Nagpur food is an important part of its culture. The food is traditionally removed from the standard Maharashtrian fare and usually consists of simple items. A typical dinner menu includes just three basic food items. Rice, lentils chapattis or poli along with vegetable dishes are commonly eaten at meal times. However, the cuisine of the city has become well known for its use of ghee or clarified butter. The ghee is usually added to enhance the taste of the dishes served.
Peanuts, dried coconut known as copra and a variety of lentils or pulses are usually added to the spicy dishes of Nagpur. Several non-vegetarian preparations known as Saoji food are associated with the cuisine of the city. The hot and spicy taste of such dishes is obtained by using a mixture of cloves and pepper instead of the traditional red chili.
History of Nagpur Cuisine
Known as the capital of the Vidharba region, Nagpur has seen many ups and downs historically after being founded by the Gond Prince in the 18th century. The Berar governor Raghuji Bhonsle also held the city for sometime followed by the British. Each of the periods has stamped its mark on the local Nagpur food in some way or the other.
Ingredients Commonly Used in Nagpur Foods
Both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food prepared according to the Saoji Varhadi tradition using black pepper, bay leaf and garam masala are the main ingredients used in the cuisine of the region. The use of khus khus as well as powdered coconut is extensive in the Nagpur food preparations too.
Popular Foods in Nagpur
Sweets- Dessert items and sweets are usually flavored with orange pieces or orange juice as Nagpur is famous for growing the fruit. The city is also known as the Orange City. The Santra Burfi is popular throughout India.
Savories- A number of savories that are eaten by the people of Nagpur include lonace, catnis, papad, sandage and kosimbirs.
Spicy Chicken- This is a dish enjoyed by the non-vegetarian community residing in the city. It is highly spiced in the Saoji style and sautéed instead of being deep fried or pressure cooked.
Zunka Bhakar- Coarse flat pancakes made with a mixture of split gram flour and millet flour, a classic food of the Vidarbha region.
Places Famous for Nagpur Foods
There are several restaurants serving authentic Nagpur food in the city. Notable among them are Sudha Restaurant, Lloyds Restaurant and Mahesh Restaurant.