Maharashtrian or Marathi cuisine is the cuisine of the Marathi people from the Indian state of Maharashtra. It has distinctive attributes, while sharing much with other Indian cuisines. Traditionally, Maharashtrians have considered their food to be more austere than others.
Maharashtrian cuisine includes mild and spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit are dietary staples. Peanuts and cashews are often served with vegetables. Meat is traditionally used sparsely or by the well off until recently, because of economic conditions and culture.
The urban population in metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Pune and others has been influenced from other parts of India and abroad. For example, the Udupi dishes idli and dosa, as well as Chinese and Western dishes, are quite popular in home cooking and in restaurants.
Distinctly Maharashtrian dishes include ukdiche modak, aluchi patal bhaji and Thalipeeth.
Wada / Vada Pav
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, 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.
Staple dishes are based on a variety of flatbreads and rice. Flatbreads can be wheat-based, such as the traditional trigonal ghadichi poli or the round chapati that is more common in urban areas. Bhakri is an unleavened bread made using from ragi or millet, bajra or bajri or jwari – and forms part of daily meals in rural areas.
Urban menus typically have wheat in the form of chapatis and plain rice as the main staples. Traditional rural households would have millet in form of bhakri on the Deccan plains and rice on the coast as respective staples.
Typical breakfast items include misal, pohe, upma, sheera, sabudana khichadi and thalipeeth. In some households leftover rice from the previous night is fried with onions, turmeric and mustard seeds for breakfast, making phodnicha bhat. Typical Western breakfast items such as cereals, sliced bread and eggs, as well as South Indian items such as idli and dosa are also popular. Tea or coffee is served with breakfast.
In the Konkan coastal area, boiled rice and rice nachni bhakri is the staple, with a combination of the vegetable and non-vegetable dishes described in the lunch and dinner menu.
In other areas of Maharashtra such as Desh, Maharashtra, Khandesh, Marathwada and Vidarbha, the traditional staple was bhakri with a combination of dal, and vegetables. The bhakri is increasingly replaced by wheat-based chapatis.