Maharashtra cuisine is popularly known all around the world for its exceptional taste and flavour. However, if you delve into the state’s history of food, you’ll find several antique dishes brought by some of the oldest communities residing in the state. In this article, we’ll read about the five popular dishes from the five oldest communities that are a must in the monsoon.
Among all the cuisines of India, Maharashtra cuisine is the most popular and has existed for centuries. Maharashtrian cuisine is a vibrant and diverse culinary treasure that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the region. Renowned for its robust flavours, aromatic spices, and perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy elements, Maharashtrian food offers a delightful experience for the taste buds.
Although we know the basics of vada pav and pav bhaji, several ancient Maharashtrian foods are steeped in history and tradition. Rooted in simplicity and emphasizing the use of locally sourced ingredients, this traditional cuisine offers a unique blend of flavours that have stood the test of time. Meanwhile, with the monsoon setting in, there are several traditional Maharashtrian dishes hailing from different communities.
We have collated some of the tastiest seasonal monsoon recipes from five micro-communities that are indigenous to the state. Take a look at them:
Ratalyacha Kees By The CKP
Residing on the coastline of Maharashtra, this Marathi-speaking community is one of Mumbai’s oldest residents. A popular monsoon recipe among the Chaandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus, or CKPs, is the Ratalyacha Kees. This dish is made of sweet potatoes and prepared with simple yet flavourful spices. It is a type of upma and can be served with curd and a slice of lemon.
It can be readily consumed during fasts.
Alu Wadi By The Pathare Prabhu
The Pathare Prabhu is one of the oldest communities residing in Maharashtra. The community is popular for its traditional coastal meat recipes. However, we are fans of alu wadi, which can be considered the perfect monsoon snack. It is made up of chana mix, which is rolled up in taro leaves and then fried. The snack is served with a generous amount of tamarind pulp. You can pair it with Mumbai’s popular cutting chai.
Foogath By The East Indian Community
The native Christians of Mumbai make up the East Indian community. They are known to be the first settlers in the state, whose cuisine comprises a comprehensive repertoire of flavours that often overlap with those of the Goan community. Although their cuisines have similarities, they differ in terms of nuances. Foogath is one such cabbage stir-fry dish made of grated cabbage, coconut, and other ingredients like curry leaves, sliced onions, garlic, and green chillies. It can be accompanied by Goan fish curry and rice or simple steamed rice mixed with yoghurt as well.
Vindaloo By The Goan Community
Vindaloo is a perfect recipe for the monsoon as it is made with robust flavours of chilli, spices, tamarind, and more. Vindaloo is a fiery Indian curry dish with Portuguese influence that originated in Goa.
Generally made with pork, The Goan Catholic community in Mumbai prepares it with a medley of spices and ingredients like red chilli, jeera, khus khus, tamarind, and jaggery. It is usually served with Basmati Rice, Butter Naan, Paratha, Cumin Rice, pav buns, and more.
Bombil Bhujna By The Koli
The Kolis are one of the oldest natives of Mumbai. They are known for their love for coastal delicacies, particularly fried fish and prawns, and their iconic Bombil Bhujna, also known as Bombay duck gravy. If you’re looking for something spicy, then this dish will satiate your taste buds. It is a dish made with dried Bombay duck, onions, tomatoes, and spices.
The dish can be made ahead of time and reheated, but it is best served fresh. The dish will keep for up to 3 days. Bombil bhujna should be cooked thoroughly, as Bombay duck is an oily fish and can contain harmful bacteria if not cooked properly. It is typically served with rice, but it can also be eaten as a snack or side dish. Some popular accompaniments for bombil bhujna include chapatis, steamed rice, sambal, and onion salad.