Maharashtrian cuisine is to Indian food as my Florentine cooking is to Italian food. No, I am not trying to harken back to the days of SAT analogies. To me, this is the most apt way to describe maharashtrian cooking. It is lightly prepared and flavorful, allowing the tastes of the ingredients to come through without being obscured and recreated with too much butter, cream, or spice.
My first shot at inflicting my new cooking trials on my friends happened almost by accident. As usual, it was game day and I hadn’t given much thought to make for dinner. I had recently come by some Maharashtrian recipes from a friend’s mother in India and had most of the necessary ingredients on hand, so I thought “now is as good a time as any.” Besides, if people didn’t like it, I could always have it for lunch the next day.
In my usual half hour cooking time slot, I threw together the following scrumptious vegetarian menu:
- ghevda (green/french beans)
- matar usal (pea curry)
- toor dal (small orange lentils)
- rice (to mix with the dal)
Everyone was raving about the food, and I thought that I had a real hit on my hands. The next week, I tried out some more of the recipes:
- palakchi bhaji (spinach curry)
- flower chi bhaji (curried cauliflower)
- chapatis (store bought – sadly)
- yogurt (for those who can’t take my highly spicy food)
The crowd was even more pleased! Several people even told me it was some of the best food they had even had at my house. For food that easy to prepare to be so insanely good is a wonderful mystery that I am very happy to take advantage of.
It is so fast to make that I was even able to whip up some ghevda (french/green beans) in the few minutes I had before a Red Sox game the other day. No overpriced ballpark food for me, thank you!
Try out the recipes above and enjoy discovering my new favorite food!
Let me know if you have any questions or hiccups along the way.