Padharo Mahre Desh!
It means “Welcome to our Land” and is taken from the famous Rajasthani folk song – Kersaiya Balam. Hospitality and Rajasthan go hand in hand, and it has a lot of offer when it comes to food – authentic Rajasthani cuisine.
The Land of Maharajas offer some real lip-smacking royal cuisine with dollop of ‘ghee’. The Rajasthani cuisine has developed due to the arid nature of the region – the dearth of water and fresh vegetables. The war-influenced lifestyle encouraged food that was easily available, lasted for days, and could be prepared easily without much heat. It has some amazing tropical dishes.
Here is a list of few dishes you must try on your visit to Rajasthan:
1. Dal Baati Churma
The dish has a long history with Rajasthan, it originated in Mewar and later reached the Mughals through Rani Jodha Bai. The amalgamation of three distinct items, a ghee-fried Baati, Panch Kutti Dal which is made of five different types dal (chana dal, arhar (toovar), moong dal, whole moong dal and urad dal (split black lentils)), and Churma which is unseasoned Baatis mashed with sugar. The Baatis are prepared with wheat flour, semolina (rava), salt, milk, besan and ghee. This is a stable food of Rajasthan which is very high in energy.
2. Ker Sangri
Ker Sangri is a pickle that is usually served with Bajre Ka Roti. Sangri is a vegetable that grows in desert areas of Jaisalmer and Barmer. Ker is a berry which is sour and tangy in taste. Many years ago, when Rajasthan suffered from a great famine, people survived only only on these two vegetables. The preparation process of Ker Sangri is a bit complex, Ker is soaked in salt water, washed and then dried. Sangri, on the other hand, is boiled lightly and dried under the sun. Ker Sangri is a daily dish of every house in Rajasthan.
3. Laal Maas
Laal Maas means ‘Red Meat’ and it got it’s name because of the red colour. Earlier Laal Maas used to be made with the Dear or Boar meat but today it is made with mutton. The mutton is slowly cooked in red chilli paste, garlic paste, onion slice and yoghurt. The gravy is usually very thick in consistency and it is red in colour. It is a very hot dish with the predominance of garlic flavour in it. Generally, Laal maas is served with chapattis or bajra and it is best enjoyed in the months of winter. Laal Maas was pretty famous among the Maharajas of Rajasthan.
4. Gatte Ki Sabzi
Due to the scarcity of water, a lot of recipes of Rajasthan includes milk, buttermilk and curd. Gatte Ki Sabzi is one such recipe which cropped up in the desert region due to the scarcity of water. Gatte are dumplings made of gram flour that is dipped in curd gravy. The gravy primarily is made with curd, tomato, buttermilk and a lot of spices. The tropical version of this dish can be made with ginger garlic paste, poppy seeds, green chillies, milk cream to better the texture of the gravy. Mint leaves, basil leaves, curry leaves can also be added for flavours. It is either served with Roti or Rice and were famous among the royalties.
It can also be presented with Gatte Ka Pulao also known as Ram Pulao, which is prepared with rice, gate and some spice is a perfect dish when you are feeling under the weather.
5. Dil Khushal
Rajasthan is famous for sweets. Dil Khushal is one of the authentic dishes of the region. It is also known as Mohanthaal or Besan ki Barfi. Dil Khushal is made of besan, and it leaves a chewy feeling in the mouth with a perfect amount of sweetness. An easy to prepare the sweet dish which involves mixing of besan with khoya, milk, sugar and lots of ghee. Dil Khushal is also known as Besan ki Chakki and it is served with chopped Almonds and Pistas.
6. Churma Ladoo
Churma Ladoo forms an integral part of the sweet culture of Rajasthan. Churma is prepared by grinding wheat flour balls with ghee and sugar. The dish is famous in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The preparation is time-consuming and when served with khas khas tastes amazing. Churma Ladoo is made during Ganesh Jayanti and on special occasion.
7. Rajasthani Kadhi
Kadhi is a common dish in India, ever state has their own adopted versions of it. Rajasthani Kadhi is prepared without vegetables and pakoras. The rich flavor of fenugreek, heeng, red chilli, and turmeric add a spicy touch to the disk. Its best served with rice and roti.
8. Mohan Maas
Mohan Maas was introduced for feasting by the House Of Mewar. Women were allowed to cook Mohan Maas and Safed Maas. Mohan Mass is delicacy served during the special occasions in Rajasthan. It is prepared by marinating mutton pieces in the rich gravy made of milk, cream, and spices. It is usually sever with large portions of rice.
9. Papad Ki Sabzi
Papad Ki Sabzi is a popular Rajasthani dish. Fried Papad is sautéed in a thick gravy made of curd and tomatoes. It is served with with Missi Roti, Bajra roti, or rice.
Rajasthan is a land of culture and food, and one can experience the different authentic preparations of this desert land. The Rajasthani cuisine is as magnificent as the sand dunes of the Thar desert. Rajasthan is not just a mere state, but it is an affair between the body and the taste buds of ones body.
Do share your Rajasthani Cuisine experience and if we missed out any authentic dishes, please share in the comments below.