Features of Gujarati Cuisine
The staples of Gujarati cuisine include homemade Pickles, Khichdi, Pulao, Khatta-Mittha Bhaat, Undhiyu and 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. Different cooking styles and combination of spices are incorporated in preparing different dishes marking uniqueness of each.
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.
Various Delicacies of Gujarati Cuisine
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 ‘Phulka Rotli’, ‘Puri’, ‘Thepla’ or ‘Dhebara’, ‘Bhakhiri’ are popular in the Gujarati cuisine. The popular Gujarati curries are ‘Undhiyu’, ‘Sev Tametanu Shaak’, ‘Ringan nu Shaak’, ‘Bateta nu Shaak’, ‘Ghantiya nu Shaak’ and 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’, ‘Laddoo’, ‘Jalebi’, ‘Pedha’, ‘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.