(Last Updated on : 24/03/2014)
Gujarati Cuisine refers to the culinary preparations of the native people from the state of Gujarat in the western region of India. The Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian, due to the influence of Hinduism and Jainism. The archetypal Gujarati Thali is made up of Roti
, Daal or Kadhi, Rice
, and Sabzi or Shaak, which is a dish made up of different combinations of vegetables and spices, which may be a fried or sauted, and it could be spicy or sweet flavoured. Gujarati cuisine varies widely in flavour and heat, depending on individual family's preferences as well as the region of Gujarat they belong to. North Gujarat, Kutch, Kathiawar
and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarat that all together bring their own style to Gujarati food. Many Gujarati dishes are characteristically sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time. Thus, Gujarati cuisine is popular for its diversity and variations.
The staples of Gujarati cuisine include homemade Pickles
, Khichdi (Rice and Lentil or Rice and Mung Bean Daal), Pulao, Khatta-Mittha Bhaat (sweet and sour rice), Undhiyu and Chhaas (Buttermilk). Main dishes of Gujarat revolves around steamed vegetables and Daals that are added to a Vaghaar, which is a mixture of spices cleaned in hot oil that varies depending on the main ingredient. Salt, sugar, lime, lemon, and tomato are used commonly to prevent dehydration in a dry region like Gujarat. Gujarati cuisine is usually adorned with increased sugar or Jaggery to some of the Sabzi, Saag and Dal. The sweet flavour of Gujarati cuisine is believed to counteract the slightly salty taste of the water.
Gujarati cuisine changes with the seasonal availability of vegetables. The spices used in the Gujarati foods also change depending on the season. Garam Masala and its ingredient spices are hardly used in summer. Regular fasting, with diets including merely milk and dried fruits, and nuts, are quite common. During the cold winters, the Gujarati cuisine consists of thick Rotis called as Bhakhri made up of Bajra flours, Garlic Chutney, Onion pieces and lots of Buttermilk near Saurashtra. Sweets form an integral factor in Gujarati cuisine, sweets made of local Sugarcane
, Jaggery, Milk
, Almonds, and Pistachios are served at weddings and family occasions.
Gujarati cuisine is unique in many ways from other culinary traditions of India. It is one of the few cultures, where a majority section of people are vegetarians that have evolved from religious ideologies and beliefs of the region. Different kinds of breads like Fulka Rotli, Puri, Thepala or Dhebara, Bhakhiri are popular in the Gujarati cuisine. The popular Gujarati curries are Undhiyun, Sev Tametanu Shaak, Ringan nu Shaak, Bateta nu Shaak, Ghantiya nu Shaak ands others. The side dishes in Gujarati cuisine are called Farsan and include Bhajiya, Paani Puri, Lilva Kachori, Khaman, Patra, Rasya Muthia, Khichu, Dhokla, Handwo, Khaman and Muthia. Nasto or the deep fried snack foods made with Besan or a similar type of flour is also umpteen like Ghanthia, Cholafali, Khakhra, Chakri, Sev, Mathia and others. Lentils or Daal constitute an important part of Gujarati cuisine and have only two varieties, namely Moong Daal and Meethi Kadhi. Moreover, various types of sweets, known as Mithai, also adorn Gujarati cuisine which include, Malpua, Son Papdi
, Barfi, Ghooghra, Ladu, Jalebi, Penda, Shrikhand, Kansar, Doodhpak, Dudhi no Halwo, Mohanthal, Keri no ras, Gud papdi and others.
Gujarati cuisine is a blend of exquisite flavours and textures. The wide range of foods cooked in Gujarati homes, reflect the traditional ways of cooking that evolve from different regions of Gujarat.