Rajasthani Cuisine influenced by the Rajput inhabitants as well as the desert aspect of this region has remained unchanged over the centuries. The ingredients most used in Rajasthani Recipes have been chosen, more out of hard geographical compulsion than out of fetish for the taste. With scarce water resources and few fresh vegetable growing in the region, the people devised dishes that required the minimum use of water and that would last days in the hot weather without the need to be reheated.
Rajasthani Cuisine sees the use of yogurt, buttermilk, milk and ghee (clarified butter) quite a bit in the cooking. Crops like bajra (millet), jowar (barley), beans and dried lentils which can be cultivated in the region are widely popular. Saying Rajasthani’s have a sweet-tooth is an understatement. In Rajasthan sweet dishes are non even referred to as ‘dessert’ , because unlike desserts which are had after a meal, Rajasthani sweets are had before, during and after a meal.
If you happen to be in the state or get a chance to sample it’s delectable cuisine, here are 10 Rajasthani Dishes you should not miss out on:
One of the most popular dishes of Rajasthani cuisine, Daal-Baati is a dish consisting of Baati which are hard balls of whole wheat dough traditionally roasted over coals till hard on the outside, yet a little spongy in the middle and are eaten dipped in a lentil soup very popular across India called Dal/ Daal. While the Baati or wheat dumplings don’t appear very appetizing, once broken and a generous spoon of ghee (clarified butter) poured over it, they melt in your mouth and you’ll be asking for more.
Churma is a quintessential Rajasthani sweet usually served with baatis and dal. It is coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar or jaggery. Traditionally it is made by mashing up wheat flour baatis or leftover rotis/ chapatti’s in ghee and jaggery and sometimes garnished with chopped nuts or dry fruits. It’s mouthwatering and delicious rich with flavor that will leave you baffled as to how it only takes three ingredients to make.
Lapsi, another sweet dish prepared with broken wheat (dalia) sautéed in ghee and sweetened is popular too. A kind of sweet porridge, Lapsi again just like churma (above) is made of just three ingredients, cracked wheat (dalia), jaggery or sugar and ghee (clarified butter).
This spicy curry dish can be found at almost all Rajasthani meals. True to it’s desert culture this dish is made from only readily available ingredients of the desert and though it’s called subzi (vegetable dish) it does not contain any fresh vegetables. It is a dish of chickpea/gram flour dumplings simmered in a spicy curd (yogurt) sauce.
Pakodi also known as Bhajiyas or Pakoras in other parts of India are hugely popular in Rajasthan. They are similar to fritters as they are batter fried vegetables. The batter in this case is made of gram flour and seasoned with spices like chilli powder, turmeric and jeera. Palak pakora made from spinach along with onion pakodi and chilli pakodi are among the favourites in this state.
A Papad typically a thin wafer or cracker like flat bread is made from a lentil and chickpea flour and widely eaten as an appetizer or a snack across India. In Rajasthan however Papads are used rather unusually to make a dish where in they are soaked in a tangy gravy. The Papads take on an almost velvety texture when they absorb the sauce making for an interesting dish.
In a predominantly vegetarian cuisine, the only non-vegetarian dish to really stand out is Laal Maas which literally translates to Red Meat in reference to the color of the dish with comes from the fiery red chillies in it. The dish may be prepared using kid/lamb, pork or poultry.
Unleavened bread made with flour and daal or lentils is the way to go to mop up those delicious Rajasthani curries. This bread is made from gram flour, wheat flour, fenugreek, cardamom seeds and spices very similar to the Chapati but made from lentil flour.
Mawa Mishri or Kalakand as it is also known, is a traditional and lip-smacking dessert from Jaipur. It is reduced Milk with crystal sugar finished with silver leaf. This sweet is so renowned for its excellent taste that even a street is named in Alwar after this particular dish. In old days, name of a good sweet shop in India depended upon how good their Kalakand was.
A specialty of Jaipur. This sweet is essentially a round cake made from flour, soaked in ghee and milk, topped with sliced almonds. This sinfully sweet dish has crunchy texture and is made with the help of a mould. It’s very rich…but irresistible if you have a sweet-tooth.