Tickle your taste buds with modaks, curries, saars and morekokam kadi by Archana, pix: Google

Words: Ambica Gulati

The world of vegetarians is a rare world outside India. I discovered this on a recent trip to South Korea. That country loves its meats. But now that I have a trip to Pune I know I can get all the Indian stuff I want to eat. Even then, I thought its better to do some research on how many plants I will get to eat in Pune. I could do with a short break from the meats. But it’s a week long trip and my options are wide and open.

I know little about the regional cuisines, so exploring is fun provided the stomach agrees to it. From my frequent trips to Dilli Haat, I know there are some famous Marathi dishes in Pune such as kokam juice, pav baji, bhelpuri, modaks, sev puri. But these are simply snacks. I would prefer something closer to the North Indian chapatti, dal and rice.

Google to the rescue, as always. There are breads–Ghadichi Poli or the common round chapatti and Bajri Bhakri which is bread made from bajra. This was earlier part of the rural diet but has now made its way into the urban towns too. This sounded like worth a try.

There are two kinds of mutton Kolhapuri curries–Taambda rassa which is red curry and Pandhra rassa which is white curry.  Meals are accompanied with papad and pickle named Thecha.

Soups are called saar in Marathi. There are some more known soups such as Tomato saar or the Maharashtrian spicy tomato soup and Kokam saar prepared from dried fruit of Kokam. But Solkadhi prepared from coconut milk and Kokam sounded like a different try-me-out dish.

Amongst the sweets, I have had a taste of modaks, puran poli, basundi, shrikhand. So what more–Anarsa made from soaked powdered rice, jaggery or sugar; or Chirota made with a combination of semolina and white flour.

The choice was certainly open, but where to eat Marathi cuisine in Pune? I also wanted to know the Marathi food menu in Pune restaurants. The question needed some answers which again Google provided. As I was planning to explore the city completely, I thought it would be better to jot down a few places across town, rather than limiting myself to one area. Again I opened my choices wide.

I found a lot of restaurants offering vegetarian food which suited my detox mood. There was Bhoj Restaurant in Sadashiv Peth, Rosewood Restaurants in Thergaon, Shreya’s Restaurant in Deccan Gymkhana and lots more. I found some multi-cuisine and non vegetarian restaurants too–Khushboo Family Restaurant in Dhanakawadi, Maa Food Court in Chinchwad, Shatranj Wine and Dine Restaurant at Hotel Green Plaza in Koregaon Park. I think this huge variety of Marathi cuisine in Pune was enough to make anyone go crazy. And enjoy their stay.