THE FLAVOURS OF RAJASTHAN
Rajasthan's cuisine is as rich, colourful and diverse as its people and traditions. The delicacies of this desert state will delight your taste buds with a flavourful spread of gastronomic delights. Renowned for its spicy curries, the arid climate of this state allows for the growth of domestic Indian spices which are used generously, along with lentils, pulses, legumes, milk products and even milk, to produce delicious dishes.
The traditional dishes of Rajasthan owe a lot to the war-like lifestyle of ancient Rajput warriors, who would spend several weeks, and sometimes months, away from home. They required nutritious food that could last for several days and be easily carried. This need was the conception of the diverse and delectable Rajasthani cuisine we have today.
A journey to Rajasthan is incomplete without a taste of its traditional flavours and recipes.
LAL MAAS (RED MEAT)
Lal Maas contains spicy, mouth-watering tanginess of a traditional Rajasthani dish. A red, spicy meat curry that's straight out of the Royal kitchens of Rajasthan, this dish is prepared using prime portions of mutton that's marinated in curd and spices.
The dish is a result of the extreme heat and limited access to water that was prevalent in this region. Its unique preparation style serves the purpose of preserving it well after it's cooked and the spices enhance ones immunity and metabolism. Lal Maas is best relished with rotis and rice.
SAFED MAAS (WHITE MEAT)
A delicious lamb curry, Safed Maas literally translates into 'white meat' and is also known as the Royal Lamb Korma in most Rajasthan homes. The flavour of this dish lies in the perfect amalgamation of spices like onion, ginger, garlic, pepper and cardamom in its creamy white sauce curry.
DAL BATI CHURMA (LENTILS)
A meal in Rajasthan is incomplete without Dal Bati Churma, one of Rajasthan's most savoured, complete meals. The dish itself consists of Dal (Lentils), Baati (wheat bread balls) and Churma (Sweet powdered cereal), served with red chilli on top of it along with spicy garlic chutney with dry fruits like cashew, pistachio, almonds or raisins.
The wheat bread ball is dipped in pure ghee and served hot in an earthen pot with a small vessel of Dal, red chilli, spicy garlic chutney.
GATTE KI KHICHDI
A favoured rice dish of Rajasthan, Gatte ki Khichdi or Ram Paulo as it is known, is a rice dish whose creation is credited to the scarcity of green leafy vegetables in this desert region.
Gatte ki Khichdi is prepared with spices, green peas, boiled/fried besan dumplings and aromatic rice. These flavours blend into a mouth-watering, flavourful meal that is traditionally served with a chutney or curd on the side.
A breakfast in Rajasthan can be accompanied by a delicious Kachori, but one can enjoy this sweet and spicy snack any time of the day.
Kachoris have been an integral part to the Rajasthan cuisine for quite some time now. Two famous variations of this snack are; the Pyaj Kachori (Onion Kachori), which is filled with a spicy onion filling, and Mawa Kachoris, filled with the sweet scented blend of mawa (condensed sweet milk) and nuts.
Rajasthani restaurants that opened chains across India are credited with spreading the popularity of this snack across the country.
This Rajasthani dish is a flavourful delight that gets your taste buds working overtime. A tender serving of fish is cut and marinated in a green chutney, then further cooked in a savoury, spicy gravy that contains ginger, garlic, coriander and mint leaves.
The dish is enjoyed with a helpful serving of rice and garnished with mint leaves and ginger juliennes.
This popular spicy snack is enjoyed especially in in Jodhpur during monsoon. It is prepared by splitting a mirchi (green chilli) and stuffing it with spices, a layer of mashed potato and gram flour. The green chili is first fried with the potato and masala and then deep fried with the gram flour over it.
Chowdhry and Surya Namkin's Mirchi bada, and the Raju Mirchi bada are a few variants of this dish that are local favourites.
Rajasthan has always been a haven for the adventurous foodie, and one must experience the journey of flavours of this royal state.
Ghevar is a very popular filigreed Rajasthani sweet and its roots can be traced back to Jaipur. It is traditionally associated with Teej and Rakshabandhan festival. Primarily made of all-purpose flour and soaked in sugar syrup, it is shaped like a disc. Ghevar exists in different versions such as plain, mawa and malai.
Unique to the arid land of Rajasthan, Ker Sangri is a delectable amalgamation of ker, a shrub berry and sangria, a bean of the Khejari tree. Cooked simply with ingredients such as red chillies, carom seeds and spices, this bean and berry vegetable is flavourful, tangy and delightful. It is considered to be one of Rajasthan's most authentic gourmet preparations and is a must at Marwari wedding celebrations.