Rajasthan Food

Like the state itself, its inhabitants and their rich culture, Rajasthani cuisine is a splendid array of colorful, spicy and unique dishes. The Rajasthani platter is a gastronomic delight and it is a part of today’s urban Indian culture to indulge in Rajasthani food festivals. The food style of this glorious desert state of India has been affected by the natural topography and indigenously available ingredients like most other civilizations of the world. A lack of leafy green vegetables, a pronounced use of lentils, pulses, legumes and the use of milk, curd and buttermilk in place of the water in the gravy marks the essentials of Rajasthani cuisine. Rajasthan Food is an experience to be cherished.

Dal, Baati, Churma is probably Rajasthan’s most favored and famous meal. Curma is a favorite sweet dish (made of coarsely powdered cereals) prepared to mark a special occasion or to honor a special guest. It is mostly had in combination with Panchmel Dal or simply Dal (five varieties of lentils slow cooked over coals and tempered with a generous helping of ghee, dry red chillies and spices) and Baati (balls made of wheat, thrice cooked- steamed, baked and fried).

Pickles and Papads:
Pickles and chutneys of Rajasthan are famous accompaniments to their main fare. Tamatar ki Launji, Lehsun ki Chutney, Imly ki Chutney Aam Launji and Pudina Chutney are common tidbits that give a bland meal the tang required and have excellent digestive properties. Moong Dal Papads, Masala Papads, Mangodis, Pakodis and Badis are used instead of vegetables in many dishes.

Delicious Dishes:
Unique soup recipes such as Dai Shorba (a frothy yoghurt based soup) and Tamatar Shorba (tomato soup flavored with traditional spices such as cumin and coriander) are served at the start of a meal. The popular vegetarian dishes of the region include the famous Ker Sangri (a zesty dish made of ker and sangria- locally grown beans cooked in butter milk with spices and raisins), Mangodi Alu ki Shak (a dish of potatoes and dal dumplins slow roasted and cooked till soft in a gravy) Jaisalmeri Chane (chick peas cooked in a sour gravy) and Besanwali Bharwan Mirch (big green chillies stuffed with a gram flour and spice mixture, deep fried and cooked in a gravy). In this regard it needs to be mentioned that yoghurt and gram flour (Besan) combination is used extensively to create the traditional gravies. Kadhi and Gatte ki Subzi are apt examples of such dishes.

Spicy Stories:
Scarcity of fresh herbs and condiments leads to a restricted use of these and a pronounced role of spices that may be used dry and powered. A preference for flavorings which can be stored for long times in normal weather conditions characterizes the local cuisine. Red chillies of Rajasthan are famous worldwide. These may be used either whole or coarsely powdered. They lend the gravies not only a bright red/orange color but also their fiery, scalding flavor. Other spices commonly used are powdered turmeric (haldi),cumin seeds (jeera), corriander seeds (dhania), fennel seeds or aniseed (saunf), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), nigella seeds (kalonji), carom seeds (ajwain), cloves (laung or loong), garlic, dried ginger (soonth), amchoor (dried mango powder), mustard seeds (rai), kasuri methi (dried coarsely powdered fenreek leaves), asafoetida (hing), cinnamon (dalchini), cardamom (elaichi) etc. These are generally powdered in a heavy iron mortar and pestle just before adding to the food to retain their coarse texture and natural flavor.

Snacks And Other Delights:
Rajasthan’s lip-smacking snacks and crunchy delights have made a name for themselves all over the world. Bhujia, Boondis, Sohali, and crisp Nimkis are the classic recipes of Rajasthani snacks. These can be stored and used over a long period of time. Chillas, Dahi Badas, Dahi Kachauris and Kanji Badas make for lighter meals and need to be consumed soon after preparation. Digestive drinks are served instead of aerated drinks in the ordinary household. These drinks such as Jal Jeera, Pudina Nimbu Pani and Kairi ka Paani are also known to cool the system down.

Rajasthani Kitchen:
The traditional Rajasthani kitchen is devoid of the modern amenities such as ovens, burners and even the LPG. The oven is often a brick and mud chulha that burns on coal or dried cakes of camel dung. The rotis etc are cooked on direct flame and this is believed to be therapeutic. Heavy brass utensils and thick bottomed pots and pans (such as kadhai, tawa and haandi) serve the style of cooking best. Mortar and pestle are used extensively to grind and wooden spoons and ladles complete the picture of a Rajasthani kitchen.

Catch some more information on mouth watering Rajasthani Cuisine at Camel Festival 2008

Last Updated on: 3 February 2020