Rajasthan Cuisines

Rajasthan's warfare-oriented Rajput aristocracy and trading Marwari community, both developed very discreet cuisines, fascinatingly tailored to an arid existence. There is a distinctness in the Rajasthani cuisine which comes from a tradition that is old and tranquil, and from a culture that has churned the best from its neighboring states of Sindh, Gujrat, Haryana and Punjab. Taste the famous Rajasthani food in its various mouth-watering dishes, served sizzling hot, and you cannot forget the sublime intricacy of taste that will whirl around your tongue for the rest of your life.

One thing that makes the famous cuisine of Rajasthan stand out from the rest of India, is its fantastic existence in the top list of delicacies, despite numerous culinary constraints dominating the desertscape, which ultimately led to strange reversal of values. In Rajasthan water is at a premium, and hence the food is generally cooked in milk or ghee (clarified butter), making it quite rich. On the other hand, Besan or gram flour is a mainstay of Marwari food mainly because of paucity of vegetables in this arid land. Savor the esthetic gatte ki sabzi (curried gram-flour dumplings) and kadhi (curried gram-flour in yoghurt). Don't forget to ask for more if you like it, and you would like it definitely. 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 chillies, turmeric powder, shredded dried mango, salt, 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 a spongy dough is fried and curried in yoghurt.

Rajput cuisine is of course, royally rich in meat preparations, especially game such as wild boar, hare and game birds. One of these mogul preparations is the safed maas (white meat), a traditional Rajasthani delicacy and is a must eat for every foreign traveller. The secret of its grand taste is in the gravy, which in turn is a perfect amalgamation of onion, ginger, garlic paste, salt, pepper, cashew nut paste and cardomom. Chumks of mutton (with bones) are cooked in this gravy and fresh cream is added just before serving. Be it sin any form, Rajasthani food is impeccable.

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