Maharashtra, the third largest state of India has amazing variety to offer its tourists. The land of the rugged Western Ghats, the serene Konkan and the eclectic cultural mix of the Deccan is also a gourmand’s paradise. Read on to feast on the astounding range of delicacies this state has to offer:
1.Nagpur: Santra Barfi, Saoji Chicken
Begin your trip from geographical centre of the country. Nagpur has been a cultural melting pot owing to its location,and is renowned for its oranges. Taste the fiery Nagpuri Saoji Chicken, a speciality of the Saoji community of Central India. Temper the heat with the luscious Orange Barfi that is easily available all around the city.
2.Wardha: Goras Paak
The centre of Mahatma Gandhi’s activities during the Independence Movement, Wardha boasts of the Sewagram Ashram and melt-in-the-mouth cookies called Goras Paak. These are made using pure ghee which is processed at the Goras Bhandar Dairy, which is a collective by local cow owners. Doing your bit for the farmers and satisfying your sweet tooth in the process? Not a bad deal, we’d say!
The Shegaon Kachori is one of the variants of the immensely popular savoury snack. It traces its origin to Tirathram Karamchand Sharma, who started a Kachori stall in front of the Shegaon Railway Station in 1951. This dry Kachori is a must-try for everyone who visits this pilgrimage spot in Buldhana.
4.Jalgaon: Shevbhaji, Khapar Poli
North Maharashtra, or Khandesh has a history of give-and-take with neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in its culinary practices. Shev-bhaji, a preparation of Besan sev (crunchy gram flour noodles) in spicy gravy, is a regional favourite. For dessert? The gigantic Khandeshi cousin of the Puranpoli: Mande or Khapar poli (thus named as it is roasted over a clay or Khapar pot).
5.Aurangabad: Naan Qalia
A historical city which served as Mohammad bin Tughlaq’s capital, Aurangabad boasts of the Naan-Qalia. Naan is leavened bread and Qalia (or Khaliya) is a mutton curry laced with more than a dozen aromatic spices. Sumptuous and satisfying, it is a must-try for every non-vegetarian!
6.Mumbai: Kebabs at Bade Miya
The Maximum City needs no introduction! While Mumbai is a microcosm of all food around the world- ranging from the humble Vada Paav to fine Continental cuisine- Bademiya in Colaba belts out the very best in Mughlai cuisine with a cautiously guarded spice mix going into their Kebabs and Biryani. There is no escape from the Mumbai crowd even at this joint which serves customers well upto 2 AM!
7.Pune: Bakarwadi, Mango Barfi at Chitale’s
Travel Southwards to the cultural capital of the state. Punekars prefer less heat than their Deccani counterparts, and a taste of the culinary heritage can be had at Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale. The 60-year-old establishment is most famous for its Bakarwadi: a crunchy pastry rollup with a spicy stuffing. When you’ve had your fill of this addictive snack, listen to your sweet tooth and gobble up the sweet Mango Burfi. We dare you to eat just one!
This picturesque hill station is known for its succulent strawberries which have earned it a GI Tag. Mahabaleshwar from October to April will welcome you with these fruity treats. Eat farm fresh or topped with cream...your pick!
9.Kolhapur: Misal, Mutton dishes
Kolhapur is known for the Mahalakshmi temple, wrestling akhadas and Mutton prepared in Pandhra (white) and Tambda (red) gravies. The Pandhra rassa still retains its heat, though somewhat tempered with coconut. Misal Paav- a preparation of spicy lentils served with bread- is another Kolhapuri favourite.
10.Ratnagiri: Malvani Thali
Ratnagiri, a port city on the Arabian Sea is our last stop. The city is representative of Konkani culture and the cuisine here abounds in seafood and kokum, a tart-tasting local fruit. Try the numerous fish and prawn preparations like Bombil fry and Paplet saar in the sumptuous Malvani Thali, and wash it down with Sol-kadhi, a lovely pink concoction of coconut milk flavoured with kokum and spices.
So what are you waiting for? Begin your food trip across Maharashtra and add to our list!