Today we are featuring yet another cuisine and this time it is my birth state, Maharashtra. Yes, we are virtually travelling to the state of Maharashtra today to represent yet another lip-smacking, spicy, sweet, and yummy Vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali.
A little about Maharashtra
Maharashtra the land of the Marathas, is located in the west and the central part of the country. It has a long coastline stretching across the Arabian Sea on the west. One of the most industrialized states in India with Mumbai the state capital and also the biggest financial and commercial capital.
Maharashtrian cuisine is a mix of Vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. Malvani and Konkani cuisine is famous non-vegetarian cuisines. As Maharasthra is on the coastal side, seafood and rice are staples and are more famous for this cuisine.
Then you have Maharashtrian Brahmins who have specialized in Vegetarian cuisine. In all, you have a mix of everything in Maharashtra.
The cuisine includes a blend of mild to spicy dishes. Khandeshi Cuisine from Maharashtra is known to be the hottest cuisine. Wheat, rice, Jowar, Bajri, and Fresh seasonal Vegetables are the staple food of Maharashtra.
Use of Seasonal & Local Ingredients
As it lies on the coastal stretch hence use of fresh coconut is quite common in most of the dishes. Peanuts, and fresh coconut are used to make fresh masala. Herbs like curry leaves and coriander leaves are used in tempering as well as a garnish.
Kothimbir Vadi, a famous snack made using fresh coriander leaves, is one of the most popular tea-time snack recipes. Another such famous recipe is this Squash Leaves Patra / Butternut Squash-Pumpkin Patra / Stuffed Squash Leaves roll, typically made using colocasia or taro root leaves I have made using my fresh homegrown Squash leaves.
Masala Used in Maharashtrian Cuisine
Then the use of special kala masala, goda masala , kanda lasoon masala is quite common. Each household will have its own variation. Few common spices are there in this masala, but yet they differ in taste and variations with a few minor differences.
Breakfast & Fast Food
Lunch will generally be simple chapati, dal, rice (varan bhaat), amti or usal, dry vegetable, chutney, and koshimbir (salad). Matha (Buttermilk), Sol kadhi , Piyush are served as beverages.
Dinner at times would be simple Varan bhaat, khichadi or chapati with seasonal bhaji. Different gluten free bhakris are made using Jowar, rice, and Bajra depending on the season. Considered to be light on the tummy for dinner.
Gul Poli is another sweet flatbread that is consumed as a sweet or a snack. Puran Poli typically made during Holi is a sweet lentil stuffed flatbread. A delicious and healthy preparation is generally served with Katachi Amti.
This is just day to day, then you have special occasions and festive food. Special wedding food etc. There is a lot to write and I can go on and on, but I guess I need to stop here.
Mega Thali BM
So I started this Mega Thali BM with a Simple everyday North Indian Vegetarian Lunch Thali, the thali which I have grown up eating, and ended it with this Vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali.
Maharashtrian cuisine which I have learned being born and brought up in Mumbai and now married to a Maharashtrian. Both these cuisines are close to my heart and hence I thought to start with one and end with the other.
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So My Today’s Vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali has
- Kothimbir Vadi – Steamed snack made using fresh green coriander leaves and later on shallow fried or deep-fried.
- Steamed White Rice – Simple white steamed rice
- Maharashtrian Tendli Bhaat (No onion No garlic) – A delicious and traditional one-pot no onion no garlic, rice or pulao made using fresh tendli (Ivy Gourd) and a few masalas.
- Bharli Vangi – Spicy and yummy eggplant or aubergine stuffed with coconut and spice mixture and cooked to perfection.
- Batata Bhaji – Simple and delicious vegetable made using potato.
- Puran Poli – Sweet lentil stuffed flatbread generally made using Holi, Diwali, or any festive gatherings.
- Chapati – Simple whole wheat chapati or roti.
- Coconut Coriander Chutney – Spicy and lip-smacking chutney made using coconut, coriander, and garlic.
- Thecha – 3 ingredients spicy and yummy chutney made using green chillies, garlic, and oil.
- Achar/Pickle – Simple homemade Instant Mango pickle. Have used my Instant Apple Pickle recipe, just replaced the apple with Mango.
- Koshimbir – A must salad in Maharashtrian Thali. A salad made using cucumber, tomato, green chilly along with yogurt/curd.
- Home made Sabudana Papad – Homemade papad made using sabudana or Tapioca pearls.
- Solkadhi – Beverage made using coconut, kokum, and a few spices. I could not get the traditional pink color that comes from the Kokum. Probably as it has been a bit old.
- Sprouted Matki Usal – Usal or a spicy curry made using sprouted moong beans, cooked along with spicy onion and coconut paste.
- Tomato Dal – Day to day dal made using toor dal along with tomato.
- Katachi Amti – A spicy, tangy, and sweet vegan curry made using leftover chana dal stock.
- Ghee – To enjoy it along with Puran Poli or steamed rice
- Kesar Pista Shrikhand – A delicious sweet made using curd/yogurt along with Sugar, Kesar, and Pistachio.
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