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The Mouthwatering Cuisine of India's Rajasthan

Rajasthan, the land of the Rajputana dynasty and its heritage treasures, has attracted a tremendous number visitors to its vast and scintillating sights for memorable holidays. This land of princes and maharajas has many luxurious and opulent things to offer from eloquent palaces to majestic forts and monuments, from the faraway Aravali Hills to goosebump-inducing wilderness amidst lush foliage and the vibrant fairs and festivals - all part of the essential tableau of Rajasthan tours.

But above all there is something different that hypnotizes every tourist who comes to this majestic land: its savory cuisine; both within its palaces and beyond, Rajasthan has truly fine gastronomy to offer.

The tradition of savory dishes is very ancient, since at the royal kitchens preparation and presentation were a very complex matter of great responsibility. Presenting royal delicacies in exotic ways was itself a piece of art and selected cook were used to be appointed for the same. Thus the khansamas (royal cooks) worked in the stately palaces and kept their most secret recipes to themselves. Some recipes were passed on to their descendants and the rest were passed on as skills to the chefs of semi states and the branded hotel companies.

Rajasthani Thali

Rajasthan foods are more dependent upon its climatic conditions and the availability of the ingredients at the regions. The foodie delicacies were being followed since the medieval period when there was war-like lifestyle and such foods were preferred that could last longer and could be eaten without heating. Of course the region had the scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables and so the necessity became more of a choice for such salivary delicacies.

It has been noted that Rajasthan at its different destinations brings different types of cuisines and different types of cooking procedures. The deserted belt of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner prefer lesser use of water in their cooking besides they prefer milk, buttermilk and clarified butter. The distinct feature of the Maheshwaris is that they use mango powder in their cooking for a perfect substitute of tomatoes which are scarce in the deserts and asafetida, to enhance the taste in place of garlic and onions. Rajasthan is mostly famous for its gram flour delicacies where the curries are the major attractions which are cooked in pure Ghee (clarified butter). As a favorite Rajasthani dessert, a dish called lapsi is prepared with broken wheat (dalia) sautéed in ghee and sweetened.

The most popular Rajasthani Dishes one can savor during tours to Rajasthan are:

  •   Karhi- popularly known as khatta, made of buttermilk or yogurt, mixed with chickpea flour, mustard seeds and crushed garlic cloves. It is cooked on slow heat for a long time, for the longer it simmers, the better it tastes.
  •  'Gatte ka saag', is cooked with freshly made dumplings of chickpea flour and 'badi ka saag' is prepared with sun-dried moth-lentil dumplings.
  •  'khichra'- a porridge of millets and moth lentils that is cooked along with water, a little spice and some ghee in combination with either jaggery or karhi forms an aromatic part of the Rajasthani diet.
  •  The hot red-chilli-and-garlic chutney (a type of tangy Indian sauce) 'raabori' and millet flour cooked in buttermilk, (believed to be an excellent coolant in the summers) are popular accompaniments with the food.
  •  Sangri and ker (a hard desert berry) abounds in the preparation of Rajasthani meals and vegetables such as Okra, Jackfruit, Eggplant, Mustard and Fenugreek leaves are also used.
  •   In terms of sweet delicacies and desserts which are preferred first in their meal, the specific sweets are - Laddoos from Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, Malpuas from Pushkar, Rasogullas from Bikaner, Dil Jani from Udaipur, Mishri Mawa and Ghevar from Jaipur, Mawa Katchori from Jodhpur, Sohan Halwa from Ajmer, Mawa from Alwar and the list goes on.   

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Tags: Asia, India, Indian cuisine, cuisine, culinary tourism, culinary travel

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