If you are a foodie and travelling to India, then I promise that the Rajasthani food will leave you licking your plates and fingers. The Rajasthani dishes are complex and full of flavour, a proper treat to your taste buds. It doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, there is something for everyone in this beautiful Indian state. And when the spices are done tickling your taste buds, there’s always something sweet around the corner worth trying.
So, what are these yummy Rajasthani dishes that I am talking about? Let’s find out!
For a non-vegetarian, this is one dish you do not want to miss out on. Laal Maas translates to red meat and that’s not only because they use mutton for it but also because of its red, fiery colour. But if you had it during the times of the kings and queens, you’d get meat from a wild boar or deer.
The mutton is marinated with a blend of spices and cooked with onion, tomatoes, etc. And in the end, smoked with charcoal and ghee or butter adding a flavour and richness you won’t forget for a long time.
It is a tad spicy so I hope you can handle your chilli. It will be worth it.
Daal Baati Churma
If you are a vegetarian, then here’s a dish you’ll go all gaga over. Daal Baati Churma is one of the most popular dishes in Rajasthan.
Here semolina and flour dough is stuffed with peas, dhania (coriander), garam masala, chili powder, salt, and amchoor (mango powder) along with jeera (cumin) and heeng (asafoetida). This is then deep-fried or if you want to make it healthy then baked until they are golden brown all around.
The crispiness and masalas along with the spicy dip and the salad make it the ideal breakfast or evening snack. And if it gets too hot for you, there’s always a sweet provided alongside.
Another Rajasthani dish I like is the Ker Sangri. In case you didn’t know Ker is wild berry and has a tangy and peppery flavour. On the other hand, Sangri is a long bean grown in the desert areas such as Jaisalmer and Barmer.
If you are a fitness freak you’ll be happy to know that Sangri is about 55% protein. This is the reason it is also used as the main food source during drought season.
According to legends, these were the only vegetables available when all others were destroyed by the drought. The villagers collected these and cooked them with spices, and oil and ate it with Bajra Rotis.
While there is no drought now, you can still be part of the legend and eat an improved, tastier version of it.
If that sweet wasn’t enough for you or if you are looking to calm your palette down after some Laal Maas, don’t worry, Rajasthan has you covered.
Mawa Kachori is just the thing you need. This dish from Jodhpur is a pastry filled with mawa (khoya) and nuts that give it a bit of sweetness, richness, along with some crunch. It is then dipped into sugar syrup to up the sweetness quotient.
When deep-fried, there’s an added crunch to it. Trust me, you won’t stop at one with this one.
One of my most favourite sweets in Rajasthan, Ghevar, is a disc-shaped ball of happiness. Often found in Jaipur, it is made using flour, then topped with Mawa (dried evaporated milk), Malai (clothed cream), or Rabdi (spiced condensed milk). I prefer rabdi as it is the most flavourful of the toppings and if you try it, I am sure you’ll agree.
Furthermore, there’s a generous helping of almonds that gives it a nice crunch while the use of ghee in its making adds a lot of richness to it.
The only problem with this sweet dish is that it is hard to find on other days of the year as it is a popular Teej festival dish.
Pyaz Ki Kachari
Well, now that you have tried the sweet mawa kachori, why not try a savoury kachori and find out if it is equally good, right?
This kachori is the perfect breakfast and you don’t even have to be in a restaurant or cafe for it. You can easily find it as a street food in Jaipur, Udaipur (pretty much anywhere in Rajasthan). Oh, and it will cost you less than Rs. 50 or less than a dollar.
Apart from the filling, also adding to the flavour are the garnishes like the chutneys, and the curd you get with it. Such flavour at such cheap rates is hard to find anywhere else.
Gatte Ki Sabzi
Photo by Sahil tiwarie on Wikimedia.
If you are looking for something good for lunch, gatte ki sabzi is just what you need and goes perfectly with rice, naan, or even the popular Bajre ki Roti or millet roti you find in Rajasthan. It is one of the healthiest rotis you will eat as it is rich in fiber and proteins.
And in case you are wondering what gatte are, they are flour dumplings that are cooked in a spicy curry packed with flavours you’ll love. You’ll also find pulao with gatte rather than the veggies served along with Moong Daal or Kadhi.
And that brings me to the next dish.
Kadhi is another dish that makes for a flavourful lunch or dinner and goes well with rice or rotis. Kadhi includes fried onion pakoras that add to the flavour.
Traditionally Kadhi is made using besan (gram flour), mustard seeds, curd, etc., and thus isn’t as spicy or flavourful on its own as the Gatte or Laal maas. That’s why the Pakoras are a must in it.
Jaljeera or Chhach
Photo by Nick Gray on Flickr.
Rajasthan is hot and if you are visiting during the summer you should know that temperatures could easily reach 45+ degrees Celsius during the daytime. And when you are roaming in that kind of heat, just having water won’t cut it. That’s where local drinks like Jaljeera or Chhach come in.
Flavorful yet cheap, these drinks are perfect to have with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as stand-alone drinks. Jaljeera is tangy while Chhach is savoury. If you prefer something sweet, you can also look for Lassi.
Photo by Planetvyom on Wikimedia
If you want something to munch on as you walk from place to place, Malpua makes the perfect snack. It is another popular sweet dish that you can either have plain (still tastes great) or you can have it topped with Rabdi.
This dish is more popular in Pushkar and you will find people lining up for it during the festival of Makar Sankranti.
Malpua is made using flour, milk, and Khoya, while dry fruits act as a great add-on especially if you topped your Malpua with Rabdi.
Photo by Thamizhpparithi Maari on Wikimedia
If you haven’t had enough sweets already and have a sweet tooth like me, the next thing you’d want to try is Kalakand or Milk Cake. This is another dish that is made using Mawa.
I know you are thinking that it is likely to taste just like the other but trust me, Kalakand has a flavour of its own. And giving it that flavour is ingredients like pistachio and cardamom powder.
It is a melt-in-your-mouth delight that makes the perfect gift for festivals and other celebrations as well.
I am not a big fan of soups and broths but if you do, this is worth a try. This is a thick broth and the main ingredients behind it are millet and buttermilk. The buttermilk is heated and fermented and then mixed with the Bajra (pearl millet) which thickens it.
It is then put into an earthen pot and left on low flame to further thicken it. It can take anywhere between 2-3 hours to cook this and extract the flavour out of the ingredients. Another variant of this includes boiled corn kernels and is known as Makki Ki Raab.
Well, those are some of the local foods I tried and tasted as I went around different states in Rajasthan. If you are planning a trip like that as well, you’ll want to add these to your list of Rajasthani foods to try along with places to visit.
And if you have already been around Rajasthan and tried some of these things, let me know which of these are your favourite and where did you have them.
Till then, happy travelling and eating!
Author: Rachita Saxena is a travel blogger from India who has been travelling full-time for 3 years now. She shares her travel stories on her blog – Meanderwander and loves trying new food and experiences in a new destination. When she isn’t travelling, she loves reading about new places and plan her next trips!
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