The cuisine from Maharashtra, the second largest state in our country shows quite a bit of diversity across the various regions such as Marathwada, Vidarbha, Khandesh, and Malwan. The ingredients and the cooking styles are quite varied, with the coastal regions using a lot of coconut in their curries and abundant seafood as well. Khandesh, on the other hand, the recipes are spicier, while Vidarbha has niche preparations such as the Saoji curries from the Halba Koshti community, and so on. “The Maratha Swaad", the ongoing Maharashtrian Food Festival at Feast, the all-day dining restaurant of Sheraton Hotel Hyderabad presents traditional recipes from a cross-section of the state, taking care to highlight the authenticity and diversity of the rich cuisine.
On until July 27th, the promotion presents a range of snacks such as the redoubtable Vada Pav and Misal Pav, and popular offerings such as Kothimbir Vadi, Sabudana Vada and Kanda Bhajji. Fish Fry and Mutton Sukka are some of the treats for the non-vegetarians.
The festival also scores with its authentic curries served with the ghee laden chapatis or polis. Apart from the comfort combination of Dal Varan with Masala Bhat, Bharli Wangi - the brinjal preparation and the Nagpur Saoji Mutton Curry are part of the menu which changes every day during the festival. Coconut Laddu, Puran Poli and Modak are among the Marathi desserts showcased.
Here are some of my picks from the dishes served in this festival:
A complete snack all by itself, Misal Pav has a curry of moth beans topped by farsan and served with Maharashtrian Pav. The recipe differs from Pune to Nashik or Kolhapur, with bread used instead of pav, and the lentils in the curry and the composition of masala changing from place to place.
The fish is marinated in a spicy red masala and Tawa fried. A signature of the fisher folks from the state, this is one preparation which should not be missed out.
One of the most popular vegetarian dishes from Maharashtra, the stuffed brinjal is prepared in a spicy gravy. This is one of the best dishes I tried at the festival.
Kombdi means “chicken” in Marathi. The chicken curry from rural Maharashtra, with dry coconut and garam masala and a little red oil floating on top forms a formidable tag team with both rice and chapatis.
If you are non-vegetarian and visiting Nagpur, this dark curry from the city is a must-try. The special Saoji masala gives a fiery taste to the curry. At this festival, I found that the spices have been toned down a bit.
The coconut-stuffed dumpling Modak, a favourite of Lord Ganesha, has many variants with different stuffings and shape. Over the few days of the festival, one can enjoy a few varieties of this popular sweet from Maharashtra.
“The Maratha Swaad" food promotion is on until 27th July at Feast, the all-day dining restaurant of Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel at Gachibowli.
A passionate food and travel enthusiast, Sabyasachi is quite popular in the food and beverages circles of Hyderabad, the city he has made his home for the last twenty-five years. As a much-travelled sales person, Sabyasachi has been exposed to many international cuisines as well as regional food from remote corners of India. He blogs about his food and travel experiences at Foodaholix, and is a frequent contributor of food-related articles to the print media.