Rajasthani cuisine consists of diverse ingredients. When put in a cauldron and a magic spell is cast upon them, we end up with such savouring delicacies. From rich gravies to amazing sweets, there is a lot that Rajasthan has to offer.
A typical Rajasthani thali is always a colourful and flavoursome affair. The variety of food is awe-inspiring. Here are some of the best dishes that you must try while visiting Rajasthan.
Dal Bati Churma has gained its position among the popular Rajasthani dishes. It is a traditional food that is a blend of Panchkuti dal, a mixture of 5 pulses, with crispy Batis (balls) dipped in ghee and Churma which is sweet. The crispy Batis are roasted bread balls that are broken. Then spicy Dal is added to the Bati and a bit of Churma is added to balance the spices. The combination of Dal and Churma gives the Bati a uniquely balanced taste. Carbohydrates from the Bati, protein from the Dal and good fat from the Ghee and Churma make this dish a wholesome meal. Every bite keeps you wanting to take the next one.
Literally meaning “red meat”, this non-vegetarian meat curry is a perfect celebration of India’s spices. The dish used to be made with deer meat when kings went on hunting sprees. It has been replaced with delicate lamb meat. The red meat curry is prepared with finely chopped mutton, tomatoes, garlic sauce, sizzling spices and red chillies. Before you take the first bite of Laal Maas, the fiery red appearance appeals to your sight and the aroma makes you salivate. Served with Indian bread dipped in ghee, Laal Maas doesn’t disappoint. In case you have low spice tolerance, you can pair Laal Maas with white rice to balance the heat.
With a debatable place of origin that most people say is in Jaipur, Pyaz ki Kachori is famous all over Rajasthan today. This is a common breakfast choice. This deep-fried snack is a perfect accompaniment to your steaming cup of tea or just as a snack by itself to satisfy random hunger pangs. Pyaz ki Kachori is a crispy fried pastry stuffed with onions. The taste of the filling is enhanced with spices like cumin, fennel, chilli powder and others to make every bite flavoursome. The kachoris are served with condiments such as sweet tamarind sauce that help balance the spices and keep you wanting for more.
Kadhi is a popular side dish served with roti or rice in different parts of the country. The Kadhi of each region has a distinct taste and texture. The Rajasthani version of the Kadhi is thinner as compared to other places like Punjab and Gujrat but it is more flavoursome and enriched with different spices. Made with Gram flour and yoghurt, the curry base is thick and makes a great choice for comfort food. This spicy, tangy dish is so famous that you can find it in every Indian cuisine restaurant in Rajasthan. Every family has their own secret recipe for Kadhi that has been kept intact for generations. You can also find fritters added to the Kadhi to make it more wholesome and filling.
Ker Sangri is a kind of pickle and a typical desert vegetable holding a unique position in Rajasthani cuisine. It is a sweet and spicy side dish that spices up any bread or bland food and takes it to a new level. Ker is a wild berry that grows in the middle of the Thar desert. It is prepared with Sangari, also wild but dried beans. The two are local Rajasthani ingredients and when prepared with other regional ingredients it transforms into a mouthwatering delicacy. You may not fall in love at first sight with Ker Sangri but once you taste it, the unique flavour is sure to impress your taste buds. The dish is nutritional with distinctive flavours which can be found only in Rajasthan.
Bajra Ki Raab is another popular dish of Rajasthani cuisine. It is a mouthwatering soup that is not just a delicacy but also a healthy bowl. The base of the soup is prepared with Bajra flour (black millet), desi ghee, grated jaggery, dried ginger powder and Ajwain (carom seeds). The bowl is enriched with iron and magnesium. Bajra Ki Raab is ideal for people with weak appetites and is a must in cold winter weather in Rajasthan. It is ideal for a quick and fast meal. You must have a steaming bowl of Bajra ki Raab to appreciate the variety that Rajasthan’s food has to offer.
Gatte is a famous dish that finds its place in most Rajasthani thalis. Be it Gatte ki Sabzi, Shahi Gatte, Gatte Pulao or Masala Gatte, the variations that gatte offers are many. Shahi Gatte and Masala Gatte have a spicy flavour and the plate consists of thick gravy that you can enjoy with any Indian flatbread, particularly the ones made with Bajra. Gatte Pulao, popularly known as Govind Gatte, is sweet and prepared for festivities with vegetables replacing the gravy. It is served with Kadhi or Mangodi ki Daal and is garnished with dry fruits. Gatte is a traditional and ethnic dish that lets you get a taste of authentic Rajasthani cuisine.
A disc-shaped dessert made from primarily three ingredients, Ghevar is associated with celebrations in Rajasthan. It is specially prepared during the festival of Gangaur, Makar Sankranti and Teej. The dish is prepared from flour with butter or ghee and dipped into sugar syrup to enhance the taste and soften its texture. It is this flaky texture that makes it unique and so much loved. Ghevar had found its place in royal thalis too during ancient times when kings ruled the land. It used to be a favourite among royal households. There are different variations of Ghevar like Paneer Ghevar, Malai Ghevar and Mawa Ghevar. It is a healthy dessert that is a must-try during your visit to Rajasthan.
Mohan Thaal is a traditional and royal sweet of Rajasthan. It is among the mouthwatering popular desserts of Rajasthan. Mohan Thaal is made for festive occasions. For instance, it is one of the Chhappan Bhog (holy 56 food offerings) that are offered during Poojas in the Vaishnav community. Mohan Thaal is prepared from gram flour, pure desi ghee, milk, mawa, saffron, and dry fruits. This regal dessert is ideal to satisfy the sweet tooth. The dry fruits balance the sweetness and add a crunch to every bite. The aroma and savour of ghee and saffron flatter the luscious taste of Mohan Thaal. This delicacy is a pallet to have a fling with!
It doesn’t matter if you have a sweet tooth or you don't, Badam ka Halwa is sure to make you fall in love with Rajasthan's sweets. The dish is prepared with soaked almonds that are grounded and stewed in desi ghee. To this semolina, sugar or jaggery, and dry fruit are added. As you scoop one bite of the desert, the richness of the delicacy melts in your mouth leaving an everlasting savour in your memory. Badam Ki Halwa is so tasty that it makes you want more and more of it, making the verse accurate that 'there is always room for desserts!' This royal delicacy tastes its best when served hot. Badam Ki Halwa is not just delicious but also healthy and is perfect for cold weather.