25 Well-known Maharashtrian Dishes and Foods

Maharashtrian dishes are a diverse blend of mild to spicy dishes, rich in grains, legumes, and distinctive vegetarian and seafood flavors.

Lastest Updated April 21, 2024
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Basic Information

Maharashtrian Food: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Vegetables, rice, nuts, fish, potatoes.

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, Sauteing, Deep-frying, Roasting, Simmering, Assembling, Steaming, Baking, Pan-frying


Main course, dessert, appetizer


Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Key Taste

Savory, Sweet, Sour, Salty, Neutral

Eating Etiquette

Eating with hands is common for many dishes, especially those involving breads like pav, chapati, and puri.

Meal Presentation

Meals often presented in a thali (platter) for full meals, or on plates/bowls for individual dishes. Snacks may be served on small plates or paper wrappers.

Culinary Festivals

Makar Sankrant, Mahashivratri, Holi, Gudi Padwa, Diwali, Christmas

Influence and Fusion

British, Persian, and Middle Eastern cuisines
Origin and Region

Maharashtrian Food: Origin and Region


Maharashtra, a state in India

Cuisine’s Geographical Territory

South Asia
Maharashtra Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of Maharashtrian Food

  • Snacks

    In Maharashtrian cuisine, snacks are a vital component, offering a wide array of flavors from savory to sweet.

    These light, often quick-to-prepare items are consumed between meals.

  • Bread and doughs

    These dishes encompass a variety of staple foods in Maharashtrian meals, made from wheat or other grain flour.

    They range from soft, fluffy bread to thin, crispy flatbreads, serving as the perfect accompaniment to curries and other dishes.

  • Curries

    Maharashtrian curries are known for their rich and spicy flavor profile, created using a complex blend of spices and herbs.

    These dishes can be vegetable-based or include meats and legumes, often enjoyed with rice or bread.

  • Rice Dishes

    Rice dishes in Maharashtrian cuisine employ a wide range of spices and ingredients.

    This results in a diverse flavor and texture.

Maharashtrian dishes are the culinary creations of Maharashtra, an Indian state located in the western region of the country.

Their staple meals are generally Lacto-vegetarian and emphasize the use of grains, legumes, and vegetables. Moreover, the cuisine is heavily influenced by the state’s coastal location and the use of local ingredients.

Still, some Maharashtrian dishes include meat like chicken and goat. They also use many kinds of spices in their dishes, with flavors ranging from mild to spicy.

Similar to various iconic delights of India, you can find a variety of chutneys and pickles paired with dishes to enhance the overall flavor. Besides the spicy flavor, many delights in this cuisine also have a tangy taste due to the appearance of tamarind, kokum, and other souring agents.

Seafood and meat preparations are prominent in coastal and urban areas, respectively, while traditional vegetarian fare dominates rural and Brahmin communities.

To know more about Maharashtrian specialties, you should uncover how these dishes are traditionally served and find out the utensils used in the cooking process.

Maharashtrian food comes in a diverse range of dishes, influenced by its geography, history, and the communities that call it home. Here’s an overview of what makes Maharashtrian food so unique and cherished.

  • Wide Flavor Spectrum: The cuisine encompasses a broad range of flavors, from fiery to tangy and sweet, reflecting the diverse agricultural produce and regional preferences.
  • Coastal Influence: With a long coastline, seafood plays a significant role in the culinary traditions of coastal regions, incorporating fresh catches prepared with local spices.
  • Staple Ingredients: Staples include a variety of grains, legumes, and vegetables, forming the basis of daily meals across the state.
  • Distinct Spices: Unique spice blends contribute deep flavors and aromas, distinguishing Maharashtrian dishes from other Indian cuisines.
  • Diversity in Diet: Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are abundant, catering to the diverse dietary practices and traditions of its people.

Then, let’s explore how these dishes are popularized across the world, giving you more understanding of the Maharashtrian specialties.

Maharashtrian dishes have found a foothold in the UK, where Vada Pav stands shoulder to shoulder with traditional street foods. Its spicy allure captivates the local palate, introducing a taste of Maharashtra’s streets.

In the UAE, Maharashtrian thalis cater to a diverse expatriate community, offering a slice of home amidst the desert.

The US, particularly in areas like New Jersey and California, boasts restaurants dedicated to Maharashtrian dishes. Australia’s culinary scene, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, embraces Maharashtrian cuisine at food festivals.

The unique spices and flavors stand out, drawing food enthusiasts closer to India’s culinary heritage, while these dishes also come with a healthy aspect to uncover.

There are many reasons behind the health reasons of Maharastrian specialties. Here are some features you should know:

  • Diverse Ingredients: Utilizes a wide range of grains, legumes, vegetables, and dairy products, offering a balanced diet.
  • Less Meat, More Vegetables: Traditionally includes mild to spicy dishes with a focus on vegetables and lentils, reducing saturated fat intake.
  • Whole Grains: Emphasizes whole grains like jowar (sorghum), bajri (pearl millet), and rice, which are high in fiber.
  • Nut Use: Incorporates peanuts and cashews, providing healthy fats and proteins.
  • Moderation in Spices: Uses a unique combination of spices and ingredients that can aid digestion and enhance metabolism.

Now, it’s time for you to learn about Maharashtra’s offerings through these 25 intriguing specialties.

25 Popular Maharashtrian Dishes

Get to know the tasty Maharashtrian culinary creations and make sure to use the filter system to see these dishes by their alphabetical orders, flavor, ingredients, dish types, cooking methods, and popularity around the world.

Furthermore, there are some great categories of dishes just for you, including the most popular, traditional, street offerings, and fusion options:

  • Emblematic of Maharashtra’s culinary identity, these dishes are celebrated both within the state and beyond.
  • They are characterized by their widespread appeal, frequently featured in restaurants and homes, and are a point of pride among Maharashtrians.
  • Rooted in the state’s diverse geography, from the coast to the Deccan plateau, these dishes reflect the local flora, fauna, and the historical influences of various dynasties and cultures.
  • Prepared during festivals, religious ceremonies, and special occasions, they are integral to the cultural fabric of Maharashtra, showcasing the state’s rich culinary diversity.
  • Quick to prepare and serve, these dishes are a testament to the fast-paced life of Maharashtra’s urban centers, offering a taste of the state’s culinary richness to people from all walks of life.
  • Often enjoyed on the go, they provide a snapshot of the state’s dynamic food culture, incorporating local ingredients and flavors into every bite.
  • These dishes represent the innovative spirit of Maharashtrian cuisine, where traditional recipes are reimagined with global influences, catering to a modern palate while preserving the essence of the original flavors.
  • Fusion cuisine in Maharashtra is a reflection of its cosmopolitan cities, where culinary experimentation and global trends meet local traditions, resulting in unique and contemporary dining experiences.
Misal Pav

Misal Pav

  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Misal pav is a curry in Maharashtrian, often served as a breakfast item. This food has 2 main parts, including spicy curry made of moth beans (misal) and an Indian bread kind (pav), topped with farsan (a mix of fried savory snacks), chopped onions, lemon, and cilantro.

Spicy and tangy are prominent flavors of this mix, with the misal pav version of Kolhapur having an intense spicy taste.

In case you’d like to serve it as part of a hearty meal, it’s best to pair misal pav with a refreshing drink like buttermilk (chaas).

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Pav bhaji is a food that originated in the mid-19th century in Mumbai (then called Bombay) in the state of Maharashtra. It was created as a quick and affordable meal for textile mill workers, who needed a fast, filling, and nutritious meal during their short breaks.

The dish became a popular street food and is now enjoyed all over India. The meal mainly consists of pav bhaji with mixed vegetables (e.g., potatoes, tomatoes, peas, cauliflower, and bell peppers) and a blend of spices (including pav bhaji masala).

The vegetables are cooked and mashed together to create a thick, spicy curry with chunkiness from the vegetables. They are best enjoyed with pav bread.

Ragda Pattice

Ragda Pattice

  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Ragda pattice is a popular street food from Maharashtra, India, consisting of crispy potato patties (pattice) topped with a spicy white pea curry (ragda) and various chutneys, yogurt, sev, onion, tomato, and spices.

It is a delicious and filling snack that has a mix of sweet, sour, spicy, and tangy flavors. The dish often comes in two parts, featuring the ragda (gravy) and potato patties.

Bharli Vangi

Bharli Vangi

  • Traditional

Bharli Vangi is a staple in Maharashtrian cuisine, where small eggplants are stuffed with a mixture of coconut, jaggery, and onions. This eggplant creation is a perfect blend of sweet and savory tastes.

Essential to any local lunch, this vegetarian specialty is celebrated across households and at festive occasions like weddings. Best enjoyed hot, bharli vangi is traditionally served with steamed rice, chapatis, or Boondi Raita.

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi

  • Traditional

Sabudana khichdi is a traditional Indian dish of Maharashtrian made from soaked tapioca pearls and roasted peanuts, often garnished with grated coconut and lemon juice for added flavor.

This mildly spiced dish is known for its unique texture that combines soft, chewy tapioca pearls with crispy potatoes and peanuts. It is especially popular during fasting seasons like Shivratri, Navratri, or Ekadashi.

Sabudana khichdi is widely enjoyed across several Indian states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, and is linked to efforts by King Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma of Travancore in the 19th century.

Vada Paav

Vada Pav

  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Vada Pav, or Bombay burger, is a beloved plant-based snack of Maharashtrian cuisine. This enticing street food features a deep-fried potato dumpling tucked inside a soft bread bun, accompanied by various chutneys and a side of chili pepper for an added flavor kick.

Originating from the streets of Maharashtra and popular across India, vada pav owes its inception to Ashok Vaidya, a Mumbaikar who in 1966 crafted the first Vada Pav to serve the needs of textile workers seeking an affordable yet fulfilling meal.

For your information, August 23rd is celebrated as World Vada Pav Day.

Bhaji Rassa

Rassa Bhaji

  • Traditional

Rassa bhaji is an Indian curry from Kolhapur of Maharashtrian, prepared using various proteins, such as mutton, lamb, fish, chicken, or seafood.

The name “rassa bhaji” translates to “watery curry,” referring to its thin consistency. The curry has many different variants, like matnacha rassa, for instance, is a fiery mutton-based curry, celebrated for its bold, spicy taste.

In contrast, pandhra rassa is a milder white curry, with yogurt as a key ingredient, providing a tangy, creamy flavor.

Pithla Bhakar

Pithla Bhakri

  • Traditional

Pithla bhakri, aka jhunka bhakri, is a specialty of Maharashtrian cuisine, with the locals calling it “Farmer’s meal” because it is an incredibly fulfilling and nourishing dish after a long and tiring working day in the fields.

It is a kind of creamy porridge made from gram flour (besan) that goes by the name chun in Maharashtrian.

The population often eats watery, liquid-like versions of this dish with rice, while semi-liquid and dried versions are combined with roti or bhakri (a round and flat unleavened bread).

Aamti Dal Yellow


  • Traditional

Aamti is a Maharashtrian curry featuring yellow lentils, such as toor dal or split pigeon peas, as its main ingredient. Other components even come with tamarind or kokum for tanginess and jaggery for a hint of sweetness.

The texture of aamti is smooth and moderately thick, with the cooked and mashed lentils. Aamti is typically served as a part of a Maharashtrian meal, often accompanying steamed rice or roti.

Bhelpuri Puffed Rice And Vegetables


  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Bhelpuri is a popular Indian snack, widely available throughout Maharashtra’s streets. As a distinctive type of chaat, it is especially sought after by tourists visiting Mumbai’s beaches like Juhu and Chowpatty.

The snack’s irresistible mix of crunchy puffed rice, refreshing vegetables, and tangy tamarind sauce creates a delightful crunch.

Poha Flattened Rice


  • Traditional

Poha is a delightful Maharashtrian dish made from flattened rice that hails from the south of the Indian subcontinent. It is an invention of people in Maharashtra by the Kellogg brothers in the 1890s.

These rice grains offer a yellow hue and exquisite taste since they include various spices, such as turmeric, fried mustard seeds, onions, curry leaves, and more.

The dish has a soft and slightly moist texture due to the soaked flattened rice flakes. Poha is best served hot, and often enjoyed as a breakfast or snack.

Bombay Duck


  • Traditional

Bombil, also known as Bombay duck, is a popular local fish found in the coastal areas of Maharashtra state. Interestingly, the dish does not have a duck, as its name might suggest.

Bombil is typically savored with butter, onions, and lime juice, especially favored during the rainy season. The name “Bombay Duck” came into being when it was transported by a mail train called Bombay Daak, its intense smell inspiring the phrase “.

Aluvadi Steamed Colocasia Leaves


  • Traditional

Aluvadi, or patra, is a must-try snack in Maharashtra, crafted from colocasia leaves and enhanced with coriander leaves. The snack’s unique rolled structure is hinted at in its name, where ‘patra’ signifies leaves and ‘vadi’ means dumpling in Sanskrit.

Aluvadi has gained popularity across various regions of India. In July 2021, it was officially recognized as a traditional culinary recipe by the AYUSH System.

Bombay Biryani

Bombay Biryani

  • Fusion
  • Traditional

Bombay biryani, or Mumbai biryani, is a rice variant of biryani distinguishing itself with a special blend of spices and a hint of sweetness from dried fruits like plums.

Made using fragrant basmati rice, the rice comes with potatoes, meat (typically chicken, lamb, or mutton), and a selection of spices all served in one pot.

The meat, marinated in yogurt and spices, is layered with partially cooked rice, then slow-cooked to perfection, allowing the flavors to deeply infuse. It is commonly accompanied by raita or a simple salad.

Steamed Modak


  • Traditional

Modak is a renowned sweet dumpling from Maharashtra, India. This delightful treat encases a sweet filling of coconut and jaggery within a shell made from rice or wheat flour.

Available in fried and steamed varieties, the steamed version is particularly popular and traditionally consumed with ghee. Characterized by its unique shape, resembling a plump teardrop or an inverted conical pyramid, modak is distinguished by a pleated or fluted pattern along its edges, culminating in a peak at the top.

Popular in Hinduism as a beloved food of Lord Ganesha, modak holds a special place in religious and festive celebrations, commonly offered to the deity during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Basundi Rabri


  • Traditional

Basundi is a sweet dessert in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and many other areas across India. This vibrant treat is made by simmering milk on low heat for an extended period until it thickens and reduces in volume.

The Maharashtrians usually make it during Hindu festivals like Bhaubeej and Kali Chaudas.

The dish even comes with sitaphal basundi, a version with custard apples. Meanwhile, angoor basundi is mixed with sweet, ball-shaped, or cheese-filled dumplings.

Shakarpara Indian Fried Cookies


  • Traditional

Shakarpara are excellent fried cookies originating from a similar Persian snack called shekarpareh. Maharashtrians also call it meethi nimki, with the treat boasting various flavors ranging from sweet or spicy to salty flavors.

The alluring aroma and crunchy texture of shakarpara are achieved by combining sugar, maida (refined wheat flour), semolina, and ghee before frying.

The result is a wonderful snack that becomes an indispensable part of various festive occasions in Maharashtra, such as Holi and Diwali.

Bhakarwadi Indian


  • Traditional

Bhakarwadi is deep-fried gram flour that produces a crisp treat with a filling of coconut, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds. Gujarat and Maharashtra are the first places to witness the appearance of bhakarwadi.

People made the first bhakarwadi by rolling the flatbread bhakri with the filling (wadi), then frying and cutting it into slices.

Shrikhand Indian


  • Traditional

Shrikhand is a traditional Indian sweet dish in Maharashtrian made from strained yogurt, which is also known as “hung curd” or “chakka”.

Aside from the strained yogurt, additives like sugar, flavorings (e.g., saffron, cardamom, and sometimes nutmeg), and chopped nuts are crucial in diversifying the flavors. In India, you can easily find it in thali (platter) or with puris (wheat bread).

Generally, it is a sweet and velvety dish that you can enjoy as a dessert after each main meal. It is also a popular food in the state of Gujarat, as well as in parts of Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Puran Poli

Puran Poli

  • Traditional

Puran poli is a sweet flatbread of Maharashtrian cuisine, combining jaggery (gur), plain flour, yellow gram (chana), ghee, and cardamom powder.

This incredible Indian bread is an indispensable part of special occasions in Maharashtra. In particular, Maharashtrians make it a lot during Holi because it is a gift for the gods.

The flatbread goes well with Paal Payasam and feasts in Kerala. Southern India is the birthplace of this sweet flatbread.

Indian Chapati


  • Traditional

Chapati is a flatbread that is commonly eaten as a staple food in many parts of India, including Maharashtra. Today, the main ingredients in chapati are wheat flour and water.

Often, the dough is typically kneaded by hand and rolled out into thin circles, then cooked on a tawa. These flatbreads offer a mild flavor with a soft and pliable texture and a slight chewiness.

There are many different varieties of chapati in different Indian cuisines. In Maharashtra, chapati is often eaten with a variety of vegetable dishes and lentil curries.

Puri Poori


  • Traditional

Puri, also known as poori, is a deep-fried bread popular in Maharashtra. Similar to other flatbreads, the key ingredients in puri include wheat flour, water, and a bit of salt.

These fried treats have a slightly nutty flavor, a crispy and flaky texture on the outside, and a slightly softer inside. As a deep-fried dish, puri comes with a crunchy profile and a hollow inside.

Puris are often served with savory dishes like curries and vegetables, or even sweet dishes like halwa. They are popular during festive occasions and special meals.

Thalipeeth Type


  • Traditional

Thalipeeth is an iconic food of Maharashtra state, containing grain flour and different vegetables. Maharashtrians often eat it with ghee and yogurt.

Moreover, Thalipeeth has a somewhat coarse and grainy texture. People in Maharashtra regularly use tapioca and rajgira to make the batter for this flatbread during the fasting days of Hindus.

It is good to enjoy it with chutney for breakfast, dinner, or snacks.



  • Traditional

Jhunka is a type of savory mixed dish of Maharashtra, made using gram flour and water. It is a traditional dish from the western and southern parts of India, especially Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa.

Known by different names, such as zunka, pithla, or chun, jhunka is cooked with oil and spices, such as green chilies, turmeric, mustard seeds, and coriander leaves. The mixture is a simple and nutritious dish often eaten with flatbread, such as bhakri or roti.

In India, jhunka is a common dish for farmers and travelers, as it is easy to make and store.

Phodnicha Bhaat

Phodnicha Bhaat

  • Traditional

Phodnicha bhaat is a rice dish made from leftover rice in the style of Maharashtra. It is seasoned with spices, onion, and curry leaves, serving as a common breakfast or snack in the area.

Phodnicha bhaat means “tempered rice” in Marathi, the local language. It is similar to lemon rice from South India but has a different flavor and color.

How Maharashtrians Traditionally Serve Food On A Plate?

The arrangement of dishes on the plates of Maharashtrians is essential. It has become a cultural feature of people in this state. Most households comply with this layout to bring a complete and comfortable meal.

Maharashtrians will set salt and types of condiments in the 12 o’clock position of the plate. A glass of water and delicious side dishes, snacks, and salads will be on the left-hand side of the plate.

In particular, the less-eaten foods will be placed on the left side as people will eat with their right hand. You will enjoy the main course on the right side.

On the opposite end of the salt will be varieties of rice. Alternatively, soft and fluffy Poli, flatbread, or roti will appear in the center of the plate, at the 6 o’clock position. On your right-hand side, you’ll see dishes like curry and dal.

What Tools Are Used in Maharashtrian Cooking?

Maharashtrian cooking, like many regional cuisines in India, typically involves a variety of traditional cooking tools and utensils that are essential for preparing diverse and flavorful dishes:

  • Kerosene or Gas Stoves: Modern replacements for the traditional three-stone chulha, these stoves are versatile and used for various cooking methods.
  • Tawa: A concave metal pan essential for making unleavened flatbreads such as ghadichi poli, chapatis, or bhakris.
  • Pressure Cooker: Widely used for cooking lentils, meat, and rice efficiently, significantly reducing cooking time.
  • Pots and Pans: Various sizes are used for simmering curries and bhaajis, deep frying, and pan frying.

It is great to learn about the tools involved in making Maharashtrian dishes. Therefore, you should share these dishes of Maharashtra and leave a comment sharing your thoughts about these specialties.

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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One Comment

  1. Hi..
    It was great to read this information and view the mouth watering photographs. I being born and brought up in Pune from Maharashtra could relate it very much.
    I happened to visit this site accidently when I was looking for traditional food in different countries. The description you have given is perfect and authentic. Wish you all the best.