Rajasthan is one of India’s many exotic destinations. With its breathtaking palaces, spectacular landscape and rich history, it’s a truly unique holiday experience. We asked travel writer Kalpana Sunder to pick the region’s top dishes.
Rajasthani food has been influenced by the dearth of vegetables and water in this arid state. The hunting expeditions of the rich and the lifestyle of local warriors has given rise to a whole range of innovative dishes and ingredients that can last for several days. The use of dried lentils, beans, milk and buttermilk is common in cooking. Oil and red chillies help preserve the food and reduces the need for water. Each region of Rajasthan has its own trademark dish.
Top 5 Foods in Rajasthan are
- Dal baati churma
This is the state’s classic signature dish. Baati is hard, unleavened bread cooked in the desert areas of Rajasthan. Baati is prized mainly for its long shelf life, plus it requires hardly any water for its preparation. It is always eaten with dal (lentil curry). The dal is made of lentils while churma is a coarsely ground wheat mixture crushed and cooked in ghee and jaggery or sugar.
2. Mohan Thaal
This royal dessert is equally royal to amaze the taste buds of food connoisseurs. Mohan Thaal is unique to Rajasthan and is a sweet dish prepared from Besan and dry fruits. The aroma and taste of ghee add the cherry to the cake!
3. Ker sangri
One of the most popular Rajasthani dishes, ker is a wild berry that is tangy and peppery while sangri is a type of long bean grown abundantly in the desert areas of Jaisalmer and Barmer. Sangri is a mainstay during drought, when little else is available as it is 53% protein. Legend has it that long ago there was a famine in Rajasthan and the villagers found these two vegetables when all other vegetation had withered away. The villagers took these vegetables home and due to the scarcity of water cooked them in vegetable oil with spices. They ate this wonderful concoction with their bajra rotis. Today they cook it with buttermilk or water.
4. Laal Maas
One of the most common parts of the non-vegetarian platter, Laal maas owes its colour to the hot red chillies. The meat is cooked in hot gravy of tomatoes, chillies and sizzling spices. Don’t miss this pungent yet scrumptious food of Rajasthan next time you visit this vibrant state.
5. Onion kachori
Pyaaz ki kachori originated in Jodhpur and is now eaten all over the state, mainly as a breakfast snack. They are flaky, deep-fried breads made from plain flour and stuffed with a spicy onion mixture with spices like fennel, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. Usually, kachoris are served with coriander & mint and date & tamarind chutney.