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Cuisines Of Rajasthan.

Apr 4th, 2008 21:40
kumar gaurav, Guest, http://www.rajasthantravelsguide.com/


Each region in India has its own traditional dishes and specialties. In
the royal kitchens of Rajasthan, as well as most other states, food was
very serious business and raised to the level of an art-form. Hundreds
of cooks worked in the stately palaces and kept their recipes a closely
guarded secret. Some recipes were passed on to their sons and the rest
were lost for ever. It became a matter of great prestige to serve
unusual dishes to guests and the royal cooks were encouraged to
experiment. The tales of how cooks tried to impress their guests by
presenting at least one unforgettable item on the menu have now become
legends. The monthly budget ran into lakhs of rupees and the royal
guests were treated to such delicacies as stuffed camels, goats, pigs
and peacocks… it was perfectly normal to have live pigeons and other
birds fly out of elaborately decorated dishes. The food was served in
gold and silver utensils and the number of dishes at one meal ran into
hundreds. It was usually never possible to taste all the delicacies sewed.
The finest cooking in India was derived from the Mughals and did
influence the royal kitchens of India, as did European cooking. But the
common man’s kitchen remained untouched, more so in Rajasthan. Cooking
here has its own unique flavour and the simplest, the most basic of
ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes.
Rajasthani cooking was influenced by the war-like lifestyle of its
inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this region. Food
that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was
preferred, more out of necessity than choice. Scarcity of water, fresh
green vegetables have all had their effect on the cooking. In the desert
belt of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner, cooks use the minimum of water
and prefer, instead, to use more milk, buttermilk and clarified butter.
Dried lentils, beans from indigenous plants like sarigri, ker, etc are
liberally used. Gram flour is a major ingredient here and is used to
make some of the delicacies like khata, gatta ki sabzi, pakodi, powdered
lentils are used for mangodi, papad. Bajia and corn is used at! over the
state for preparations of rabdi, kheechdi, and rotis. Various chutneys
are made from locally available spices like turmeric, coriander, mint
and garlic.
Perhaps the best known Rajasthani food is the combination of dal, bati
and churma but for the adventurous traveler, willing to experiment,
there is a lot of variety available. Besides spicy flavours, each region
is distinguished by its popular sweet Ladoos from Jodhpur and Jaisalmer,
Malpuas from Pushkar, Jalebies from most big cities, Rasogullas from
Bikaner, Dil Jani from Udaipur, Mishri Mawa and Ghevar from Jaipur,
Sohan Haiwa from Ajmer, Mawa from Alwar.
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