Maratha Empire and Maharashtra

Maharashtra -. Name itself suggests, it is varied in riches. The varied and colorful cultures, woven into one huge quilt. Its been reflected through its, forts, caves, palaces known for its rich history, its Saints, philosophers, music, handicrafts and its festivals with all their colourful rituals and traditions, all of which amalgamate together to give a true reflection of Maharashtrian Culture. The Maharashtrians are a vivacious, earthy people for whom life itself is a celebration. The state language is Marathi with languages like Hindi, English and Gujarati having almost equivalent importance.Maharashtra is a colorful state with a rich cultural heritage and a history to boast of.

The culture of Maharashtra, which opens itself in ways, is also shown in the local cuisine. Maharashtra is a huge state, thus a variety of delectable cuisines are found here. Food in the state is simple like its people. The Maharashtrians respect and love their food. Maharashtrians value the unique and distinct identity they have. Maharashtra History: The state of Maharashtra is a land of diverse cultures. The name of the state Maharashtra has been originated from the Sanskrit word rathi which meaning a chariot driver.The earliest record of the state has been made in the second century BC with the edifice of the Buddhist caves.

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The name Maharashtra appeared in the seventh century in the logs of a traveler from China named Huan Tsang. According to the first records in the logs based in Badami the first Hindu king lined the state. An enduring resist was put up by the founder of the Maratha Empire Shivaji Bhosale against the Mughals. One of the supreme king and ruler of all times.

In the Maratha history Shivaji Bhosale holds the highest place for all his work against the Mughals and the British.During the rule of Aurangzeb it was Shivaji who engraved the state and its empire Shivaji was succeeded by his son Sambhaji who was great warrior himself. Then came the era of Peshwas. In the history of the Maharashtra and Maratha empire the period from 1680 to 1707 was known as the period of flux and volatility. Balaji Vishwanath (1712-1721), Bajirao Peshwa (1721-1740), Nanasaheb Peshwa (1740-1761), ‘Thorale’ Madhaorao Peshwa (1761-1772, Narayanrao Peshwa (1772-1773), ‘Sawai’ Madhaorao Peshwa (1774-1795) and ‘Second’ Bajirao Peshwa – 1795 to 1802 were the other significant chiefs of Maharashtra.The end of India’s rule came about with the collapse of the fort of Ahmednagar in 1803. The establishment of military rule in the Deccan region during a state of pandemonium made the Peshwas rulers for namesake. The Chalukyas,Vakatakas and the Satavahanas were the other dynasties that ruled over the state of Maharashtra.

The British later captured over Maharashtra and established their rule. The year 1947 marked the change of, Bombay Presidency to Bombay state. The year 1960 saw the formation of the present state of Maharashtra where the linguistic Marathi and Gujarati areas were divided, form Gujarat and Maharashtra.Maharashtra today is the financial capital of the country and has become the main channel of cultural exchange between southern to northern India.

THE CULTURE AND FESTIVALS OF MAHARASHTRA: The Maharashtrians are a vivacious, earthy people for whom life itself is a celebration. There is no surprise in the fact festivals in maharashtra are celebrated in that all festivals in Maharashtra are celebrated with copious intensity and passion. Times like these give people a inimitable occasion to understand Maharashtrian culture, with its vibrant way of life, rituals and customs.People from every walk of life, of different religions come together during festivals and add joy and excitement to their lives with their dance, music, song and culture. Festivals like these magnetize world-famous artistes -, dancers, painters, musicians, sculptors, weavers – who come together to pay honor to this state’s rich customs and heritage. People of this state are lively and a lot of festive people. The love for festivity is deeply embedded in their culture and it finds expression through different festivals in the Maharashtrian calendar.Festivals are celebrated round the year and people treasure the good times with scrumptious food, music and dance.

Festive Cuisine Festivals those celebrated in Maharashtra are Gudi Padwa, , Haritalika, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Diwali and Makara Sankranti. Many dishes, namely sweets are made only during these festivals. On the occasion of Gudi Padwa Soonth Panak and sprouted Chana Usal are prepared. Puran Poli is prepared on the festival of colors Holi. Similarly, on Haritalika Coconut Potali is prepared, on Ganesh Chaturthi Karanji and Chakli, on Diwali Shankarpali, Badam Halwa, Chakli and Karanji are prepared and Shengdana Chikki is repared on the occasion of Makar Sakranti. Cuisine For Weddings In India, marriages is a time of merry making and joy. Similarly, in Maharashtra it is held extravagantly, including inviting guests for an elaborate meal.

Meal is served on a banana leaf and is entirely vegetarian in nature, cooked without onion and garlic. It has a range of vegetables along with coconut gravy, green mango chutney, cucumber and peanut salad, rice, puris, golden dal called `varan’ and a sweet dish like jalebi. A creamy basundi or saffron-scented shrikhand is also there.Coriander-flavored, salted buttermilk or `Mattha’ complements the meal which ends with a sweet called `vida’. Tecniques of Maharashtrian cuisine: Maharashtrian meals are planned and cooked scientifically —the important rule is the cooking medium should not be visible. To preserve the nutritional value vegetables are steamed and seasoned lightly.

Deep frying, roasting are not used much. In most vegetables or lentils Jaggery and tamarind is used so that the food has a sweet and sour flavor while the kala masala (special blend of spices) is added to make the food piquant.As opposed to the coastal cuisine, where fresh coconut is added to the dishes, in the Vidarbha region, powdered coconut is used for cooking. Regions of Maharashtra Maharashtrian cuisine is largely inspired by the people, crops and the geographical conditions of the area. It is memorable for its subtle variety and strong flavours. Maharashtrians are generally known for their hospitality.

In wealthy homes, feasts often start at mid-day and end when the sun sets. Konkan The habitual crops, are, mangoes, cashews, rice, coconuts and a variety of pulses.The region grows kokum, a sweet-sour fruit. Fish is found in vast varieties and seafood is in abundant supply.

All these ingredients find place in the conventional and exotic Konkani food. Be it, naturally fragrant vegetable mixture served with local papads, or be it meat curry or spicy-hot fish with a coconut milk base, Konkani food is a gourmet’s dream come true. South Maharashtra This area is rich in sugarcane fields, rice farms and milk. Well-irrigated farms produce fleshy, juicy fruit and vegetables throughout the year.Winter season offers abundance of coconut kernels cooked in the syrup and eaten with peanuts and fresh chana.

It also means plenty of milk, and typical milk sweets like basundi, masala milk, shreekhand ,kheer. It is a like an occasion to go to the river to have roasted corncobs (hurda) with pungent chillies and green garlic ground to make a tongue-scorching chutney. Milk, rough bhakaris, spicy meat curries, chilli-spiked snacks are much loved foods here.

Vidarbha Nothing can beat the exoticism and variety of the food offered by northern Maharashtra – Vidarbha and Khandesh.Cuisine of Vidharba is spicier and more exotic than that of the coastal and southern regions. Kolhapur It is the land which is most famous for its spicy mutton curries as its Mahalaxmi temple or palaces. Known as ‘Matnacha rassa’, red-hot mutton dish is served with robust chappatis, a white gravy to reduce its spiciness or a chilli gravy for the bravehearts experts in the art of digesting pure fire. Dishes like the ‘Tambda Rassa’ AnKolhapuri misal is one of the spiciest dish. It is very famous in Maharashtra. AurangabadThe cuisine of Auguranbad has been highly inspired by the North Indian method of cooking, as a result of the long Moghul rule in the region. The Mughals have ruled the region of Aurangabad for a very long time.

Aurangabad’s food is similar tolike Moghlai or Nawabi food, with its fragrant pulaos and biryanis. Meat cooked in fresh spices and herbs is a delicacy over here, as are the delectable sweets. The cuisine of Maharashtra The people of Maharashtra regard their food as ‘Anna he poornabrahma’ which means ‘anna’, or food is equal to ‘Brahma’, or the creator of the universe.In other words it means food is God, thus it should be worshiped. Maharashtrian cuisine, ranges from exceptionally mild to incredibly spicy dishes.

Rice, jowar, wheat, vegetables, lentils and fruit are important components of Maharashtrian diet. Well-liked dishes comprise of puran poli, ukdiche Modak and batata wada. The bhaji is naturally a vegetarian dish made from a vegetable, with Goda masala basically consisting of some blend of onion, garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, green chillies and mustard. An alternative of bhaji is rassa.Vegetarians prepare rassa of potatoes and or caulifower with tomatoes or fresh coconut kernel and plenty of water to create a fluid behavior than bhaji.

Varan is plain dal, a common lentil stew. Aamti is another alternative of the curry, usually comprising of a lentil (tur) stock, flavored with goda masala, tamarind or amshul, jaggery (gul) and in some cases coconut as well. The goda and kaala masala gives Maharashtrian cuisine its flavor. Non-vegetarian fares mostly use chicken, mutton (lamb, sheep or goat), fish and other sea food.The Kolhapuri taambda and pandhra rassa made of chicken and mutton in Kolhapur and varhadi rassa from the Vidarbha region are especially well known throughout Maharashtra. The Konkans are known for the fish and seafood dishes. A usual meal begins with Poli , accompanied by one or more bhajis, koshimbir (salad) along with some side (usually pickles).

It is followed by varan, aamti or rassa with rice. Koshimbir is a healthy addition to the plate. The plate served is planned carefully. The bhaji is served on the right hand side while the chutney, koshimbir are served from left going up the periphery of the circular plate.The papad, bhaji are served below the koshimbir with the rice and poli served at the bottom of the circle closed to the diner’s hand. The puran is served at the top in the inner concentric circle.

The amti, rassa is served in separate bowls placed on right hand side of the diner. The most popular dessert of Maharashtra is the puran poli, which is roti stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour and is made at the time of the Maharashtrian New Year. Other popular sweets are the ukdiche modak, the panpole ras, and the shreekhand.



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