Often one wants to travel and try local foods and then when we open menus we cannot for the loss of understanding a dish. Here is a list of few Veg & Non veg Rajasthani specialty foods with details of what they contain.
DAAL- BAATI- CHOORMA: This consist of 3 things and its a full blown meal.
DAAL: is lentil/ pulses made in a typical rajasthani style, not very spicy.
BAATI: is a hard, unleavened round ball made of wheat flour and cooked in clay oven (tandoor). It’s a substitute for bread. Baati can either be plain or have various kinds of fillings, including onions, peas and potatoes. It’s dipped in ghee (clarified butter) to soften before eating. BAFLA is a kind of baati, which is softer, has a filling and instead of cooking in oven is fried in Clarified butter/ Ghee . BAFLA AND BAATI ARE ALWAYS EATEN WITH HOT DAL WITH PURE GHEE AND CHUTNEY.
CHOORMA: is a popular delicacy usually served with baatis and dal. Its a dessert. Choorma is coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar. Traditionally it is made by grinding wheat flour baatis in a mixer and mixing it with ghee and jaggery, optionally mixed with dry fruits and flavours (mango/ Rose/ Pistachio etc). It can also be eaten alone but generally this a combination food and all 3 are served together.
|DAAL BAATI CHOORMA|
KAIR SAANGRI: Also known as ker saangri. Ker/ Kair looks sort of like a caper and Saangri is a kind of bean very typical of desert vegetation. The Ker is a wild berry and Sangri is a type of narrow bean wildly grown in the desert regions. These are available dry and used as and when required. They are soaked and then cooked with various spices and is a sort of a pickle. Goes well as a side dish with Bajraa Roti.
|KAIR SAANGRI/ KER SANGRI|
KADHI PAKORI: A main dish made of buttermilk, gram flour and various spices. Kadhi pakori is a great vegetarian dish. Its light and healthy and a staple for people of Rajasthan. It goes well with steam rice/ Plain Rice.
GATTA MASALA/ GATTE: A traditional Rajasthani dish made of Besan/Gramflour cooked in tomato yogurt gravy. Basically a stiff dough of gram flour is made with spices and salt and then one makes a sausage/ kebab shape (gatta) out of this dough. Then the gramflour sausage/ kebab is boiled in water cut into small 2 inch pieces and is sometimes fried post boiling. And then a nice thick yogurt and spices based gravy is made and the gattas are simmered in the gravy. A classic Rajasthani dish. Its a main dish and goes well with Missi Roti/ Tandoori Roti
|GATTA MASALA/ GATTE KI SUBZI/ GUTTA CURRY|
GOVIND GATTE: Similar to the Gatta Masala but a much rich version. Here the gatta (the gramflour dumplings) are stuffed with nuts and instead of boiling the dumplings are deep fried. Heavy food, spicy main dish and goes well with all kinds of Indian breads.
|GOVIND GATTE/ SHAHI GATTE|
PAPAD KI SUBZI: Very unique vegetarian dish that is available only in this region- The papad ki subzi is made from papad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papadum ) or what some may call appadam or pappadam. Papad is a thin, crisp Indian preparation similar to a cracker. It is typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India. The papad subzi has a mild gravy. It is a main dish and goes well with all kinds of Indian breads.
|PAPAD KI SUBZI|
MANGORI KI SUBZI: Mangodi is a kind of dried condiment and a favorite of people of Rajasthan. These are prepared using either split Green Gram or split Black gram. These can either be made at home or can be bought from shops. Its basically Sun Dried Lentil Dumplings Curry.
Rajasthan being an arid region was not suitable for growing vegetables. The people hence preserved the vegetables and lentils by dehydrating them. They used these then to prepare various dishes. The times have changed now and due to the advancement in transportation and many canals running through the desert most of the vegetables are available throughout the year. But the dried foods/ condiments still reamin a part of diet and are now mixed with some fresh vegetables and spices to prepare unique dishes. Mangodi is one such dish.
A paste Moong Dal / Hesarubele / split Green Gram or Urad Dal / split Black Gram is made by adding water and different spices and then out of this thick paste small dumplings are created and sun dried for 2-3 days and are called mangodi. These when cooked with various spices and veggies is a mangodi subzi. Mangodi subzi is a main vegetarian dish and goes well with all kinds of Indian breads.
|SUN DRYING THE MANGORI|
|AFTER DRYING FOR 2 DAYS-THIS IS HOW THE MANGODI LOOKS-THIS CAN BE STORED FOR MONTHS AND USED WHEN YOU WANT TO PREPARE THE DISH|
|MANGODI KI SUBZI|
CHAKKI KI SUBZI: This is a unique dish, mainly prepared in Jodhpur area but a few restaurants across Rajasthan serves this dish. Its one of my favourite rajasthani dishes. It tastes like a mutton curry though its absolutely vegetarian made from wheat, maida and besan. It is made into pieces and cooked in gravies, as you would, vegetables. A must try!
|CHAKKI KI SUBZI|
LAHSUN KI CHUTNEY: Hot garlic paste, its a side dish generally served as a condiment. Like one eats jams with breads chutneys are eaten with Indian breads. The lahsun ki chutney is a simple yet delectable dry garlic chutney that is a "must" in every Rajasthani meal. This is usually relished with bajra rotis and onions and is part a peasant's working lunch. Its very spicy so eaten in small quantities like pickles.
|LAHSUN KI CHUTNEY|
LAAPSI: This is a unique Rajasthani dessert made of broken wheat, ghee, jaggery, nuts, raisins and dried fruits. Mostly served in winter months and has a sweet porridge sort of look and feel.
RAAB: This dish is loved by all during winters. There are 2/3 versions of Raab. Makki ki Raab is made from ingredients which could be easily found in this tough desert region. It can be called as ‘sour corn soup’. But unlike soups it is followed after the meals may it be dinner or lunch. It is hot, sour and tempting. It is prepared by mixing and blending boiled corn with sour butter milk (Chachh). Another form of Raab is Gur Raab, which is made up of Gur i.e. jaggery. It is sweet and this too is taken after meals as Gur is considered as a good incomplete. Raab is also made of baajra flour and buttermilk and this version is called Bajre ki Raab.
|MAKKI KI RAAB|
PYAAZ KI KACHORI: This is sort of a crispy puff pastry (round shaped) stuffed with onion and potatoes. Its awesome, loaded with claories, vegetarian and is eaten as a snack or breakfast. These kachoris originated in Jodhpur but are today popular throughout Rajasthan. Very few households actually prepare these crisp, flaky deep fried kachoris stuffed with a lightly caramalised and exceptionally seasoned onion filling. Steaming hot pyaz ki kachoris or aloo pyaz ki kachoris are sold at most 'namkeen' shops in Rajasthan. Like all kachoris, they are eaten with sweet and spicy tamarind chutney. The best places to eat them in Jaipur are: Rawat, BMB, LMB, DMB.
|PYAAZ KI KACHORI|
MIRCHI VADA: Mirchi Vada, is a spicy Rajasthani snack made of chili (Mirchi) huge-thick ones stuffed with savoury potato filling, served hot with tomato sauce or occasionally with mint and tamarind chutney. A mirchi vada is a sort of a stuffed chilli cutlet.
|INITIALLY THE CHILLIES ARE STUFFED|
MAWE KI KACHORI: This is a crispy flaky puff pastry stuffed with mawa (dry fruits) and dipped in sugar syrup. The best place to have one, while in jaipur is Rawat & BMB- Bombay Mishthan Bhandar. This is a sweet dish generally consumed as a snack or dessert.
MIRCHI KE TIRPORI: Diced chillies in a tangy gravy. Again this is a side dish like the lehsun ki chutney.
|MIRCHI KE TAPORE|
LAAL MAAS: This is an awesome meat (goat) dish. It is a mutton curry made of succulent pieces of mutton, yogurt, hot spices such as red chillies, cumin, garam masala etc. This dish typically is very hot and rich in garlic, the gravy may be thick or liquid and is eaten with All kinds of Indian Breads. You can ask the wait staff or chef to go easy on the chillies if you don’t want the heat! But this is one the greatest dishes.
|LAAL MAAS- SPICY FIREY MUTTON CURRY|
JUNGLE MAAS/ JUNGLEE MAAS: This is a fabulous mutton dish. Semi dry, not so spicy and goes wonderfully with all kinds of Indian breads. Try this at Haandi! Made of whole spices and ghee (clarified butter) with no water and cooked for hours- this is a gorgeous curry.
SAFAED MAAS: In this dish the meat is cooked in a curd and cashewnut gravy. This dish is usually served during the special occasions. This is a truly decadent version of a Korma, It has a delectable combination of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and coriander seeds. All these spices have their own distinct flavours, but come beautifully together. Unlike many Kormas it doesn't contain any coconut, instead the flavours are distinctly nutty, somewhat sweet and delicious. This is a main dish, its non spicy and goes well with all kinds of Indian Breads.
MOHAN MAAS: This is again a very distinct meat preparation, where the mutton is cooked with milk & mild spices. It’s a thick gravy infused with delicate flavours of khus-khus (poppy seeds), khoya, lemon, cloves & cardamom. This is a main dish and goes well with all kinds of Indian breads.
KEEMA BATI: Non-Vegetarian version on Baati. Keema baati is a hard, unleavened round ball made of wheat flour and cooked in clay oven (tandoor). It’s a substitute for bread and has a keema filling. Keema is a mince meat cooked with mild spices. Keema baati is served with a spicy gravy (Curry) and while in jaipur you can try this at SPICE COURT or HAANDI.
|KEEMA BAATI IS USUALLY SERVED WITH LEHSUN KI CHUTNEY as shown in the small bowl & A SPICY GRAVY as shown in the bigger bowl|
|MURG SOOLA (CHICKEN SOOLA) served with green chutney and salad|
|MAAS KA SOOLA/ MUTTON SOOLA|
DOODH FEENI: This is a sort of very thin slightly crunchy sweet noodle made of flour etc. Its garnished with dry fruits like almonds and pistachios and either eaten with a sugar syrup or is dipped in hot sweet milk.
GHEVAR: It is a disc-shaped sweet made from Paneer (cottage cheese), oil, flour and sugar syrup. There are many varieties of Ghevar, such as plain, mawa and malai ghevar.
MISHRI MAWA: A very delicate sweet. Its a much softer version of milk cake/ kalakand. Made by cooking milk on a very flame for long hours with sugar, cardamom, nuts etc.
BESAN KI CHAKKI: It is basically a Chickpea Flour Fudge. Made by cooking gramflour on a very low flame for long hours alongwith khoya & cardamom powder and then further adding sugar. This is a much softer version of besan laddoo or maybe a cross between daal halwa and besan ladoo. A very different taste! Must try this at Kanji sweets jaipur.
To know where to find great Rajasthani food read about the dancing scene in Jaipur on: http://visitingjaipur.com/eating-places-in-jaipur