Maharashtrian Dishes – A Culinary Delight

Mutton Sukha

Maharashtra, one of the popular and strong state of the Indian subcontinent and is home to various people from all across the nation. Everybody residing in Maharashtra regardless of the city has at least tasted these popular Maharashtrian Dishes. These dishes include the famous snack Vada Pav, Misal Pav, and some of the main course items like Pithla Bhakhri, Chicken curry, Usal, and desserts like Puran Poli, Shrikhand, Amrakhand, Aam ras and Modak.

Here you will find strong aromas of spices (like black Maharashtrian masala)as well as garlic and ginger in abundance. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a wide range from being extremely mild to very spicy dishes. The staple dishes of Maharashtrian cuisine are based on bread and rice, while lentils (pulses) play an important role as well.

Vegetable dishes in called Bhaji along with bread made of all kinds of flours called Bhakri as well as the usual Indian bread chapati are part of the daily meals. Maharashtrian curries are usually on the watery side and called Rassa and not thick like the curries from the North.

Batata wada recipe

Batata wada Ingredients

  • 2 Cups besan
  • 3/4 lb Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Grated coconut
  • 4 Onions, chopped finely
  • 4 Green chillies
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • Sugar to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  • A few sprigs coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • A small piece ginger
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Water as required
  • Salt to taste

How to make Batata Vada

  • Cook potatoes into the Pressure cooker until soft.
  • Peel and mash them, keep aside.
  • Grind green chillies, garlic and ginger together to make a fine paste.
  • Combine this paste, potato, onions, coriander leaves, sugar, lime juice and salt, mix well.
  • Take a pan and heat a little oil and fry mustard seeds and curry leaves until the mustard crackles.
  • Remove it from the heat and add it to the potato mixture.
  • Take another bowl and combine besan, salt, cumin seeds, red chilli powder, baking soda, coconut, turmeric powder and little water in it, to make a thick batter.
  • Add a tsp of hot oil to the batter.
  • Make small balls from the potato mixture.
  • Dip each ball in the batter and deep fry until golden brown.
  • Serve hot batata vada with chutney or tomato sauce.

Wada Pav recipe

Wada Pav Ingredients

Serving size – 4

  • 6-8 medium sized boiled potatoes
  • 2 cups gram flour (besan)
  • oil for frying
  • salt
  • pav ( A kind of bun) – If pavs are not available, you can use any other bun.
  • Choose the ones which do not taste sweet.

Masala

  • 1 small piece ginger,
  • 4-5 flakes garlic,
  • 4-5 (or more) green chilies,
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped),

For tempering

  • 1 tea spoon turmeric powder,
  • curry leaves,
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds,
  • 2 teaspoon oil

How to make Wada Pav

  • Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies together into a paste.
  • Peel and smash potatoes with a potato masher (or simply use hands). Do not smash completely. Let some small chunks remain.
  • Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste, coriander leaves, and salt to the potatoes.
  • Then take 2 teaspoons oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add turmeric powder and curry leaves.
  • Pour this tempering on the mashed potatoes and mix gently.
  • Make small balls of mashed potato mixture. (You can flatten the balls if you like)
  • Add some salt, turmeric powder and chili powder to the gram flour. Add water gradually and keep mixing with a spoon or wire whisk. Remove lumps if any. The batter should not be too watery or too thick. If lifted by a spatula, it should flow in a ribbon like consistency.
  • Heat some oil in a pan. To check if oil is properly heated, drop some batter in the oil. If the batter immediately turns soild and float on the surface of the oil, the oil is ready. Also make sure that the oil is not too hot. Otherwise, the vadas become dark from the outside before they are actually done from the inside.
  • Now dip each ball in the batter, letting the excess batter drip off and slowly add to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, else the temperature of the oil reduces which in turn slows down the frying process. Like this, deep fry all the vadas until golden. Remove on a paper towel and drain. Batata Vadas are ready.
  • For Vada Pav, split Pav keeping the base intact & spread garlic chutney or green chutney on the inner surfaces of it. Place the vada in it. Serve hot.

Bharli Vangi (stuffed Brinjals) Recipe

Bharli Vangi Ingredients

  • 8-10 small tender vangi (brinjals/eggplants)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 7-8 lasun/garlic cloves
  • ¼ inch adrak/ginger piece (grated)
  • 2 tbsp dry coconut (grated & roasted)
  • 1 tsp til/sesame seeds (roasted)
  • 2 tsp shengadane/peanuts ( roasted & skined)
  • 1-2 tbsp chinch/tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp gud/Jaggery (grated)
  • 1 tsp Jeera/cummin seeds powder
  • 1-2 tsp dhane/coriander seeds powder

For Tadka –

  • ½ tsp rai,
  • pinch of Hing,
  • ½ tsp Haldi
  • 2-3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2-3 tsp Kala Goda masala
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • ½ cup fresh coconut (scraped)
  • ½ cup fresh green coriander (chopped)

How to make Bharli Vangi

  • Wash and slit brinjals into four pieces, but keep their stems intact (Do not cut right through the end). Put them in water.
  • Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a pan, add onion,ginger & garlic, stir-fry till onion turns translucent. Add dry coconut,sesame seeds,coriander seeds powder, jeera powder, peanuts, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Cool it & grind to a coarse paste.
  • Add Jaggery, tamarind pulp, Kala Goda masala, red chilli powder, Haldi, salt, ¾ of the (scraped fresh coconut, & chopped fresh coriander) to the coarse paste and mix well.
  • Stuff this mixture of paste in the brinjals
  • Heat remaining oil in pan, add rai, let it crackle, then add pinch of Hing & place stuffed brinjals into the pan & gently turn them once or twice for 4-5 minutes on medium heat to ensure even cooking.
  • Add 1 cup warm water, bring it to a boil, and cook on low heat. Cover the pan till brinjals are cooked & soft (Approx.10-15 minutes.)
  • Garnish with remaining fresh coconut & fresh coriander.Tip* You can add onion masala with peanuts and sesame. Then fry the brinjals in the masala, which perfects the rustic taste.

 Kombdi Vade (Malvani chicken curry with wada) Recipe

Kombdi Vade Ingredients

  • Chicken (skinless) 1 medium sized
  • Coconut (dry) 1/2
  • Fresh coriander leaves a few sprigs
  • Green chillies 2-3
  • Ginger 1 inch piece
  • Garlic 4-5 cloves
  • Onions 5 medium sized
  • Red chillies whole 4-5
  • Oil 4 tbsps
  • Fresh coconut (scraped) 1 1/2 cups
  • Malwani garam masala 2 1/2 tsps
  • Salt to taste

How to make Kombdi Vade

  • Wash, clean and cut chicken into sixteen pieces. Grate dry coconut
  • Clean, wash and roughly chop fresh coriander leaves. Remove stems, wash green chillies and chop roughly. Peel, wash and chop ginger and garlic roughly. Peel, wash onions and chop finely
  • Reserve one tablespoon of fresh coriander leaves for garnish. Grind remaining fresh coriander leaves to paste along with garlic, ginger and green chillies and marinate the chicken in this paste.
  • Dry roast grated dry coconut with red chillies and make a fine paste by adding a little water.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan, add three fourth quantity of chopped onions, stir fry till golden. Add fresh coconut, continue to cook on medium heat, stirring continuously till coconut changes its colour to light brown. Cool and grind to a fine paste, adding a little water.
  • Heat remaining oil in a handi, add remaining chopped onions and stir fry till golden brown. Add the green paste coated chicken pieces and two cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Stir in dry coconut and red chilli paste and Malwani garam masala. Continue to cook for three to four minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the fresh coconut and onion paste and cook further on medium heat for three to four minutes. Add salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves. Serve with Malwani wada which is a special rice flour puri.

Kothimbir vadi (coriander roll) Recipe

Kothimbir vadi Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1.5 tspn chilli powder
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric powder
  • 1 tspn sesame seeds
  • 1 tspn powdered fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 tspn sugar
  • 2 tblspn oil

How to make Kothimbir vadi

  • Mix all the above ingredients and form a dough by adding very little water at a time (do not add too much water or the whole thing will turn soggy and you will start hating me).
  • If you find the mixture too sticky just oil your palms well and then handle the dough.
  • You can divide the dough into 2 or 3 portions. Shape them into elongated logs.
  • Now oil a steel vessel (one which you can place inside your pressure cooker) and put all the portions of the dough in it.
  • Pressure cook this mixture for the same duration as you would for dal and rice.
  • Let the cooker cool down a bit and then open it. Also let the steamed dough cool. After it has cooled completely cut it into slices as thick or thin as you want.
  • Heat some oil on a tawa (griddle) and shallow fry these pieces (Wadis).
  • Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander and freshly grated coconut.
  • If you are on a diet eat these wadis without shallow frying them and only steamed.

They can be eaten as a snack with tea or as part of an entire meal. Follow the same procedure and measures but replace the coriander with fresh methi (fenugreek) or shredded cabbage for equally scrumptious variations of this dish.

Sukka Mutton (Dry Gravy) Recipe

Sukka Mutton Ingredients

  • Mutton – 1 kg, remove all (or as much as possible) fat from the meat and dice into small pieces
  • Onions – 2, medium size, coarsely sliced
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped and crushed
  • Garlic – 6-8 pods, finely chopped and crushed
  • Tomatoes – 2, medium size, finely sliced
  • Green chillies – 3-4, medium size, medium hot, split into half at the stalk end
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons or to taste
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon

For ground masala powder:

  • Fennel seeds – 3 teaspoons
  • Black peppercorns – 8-10
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch size
  • Bay leaves – 3, medium size
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cardamom – 4

For Seasoning:

  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Onions – 1, medium size, coarsly sliced
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprig
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut – 1 cup, cut into small pieces (optional)

How to Make Sukka Mutton

  • Grind cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and fennel seeds to a fine powder.
  • Mix the meat with the ground masala powder and all other ingredients.
  • Pour enough water over the meat to just cover it completely and braise in a flat-bottomed vessel covered with a fitting lid (or use pressure cooker) for approximately 35-40 minutes over a moderate steady heat or till the meat is tender and no water shows over the meat sauce.
  • If the mixture is rather dry, add a cupful of hot water occasionally to stop them from burning.
  • Heat a frying pan and pour in the oil and ghee.
  • When very hot, add mustard seeds to splutter taking care not to burn the seeds.
  • Add the remaining chopped onions and saute till the edges of the onions turn brown.
  • Add curry leaves and coconut pieces and saute till light brown.
  • Now add the cooked meat and lemon juice.
  • Stir-fry over moderate heat turning over frequently till all the gravy is dried up and the meat turns in to a very dark brown color.
  • Enjoy mutton sukha fry!

Tip* Boil the mutton and then marinate it with ginger garlic paste. This process will enhance the taste and flavor.

Solkadhi (Kokum in coconut milk) Recipe

Solkadhi Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 Kokum (Garcinia Indica, Amsool)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (Homemade, or Canned unsweetened type)
  • 1 green chilli
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Sugar or jaggery, and salt – to taste
  • 2 fresh sprigs of fresh cilantro

How to make Solkadhi

  • Soak Kokum in a cup of warm water for half an hour, to soften and to release juice.
  • Grind green chilli and cumin to fine paste.
  • Once the kokum water turns pink, take it in a big cup or glass.
  • Add coconut milk.
  • Stir in sugar or jaggery and salt to taste.
  • Also the cumin-chill paste.
  • Mix.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and drink immediately.
  • Do not leave kokum soaked in as it will make the sol kadhi sourer than normal.
  • (Some also like to add a pinch of grated ginger and garlic.)

Tip* Can add a bit of sugar that’ll enhance the taste and the drink is now tangy-sour-sweet.

Sheera (Semolina Pudding) Recipe

Sheera Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp. ghee(clarified butter)
  • 4 tbsp. sooji (rawa or semolina)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1 tbsp. almonds, sliced fine

How to Make Sheera

  • Melt the ghee in a non stick pan.
  • Add the rawa and fry until the rawa turns golden brown.
  • Mix the milk and the condensed milk in a pan and set aside.
  • Add the rava to the milk mixture and the add the cardmom powder.
  • Stir well.
  • Cook until dry and the ghee separates from the rawa.
  • Add the raisins and stir well.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with almonds.
  • Serve either hot or chilled.Tips* Try adding Banana: Garnish with Banana slices and pistachios.

Puran Poli Recipe

Puran Poli Ingredients

For the Stuffing

  • 1 cup toovar dal (arhar)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • a few strands of saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder (jaiphal)
  • a pinch mace powder (javantri)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee

For the dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
  • 2 tablespoons oil

For the serving

  • ghee

How to make Puran Poli

For the filling

  • Wash and pressure cook the dal in 1 1/2 cups of water.
  • Drain any excess water and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan, add the dal and sugar and cook till the mixture thickens, stirring continuously.
  • Dissolve the saffron in a little water by rubbing.
  • Add the cardamom and nutmeg powders, mace powder, saffron liquid and mix well.
  • Cool, divide into 12 to 15 portions and keep aside.

For the dough

  • Combine the flour and oil and knead into a soft dough using water.
  • Divide into 12 to 15 portions and keep aside.

How to proceed

  • Roll out one portion of the dough into a 75 mm. (3″) diameter circle.
  • Place a portion of the filling mixture and fold the edges of the dough over the filling.
  • Pinch the edges together to seal the filling in.
  • Flatten the dough and roll again into a 100 mm. (4″) diameter circle.
  • Cook on a tava over a medium flame till golden brown in colour on both sides.
  • Repeat for the remaining dough and filling.
  • Smear with ghee and serve hot.

Tips

  • You can microwave the filling mixture for 7 to 10 minutes to save on cooking time.

Misal Pav  Recipe

Misal Pav Ingredients

  • 100 gms Dry White Peas
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Green chili Paste
  • 2 tbsp Thick Tamarind Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 cup Coriander Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Yellow Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chat Masala
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste

Garnishing:

  • 2 cups Mixture of Gathias, Papri, Peanuts
  • 3/4 cup Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Green Chilies (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves
  • 1 cup Salty Curd (beaten)

How to Make Misal Pav

  • Cook peas in a pressure cooker, with very little water, salt and turmeric.
  • Heat oil and put mustard seeds into it. Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste. Fry for a minute and then add cooked peas and tamarind juice. Cook it uncovered on a low flame for 2 min.
  • Add garam masala and coriander leaves. Mix thoroughly and remove from heat.
  • Sprinkle the mixture of gathia, papri, peanut, dal, etc. Add onion, green chilies and coriander leaves.
  • Sprinkle yellow chilli powder, chat masala and squeeze lemon juice all over the cooked peas.
  • Finally, top with a little curd and serve immediately.