Being located in the Western region of India, the State of Maharashtra is bordered by the States of Telangana and Chhattisgarh in the East, Madhya Pradesh in the North, Gujarat in the North West, Goa and Karnataka in the South……. Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman also have common borders with Maharashtra…… Arabian Sea is in the West.
Maharashtra can be generally divided into five regions…… And each of these regions have distinct cuisines of their own…..
Konkan – Konkani Cuisine, Malvani Cuisine
Desh (Paschim Maharashtra) – Deshastha Cuisine, Kolhapuri Cuisine
Khandesh – Khandeshi Cuisine
Vidarbha – Varhadi Cuisine
Marathwada – Marathwada or Dakhini Cuisine .
Because of it’s strategic location, Maharashtra has always attracted Migrants from far & near……. Sindhi & Punjabi migrants from Pakistan, Parsis, Bene Israelis, traders from Middle East & Europe, etc. have brought in their food styles ,from times immemorial, to influence the cuisine of Maharashtra….. Influences of the neighbouring States is also there.
Thus Maharashtra Cuisine has various indigenous and influenced cuisines.
The State of Maharashtra is situated in the western region of India….. “Maha” means Great….. “Rashtra” means Nation….. It is also also believed that the name of Rashtra is derived from a clan called Rashtrika that once ruled this area….. Another theory is that the word Rashtra in this case is derived from Ratha/Rathi…… Rathi means “Chariot driver”….. Huan Tsang, the famous Chinese Traveler, mentioned the name of Maharashtra in an account he wrote in the 7th Century.
Maharashtra can be divided into five geographical regions……
Between the Arabian Sea & the Western Ghats is the Coastal region of KONKAN….. Mumbai, Ratnagiri ,etc. are the major cities of this region.
In the North West is the region of KHANDESH which lies in the valley of the Tapti River…… Major cities of this region are Jalgaon, Bhusawal, etc.
The Easternmost region of the State is VIDARBHA……. Main city of this region is Nagpur.
The South Eastern part of Maharashtra is the region of MARATHWADA……. Aurangabad is the main city of this region.
At the centre of the state is the region of DESH……. Main cities of this region are Pune, Nasik, Kolhapur,etc.
Maharashtra is an ecologically diverse state consisting of Coastal region, Ghats(hill section), rivers, plains with rich black alluvial soil and arid areas.
It is no surprise, therefore, that Maharashtra has varied culinary heritage.