The countdown for Maharashtra’s biggest festival has begun. Yes, we are talking about Ganesh Chaturthi as we explore the best restaurants to try out authentic, delicious Maharastrain menu in Mumbai. And for once, stop counting the calories and try out the different varieties of fried and steamed snacks and the melt-in-your-mouth sweet temptations. The last thing a woman wants to do during these special days is to dress up in all her finery and enter the kitchen to slave over a stove preparing a traditional meal for the family. Problem solved… Here is a round-up of some of the restaurants serving authentic Maharashtrian thali in Mumbai.
Starting with Chetana, an ITDC approved restaurant at Kala Ghoda, which was started in 1946 as a sandwich/coffee corner and is now an 80-seater eatery specializing in authentic vegetarian Gujarati, Rajasthani and Maharashtrian Cuisines. Their mixed clientele includes industrialists, media persons, professionals and artists, alongside NRI and international tourists who keep coming back to relish the delectable food served in a warm and cozy atmosphere. At Chetana, flavourful and spicy Maharashtrian thali (both for lunch and dinner) is served on all days.
- Drink of fresh buttermilk / spiced water with roasted cumin seeds (Jaljeera)
- 2 Vegetable dishes
- 1 pulse preparation
- Choice of Indian bread (Baajri ki Roti /Bhakri /Phulka)
- Kadhi: Spicy-sweet gravy in a yogurt base
- Khichdi: A nutritious mixture of rice and pulses
- Choice from dessert of the day
Specialities: Bhali wangi, Walache Birde, Puran poli, Ukdiche Modak along with Gulab Jamuns and Puran Polis
Note: For those who are feeling guilty and conscious of the weight piling around their waists and yet can hear the rumbling noises of their stomach demanding attention, Chetana also offers a Healthy Thali which is basically bland food with no ghee/oil, fruits and salad along with other curries.
Address: 34, K. Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Sujata Upahar Griha
As we move further down south, there is the unassuming legendary restaurant, Sujata Upahar Griha, formerly famous as B Tambe. This is where most Maharashtrians in Girgaon go to have simple but delectable fare. This eatery is continuing its century-old legacy of serving quality vegetarian Maharashtrian fare, in a building that is almost 125 years old.
- 2 vegetable preparations: Daily specials include baingan, sukhi bhaji (a dry vegetable preparation), dalimbi (slightly sweet coconut-based curry with field bean sprouts), kaju mutter, zunka (a spicy gram flour dish best served with bhakri) and hara vatana usal.
- Steamed rice
- 2 Chapattis
- Aamti: Spicy, sweet and tangy dal-based dish
Specialities: Aamti, Dalimbi, Hara vatana usal, Zunka
Note: The hot chapattis and fresh vegetables are cooked in a blend of spices and chillies to give it Maharashtrian punch. Lemon is used for the tanginess that will definitely awaken your taste buds.
Address: 277, Mapla Mahal, JSS Road, Girigaon, Thakurdwar
Mama Kane’s Swacha Uphargriha
The next one in this list is Mama Kane’s Swacha Uphargriha — now in its 106th year — located right opposite Dadar station on the west side. This tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant is known for its scrumptious Maharashtrian delicacies.
- Rice plate
- 2 vegetables (usually one dry and one with gravy)
- 5 puris / 2 chapatis
- Buttermilk or Kadhi
- Pickle / chatni
- Lemon wedge
Specialities: Thalipeeth, missal, batata, Kokam sarbat and Piyush
Note: This place is definitely worth a visit for its heritage and for serving simple Maharashtrian food at a reasonable price without compromising on taste.
Address: 222, Smruti Kunj, Senapati Bapat Marg, Dadar West
Moving further along the Western suburb route, Mee Marathi, which has two branches – one in Borivali West and one in Vile Parle East – is a must-try for the hard core Maharashtrians as well as the uninitiated who have always wanted to try authentic Maharashtrian food but never knew where to go and what to order. Their very filling traditional Marathi meal, though limited, is complete with
- 2 vegetables
- Masala dal
- Curd / raita
- Assorted breads like bhakri
- Shop No. 5, Alpha Apartment, Shri Parleshwar Road, Vile Parle
- Shop 7, Virajdeep Apartments, Chandavarkar Road, Borivali West
And last but by no means the least, Diva Maharashtracha, with two branches in Mahim and Andheri West, claiming to be the World’s 1st ISO & MTDC Certified Restobar serves eclectic Maharashtrian dishes from the traditional Maharashtrian communities like CKP, Pathare Prabhu, Marathas, Saraswats, East Indians, Kolis, Bhandaris, Brahmins etc. What makes feasting on the lip-smacking delicacies here all the more enjoyable is the majestic Peshwa Palace type setting that makes you feel like a regal (think ‘Bajirao Mastani’ minus the ravishing Mastani) being served at a royal Maharashtrian Cuisine by attendants.
- Welcome drink of Kokum Sharbat/ Panhe
- Choice of starters such as Vatana Batata Pattice/ Kaju Kothimbir Vadi/ Mix Veg Kaju Roll/ Aluchi Vadi/ Paneer Karanjee
- 2 Dry vegetable dishes (Beans Sukki Bhaji, Moong Sukki Usal, Batat Sukhi Bhaji, Sukki Green Peas Usal, Cabbage Sukki Bhaji, Bharleli Wangi/ Paneer & Green Peas Shagoti/ Green Peas Oil Usal/ Cauliflower Watana Batata Patal Bhaji)
- 1 main course dish (Mix Oli Usal/ Veg Kolhapuri/ Patodi/ Paneer Kolhapuri/ Mix Veg Ambat)
- Dal (Sadha Varan/ Ambat Goad Varan / Dal Methi Varan/ Khobra Jeera Varan)
- Choice of Rice (Steamed Rice / Peas Pulao/ Masala Bhat / Veg Pulav/ Jeera Rice)
- Desserts (Shevayachi Kheer / Ice Cream / Puran Poli / Doodhi Halwa/ Kharwa)
Specialities: Masala Bhat, Puran Poli, Doodhi Halwa
- T.H. Kataria Marg, Shivaji Park, Mahim (next to Goa Portuguesa Restaurant)
- SVP Nagar, 4 Bungalows, Near Versova Telephone Exchange, Andheri Lokhandwala, Andheri West
So, this year on Ganesh Chaturthi, relax and spend a memorable day eating your heart out at these eateries. Ganpati Bappa Morya!!