5 Best Foods of Maharashtra
The cultural headquarters of Western India and the stronghold of the great Maratha warrior kings, the state of Maharashtra is also famous for its food culture. The Marathas are known for their love of traditional food items, wherein they use the most basic ingredients to come up with a variety of unique and tasty cuisines that have now gone beyond the state and have made a name for themselves across many states. From street food to traditional ones, the people of the state have experimented, and this has resulted in some of the best dishes.
Vada Pav: This quintessential food item is the most popular all over the state. The popularity of Vada Pav has gone beyond the boundaries of Maharashtra and is now well-liked by people across the country. It is a simple food wherein a potato fritter is placed in a bun with some chutney and spices smeared around. Often called “the Indian burger,” its popularity is unmatched across all age groups. Those looking for a quick lunch rush to the street-side outlet, have a couple of quick Vada Pavs, and move on. The super taste of the vada (potato fritter) combines with the softness of the bun, and the added taste of the tamarind and mint mixed chutney with a chilly thrown in makes it a greatly satisfying food.
Kanda Poha: Another quick and simple dish where onion and flattened rice are the only two ingredients, with small quantities of oil, mustard, turmeric powder, and, if required, some spices. For centuries, it has been the favorite and staple breakfast food of the Maharashtrians. Prepared in no time as the dish requires no cooking, it has a lip-smacking taste if the right amount and quality of oil and spices are used. It is garnished with coriander leaves for added taste and served with curd and lemon.
Misal Pav: A spicy curry made from lentils and spices is served with a bun (pav). While serving, the curry and the pav are accompanied with coriander leaves and crunchy items (sev) as toppings. The curry is prepared with onions, tomatoes, green peas, potatoes, and spices. The spices play a very important role in giving the right taste to curry, especially due to the mild taste of the bun. The bun, when immersed in the curry, absorbs it and takes on an entirely different taste that is enhanced by the lemon drops added to the curry while serving. It is a popular breakfast dish in Maharashtra but is also eaten throughout the day.
Sabudana Vada: Prepared with tapioca pearls (sabudana), potatoes, and spices, it is a popular evening-time snack across Maharashtra. The combination of tapioca pearls, potatoes, and spices is mixed well in a batter and deep-fried in oil to give a different taste to the snack. While tapioca is the star ingredient of the dish, potatoes can be replaced with other vegetables. The vada is served with spicy chutney or curd.
Puran Poli: If Vada Pav is the quintessential spicy fast food of Maharashtra, Puran Poli is the quintessential sweet dish. This dish has a lot of tradition and history behind it. Maharashtrians take pride in their Puran Poli, and on almost every auspicious occasion, it is at the forefront among sweet dishes. The popularity of the dish has also extended to neighboring states like Goa and Karnataka. The dough, made of wheat flour, is filled with a mix of lentils and jaggery and flattened before frying in the pan. It is best consumed hot with pure ghee for a stupendous taste.