8 Popular Bhakri-Bhaji Combos From Maharashtra
Image Credit: Madhura's Kitchen

Bhakri, made from millets like ragi, jowar, bajra is a complex carbohydrate that is as nourishing as it is wholesome. In Maharashtrian cuisine, bhakri is made regularly as a flatbread served with vegetables and curries and relished with non-vegetarian delicacies. In fact, bhaji bhakri is a staple in most rural areas where lunch comprises of a vegetable paired with this large round flatbread and a chunk of onion. Bhakri has a low glycaemic index, which means it can give energy without causing an insulin uptick. In villages and fields, a bhakri-bhaji lunch is a perfectly simple pick-me-up meal for farmers and peasants who feel energised to take on the rest of the day without feeling too drowsy.

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A traditional, classic Maharashtrian thali is then incomplete without mentioning the bhaji-bhakri. This meal is often served with thecha, or a spicy, dry concoction made from red and green chillies as well as a legume that adds a bit of gravy into the dry dish. Different bhakris accompany different kinds of vegetables and there are some combos which are too delicious to miss. Some dishes have become popular overtime especially for their pairing with bhakri. A warm bhakri lathered in ghee or freshly churned butter accompanied by a spicy vegetable is a meal that satiates taste buds. Read on below for some bhaji-bhakri combos popular in this region:

Bharla Vanga-Bhakri

This is a classic pairing involving a small, stuffed brinjal served with jowar bhakri. The spicy brinjal is made by adding garam masala, coconut, chilli powder and chopped onions to a stuffing that is inserted into cuts made in the purple vegetable. Served with curd and thecha, this is a classic Maharashtrian thali meal.

Baingan Bharta-Bhakri

Another variant of the brinjal vegetable is the baingan bharta, or smashed baingan cooked in a tempering of mustard, onions and curry leaves. It is served with warm, jowar bhakri and a piece of chilli. The sweetness of the brinjal dish accompanied by the earthy flavours of millet flatbread and a bite of chilli make for a flavourful lunch plate.

Mutton Sukkha-Tandul Bhakri

This is another classic pairing enjoyed across many regions in Maharashtra. Mutton sukkha or a dry mutton subzi is paired with soft tandul or rice flour bhakri whose mild flavours bring forth the spiciness and meaty flavours of the mutton dish. Served with tambda and pandhra rassa, this thali is too good to resist.

Methichi Bhaji-Jwari Bhakri

Fenugreek or methi subzi is made in many a household in this region in a tempering of dried red chillies and some crushed garlic. It pairs splendidly with a warm jowar bhakri especially when it is made into a paste-like consistency. Have methichi bhaji and bhakri with a dollop of freshly churned butter for maximum flavour.

Chicken Masala-Tandul Bhakri

Another non-vegetarian delight that is hard to miss is the combination of chicken masala and rice flour bhakri. This variant of the bhakri renders itself beautifully to dishes that are packed with spice and heat. Spicy chicken masala or semi-dry chicken gravy cooked in garam masala or kala masala can be enjoyed best with tandul bhakri.


Pithla has a slightly liquid consistency, almost akin to a gravy and is classically paired with jowar bhakri. Pithla-bhakri is a Maharashtrian specialty, in fact, paired with red chilli thecha and some ghee along with fried papad or kurdai, it makes for a complete meal that is sheer soul food.


This variant of the pithla is dry and served in chunks of besan flour cooked in a tempering of mustard, curry leaves and onion. Zunka tastes best when paired with jowar bhakri and green chilli thecha. Zunka-bhakri is a traditional combination of foods that promotes an intake of proteins and complex carbohydrates ladled on the plate.

Sev-Tomato Bhaji-Bhakri

A Khandeshi dish, sev bhaji made in tomato gravy tastes delicious with bhakri. It is enjoyed as much with chapati but the slightly sweet, earthy and coarse flavours of the jowar-bajra mix bhakri blend well with the spicy masala of the sev bhaji, making this a delicious pairing for lunch.