A popular misconception about food from the Indian State of Rajasthan is that it is primarily non meaty. However, a sizeable proportion of the State is non-meat consumers hence the majority of food served in Rajasthani restaurants are vegetarian. Here is a complete overlook of this Indian food which is fast becoming an epicurean delight.
You need not have your crestfallen over the fact of food being non meaty in Rajasthan as one of the most sumptuous meaty food called “Laal Maas” is easily available in the restaurants. Laal refers to the red colour of the dish which contains goat meat cooked slowly in the Red Mathania chillies. ‘Laal Maas’ served in the more arid parts of this Indian state is spicier than it is in the Jaipur (capital city). Also, the restaurants serve a toned-down version of the dish.
Apart from laal maas, junglee maas is another wonderful meaty dish consisting of succulent pieces of goat which is cooked slowly in ghee (clarified butter) and then finished in a pan over an open flame with dry red chillies, salt and more clarified butter. It elevates the overall taste of the dish. The junglee maas is a dry dish which is like Bengali Manghso bhaaja (fried mutton). However, it is available with saalan (gravy) too. Safed Maas is another popularly consumed Rajasthani food item which is tender meat cooked in cream, milk or yogurt.
Rajasthani cooking has its own unique flavour and the most basic ingredients are used in the preparation of these cuisines. The cuisine of this state were influenced by the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and availability of ingredients in the desert region of this Indian State. With the invasion of Pathans, the art of barbecuing found its way to Rajasthan. You will be amazed to know that this art is honed up to the extent that sula smoked kebabs or skewered boneless lamb can be prepared in 11 different ways.
What Does a Rajasthan Platter Comprise of?
On the platter you will see a meticulous preparation of curries, pickles, lentil stuffed breads and much more…Every regional cuisine in India is laced with the ingredients which are available in abundance. So, owing to the scarcity of water, people in Rajasthan started cooking in buttermilk, curd, milk. In this food you will find these ingredients in excess. Also, you will find a heavy use of grains, pulses and millets. Apart from the conventional flat bread made up of wheat flour you will find breads made up of these grains also.
One of the most devoured food items in Rajasthan is “dal baati churma.” This is a classical combination of three dishes eaten together. Dal is also known as panchmel dal, as it is a combination of five types of lentils cooked with garlic and desi ghee. The Baatis are dumplings of wholewheat flour, baked on dry cow dung cakes called kandas. Churma is a sweetened cereal powder made by frying wholewheat flour and desi ghee.
Daal Baati Churma
Curries made up of gram flour are common. Split green pea lentil is pretty popular. A popular variety of lentil called ‘Panchmela dal’ is immensely popular. It is a blend of five different varieties of lentils. Gatte ki sabzi which is gram flour nuggets cooked in the flavoured gravy is a common item on platter. Ker Shangri. Amras ki kadhi, papad ki sabzi are other additions. Deep fried onion filled flat bread (pyaz ki kachori) and a yogurt based drink called lassi is a common Rajasthani item.
Some of The Other Exclusive Rajasthani which are a must include on a food trail to the Rajasthan…
Khud Khargosh: (This is a rabbit meat cooked in a pit)
Khus Khargos is a Rajput specialty during the summer season when hare is lean, it is stuffed with the spices, wrapped in dough and finally in layers of mud-soaked cloth. The ambrosial result is meat perfectly blended with the spices and dough. ‘
In the Rajput cuisine, sooley refers to the tender morsels of meat which is marinated with a mixture of dry yogurt, brown onions, garlic, ginger, red chillies and coriander. This dish is made up of chicken, mutton or fish.
Mangodi Ki Subji:
Mongodis are made by soaking lentils in water until they are soft. They are then ground without addition of water and combined with red chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder. These are then pinched into cherry size and dried in the sun for a couple of days. These mongodis can be stored upto a few months. It is often deep fried and combined with vegetables to make dry preparation and curries.
Makki ka Soweta
The Soweta is a spicy combination of lamb and corn. The meat is marinated with yoghurt, a paste of garlic, deseeded green chillies, onions along with coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. The corn is roughly chopped. These are made to bhunao till brown, little moisture added and cooked till the meat is tender.
Amrud ki Subzi
This is an exquisite delicacy of guava simmered in a tangy tomato and yoghurt masala.
A multi – tiered cake of lamb mince and phulka which is a magnificent meal in itself. Khad means a hole in the ground. Originally, the ‘cake’ was baked in a hole in the ground with charcoals and hot sand providing the heat.
It is prepared with rice and fried lentil dumplings known asmongodis. It is preparing by putting whole hot spices in the ghee followed by some sliced onions, ginger juliennes, and other spices. The soaked rice is added and cooked along with fried mongodis.
Gatte ki Tehri:
This is a contemporary Rajasthani preparation of besan gatethat are layered with basmati rice along with flavoured spices and saffron cooked on dum.
This is avery famous bread prepared by kneading gram flour, wholewheat flour, chopped onions, and green chillies into a dough. The chapattis are rolled out from this dough and cooked on a tawa.
Besan ka chilla is a very common street food from Rajasthan. It can be made from besan or moong dal. This moong dal is soaked and then made into a coarse paste. It is then mixed with salt, chopped onions, green chillies, and chopped green coriander and left to ferment for an hour. It is then spread like adosa on a hot plate and stuffed with grated paneer and folded over to a half moon. It is served hot with garlic chutney.
To wrap up the food items you eat, you will be served with ‘Kanji vada’. This is made up of ground moon dal (green split peas) nuggets which are soaked in water infused with mustard, green chillies and mustard. This tangy preparation aids in digestion and will no lesser than a boon to your stomach when you are through with devouring the Indian food in Rajasthan.