(Last Updated on : 30/10/2013)
Rajasthani cuisine consists of food that stays for long and requires less or no heating. Water scarcity has affected on their cooking. A speciality of Rajasthan is the batti, and a hand-roasted ball of wheat, which is cracked open and eaten with plenty of ghee. Crisp rotis or bhakri made of bajra and jowar are also made on a griddle. There is even a besan roti with a little wheat flour added to the dough. In Rajasthan, besan and moong dal flour are the base batters for a whole series of crisp-fried savouries like the mangodi, gatti and papdi.
There are thin and thick papads called khelada, stuffed kachori and vada and dahi vada, besides spicy farsan snacks resembling those of adjacent Gujarat. Many vegetables are sun-dried for a year and then used as gattey-ka-saag, just like certain berries, fruits, stems and roots and even certain aromatic twigs. Even many sweets are pulse-based products like besan-barfi, sheera of mung dal and churma laddoos.
Rajasthani curries are not as spicy as they look. A favourite sweet dish called lapsi is prepared with broken wheat sauteed in ghee and sweetened. Perhaps the best-known Rajasthani food is the combination of dal, bati and churma. Each region is distinguished by its popular sweet - Mawa Kachori from Jodhpur, Alwar ka Mawa, Malpuas from Pushkar, Rasogullas from Bikaner, Ghevar from Jaipur to name a few.
The unique creation of the Maharaja of Salwar is the Junglee Maas. Junglee maas was a great favourite among the Maharajas and due to the scarcity of exotic ingredients in the camp kitchen, the game brought in from the hunt was simply cooked in pure ghee, salt and plenty of red chillies. However, now this dish has been adapted to the less controversial ingredients like lamb, pork or poultry. The personal recipes of the royal Khansama still rotate around their generations. The males of the family prepared the non-vegetarian delicacies in the family. Some of the Maharajas apart from being great hunters relished the passion of cooking the hunted animal themselves for their guests.
Cooking in Rajasthan has its own distinctive taste and the simplest ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes. Instead of water the women prefer to use milk, buttermilk and clarified butter. Dried lentils and beans from indigenous plants are used liberally. Gram flour is a major ingredient and is used to make delicacies like khata, ghatta ki sabzi and pakodi. The staple grains of Rajasthan are bajra and corn, which are used to make rotis, rabdi and kheechdi. The popular chutneys of Rajasthan are made from locally available spices like turmeric, coriander, mint and garlic.
Chief Delicacies of Rajasthan
A soup of legumes, flavoured with red chilly peppers, yogurt or milk and sometimes vegetables such as Okra, Jackfruit, Eggplant, Mustard or Fenugreek leaf are often eaten by the Rajasthani people.
Chutneys: The popular chutneys of Rajasthan
are made from locally available spices like turmeric, coriander, mint and garlic. Perhaps the best-known Rajasthani food is the combination of dalbati and churma.
Chapatti: The chapatti is flat, unleavened bread which serves almost as a spoon, for it is used as a scoop to transfer food to the mouth.
Puris: Puris are delicious, fried wheat bubbles, which have varied uses; as snacks, scoops for food and as a complement to hot spices.
Desserts from Rajasthan
Besides spicy flavours, each region is well known for its popular sweets. Jalebis and Fafda with a large glass of hot milk in the morning is the favourite sweet of the Rajasthani people.
Rajasthan, being one of the big states of India, has many regions. Each region is known for its special sweets. Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are famous for Laddoos, Pushkar for Malapuas, Bikaner
for Rasogullas, Udaipur
for Dil Jani, Jaipur for Mishri Mawa and Ghevar, Jodhpur
for Mawa Katchori, Ajmer
for Sohan Halwa, Alwar for Mawa and ghevar, and mouth watering jalebis can be found in all cities.