For a state that serves as the heart of India, Maharashtra is absolutely invigorating. From its culture to its cuisine, the state is a medley of delights and discoveries, each unique yet commonplace. From harbouring some of the most iconic snacks to delivering some wholesome dishes, Maharashtra exhibits grandeur even in its most simplistic of offerings. But inspite of its many humble dishes and some extravagant ones,the region never fails to surprise with its flavor fusion. Zesty and trippy much like the state itself, a Maharashtrian gastronomic experience is anything but subtle. Every bite of this land is a guaranteed marker on the memory, such is the characteristic flair of the tastes that this very sprightly state encompasses. Below we list 17 most famous food in Maharashtra which delivers its essence in just the perfect dose of taste-
Hands down the most famous food from Maharashtra- Mumbai in particular- vada pav is a much loved Indian fast food. A fried mashed potato dumpling sandwiched between a half-sliced bun, vada pav is very much the Indian burger in essence. Best relished with green chilies for a spicy feast, vada pav isn’t just food; it’s emotion for a whole lot of Indians religiously devouring the crunchy combo everyday without fail!
Essentially a stuffed paratha, puran poli is a very classic Maharashtrian dish, though not exclusive to the state. Made from a flour dough that is stuffed with a mixture of chana dal and jaggery with or without any additions, puran polis are made as ritual offerings during the festival of Holi. Of course it is also enjoyed as a meal in itself otherwise, with some ghee added to balance out the heaviness of the rich lentil stuffing. A divine treat both in essence and in taste, this should be among the more famous of food items in any Maharashtra platter.
A humble preparation hailing from the state but one rich in both flavours and nutrition is pithale. Also popular as jhunka, it is essentially a chick flour porridge that pairs best with traditional bhakri for a typically rustic Maharashtrian meal. Balanced in its nutrition content and palatable in its unique assortment of flavors, pithale is the embodiment of how the most simplistic of traditional fare can serve up the most famous of dishes with its essential incorporation of the elements.
Among the many healthy traditional drinks of India is the Maharashtrian offering of Solkadhi. Made from coconut milk and kokum, this refreshing, easy on the palate drink can be had with rice or even during and after meals. In its pretty light purple pink color, this digestive drink is mainly a summer specialty, known for its cleansing and cooling properties.
Sweet dumplings that are immensely popular not just in Maharashtra but in entire India, modaks are among the more famous food stuff of the state. A Ganesh Chaturthi specialty, one of the many religious festivals India partakes in, modaks are Lord Ganesha’s absolute favorite. Steamed shells of wheat and refined flour are filled with a delightful mix of grated coconut and jaggery to churn up this simple sweet which however is an indulgence extraordinaire. Call them a type of sweet momos if you should but modaks definitely are more Maharashtrian than any food else!
Among the very famous food fare of Maharashtra is its exclusively unique preparation, thalipeeth. Call it among the many types of rotis or even as a distinctive variety of pancake, thalipeeth makes use of an assortment of different flours, both of grains and legumes. Apart from wheat flour, rice, bajra, jowar as well as chana and urad dal flours also are key ingredients in making the thalipeeth dough. Additionally even spices and veggies are added to the dough making for a wholesome meal altogether. With such an extensive mix of flours and vegetables and with little to no oil, Thalipeeth is undoubtedly one of the healthiest snacking options around. Some butter or curd is all you need to do up this very interesting and spicy flatbread.
A dessert very ubiquitous to Maharashtra, even when not being exclusive to is the deliciously creamy shrikhand. Essentially hung yogurt sweetened and flavoured with cardamom and saffron, this sweet treat comes laden also with dry fruits for a really royal experience. Smooth, creamy and silky in texture and utterly delicious to the taste, this also is a celebratory offering. Relished with puri on the New Year of the Marathis, shrikhand can also be savoured by itself. Luscious and lavish in flavors yet minimalist in preparation, shrikhand is truly a treat worthy of the Gods!
A very interesting food of Maharashtra that also happens to be as famous a delicacy is varanfal. A traditional dish, this is a wholesome meal in itself. A one pot meal that combines the dough and the dal all in one,varanfal makes for a convenient meal preparation. Made by simmering tiny pieces of a wheat flour dough in a toor dal based gravy, this all encompassing wonder is almost akin to a similar presence in the ambit of Rajasthani cuisine. Also popular as chakolya, this comfort food goes well with some curd or pickles for a quick but complete meal.
A very ‘revered’ sweet in Maharashtra is the sesame seed based laddu, tilgul. A prominent presence during the Makar Sankranti festivities in the state, these pretty roundrels come in an array of health benefits. In being a winter specialty, these sesame seed and jaggery laddus do not just drive your taste buds into euphoria with their delectable taste, they also do your body a lot of winter good as well.
Maharashtra is known for its array of lip smacking snacks. While the many pav based dishes conjure up the street food delight of the state, tea sessions here are incomplete with as distinctive some sides. One of the most famous of such snack food Maharashtra is famous for is the Bhakarwadi. Deep fried savouries that come also with a hint of sweet and tang, bhakarwadis are spiral gram flour dough stuffed with a mixture of coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Quite an interesting treat to bite into, bhakarwadis are also distinctive in their shape and texture.
Kombdi Vade might not be among the most famous Maharashtra food but it sure makes for a delightful discovery. One of the rare non vegetarian dishes from the scrumptiously predominant lacto- vegetarian preferences of the region, kombdi vade is a dish with diverse elements. This particular offering sees the vades so essential to the cuisine of this Indian state savoured religiously with a traditional chicken curry along with sides of onions and lemons and relished with solkadhi. Flavorful on the palate and flattering to the senses, this one is a definite marvel from Maharashtra.
A rice based dish, poha is basically flattened rice seasoned and tempered with veggies and spices. Maharashtra is ubiquitous with its poha snack, which is also the customary tea accompaniment for guests. Also a healthy breakfast, this is a dish that also is convenient since it requires little cooking. In its light, fluffy texture, poha is a delight to savour with tea and is among the more famous food in Maharashtra. Widely relished throughout India with variations, poha remains a humble but iconic dish.
Again a Maharasthrian specialty but not exclusive to the state is a preparation famous as aluvadi. Also a prominent presence in Gujarati cuisine as patrode, aluvadi is a preparation based out of colocasia leaves and is a rather diversive vegetarian preparation. Crispy and tasty, even while being extremely healthy, these rolled in besan, steamed aluvadis are fried further for a dish that is unique to the core and just as delicious.
Quite a unique food offering of Maharashtra is the spiced powder metkut, which is also among its more famous eatables. Even in its spiced essence, this makes for a healthy, soothing accompaniment to rice and is one of the simplest of authentic Maharashtrian recipes. A blend of dry roasted lentils, wheat and rice with an array of spices and condiments, this flavorful powder is also a versatile ingredient in Maharashtrian cooking. Be it in curries or chaats, with rice or salads, metkut makes for quite a diversive addition to the palate in its fulsomeness.
Sheera sounds more exotic than other Indian sweet dishes but this famous food of Maharashtra is in fact pretty commonplace. In being one of the many types of halwas, sooji halwa to be precise, sheera is a pan Indian delight. A healthy treat, in being a semolina preparation, sheera is the perfect dessert serving to end a hearty meal on a sweet note. Even as a sweet treat, sheera is perhaps the most quintessential Indian dessert ever!
Again a healthy preparation, this time based out of sprouted beans is a dish popular as usal. A thick gravy made out of beans such as peas, lentils, moong et al, usal is a delicious spicy dish that goes well with both rice and roti. Fibrous and filling, this lip smacking dose of health is best relished hot, as a simple but nutritious traditional meal.
A stuffed brinjals recipe from Maharashtra, Bharli Vangi is a unique concoction of flavours. A traditional offering replete with a whole lot of elements, this humble dish finds way into everyday meals, into buffet menus and even across extravagant wedding counters. Half sliced baby elephants are coated in a paste before being let to cook in a gravy for the perfect infusion of flavors. In its nutty essence and delectable taste, bharli vangi has remained a predominant and famous food from Maharashtra across the ages.