History Of Rajasthani Cusine
Rajasthani or Marwari Cooking is a testiment how good vegetarians food can be, Rajasthan cooking in general has its own unique flavor where the simplest and the most basic of ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes. The harsh climate and the non-availability of ingredients in this region are a great influence. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred, more out of necessity than choice. The sparse rainfall is not conducive to growing fresh green vegetables. Due to this scarcity whatever vegetables are grown are sundried so that they can be used for the rest of the year. In the Marwar region i.e. Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner, cooking is done with minimum use of water, instead milk, buttermilk and clarified butter is used. Non availability of vegetables like tomatoes has lead to the usage of dried mango powder while asafetida is used instead of onion and garlic. Gram flour is a major ingredient and is used to make some of the delicacies like khatta, gatte ki sabzi, pakodi; powdered lentils are used for mangodi, papad; bajra and corn is used all over the state for preparations of rabdi, khichdi and rotis. Various chutneys are made from locally available spices like turmeric, coriander, mint and garlic.
In Rajasthan water is at a premium, and hence the food is generally cooked in milk or ghee (clarified butter), making it quite rich. . Another exotic preparation is kair sangri, and is served with mango pickle. Kair is a camel’s favorite, a small, round desert fruit which grows on a prickly shrub; whereas sangri is dried wild leaves. The seeds and leaves are soaked overnight in water, boiled and then fried in oil, to prepare a mouth-watering delicacy flavored with tints of dried dates, red chilies, turmeric powder, shredded dried mango, salt, and coriander and cumin seeds.
Marwari cuisine’s signature dish, dal-bati-churma, is a fine example of the survival amidst the constraints and simultaneously bringing the best out of it. Balls of whole wheat dough, baked over a coal fire, are dipped into melted ghee to make bati, which is served with a spicy dal. More of the batis are crumbled with nuts and sugar to make a delicious sweet dish, churma. When in Rajasthan, don’t forget to taste the Marwari chakki ra saag, which despite the name saag, has no veggies in it but whole wheat flour, kneaded into spongy dough is fried and curried in yoghurt.
There is no dearth of desserts in this desert state. The Rajasthani cuisine whole-heartedly offers a wide array of sweet dishes that will indeed satiate your half-filled appetite. Try the badam ki barfi, almond fudge made from sugar, milk, almonds and ghee. Travel to the beautiful city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur, which greets its every visitor with its saporous sweet dish, ghewar. It is a paste of urad cereal which is crushed, deep fried and then dipped into sugar syrup flavored with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Wow! It tastes so good when served hot, topped with a thick layer of unsweetened cream and garnished with rose petals. Drive over to Bikaner, and load your bags with the famous aloo bhujiya (fried shredded potato) and rosugulla. Believe it or not, but your trip to Rajasthan is not complete if you don’t take these famous delicacies for your loved. Some other famous sweets are Malpua and rice kheer