared in Maharashtra and originated from the Kolhapur region. "Ras" means juice and "rassa" is a juicy preparation...a watery curry. 

Kolhapur is as famous for its spicy mutton (goat meat) curries as it's Mahalaxmi temple or palaces. Popularly called 'Matnacha rassa' Mutton Kolhapuri is red-hot mutton curry dish served with robust chappatis or bhakris. The fiery red curry is also called 'Taambda Rassa' which literally translates to Red Curry. This curry is made so spicy in Kolhapur by their special chillies that it can make the ears sing, and is not for all.
"Pandhra rassa" (white curry) is a yogurt based curry which can be equally as spicy where as Varhadi Rassa comes from the Vidarbha region and is usually a chicken curry.

Puran Poli

Puran Poli is one of the most popular sweet item in the Maharashtrian cuisine. It is a stuffed Indian Bread. It is similar to the Paratha except that the stuffing is sweet. It is made from jaggery (molasses or gur), yellow gram(chana) dal, plain flour, cardamom powder and ghee (clarified butter). It is a eaten after meals or as a snack and is present in almost all maharashtrian festive occassions. 


Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yogurt and one of the main desserts in Maharashtrian cuisine as well as Gujarati cuisine. The yogurt is tied and hung until all the water has drained off, the result being a thick and creamy yogurt. Dried and fresh fruit such as mango are also added to flavor it and other ingredients like sugar, cardamom powder, and saffron are added. It is often eaten along with meals with Puris (deep fried Indian breads). It is served chilled and provides a refreshing counterpoint to hot and spicy curries. It is garnished with toasted nuts and a pinch of saffron.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

                                                    KOTHIMBIR VADI 
I n g r e d i e n t s :

 3 cups coriander leaves, chopped
 1 cup wheat flour (aata), sieved
 1 cup gram flour (besan), sieved
 1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely pounded
 2 tbsps white sesame seeds (til)
 1 tsp chilli powder
 1 tsp sugar
 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
 1/2 tsp garam masala
 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
 1/4 tsp soda bicarb
 oil as needed
 salt to taste

Mix flours, sesame seeds, coriander leaves, peanut powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala,     soda bicarb, ginger-garlic paste, sugar and salt. Add water and make a thick paste.

Heat 2 tbsps oil and add to the paste.

Grease a deep platter and spread the paste evenly. Steam for 15 minutes in an idli steamer or pressure cooker,     without using the weight. Remove and cool. Cut into diamond shaped pieces.

Heat oil and deep fry these pieces.

Serve hot with green chutney.
                         BHAJANICHI VATANA AMTI 
I n g r e d i e n t s :

 8 cloves
 8 peppercorns
 3 tomatoes, chopped finely
 3 kokums
 2 large onions, sliced
 1 large onion, chopped finely
 2 cups grated fresh coconut
 1 1/2 cups black peas, sprouted, cooked
 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
 3 tbsps oil
 2 tbsps coriander seeds
 1 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
 1 tsp garam masala powder
 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
 salt to taste

Heat 1 tsp oil and add peppercorns, cloves and coriander seeds. When they pop, add sliced onion. Brown. Add     coconut gratings and brown the whole lot. Cool and grind to a fine paste, adding a little water as needed.     Reserve.

Heat remaining oil and add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the chopped onion. Brown. Add tomatoes,     sprouted peas and all the spice powders. Add salt and boil, mashing a few peas with the back of the ladle.

Add ground paste and sufficient water to make enough gravy. Add the kokums, stir and boil once.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with puris made of rice flour, or with rotis and onion slices.

Friday, June 18, 2010



 1/4th cup long grain rice (washed and drained)
 4-5 cups milk
 2-3 cardamom seeds (crushed)
 2 tbsp almonds (blanched silvered)
 A pinch of saffron threads, soaked in a little hot milk
 1 tbsp skinned pistachio nuts (chopped)
 1 tbsp raisins (optional)
 2-3 tbsp sugar or as desired

How to make kheer:
Put the rice, milk and cardamom in a pan, bring to boil and simmer gently until the rice is soft and the grains are starting to break up.
Add almonds, pistachio, saffron and raisins and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
Remove the rice kheer from heat and serve either warm or chilled.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Puran Poli Recipe

Puran Poli is a popular Marathi dish. Here is Puran Poli recipe.

  • 2 cups chana dal, soaked in water for 4 hours
  • 2 cups jaggery (adjust for sweetness)
  • 2 cups refined flour
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Cook chana dal in a pressure cooker till it turns soft. Drain out excess water until the dal is absolutely becomes dry.
  • Add jaggery and cook further and then mash into a soft paste.
  • Add cardamom powder, saffron, and freshly grated nutmeg powder and mix well. Form 20 balls of equal size and put it aside.
  • Mix refined flour, oil, water and turmeric powder. Make very soft, sticky dough. Knead very well. Use oil to knead. Divide into 20 equal portions.
  • With greased palms, take one portion of dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of the palm. Place a ball of "chana jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.
  • On a well-floured board, better over a sheet of clean transparent plastic wrap, gently roll out each poli to a 6 inches disc. This can get tricky as the paste does try to slide out. Use a little flour if that happens. Roll.
  • Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle. Do not use oil or ghee. Roast both sides well. Smear with ghee on both sides when done. Serve warm with clarified butter or a bowl of milk.