The food in Kolhapur is ,strong in flavor from the spices which are grown here ,the rich color and heat is imparted by locally cultivated Kolhapuri Deggi Mirch . Prior to independence, Kolhapur was ruled by Bhosale Chhatrapati ,royal clan of the Maratha empire. The state is popular for its non-vegetarian food fare as during the olden days prior to 1970 hunting of wild boar, deers etc was popular among the kings.
We enjoyed local non-vegetarian food fare at the restaurant Gandhar located at Shivaji Chowk kolhapur. We ordered a mutton thali and komdi vade thali .The meal started with a hot clear soup of mutton with accompaniments like salad, raita, pickle , tambda rassa , pandhara rassa,egg curry and sol kadi. the service was fast and the view from the restaurant was overwhelming.
Among non-vegetarian food Tambda rassa (rassa meaning gravy)which is a dark red color spicy gravy and pandhara rassa (pandhara means pale and rassa means gravy) a white colored rich gravy is served with mutton fry or mutton masala . These dishes are served with chapatis made of rice flour called bhakris or simple steaming hot rice or pulao.
It is a white gravy prepared with boiled onions paste, mutton stock ,cashew nuts and cream. it is non spicy and has a rich royal flavor. In restaurants often the gravy is often tunny and little cornflour may be used to thicken the gravy. Click here for the recipe
The rich and spicy chicken curry with flavors from brown onions paste and coconut milk is mind blowing and a must try if you visit the city. Click here for the recipe
Maalvadi Vada – Kombada Thali
It is a combination of deep fried gluten free breads (vade) made of rice flour and urud dal , served with a chicken(Komdi in Marathi) curry ,which can be chicken kolhapuri or chicken shukha , a dry spicy chicken sidedish.
This a traditional Maharashtrian beverage served along with spicy main course , and works as a cooler .It contains the juice of a sour fruit kokum diluted with coconut milk and spiced with garlic. Its a must if you try Maharashtian local thali. It is said to detoxify your system .