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Maharashtra ka khana

Many, many years ago, while I was still in school, summer vacations meant time to travel (just like it is with school-goers today!). One such vacation was spent travelling to a few places in Maharashtra. While my parents tried their best to get my attention to the architectural marvels and buildings, I was fascinated by the food.

While reminiscing the ‘good ol’ times’, the conversation veered in the direction of delicious, finger-licking food! ‘Vada pav’, ‘bhel puri’, ‘puran poli’, ‘amrakhand’, ‘shrikhand’ to name a few well-known ones and then I was reminded about the wholesome, healthy meals eaten in Maharashtrian homes every single day, which the rest of the world knows very little about. Maybe, there is something that our readers were missing out on.

Remembering my summer vacation and the lovely food I feasted on,  I decided that it was time to spread the word about the cuisine from this wonderful land and enlighten our readers that there is more to this land’s food than just simply the ‘Vada-pav’ and ‘Pav bhaji’! This post is a homage to the earthy ingredients, the flavours, the spices, and the aromas…So, read away and then head to the kitchen to re-create!

Let’s start with the most amazing wholesome flour mix – The Thalipeeth Bhajani that comes with a promise to energise you at all times!  Use this to make ‘Thalipeeth’ (a flat bread), ‘alu vadi’ or even crackers;  then you have a choice of Jowar, Ragi, Bajra, a multitude of different  dals and rice variations, coriander and cumin. Choose what takes your fancy (and follow the instructions, I certainly did!) Ready to make yours?

Energising and Nourishing flour & grain mix by Archana's Kitchen

Energising and Nourishing flour & grain mix, thanks to  Archana’s Kitchen

From the flour mix to the delicious Thaalipeeth:

Nutricious, wholesome Thalipeeth - for times when 'hunger strikes'

Mahashtra stamped – Nutricious, wholesome Thalipeeth – for times when ‘hunger strikes’ via Tarla Dalal

The perfect flatbread aka 'bajra roti' thanks to Ashwini Chavan

The perfect flatbread aka ‘Bajra Bhakri ‘or ‘roti’ thanks to Ashwini Chavan

Have you tried the Bhakri with the delicious Zunka? Zunka, another delicacy from Maharashtra is made of ‘besan’ or ‘gram flour’ and tempered with a range of spices and condiments. Have a go with this combination – Zunka, bhakri, garlic chutney and an onion! It is total explosion of flavours in the mouth. Here’s how to make it:

Delicious and rustic - The maharashtrian Zunka made with gram flour

Delicious and rustic maharashtra-ka-khana – The maharashtrian Zunka  via Naina from Spice in the city

With the healthy bhakris (rotis) thalipeeth and the spicy Zunka, it is time for the most refreshing drink ever! My favourite ‘chaas’ aka buttermilk…

Refreshing, flavoursome, lightly spiced yoghurt (or buttermilk) drink; thanks to Maria of FlavoursofMumbai

Refreshing, flavoursome, lightly spiced yoghurt  drink; thanks to Maria of Flavours of Mumbai

There is a range of delicious food in Maharashtra, from the Solkadhi, Amti, Pithale, Usal to Dalimbay bhaat and Fanas (jackfruit) bhaaji. While I am not attempting to put all these recipes together, Nupur from Onehotstove already did – a collection of Maharashtrian dishes. So, do have a browse and try some at home. Thanks Nupur!

Now, onto some of my all time favourite snacks.  Introducing the ‘Misal pav‘, a healthy, tasty, high-protein sprout-based curry…have it with or without the ‘pav’…gluten-free folks, are you listening?

Spicy, tasty sprout curry; a 'Misal pav' thanks to Pratibha of Thechefandherkitchen

Spicy, tasty sprout curry; a ‘Misal pav’ thanks to Pratibha of The chef and her kitchen

The Vada Pav

The Quintessential Vada Pav via

The Quintessential Vada Pav via

Mouth-watering, delicious, scrummy Kothimbir Vadi or Cilantro Croquettes via Naina from Spice in the City

Mouth-watering, scrummy Kothimbir Vadi or Cilantro Croquettes via Naina from Spice in the City

With an almost full tummy and just a little space left in the sweet compartment, what is it going to be? Amrakhand, Ganesha’s favourite Modak, Chiroti, a little nibble of Puran Poli or Gul Poli, Basundi or the good ol’ Chikki.

The flaky Chiroti - made with a combination of Rawa and Maida via

The flaky Chiroti – made with a combination of Rawa and Maida via

Amrakhand - the mango and saffron twist to Shrikhand via

Amrakhand – the mango and saffron twist to Shrikhand via

Sweet, milky, 'Basundi' flavoured with nuts; thanks to Neha of WhiskAffair

Sweet, milky, ‘Basundi‘ flavoured with nuts; thanks to Neha of WhiskAffair

So, what do you think? Have I got you into the experimenting mode? I certainly got roasting grains and lentils to make my first ever Thalipeeth. It was delicious!

So, a big thank you to all the wonderful food bloggers who tirelessly slave over the stove, take amazingly appetising pictures and then go on and write beautiful food stories, so that people like you and me can get motivated to light a fire and feed hungry humans in our own ‘rasoi’…

Thank you and let’s all keep cooking!

Shilpa xx

Cover image via

1, 2 – Veg recipes of India and 3 -Dishes from my Kitchen