When we talk about Rajasthan, the first thing that comes to mind is the royal architecture. The princely state is known to be one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. People from all over the country and the world visit this beautiful state. The other thing that the state is reckoned for is its delicious cuisine. The food matched the rustic and royal feel of region and has a wide variety. From delicious snacks to irresistible sweets, there is something for everyone. Guests are considered next to god in the state and the hospitality is one of its kind. If you visit a Rajashani household, you would warmly welcome and serve food with great care. Pulses, dairy items and dried herbs are consumed in very high quantities in Rajasthan. In the interiors of the state and village belt milk, butter milk and butter are used in larger quantities to minimize the amount of water while cooking food.
When talking about the food of Rajasthan, the first that comes to mind is the elaborate Rajasthani Thali. It is known for its variety of flavors and presentation. The popularity of Rajasthani thali is such that many regional restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai have also started serving it. But nothing to match the authentic original taste.
Rajasthani thali is a perfect mix of flavors. Arrangement of food is the highlight of the thali. Pickles, papad and chutneys are arranged in an aesthetic manner. Bajra roti, rice, gatte ki sabji, ker sangri, dahi, dal, vegetable curry and sweets like laddo, halwa or choorma are the main parts of a thali. Rotis are made with jowar, bara or makki. A lot of ghee is used to prepare the dishes. The accompaniments with the thali include – sweet lassi, chhaas, raita and thandai.
The thaali is served in a big brass platter. Small bowls of vegetables, dal and curd are put on the boundary, rice is served in the center and chutney, pickles and sweets are surrounding the roti.
Regional Delicacies of Rajasthan
Dal Bati Churma, Gatte and Papad ki sabji are some of the most popular delicacies of Rajasthani cuisine. The food is predominantly vegetarian, but laal mass (mutton delicacy) is a royal treat. Following are some of the most famous regional delicacies of Rajasthan.
Dal Bati Choorma
Dal Bati is one of the most characteristic dishes of Rajasthan. It is a combination of dal (lentils) and bati (hard wheat rolls). Dal is boiled and mashed. To it, green chilli, garlic, ginger, and some spices like hing, turmeric and coriander powder are added.
Baati is made by mashing wheat powder with a pinch of salt, yogurt and water. Small balls are made out of this dough and cooked traditionally in oven. It is served with green salad, raw mango pieces and fresh buttermilk.
Choorma is Rajasthani halwa. It is prepared by mixing wheat flour, semolina and sugar and cooking it in ghee. Also Read: Dal Bati Churma
It is a delicious dish made from ker and sangria – locally grown beans. The dish is prepared in buttermilk and a wide variety of dry spices are used. It is traditionally garnished with raisins.
Also Read: Ker Sangri of Ajmer
Gatte ki Sabji
Think of Rajasthani cuisine and you cannot miss the evergreen Gatte ki Sabji. Besan (gram flour) gatte (dumplings) are cooked in curd curry with a mix of spices. It can be enjoyed with rice or bajre ki roti.
One of the most popular dishes of Jaisalmer is Jaisalmeri Chane. Chickpeas cooked in savory sour gravy give this dish a unique taste.
Besanwali Bharwan Mirch
Big green chilli stuffed with gram flour and spice mix. It is then deep fried and served as it is or in a traditional curry.
Papad ki Sabji
A traditional Rajasthani vegetarian dish is Papad ki sabji. It is made from papad or poppadum. The poppadums are cooked in gravy laced with spices. It is served as a main dish and can be eaten with different breads.
Rajasthani Kadhi is another famous regional delicacy of the region. It is a yogurt based dish which is thickened using gram flour. Usually Rajashani kadhi is made without pakodas. Just a thick gravy that goes best with boiled rice or bajra roti.
Gatte ki Khichdi
Gatte ki khichdi is a regional specialty of Jodhpur. It is like veg biryani or veg pulao. The only difference between gatte ki khichdi and normal veg pulao is the presence of gatte. Rice, seasonal vegetables, gatte are cooked with regional spices.
Other not to be missed dishes included –
- Bajre ki roti (millet bread)
- Tamatar Shorba (tomato soup)
- Lahsun ki chutney (garlic chutney)
Spices Used in Rajasthani Cuisine
The food of Rajasthan is characteristically spicy. Although a large part of the cuisine is vegetarian, there is enough non-vegetarian options as well. There is limited use of fresh herbs and condiments due to their scarcity and unavailability. Thus, the role of spices is pivotal in Rajasthani cuisine. They are used in both as whole and in powdered form. Since these spices can be easily preserved even in the arid climate, they are widely used all over the state.
The red chilli of Rajasthan is known all over the world. Apart from the delicious taste, it gives the dish a unique color as well.
The spices that are mostly used in Rajasthani cuisine include:
- turmeric (haldi)
- coriander (dhania powder)
- amchoor (dried mango powder)
- garam masala
- fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- cardamom (elaichi)
- cinnamon (dal chini)
- cumin seeds (jeera powder)
- mustard (rai)
- cloves (long)
- kasuri methi (dried and coarsely grinded fenugreek leaves)
- carom seeds (ajwain)
- asafoetida (hing)
- nigella seeds (kalonji)
- fennel seeds (saunf)
Meat Dishes of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is known for its royalty and glorious past. This has greatly affected the food of the region, especially the non-vegetarian dishes. Although a large part of Rajasthani cuisine is vegetarian, but the limited non-vegetarian options are a class apart. Some of the most popular non-vegetarian delicacies of Rajasthani cuisine are –
This is one of the most popular meat dishes of Rajasthani cuisine. The dish is basically mutton curry which is prepared in a curd and spice gravy. The popular Rajasthani red chillies are used in this recipe which gives the dish the hot flavor and beautiful red color. The gravy also has a heavy taste of garlic. It is eaten with wheat chapatis in summers and bajra rotis during winter months.
A royal treat of Rajasthan, Safed Maans is a very popular non-vegetarian delight of the region. It is boneless lamb cooked in white curry. Safed means white and maas means meat. Traditionally this recipe was made with goat meat and was named Safed Ghost. The lamb is cooked over slow flame with a mix of spices. Finally khoya and ground nus are added to the gravy to give it a thick rich texture ad great flavor.
Mutton is cooked with milk and mild spices. The gravy is thick and has distinct flavors of khus (poppy seeds), khoya, cardamom, lemon and cloves. Also Read: Food of Ajmer | Food of Alwar | Food in Beawar | Food in Bhiwadi | Cuisine of Bundi | Food in Bikaner | Food in Jaipur | Food of Jaisalmer | Food in Kota | Food in Pali | Food in Pushkar
Snacks of Rajasthan
Snacks and munchies make an integral part of a cuisine. They can be munched at any time of the day and enjoyed with a cup of tea. There is wide variety of snacks in Rajasthani cuisine.
Dry snacks include – bhujia, boondis and crisp nimkees. These can be stored in air tight containers and used over extended periods.
Pyaaz ki kachori
Crispy puffs filled with spicy potato and onion stuffing. Pyaaz ki kachoris or alloo pyaaz ki kachoris are famous all over the state and you can find them at all namkeen shops. It is a favorite local breakfast. It is served with sweet and sour tamarind chutney.
Also Read: Piyaz ke Kachori from Jodhpur
It is a popular breakfast recipe all over north India, but in Rajasthan Dal Chilla is enjoyed as a snack. It can be made from moong dal or urad dal. For added taste you can add chopped onions, green chillies, spinach and spices. Serve with green chutney! It is a great accompaniment for evening tea.
Accompanying these yummy treats are digestive drinks that are always preferred over aerated drinks. The most popular ones are – jaljeera, kairi ka pani, aam panna, numbu pani etc.
Desserts of Rajasthan
You can get a wide variety of sweets in Rajasthani cuisine. The best part about Rajasthani sweets is that you can have them before and with the meal. So no more waiting till the food is finished and desserts are served. In fact, the sweets in Rajasthan are never considered desserts because people often eat them with the meal itself.
Jodhpur Specialty: Mawa Kachori
Jaipur Specialty: Ghevar
Ajmer Specialty: Sohan Halwa
Pushkar Specialty: Malpuas
Some of the most popular sweets of the region are –
Ghevar is a round shaped sweet which is prepared by cottage cheese, ghee, flour and sugar. There are many varieties of ghevar – plain, mewa etc. It is a traditional sweet that is made on all festivals especially Teej. Also Read: Ghevar of Baran
One of the most popular sweets of Rajasthan is besan ki chakki. It is made from gram flour. Gram flour, khoya, ghee and sugar are all mixed and cooked on a slow flame. This mixture is then set and cut into squares. The taste lies somewhere between besan laddoo and dal ka halwa.
Think of the most popular sweets of north India and one cannot miss Gujiya. It is a sweet dumpling made with suji or maida. It is stuffed with khoya, grated coconut and dry fruits. It is a common sweet and is eaten on all major festivals. The distinct semi-circular shape and the delicious taste is what makes gujiya an all-time favorite.
This regional delicacy has become a favorite all over north India. It is a kachori stuffed with khoya and dry fruits. A festive dessert, it is eaten on all major festivals of Rajasthan.
Other popular sweets are –
- Milk Cake
Restaurants of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a foodie paradise. One can find different types of restaurants and cafés all over the state. From serving traditional regional cuisine to international delicacies, there is something for everyone. LMB Hotel – Jaipur
Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, popularly known as LMB is the identity of Jaipur. It is one of the most popular restaurants of Jaipur. LMB is known for its sweets, snacks and special Rajasthani delicacies. Rajasthani Thali is a must try when at LMB. Address:
Johari Bazar, Jaipur
Phone: (0141) 2565844Rawat Mishtan Bhandar – Jaipur
Give yourself a gastronomic treat at RMB. It is a signature eatery of Jaipur and very popular among locals and tourists. The most popular items from the menu are – Mirchi Bada, Mawa Kachori, Makhaniya Lassi, Kesar Puri, Pyaz Kachori.Address:
Sindhi Camp, Opposite Polovictory Cinema, Station Road, Jaipur
Phone: (0141) 2367460
Jaiwana Haveli Rooftop Restaurant – Udaipur
A great destination for authentic Rajasthani food, it is a great getaway from the hustle bustle of the city. The food quality is great and the hospitality adds to the overall experience. Gatta curry and makai ki sabji should not be missed. The view from the haweli is breathtaking, especially at night. Address:
14 - Lal Ghat, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur
Phone: (0294) 2411103
Shahi Palace Rooftop Restaurant – Jaisalmer
A great place for a romantic candle light dinner in Jaisalmer. There is a wide variety to choose from apart from Rajasthani cuisine. The view from the restaurant at sunset and post dusk is totally mesmerizing. Address:
Shahi Palace Hotel, Silawata Para , Shiv Street, Jaisalmer
Dasaprakash – Jaipur
The Dasaprakash group has been a renowned name in the hospitality industry since 1920s. a family style restaurant that serves delicious south-Indian and north Indian delicacies. Address:
5, Kamal Mansion, Mirza Ismail Road, Jaipur
Phone: (0141) 2371313Kesar Heritage Restaurant
One of the most talked about restaurant of Jodhpur, Kesar Heritage Restaurant is a not to be missed eatery. It offers a wide variety of cuisines – Chinese, Continental, Italian and is a favorite among foreign travellers. Address:
Mehron Ka Chowk Naya Bas , Killikhana Jodhpur
Phone: 09001102024Shri Thaal Village Restaurant
The village set up, traditional Rajasthani thali and warm hospitality are the main highlights of Shri Thaal Village Restaurant. Gatte ki sabji, lahsun chutney and dal baai choorma are a must try. Address:
3, Rathore Nagar, Queen Road, Jaipur
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