Maharashtrians are mostly, meat eaters. The cuisine includes subtly
flavoured vegetarian delicacies and hot, aromatic meat and fish
curries. Their crunchy, crisp sweets are made mostly from rice and
jaggery. The exotic 'Konkani' and 'Malwani' cuisines also have their
origins in the coastal parts of this region and are sea-food based.
As in most of the other states of India, rice is the basic food
grain in Maharashtra too. Like the other coastal states, there is
an enormous variety of vegetables in the regular diet and lots of
fish and coconuts are used. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of
dishes, but coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium.
Peanuts and cashewnuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut
oil is the main cooking medium. Another feature is the use of kokum,
a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste. Kokum,
most commonly used in an appetizer-digestive called the sol kadhi,
is served chilled. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are
eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made
of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which
is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are
also eaten as a part of the main meal.
The most popular dessert of Maharashtra is the puran poli, which
is roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour and
is made at the time of the Maharashtrian New Year.
To spice things further, Bombay has it's own set of dishes like
'vada pav'(a fried potato patti sandwiched in a traditional bread
bun), 'misal' (lentils in a spicy gravy topped with fried crunchies)and
'pav bhaji' (mixed mashed vegetables served with bread liberally
fried in butter) the Indian answers to fast food!
Chaat is probably the most widely eaten food in the city, followed
by bhelpuri, pani puri, pav bhaji, and dosa. For those looking for
non-vegetarian snacks, there are the Muslim kebabs, baida roti ,
tandoori chicken, seekh kebabs and fish koliwada. In Mumbai, the
entire meal is often followed by paan. Paan is an assortment of
dates, beetle-nut, dry grated coconut, saunf, rose-petal jam (gulkand),
some spice like clove or cardammom enclosed in a beetle leaf. It
is said to be a digestive and coolant.
Coastal Maharashtrian cuisine is largely dependent on freshly ground
spices and use coconut abundantly. The ghat areas however use dried
spices and masalas and garlic dominates. Be it the aromatic masala
bhaat or the ever popular vada pav and Sabudana