Maharashtrian (or Marathi) cuisine is cuisine of, those from the state of Maharashtra. Where food is concerned the range and variety are plenty and tongue tickling. 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.
During the festive seasons, you will find an array of sweet dishes prepared in each household. These are the must have delicacies when in Maharashtra. During Ganesh Utsav , each household prepares a variety of sweets and other savoring dishes. The sweets are made as an offering to Ganesha during the worship and passed among people by the priest as prasad. Some of the famous dishes made are modak, moti chur laddoo, khopra pak, shrikhand, puran poli, moong Dal halwa, kaju katli, karanji, chivda and besan laddoo.
Puran Poli Recipe
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
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.
- You can microwave the filling mixture for 7 to 10 minutes to save on cooking time.
The polis are often served with milk, which can be sweetened or flavored with almonds, pistachios. In some areas Puran Polis are served with a tamarind based sauce called Amti.
In the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra, the puran polis are soft, since the stuffing is made with jaggery. In western Maharashtra, the powdered white-sugar version is preferred, resulting in a crunchy puran poli.
Modak are basically sweet fried dumplings offered to Lord Ganesha during Ganesg Utsav.
For the filling
- 2 cup shredded fresh coconut
- 1 cup jaggery or sugar
- 1/2 cup a mixture of unsalted pistachios and unsalted cashews.
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/2 a pinch of cardamom powder
- To prepare the filling, mix the coconut, milk & jaggery or sugar together and cook on a medium flame. Stir continuously until they are mixed properly. If you are using sugar the mixture will start to caramelize and bubble. Add the cashews and pistachios. Cook for another minute. Lastly ad the cardamom powder. Mix well. Let it cool. Set aside.
For the outer cover
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Boil 1 cup of water. When it has reached a steady boil, add ghee, salt and oil. Now immediately add the rice flour and stir quickly so as to remove all lumps. Cover with a lid for some time. Remove the lid & stir again & again, cover again.
Note : The dough should be neither too sticky nor too dry. Now remove pan from the heat. Take off all the mixture on a flat plate. Knead it thoroughly while hot. Make a soft dough. Keep covered aside.
Method to make modak
- It is best to make the modaks when the dough is slightly warm. Grease the palms of your hands well. Take a ball of dough. Flatten the dough to form a cup shape. Place about 3/4th teaspoon coconut filling into this cup. Dip thumb & index finger in the oil & make 5-6 small pinches side by side on the outside edges of the cup. Bring them together on top and join to form a peak. Your modak is complete. This should look like a whole garlic pod. Place the modak on a pre greased plate. Make the rest of the modaks. Place them on a pre-greased plate. Steam for about 15 minutes. Serve with ghee.
- 1 cup grated dry coconut
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch nutmeg powder
- 1 pinch dry ginger powder
- 4 elaichi
- 2 tsp maida
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 2 tbsp mixed dry fruit pieces
- 1 cup maida
- 1 tsp ghee (butter)
- salt (pinch)
- warm milk (for dough)
- In order to prepare Karanji, you will have to first prepare dough and then prepare the stuffing. Once you are done with both of them, you simply need to fill the stuffing and deep fry the Karanji.
- Mix 1 cup maida, 1 tbsp ghee, a pinch of salt and warm milk to prepare the dough, try to keep the dough a little hard.
- Roast dry coconut.
- Roast maida in ghee.
- Roast poppy seeds.
- Mix all the above ingredients and mill them finely.
- Roll small oval shaped puris from the hard dough.
- Now place the prepared stuffing in the middle of it.
- Stick both the corners of the puri by applying some water or milk so that it will seal properly. Remember not to apply too much of water as it will not seal properly.
- Deep fry it till it becomes brownish color.
- Serve it hot or cold as you wish.