Rajasthan is a great state of art, culture and history. Of course, it’s food is just as regal. Sweet or spicy, Rajasthani extreme dishes offers everything. Distinct from the food of the rest of the North Indian region, the food here is cooked using dry fruits and yogurt. While it has delicious vegetarian food, Rajasthan is known more for its non-vegetarian offerings. Non-vegetarian food in Rajasthan has the history of the Kings of the state going on hunting expeditions for food themselves. Today, Rajasthanis then flaunt their flavorful non-vegetarian dishes. Hence, this is not to say their vegetarian food is any less. Cooked in pure ghee and special spices, the vegetarian food will have you licking your fingers!
Sweet or Spicy, what would you choose?
There is an enormous variety of food in Rajasthan that is relished by locals and tourists alike. Therefore, here are some of the most popular dishes:
1. The Rajasthani Thali
The Rajasthani Thali is a traditional home meal, now also served in restaurants for tourists to enjoy too (also one of the spicy Rajasthani extreme dishes). The dish contains several small portion dishes served together in a steel platter. Hence, this dish is elaborate enough to fill anyone up on its own. One platter also includes appetizers, salad and dessert. The vegetables and lentil preparations are considered the main dish. They are usually served with naan or roti.
2. Laal Maas
This dish is fiery. It includes a spicy curry and mutton (lamb) cooked that is full of flavour. Usually cooked on special occasions, this dish takes more than an hour to prepare. Full of exotic masala and pure ghee, you can find this royal dish anywhere you stay in Rajasthan!
3. Mirchi Bada
This fulfilling dish is popular mostly in Jodhpur. It is a spicy chilli cutlet stuffed with potatoes and chillies. This cutlet is fried in a special batter of besan. It is served with mint or tamarind chutney. Easy to make, this dish is a comfort food for many locals.
This is a unique dish, in a unique shape. Ghevar is a disc shaped dish prepared with ghee, flour and cottage cheese. Finally, the preparation is dipped in cottage cheese before being served. Hence, no ceremony in Rajasthan is complete without this special dish.
5. Ker Sangri
This is perhaps one of the most popular dishes in the state. Ker is a wild berry, tangy and peppery in taste. Sangri is a bean found in the deserts of Jaisalmer and Barmer. Cooked in oil with spices, this dish is full of protein. Though made in all Rajasthani households, Ker Sangri is especially popular in the Marwad region of Rajasthan.
6. Dal Bati Churma
Most associated with the state of Rajasthan, this dish is widely popular. The small round batis are wheat balls softened with ghee. The origin of baatis dates back to the Rawal dynasty. Therefore, the soldiers would make balls of dough and bury them under the sandy desert to come back from battle and enjoy their baked baatis. Today, baatis are served with Panchkuti dal and churma. The dal and churma complete the dish and make the entire experience appetizing. Locals believe churma was invented by accident. When sugarcane juice fell over baatis by mistake, the batis were made softer. This was enjoyed so much that it evolved into churma. This signature Rajasthani dish, thus, carries both sweet and savoury flavours.
7. Bajra Roti with Lahsun Chutney
Rotis made of bajra (black millet flour) are eaten all over the state. In Rajasthani villages, these rotis are made over cow dung cakes that impart a smoky flavour to them. Most commonly, they are enjoyed with lahsun chutney. Lahsun (garlic) is an important spice in the state. Lahsun chutney is a dip made from garlic, red chilli powder, lime juice and jaggery.
8. Dil Khushal
The sweets of Rajasthan are just as delectable as its savoury food. Dil Khushal is the most widely loved Rajasthani mithai. Made from besan, ghee and also pistachios, it has a lovely creamy texture.
9. Onion Kachori
Kachori is a popular street food in India. While there can be diverse fillings in these fried pockets, Rajasthan prefers onions. Originated in Jodhpur, they are typically enjoyed as breakfast. They are flaky, deep-fried and enjoyed with a chutney. The onion filling includes caramelized onions and spices like fennel seeds, cumin and chilli powder.
10. Milk Cake
Rajasthani Milk Cake is a preparation made of milk fudge. The fudge is derived from full cream milk. Sugar, ghee and a coagulant are added to bring the desired texture. Saffron is often added to increase the fragrance of the dish. Originated from the Alwar region, milk cakes can also be cooked at home!
A never ending series of unique dishes made out of even more unique ingredients, submerged with some delicious amounts of ghee is what best defines Rajasthani food. Spicy or sweet, Rajasthani extreme dishes are sure to leave you wanting more. Hence, Rajasthani cuisine is rich, colorful and unique – just like its culture. A trip to Rajasthan is incomplete without taste tests and these are few dishes to leave any visitor in gastronomic delight.
Also follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art and travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Samira sarin.