(Last Updated on : 30/07/2009)
Western India reveals a vibrant choice of vegetarian as well as non - vegetarian dishes. The major states of the region comprise of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Rajasthan. The original Western Indian Cuisine can be categorised as vegetarian, however a very small section of the society consume non vegetarian food. The communities that belong to the western part of the country principally practise Jainism and the religion teaches them non violence. Indian regional cuisine is majorly influenced by religion and external invasions. Essentially, the cookery in the western region of the country is simple with dishes like alloo bhajis (spicy potatos), karhi (chickpea dumplings in yoghurt sauce), dal batti (lentil dumplings oozing with ghee dunked in dal) and preparations polished off with rice and pooris (puffed whole wheat fried breads).
Maharashtrian cuisine among the Western Indian Cuisine has mainly two sections defined by the geographical demarcations. A large portion of Maharashtra falls in the coastal regions and depends on rice, coconut, and fish. Maharashtra also resides in the hilly regions of the Western Ghats and Deccan plateau regions and use groundnut. Their main cookery follows with jowar (sorghum) and bajra (millet) as staples. Saraswat cuisine is found in the coastal areas of Goa and contributes to the Konkani food. However, Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian. And the dishes are prepared with hint of sweetness adding sugar or brown sugar. Goan cuisine, on the other hand is influenced by the Portuguese cookery as well. Goa with its lush green coastline makes fresh fish and seafood available in ample quantity. Goan cuisine is a typical blend of regional foods such as Seafood, coconut milk, rice and paste. As the area is located in a tropical climate, Goan delicacies popularise the use of spices and intense flavours. The accepted dishes of the region are Vindaloo and Xacuti.
Western Indian Cuisine varies from region to region. Gujarati cuisine depends on the influence of Hinduism and Jainism. A typical Gujarati Thali consists of Roti flat bread made from wheat flour), daal or kadhi, rice, and sabzi or shaak (a dish made up of combinations of vegetables and spices). Most of the Gujarati dishes are specifically sweet, salty, and spicy at the simultaneously. Alternatively, Rajasthan reflects most diverse styles of food in India. Rajasthani food is spicy but largely vegetarian. Nevertheless, Rajasthani cuisine consists of non vegetarian delicacies also including Laal Maas (red meat curry).
Rajasthani cuisine among the wide assortment of Western Indian Cuisine includes food mostly doused in ounces of ghee (clarified butter). Clarified butter is used in the region to substitute the lack of different materials in the austere desert surroundings. The states of Rajasthan and Gujarat in West India are places with hot, dry climates and thus insufficient variety of vegetables are available in the region. In order to beat the heat, cuisines in western India include pickles and chutneys.