Belonging to the traditional and beautiful region of Rajasthan, gave me the luxury to relish the distinctive cuisine the state offered. The cuisine which has become an inseparable part of my life.
Rajasthan as known by many experiences extreme weather conditions and includes vast dry hot deserts. These extreme climatic conditions, scarcity of water and vegetation has led to unique cooking style and food habits of the natives which are noticeably different from other Indian cuisines.
The Rajasthani culinary style is molded in a manner wherein the dishes can be shelved for longer periods and usually do not require reheating. The Royal Heritage of the region as well as the gastronomic enthusiasm among the locals have led to a wide variety of delectable and exquisite Rajasthani dishes including main course to snacks to sweet dishes. Some item like Dal-Baati-Churma and Bikaneri Bhujia have garnered both national and international popularity amongst foodies.
Paucity of water in the region has witnessed extensive use of dairy products by the inhabitants like milk, butter, buttermilk so as to compensate or reduce the water content while cooking. Beans, dried lentils and legumes like gram, coarse grains like Bajra (millet) and Jowar (pearl millet) form the main ingredients of many of the Rajasthani dishes. Ghee (clarified butter) is liberally used in preparing different Rajasthani dishes which are rich in flavor and spice.
Rajasthan is predominantly a vegetarian region but the influence of Rajput warrior clans who savored non-vegetarian dishes lead to the evolution of several luscious non-vegetarian dishes such as Laal Maas, Jungle Maas, Khad Khargosh and Safed Maas.
Rajasthani breads are made out of the conventional staples of the region like corn, barley and millet which are grounded into flour. Breads are generally roasted on a flat pan and served after adding a generous dollop of ghee to every piece. Off late wheat has replaced the traditional grains to some extent.
Rajasthani cuisine offers some exotic and scrumptious combo meals and dishes that are sure to delight the taste buds of the foodies.
This is one of the signature dishes of Rajasthan which has earned popularity across the globe. The dish includes three main items, a spicy Dal, Baati and Churma. The dish usually includes many sides as well, which are also main dishes by themselves like Khata (a preparation of buttermilk and gram flour), gatte (preparation of yogurt and gram flour) with mirchi (chillies) and Karonde ki Sabzi.
Baati here can be of many types, but mainly 3 types of Baati are famous. First is the baked form of Baati which are round hard breads made of wheat flour and are typically served after being dipped into ghee for a few hours. Second is masala Baati which includes a delicious stuffing of potatoes and dry fruits which are than deep fried in ghee. Third is mawa Baati is the sweet version of masala Baati with a stuffing of sweetened reduced and condensed milk.
Dal is prepared of 5 different lentils split gram, toovar dal, moong dal, Urad dal and whole moong dal. This dal is also known as panchkutti dal or panchmel dal.
Bajre ki Roti and Lehsun ki Chutney
Bajre ki roti made with Bajra flour (millet) is very popular all through rajasthan. It is a healthy flat bread which can be relished with almost every vegetable or Kadhi but is generally savoured with onions and lehsun chutney which is a saucy preparation made with garlic. This combination has remained a staple with locals.
Gatte ki Sabzi
This is an easy to digest and a popular curry of Rajasthan which include spicy gram flour balls in the gravy of buttermilk and different spices.
Shahi Gatte or Govind Gatte is a rich and popular dish incorporating fried gram flour dumplings in a gravy and the dumplings are stuffed with nuts.
Unlike the Kadhi preparations of many other states like Punjab and Maharashtra, the Rajasthani Kadhi does not contain Pakoras or gram flour dumplings. It is a quick and easy preparation that id made by spiced yogurt based gravy that is thickened by adding gram flour.
This is one of the most popular and mouth-watering meat preparations of Rajasthan which is relished best with Bajre ki roti. The unique feature of this hot, spicy and rich preparation is its fiery red color which is acquired by the liberal use of red chilies in this dish.
This royal meat preparation is among the most delectable and mouth-watering Rajasthani non-vegetarian dishes which makes a foodie crave for more. The juicy and tender meat prepared with mild spices and milk comes with a rich gravy seasoned with cardamom, lemon and khus-khus (poppy seeds) among other ingredients making the dish even more luscious.
This crispy snack originated from the Bikaner region of Rajasthan. It is made by spiced gram flour and then deep fried. Bikaneri Bhujia has become a household snack not only in India but has gained fame internationally.
Pyaaz Kachori is a popular spicy deep fried puff pastry stuffed with spicy onion mixture. It is usually relished with sweet and sour tamarind chutney. Pyaaz kachori originated from and around Jodhpur but has found place in not only in rest of Rajasthan but most of the northern India.
This crispy and crunchy snack delicacy is made by the batter of chana dal, onions, coriander seeds, chillies and other ingredients is usually savoured with chilli or mint chutney.
The Jodhpuri mirchi vada is a spicy chilli cutlet made of chilli with potato stuffing which is coated with gram flour paste and deep fried. It is usually savored with tamarind chutney or coriander chutney.
People of Rajasthan are also known for their sweet tooth. There are variety of sweets are both dairy based and non-dairy based. Unlike in the case of most other traditional regional meals where sweets are served after the meal, in Rajasthan they are savored prior, during and after the meal. Some of the famous sweet dishes from different parts of Rajasthan are Malpuas from Pushkar, Mawa (milk cake) from Alwar, and Mawa kachori from Jodhpur.
Balushahi is a deep fried donut made of refined flour, ghee, sugar and milk which is soaked in sugar syrup.
A round shaped created sweet dish made of flour, Indian cheese and sugar syrup finds its place during the occasion Gangaur and teej in Rajasthan. Variety of Ghevars are available in the market during these festivals like plain ghevar, mawa ghevar, malai ghevar, rabdi ghevar etc.
A delectable non-dairy based sweet dish made by Urad dal (lentil) batter and then deep fried in the shape of a flower and dipped in sugar syrup.
Alwar ka Mawa
A very famous sweet dish that originated from the Alwar region of Rajasthan is prepared by thickened and solidified milk, paneer, sugar and dry fruits that has made its way to almost every sweet shop across northern India.
It is accurately said that a happy stomach makes a happy man. Rajasthan is not only a state that represents colors and traditions of India but it is also a food paradise for many.
Have you visited Rajasthan? Which of these have you had? If do you visit, do not hesitate to try the beautiful and scrumptious delicacies the region offers.