Rajasthan, the desert state of India, is a land laden with culture and history. One visits Rajasthan not only to explore the bejewelled palaces that dot this colourful land, but also to experience the diversity that characterizes this state.
From the upbeat folk music and the colourful drapes of the bandhani textiles, to the artistic marble crafts and exquisite cuisine, Rajasthan has so much to offer its guests.
It is this cuisine that we'll be discussing today. But before I get into it, allow me to share something about Rajasthani culture that will perhaps help you understand its various elements (cuisine included) a little better.
Rajasthan is famous for being the home of the pink and blue cities of the country, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India, for domestic and foreign travellers alike. It isn't the diversity alone that pulls visitors towards this land…it is Rajasthan's regard for its guests, its warm hospitality, and the respectful manner with which they serve everyone visiting, that draws people into their welcoming arms.
It is this warmth that's also highlighted in their comforting soul food!
Rajasthani food is a cuisine that's so robust with flavour and texture that once you've tasted it, its memory haunts your taste buds for an eternity. It is a cuisine that encompasses all dietary preferences from veganism to hardcore non-vegetarianism with a gamut of flavourful dishes!
But one can’t always travel far for the sake of trying new delicacies, and we sympathize with that. Therefore, we have compiled a list of must-try Rajasthani recipes that you can cook up in your kitchens!
1. Ker Sangri ki Sabzi
An indigenous green bean, Ker is a dried berry that’s often eaten with sangri, a local Rajasthani bean. Dried Ker and Sangri are used to prepare this tangy Rajasthani sabzi that is consumed with daal ki poori (fried bread made with lentil flour). Here’s what you need, to make this tasty treat.
½ cup of Ker
1 ½ cup of sangri
5 tablespoons of oil
¼ teaspoon of hing
1 teaspoon of jeera (cumin seeds)
1 teaspoon of saunf (fennel seeds)
5 dry red chillies (whole)
3 teaspoons of dhaniya powder (coriander powder)
2 teaspoons of red chilli powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of garam masala
2 teaspoons of amchur powder (dry mango powder)
2 tablespoons of yogurt
¼ cup of raisins
2 tablespoons of coriander leaves (chopped)
1. Wash thoroughly and soak the Ker and Sangri in two separate bowls for 8 to 10 hrs.
2. Wash the ingredients again to remove any remnants of dirt.
3. Add the Ker and Sangri to a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt; allow it to cook for 1 whistle and then turn off the heat.
4. Let the pressure cooker release the steam and open. Then drain the excess water from it.
5. Wash the Ker and Sangri again.
6. To a hot pan, add oil. When hot, add the Hing, Cumin and Fennel seeds. Saute for 10 seconds and add the dry red chillies, and saute for a few more seconds.
7. To this tempering, add the Ker and Sangri and mix well.
8. After half a minute, add the coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and dry mango powder. Mix all the ingredients gently but thoroughly.
9. Add the Yogurt, raisins and salt (to taste).
10. Mix the ingredients again and cover the pan to let the sabzi cook for 6 to 10 minutes.
11. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.
If you ask me, this sabzi can be eaten with all kinds of bread; but as mentioned before, it is most popularly eaten with daal ki pooris! If you’re travelling to the desert land, be sure to get a bottle of Ker-Sangri pickle back; it is a close second to the fresh and hot sabzi you will have there.
2. Bajra ki roti with lasun chutney
Bajra- a pearl millet, is a rich potassium source that keeps the heart healthy. This local ingredient, primarily grown in this desert state, is also the main ingredient used to make the famous bajre ki khichdi, another great dish belonging to the Rajasthani cuisine.
This 'delicious-packed-with-good-health' dish is the staple bread and condiment that Rajasthani households make daily. However, the best part of this dish is that you can also just as easily make it a part of your daily diet. Here's what you need to make it.
Ingredients for Bajre ki roti
1 cup of Bajra Flour
1.2 cup of wheat flour
2 tablespoons of kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
Salt (to taste)
Warm water (enough to knead)
Oil/ghee to fry
1. Sieve the two flours (bajra and wheat) into a bowl and add salt.
2. Give it a quick mix before adding the kasoori methi to it and mix it again.
3. Slowly add the warm water to knead the flour into a firm dough. Be careful not to add too much water, else you run the risk of making the dough too sticky.
4. Heat a Tava on medium heat. And whilst it gets hot, break a piece of the dough and roll it into a circle using a rolling pin.
5. Add ½ a teaspoon of ghee/oil to the tava and place the rolled roti over it. Fry till golden brown.
Ingredients for lasun chutney
3 big garlic cloves
½ tablespoon of red chilli powder
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Salt to taste
Peel the garlic cloves and add them to a blender along with the other ingredients to form a smooth paste.
That’s it! This simple yet scrumptious condiment can be stored in the refrigerator for a week and enjoyed with everything from rotis to Mathis!
Do try these delicacies and tell us how they turned out!