MUMBAI IS OF COURSE THE CAPITAL CITY OF MAHARASHTRA, SO IT IS MANDATORY THAT THIS HERE "MUMBAI DINING CHALLENGE" GUIDE CONTAINS A SECTION ON MAHARASHTRAN FOOD. Each day, hundreds of economic refugees pour into Mumbai from the Maharashtran
hinterland. In fact, "Mumbai" is a Maharashtran word, and the decision to change the city's old colonial name of "Bombay" was a consequence of growing Maharthi influence in the city. So, the obvious question is: what is Maharathi or Maharashtran food like? While not as well known and hyped as Goan, Parsi or Gujarati cuisines, native Maharashtran food is not without its own charms. The cuisine includes subtly flavoured vegetarian delicacies and hot, aromatic meat and fish curries. Their crunchy, crisp sweets are made mostly from rice and jaggery. The exotic Konkani and Malwani cuisines also have their origins in the coastal parts of this region and are sea-food based.|
Like the other coastal states, there is an enormous variety of vegetables in the Maharathi diet and lots of fish and coconuts are used. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of dishes, but coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium. Peanuts and cashewnuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut oil is the main cooking medium. Another feature is the use of kokum, a
deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste. Kokum, most commonly used in an appetizer-digestive called the sol kadhi, is served chilled. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Special rice puris called vada and amboli, which is a pancake made of fermented rice, urad dal, and semolina, are also eaten as a part of the main meal.
Some Maharashtran joints you can check out whilst in Mumbai:
Opp. Sena Bhavan, Shivaji Park, Dadar (W).
This restaurant serves good veg food. Especially recommended are the upas, thalipeeth (authentic Maharashtrian bread, made of at least 10 ingredients such as rice, wheat, jowar, and pulses) and the sabudana vada. The pithla bahkri is also supposed to be good.
Read more Aaswad reviews.
Dattatray: Ranade-Gokhale Road Junction, Dadar (W).
Pure veg Maharashtran restaurant.
Diva Maharashtracha: As reviewed by Saffron Trail..
"You must have heard of Goa Portugesa and Culture Curry, two popular theme restaurants in Mumbai / Bombay. I believe these even have mention in the Lonely Planet's guide to the city of Bombay. Goa Portugesa as the name suggests specialised in Goan food and Culture curry serves up a melange from the South Indian states. I have been to neither. The restaurants are run by a couple, Dr. Suhas & Deepa Awchat. It was announced in the papers that their new and third restaurant Diva Maharashtracha -specializing in authentic Maharashtrian cuisine had a vegetarian food festival on for the month of Shravan, Sumanth and I decided to give it a go. Besides, we had never dined in an authentic Marathi restaurant, despite living in Bombay.
"After a heavy duty Sunday late afternoon workout in our gym, we felt we had earned ourself a good meal. Having made reservations, we landed there 15 minutes before time. All 3 restaurants are located next to each other near Hinduja Hospital or the Shivaji Park area in central Bombay.
"The outside is done up like a Maharashtrian fort, albeit a bit too shiny for a fort! After a short wait and a glass of complementary Kokum Sharbat, we were shown inside to the tunes of the traditional Peshwa style announcing trumpet. It was only later I realised that everytime someone opened the door, the recorded music played automatically, and after hearing the long drawn trumpet screech around 5 times, I was quite sick of that sound ;)
[Update: This instrument is called Tutari, credit to this enlightenment goes to our Maharashtrian friend, Kedar]..."
For the full review, click here.
Independence Cafe: Hill Road, Bandra(W).
A medium size eating joint with a fixed-price menu. Every item costs the same. Nice ambience due to the music and decor. Pretty cheap and good food and draught beer.
Kelkar Vishranti Gruha: On D. N. Road, near Victoria Terminus.
One of the few restaurants in Mumbai which serve Marathi food, Kelkar is well-known to all old Bombayites. Situated close to VT, it seems to draw the office crowd right off the road. Weekday lunch times are crowded, but the wait for a table is never very long.
The four page long menu bristles with all the usual South Indian snacks. It's quite a job to avoid them and go for the real thing. skip the Sabudana Usal and the Kanda Thalipith because they are not South Indian or Gujarati thalis. The Srikhand is made in the house, and quite nicely. The food is good, different, and worth trying out; specially if you haven't had much of Marathi food.
Konkan Kinara: Padmavati Apartment 110-112, T. H. Kataria Marg, Mahim. Phone: 2437 8399.
One good place where you can try the exotic Konkani variant of Maharashtran cuisine. Also serves Mughlai dishes.
Viva Paschim: Worli Naka.
Specializes in the cuisines of Maharashtra, with some of the dishes including spiced Karwar oysters, red hot Kolhapuri tambda meats, Janjira crabs, bajra bhakris, to be eaten with raw onions crushed under the fist, and gode mutton. The cuisine of this restaurant is said to represent the whole western stretch of Maharashtra State, including Nagpur and Aurangabad. The restaurant is decorated with a range of ambient artworks including Warli tribal pieces, masks, pots and pans and a Yantra motif from the Ambavati Temple. At the entrance there are footprints supposedly left behind by the Goddess Laxmi. There is also a cultural show for people who enjoy that kind of thing.
Some other Marathi restaurants you can explore:
Anantashram: Khotachi Wadi.
Aram Milk Bar: Opposite VT Station.
Atmaramachi Khanawal: Benham Hall Lane.
Gomantak: Dadar near Plaza Cinema.
Govindashram: near Grant Road Station.
Mamakane: Dadar Station.
Panshikar's: Near Dadar West railway station.
Prakash: Benham Hall Lane towards C P Tank.
Tripti: Near Shivaji Mandir.
Virkar Ahaar Bhuvan: Girgaum.
Want to recommend a good place for Marathi food in Mumbai or elsewhere in India?
Contact the author Rob Sullivan at email@example.com. Anticopyright February 2008.