Falling in love with Maharashtrian cuisine

Kanda Bhajji (Onion pakodas) served with hot garlic chutney at the Chiplun Bus Stand canteen.
Kanda Bhajji (Onion pakodas) served with hot garlic chutney at the Chiplun Bus Stand canteen.
Two tasty vada pavs for Rs 10? Yes, that is what I got in the passenger train from Chiplun to Khed.
Two tasty vada pavs for Rs 10? Yes, that is what I got in the passenger train from Chiplun to Khed.

It sounds strange, but inspite of being Maharashtrian, I hated Maharashtrian food as a child. I used to think my mom is making up names of dishes and trying to get us to eat tasteless stuff. At that time, food qualified as items which my classmates would bring in tiffin… nothing else.

But now, my vote for comfort food goes to Maharashtrian cuisine only. On a recent trip to Maharashtra, Mumbai and Konkan area to be specific, I had a chance to enjoy simple and nutritious vegetarian food, which was absolutely delicious. In north Indian cities, 70% of the menu at a vegetarian restaurant would be dominated by Paneer (cottage cheese) dishes. Which was why here it was so refreshing to see veg restaurants with NO PANEER at all.

They would serve stuff like kanda bhajji ( in pic), thaalipeeth, upma, solkadhi (which is a coconut milk-based drink), poha, usal, pakodas, vada pav, dosa, idli sambhar, misal pav, kacchi dabeli, Kolhapuri veggies etc. They add coconut and a pinch of sugar into almost everything they cook. And it tastes awesome. So if you are in that state, try out the local food, instead of searching for burgers and pizzas.

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