Friday, May 25, 2007

Mahinabhar Maharashtrian Swaipak!

(Literal Translation: Maharashtrian cooking for a month!)

Regional Cuisines of India (RCI) is an event started by Lakshmik to feature cuisines from various states of India. Every month an Indian state is selected and bloggers are invited to try and post recipes for delicacies related to that state. This month is aapla “Maharashtra” :) and the RCI-Maharashtra is hosted by the versatile Nupur. Could there be a better opportunity for me to post most of the traditional Maharashtrian dishes that I know??? Conclusion: For a month from now, all my posts will be dedicated to Maharashtrian food! I’ll try to make these dishes in total Maharashtrian style, meaning everything original, no extra additions or modifications! Also expect Maharashtrian food as my entries for any other blog events in June :)

I am a proper Maharashtrian.. I am born in Nashik, brought up in Pune, aajol (grandmom’s place) is Dhule and my sasar (sasural/in laws) is near Solapur. Now don’t expect that I am an expert at cooking various dishes from each region. :D In Maharashtra, some ingredients and food qualities are typical to some region, but the well known dishes are prepared in same style in each region! The coastal regions of Maharashtra, called the Konkan area is famous for the sea food (esp fish), rice and coconut preparations. The Bombay side for junk food- chaats and snacks at chaupati.. Pune is famous for sweets from Chitale Bandhu and Lakshminarayan Chiwda.. and “Khawaiye Puneri” for their regular restaurant visits ;) Kolhapur is famous for their spicy Kolhapuri non veg dishes.. Nagpur for Varhadi non veg dishes and ofcourse the Haldiram products! :) These products helped me survive initially when I came here.:D And last, but not the least, Alphanso Mangoes from Ratnagiri and Konkan.. Yet to come here :(

Maharashtra is famous for its Ganesh Festival.. It is celebrated in Aug – Sept and lasts for 10 days.. The other important festivals celebrated in Maharashtra are Makar Sankranti, Holi and Diwali. Since festivals and foods go hand in hand, different festive foods are typicaaly associated with each festival. :) When it comes to food, (seriously) Maharashtrians are famous for “fasting/upwaas”.. On important fasting days like Mahashivratri, the fasting foods are feasts.. The fasting/upwaas food usually consists of sago, warai tandool(some type of rice), milk products, potatoes, dry fruits, groundnuts and fruits. If these are the pros of fasting, who won’t fast!! :D Normally a Maharashtrian meal consists of bread (poli/bhakri), a dry vegetable, a gravy vegetable, and rice and dal.. Chutneys, papads or pickles for accompaniment and desserts for some special occasions..

Maharashtra earns its economy mostly from the agriculture sector. Most people in Khandesh, Solapur and Vidharbha are farmers cultivating sugarcane, cotton, bajra, jowar, wheat, pulses, groundnuts and fruits like bananas, grapes and oranges. The booming IT industry is the other major economic sector. The state has a rich history of the Peshwas and the great Maratha warrior Shivaji in its name. The various forts and historic buildings in Maharashtra are an example of great architecture. There are about 175 forts in Maharashtra, the major ones being Murud Janjira, Pratapgad, Raigad, Rajgad, Sinhgad, Shivneri, Sindhudurg and Torna.

Coming to the major cities in Maharashtra and their attractions.. Bombay, the capital city, famous for the Bollywood film industry.. Pune, also called as “Oxford of East” for its reputed colleges and universities, is also famous for the booming software industry.. Nagpur, following the footsteps of Pune in IT industry, is known as the second capital of Maharashtra, is famous for its Orange cultivation.. Kolhapur, for its Mahalakshmi Temple and the world famous Kolhapuri chappals.. Heard lately that they were exported to Brussels and are sold at 100 euros a pair!! :O Nashik, the temple town, also has a mention in Ramayana.. Solapur, for its Solapuri chadar and the Siddheshwar temple.. Aurangabad, for the beautiful Ajanta Ellora caves and the mini Taj Mahal-“Biwi ka Makbara” and also the Himru shawls.. Not to forget the hill stations of Matheran and Mahabaleshwar.. And the ghats of Malshej, Lonavala and Khandala in rains.. And the beaches of Ganpatipule, Harihareshwar and Shrivardhan!

LOL, that seems too much to digest.. Seems as if I am writing an essay on “Majha Rashta- Maharashtra” :D Coming back to the topic of Maharashtrian food.. Stay tuned for a month full of Maharashtrian food! :)


Asha said...

What a great info.There is nothing left for me to write for RCI!!!;D
Loved it and looking forward to authentic Maratha food:))

Sia said...

very good write up arts...LOL @ essay on “Majha Rashta- Maharashtra” ;)
cant wait to see what u come up all this month for RCI:)

Richa said...

chaan intro dila ahes! pudhchya mahinyat nakkich tuzhaya ghari yaava lagel, tas pahila gele tar mazhi ya varshachi europe trip pending ahey, heh!heh!
good job!

Nupur said...

Aarti, I *love* you :) :) How sweet you are to be so enthusiatic about this event! I just can't wait to see your delicious "pangat"!

Suganya said...

Hay this is a great information. Looking forward for awesome Maharastrian food.

Sharmi said...

Dear Aarti, I am so glad that I found your blog. have to learn a lot about maharashtrian recipes before I participate in RCI for marathi cuisine. I loved to learn about the what all you have mentioned about Maharashtra. it was nice reading it. looking forward for your recipes.

Arts said...

Thanks gals.. And stay hooked! :D

Anonymous said...

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