If you love food that’s familiar, but unique at the same time, it would be almost impossible not to love the food of Mahabaleshwar. Just like the strawberries it produces, Mahabaleshwar is a hill station literally bursting with flavour (if you care to look, that is). Besides churning out nearly every strawberry-related culinary creation under the sun, the local restaurants serve a delicious range of dishes to satisfy a wide variety of tastes. Whether you fancy some fine Parsi food or some Maharashtrian cuisine, rest assured your palate is in safe hands. Here is a list of the best foods to try in Mahabaleshwar:
Need to Know
Local Produce: In October and November, you’ll get to sample on the most delicious strawberries. In the month of May, you’ll also find mangoes being sold here.
Where to eat: There are many restaurants on the highway that serve very good Mughlai food. For local delicacies, head to any Maharashtrian or Parsi restaurant or food stall in and around the Main Market.
The Best Foods to Try in Mahabaleshwar.
A visit to Mahabaleshwar is the perfect opportunity to stuff your face with every scarlet strawberry fantasy you can dream of – ice cream, jam, and jelly – after all, ‘when in Rome’. Strawberries were introduced to Mahabaleshwar by the British, and a few years ago, Mahabaleshwar Strawberries were awarded the Geographical Indication tag, due to the quality of the produce. On the Mahabaleshwar-Pune road, you’ll find the Mapro garden, where you can find strawberries in every form. This is the best place to buy stuff to take back home and even spend the entire day.
2. Strawberries with Fresh Cream
Layers upon layers of strawberries and fresh cream. What could be better? Of course, you could also choose to go with chocolate, mulberries, nuts and ice cream. Knock yourself out.
Where to Eat: The House of Berries
As the fruit is very fresh and delicious, juice centres are really popular here. You have milkshakes with seasonal fruits like strawberries or mango, and even special varieties like chocolate chip and Oreo. Some juice centres allow you to mix and match, which means that you can add two fruits in your milkshake to make your very own cocktail milkshake.
Where to Get Them: Bagicha
Chikki is a popular sweet in Mahabaleshwar. Traditionally made from groundnuts and jaggery, local chikki manufacturers are now getting innovative and introducing new flavours and varieties. Today, you can find chikki flavoured with strawberry, cashew, pista, and even chocolate. Even though all of these varieties are popular, the favourite version is still the plain old groundnut. Do remember to sample before you buy.
5. Puran Poli
Every grand celebration in Maharashtra calls for Puran Poli. A sweet roti, the most famous variety in Mahabaleshwar is stuffed with a paste of split Bengal gram and jaggery. It is generally served with a spoon full of ghee; however, some food stalls serve Puran Poli with semi-spiced tamarind-based chutney.
6. Kande Pohe
Kande Pohe is a popular item on any breakfast menu in Mahabaleshwar. Made with pohe or rice that is flattened into light flakes, it is prepared with curry leaves, a few spices and onion. If you’re in an adventurous mood, you may also want to try the Tamarind Pohe.
7. Vada Pav
The Vada Pav is a popular snack served all over Maharashtra. Eaten with a pav (a type of bread), the vada is made using gram flour and a spiced potato filling and is deep fried. To get the most out of your vada pav, eat it with a sweet sauce and spicy chutney. The vadas here are flat and not round.
Not just any chana. The Big Chana. About twice as big as chana anywhere else. Available in both Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, this humble snack is a must-eat on the list of locals and visitors alike. Not only twice as big, but twice as tasty, its many variations include plain, salted and spiced.
9. Bharli Vangi
Bharli Vangi is Mahabaleshwar’s version of the stuffed brinjal. The stuffing is a paste made with groundnuts, sesame seeds, and local spices (including the popular, Maharashtrian Goda Masala). You’ll find many local restaurants serving this sweet and spicy dish for lunch and dinner.
Where to Eat: At the Main Market
10. Parsi Cuisine
The Parsi community has had a huge influence on Mahabaleshwar’s culture. Hence, it’s no surprise that their foods are popular here. In Mahabaleshwar, you’ll find delicious portions of Dhansak, a tasty preparation of dal combined with chicken or mutton, Berry Pulav, a popular rice preparation amongst the Parsis, and Patra ni Machhi (steamed fish in a tasty green chutney), amongst other Parsi dishes being served at many Parsi restaurants in Mahabaleshwar.
Where to Eat: Dina is a popular Parsi restaurant.
While strawberries and any dish that contains the fruit is always a hit, Parsi food is also a good choice for big meals. If you are looking for something to drink, try the milkshakes. This concludes our blog post on the best foods to try in Mahabaleshwar.