Features of West Indian Cuisine
Essentially, the cookery in the western region of the country is simple with dishes like Aloo Bhaji (spicy potatoes), Kadhi (chickpea dumplings in yoghurt sauce) and preparations polished off with rice and pooris (puffed whole wheat fried breads).This region has diverse food culture that is spicy and largely vegetarian with some popular meat dishes. Gujarati cuisine has a special place for desserts and snacks. Gujarati prefer the thaali style meals where multiple dishes from starters, maincourse to side dishes and desserts are served in a large plate.
Maharashtra lies on the coaster region so the food mainly consists of fishes and coconuts. Vidharba and Malvani style of cooking is most popular in this region. Hot and sour curries are among the favourite dishes of Maharashtrians. Seafood, on the other hand has a major place in Goan cuisine due to its proximity to the sea coast. Goa was also under Portuguese rule for a long time which highly influenced the cuisine of this region. Strong flavors of spices, coconut, and red chilli are the highlights of Goan food. Rajasthani cuisine is a influenced by the lifestyle of the warriors that the Rajput were and also the kind of vegetation that is prevalent here. The cuisine is an overhaul of vegetables and dairy products and dessert forms an integral part of it.
Maharashtrian cuisine among the West Indian Cuisine has mainly 2 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.
Popular dishes in Maharashtrian Cuisine
From kichdi to Vade, the Maharashtrian cuisine is a pure delight for anyone looking to experience diverse culture of food. Some of the famous recipes in this region include pooran poli, Sabudana Khichdi, Sol Kadhi, Golyachi Amti, Zunka Bhakri, Bharli Vangi, Kothambir Vade, and Matki Chi Usal. Chats like bhelpuri, vadapav, and pav bhaji are also popular in Maharashtra.
Kothambir Vade: It is a snack made of wheat flour, gram flour, and peanuts. Kothambir Vade is crispy on the outer side and soft inside.
Matki Chi Usal: Also known as moth bean curry, Matki Chi Usal is a sweet and spicy dish made using green grams, onions, tomato, and coconut. This recipe is loaded with protein and is often paired with bread or rice.
Pooran Poli: This is homemade stuffed bread filled with jaggery and Bengal gram. The outer part is called pori and the stuffing is called puran.
Sabudana Khichdi: This is a staple on religious festivals like Navratri, Mahashivratri, etc. As the name suggests, sabudana is the main ingredient here along with potato and coconut.
Sol Kadhi: It is a spicy curry made with kokum and coconut milk. This curry is served chilled and has soothing effect on the digestive system.
Golyachi Amti: It is a kind of Besan Kofta Curry flavored with different spices. Golyachi Amti is mainly served steamed rice or rotis.
Zunka Bhakri: It is a mix of onions, red chilli, and gram flour, along with several flavoring spices. This health food forms a staple in Maharashtra.
Bharli Vangi: In this recipe, the bringal is stuffed with coconut and peanuts. Bharli Vangi is best served with chapati, rice, or bread.
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. Saraswat cuisine is found in the coastal areas of Goa and contributes to the Konkani food.
Popular dishes in Goan Cuisine
Rice is a staple food for goans so the cuisine mainly comprises of dishes that are served with rice. Daali Ambat, Sorak Curry, Patoleo, Mushroom Xacuti, Khatkhate Curry, and Sannas are popular dishes. Pulao, as a variety of rice is also famous in this region. Bebinca is one of the favorite local desserts in this region.
Bebinca: It is a variation of pudding made with plain flour, sugar, and coconut milk. Bebinca is a baked dish that is served as dessert and also as snacks.
Daali Ambat: It is a coconut curry made with toor dal and grated coconut, loaded with vegetables. Daali Ambat is a spicy sour curry served with plain rice or dosa.
Sorak Curry: This spicy curry is made with coconut and green chillies with a hint of tamarind. It is served with rice or chapati.
Patoleo: It is a Goan dessert, made with rice, coconut, and jaggery. Patoleo is highly influenced by Maharashtrian cuisine and is a special dish on feast day.
Mushroom Xacuti: This is a spicy mushroom dish that can be prepared in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations. Mushroom Xacuti is paired with chapatti, pulao, or steamed rice in meals.
Khatkhate Curry: This is a mixed vegetable curry prepared with grated coconut, jaggery, kokum, and lentils. It is a special dish on festivals and celebrations.
Sannas: It is a form of rice cake flavored with coconut and sugar. Sannas are often served in breakfast with chutney or sambar.
Gujarati cuisine depends on the influence of Hinduism and Jainism. However, Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian. And the dishes are prepared with hint of sweetness adding sugar or brown sugar. A typical Gujarati Thali consists of Roti, daal or kadhi, rice and sabzi or shaak. Most of the Gujarati dishes are specifically sweet, salty, and spicy at the simultaneously.
The states of 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.
Popular dishes in Gujarati Cuisine
Gujarati Cuisine is unique in its flavor and ingredients. Some of the famous recipes of Gujarat include Dal Dhokli, Khandvi, Undhiyu, Lachko Dal, Lasaniya Batata, Sev Tameta Nu, Bhaat Na Rasawala Muthia, Thepla, Vagharelo Bhaat and Gujarati Kadhi.
Dal Dhokli: It is a rich curry made of whole wheat flour and gram flour flavored with herbs and spices. Dal Dhokli is mainly served with roti or chapatti.
Khandvi: This Gujarati snack is made using besan and curd. It is a little tricky to prepare but is a treat during festivals and celebrations.
Undhiyu: This mixed vegetable dish is slow-cooked in earthen pots. It is a popular dish during winters and is mostly served with puris and shrikhand.
Lachko Dal: It is a rich nutritious lentil preparation made using tuvar dal. Lachko Dal is mainly served with steamed rice.
Lasaniya Batata: This is a spicy potato curry with a strong garlic flavor. It is served with rice papad, roti, paratha, or chapatti for meal.
Sev Tameta Nu: It is a spicy sour tomato curry prepared with different vegetables. Sev Tameta Nu is also called Sev Tamatar Ki Sabzi and is a popular dish in jain community.
Bhaat Na Rasawala Muthia: This traditional Gujarati curry is made from leftover rice, wheat flour, and besan. It is often served as a light meal.
Thepla: This is one of the famous Gujarati recipes made with wheat flour and curd. Thepla is kind of chapatti served with chutney for meals.
Vagharelo Bhaat: It is a flavored rice dish loaded with vegetables for a healthy meal. Vagharelo Bhaat is often considered a natural cure for seasonal ailments in children.
Gujarati Kadhi: It is a yogurt based sweet and spicy curry that has calming effect on the body. This is mostly served with steamed rice, roti, or chapatti.
Strong flavors of spices rule the Rajasthani cuisine. Due to vast arid regions of the state that impacted the vegetation, Rajasthani cuisine highly depends on ingredients that are grown in the region. pickels, chutneys, breads, and delectable curries are staple in this region. While the cuisine is mostly vegetarian, some non-vegetarian dishes like lal mans and safed mans are also popular. Marwari cuisine or the food style of Mewar has a huge influence on the cocking style of Rasjathani food. Rajasthani desserts are famous across the country for their uniqueness and flavors.
Popular dishes in Rajasthani Cuisine
Ghee, besan, and milk are mostly used for preparing food in Rajasthan. Lentils and some forms of herbs are also popular in this state. Famous delicacies of Rajasthan includes Dal Bati Churma, Ker Sangri ki Sabzi, Pyaaz Kachori, Gatte Ki Sabji, Papad ki Sabzi, Panchmel Dal, Haldi ki Sabzi, Jodhpuri Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi, Besan Bhindi Masala, and Gunda ki Sabzi.
Dal Bati Churma: It is a delicacy in Rajasthan that comprises three dishes that are lentil curry, wheat flour dumplings, and a sweetened cereal that serves a as a dessert. Dal Bati Churma is a meal in itself.
Ker Sangri ki Sabzi: It is a rich curry made using dried beans and berries. Ker Sangri ki Sabzi is often served with steamed rice or roti.
Pyaaz Kachori: It is a fried pastry stuffed with spicy onion filling. Pyaaz Kachori is best served with tamarind chutney.
Gatte Ki Sabji: It is a traditional dish prepared using besan and curd. This spicy curry is served with puri, chapatti, or rice for meals.
Papad ki Sabzi: This rich curry is made with papad and yogurt, flavored with herbs and spices. Papad ki Sabzi is best served with roti, chapatti or bread.
Panchmel Dal: This traditional Rajasthani dish is made using a mix of lentils and flavored with spices and herbs. Panchmel Dal is often served with bati or wheat flour dumplings and pulao.
Haldi ki Sabzi: It is a dish prepared using raw turmeric and different vegetables. Haldi ki Sabzi has anti-inflammatory effects on the body and also works as antidepressant.
Jodhpuri Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi: As the name suggests, it is a traditional dish of Jodhpur made using gulan jamun, a form of dessert. This recipe is served with plain rice or roti.
Besan Bhindi Masala: This is a crispy spicy fried bhindi recipe. Besan Bhindi Masala is best served with chapattis or phulkas but can be accompanied with rice and dal.
Gunda ki Sabzi: This authentic Rajasthani dish is made using raw mango and green chilli. It is loaded with nutrition and can be preserved for a few days without refrigeration.