While you may travel through Rajasthan and experience its amazing history, architecture and royal palaces, your journey is not complete if you have not tried out the Rajasthani cuisine. Rajasthani dishes aren’t too complicated and are quite basic and simple – yet unusual and tasty. The simple mouth-watering dishes of Rajasthan truly help you soak up the culture of this state.
To experience Rajasthani cuisine, you don’t really have to step into a high-end restaurant. I had some of the best and authentic Rajasthani dishes in the regular local restaurants and street-side dhabas – the latter being one of my favorite food joints during my trip, especially the one in Pushkar.
A lot of these dishes were familiar to me as they are quite similar to Gujarati dishes and tasting them again was a definite wave of nostalgia for me. Let me take you through a culinary tour of Rajasthan with 10 of my favorite dishes – and yes, all of them are vegetarian 😉
1) Bajre ki Roti
Simple Rajasthani bread made out of a local cereal called Bajra. This was my favorite amongst all the breads here – so much that I ended up eating it almost every day. Teaming it up with any of the dishes below can really make the entire meal scrumptious.
Borrowing from my Gujarati dishes, where Bajre ki Roti is one of the staples during the Winters, I teamed these steaming rotis with gur (Jaggery) and ghee. Try out the combination, I think you might just end up liking it. 🙂
2) Dahi ka saag
A gravy dish made out of plain curds – sounds a little strange but trust me, I loved the simple taste of the same. Plain curds with a sprinkle of mustard, spices and tomatoes roasted in oil and mixed with curds – completely giving curd a different flavor. This works well with any of the rotis or even rice dishes.
The best Dahi ka saag that I had was in Jaipur at the Kailash restaurant, on the Hawa Mahal Road.
3) Sev-Tamatar ka Saag
Sev or Bhujia is actually a savory snack and one tends to eat the same plain or with bhel. This is the case across India but in Rajasthan, this is used to make a gravy dish that works well with Rotis. This along with Tomatoes is mildly spicy with a little tangy taste.
This one is a popular Gujarati dish as well and is generally had with Parantha or Thepla. Since this is cooked without onions or any of the root vegetables, is a popular Jain sabzi as well.
4) Gatte ki Sabzi
This one is so typical of Rajasthan and goes great with Missi ki Roti or Puris. This also, tastes yummy with some boiled rice. Steamed dumplings made from gram flour, added to a gravy made with some curd and spices. This is one of the most recommended dishes as well as one of the most familiar dishes in Rajasthan. Almost every restaurant in Rajasthan offers this.
5) Papad ka Saag
Papad is again another snack or a starter in India. It is generally roasted or fried and served as an accompaniment or starter with meals. Papad ka Saag is made out of raw papad along with spices. Quite a rare combination. Best had with rice or Khichadi.
The Dhabbas have the best Papad Sabzis, especially the ones that I found in Pushkar near the Brahma Mandir.
6) Missi Roti
Missi Roti, is another option to those who might find Bajre ki Roti a little hard for their palate. Made out of Gram flour, this Rajasthani bread is popular across India and is available outside Rajasthan too. While I was partial to the Bajre ki Roti, my hubby preferred this – he swears that it works well with any of the sabzis 😉
7) Dal Baati Churma
Dal Baati Churma is a specialty Rajasthani dish. The Dal is made out of 5 different pulses and fresh spices. Baati is made out of wheat flour and gram flour along with lots of ghee (yep, it is quite rich ;-)). The same is broken and dipped in the dal and eaten along with it. As an accompaniment and to sweeten things, Churma is served with it. A mildly sweet dish, I love eating Churma just by itself. 😉
Till I visited Rajasthan, I always believed that there was only one type of Rajasthani Ghevar – the sweets the state is known for. It is amazing how many different types are there. Paneer, malai, Kesar are some unique flavors. This sweet is extremely popular during festivals like Sankranti and Teej.
Specifically, loved the Paneer ghevar, so much that I ended up carrying it back with me home for my friends and family. You can get this anywhere in Rajasthan, even the airport, where you can pick the packaged ones to take back home with you.
Lassi or thickened buttermilk? I mean, what is so special about it. It isn’t Rajasthani by origin but I make a mention of it here because I found so of the most unusual flavors and amazing tasty lassi here. Dry fruit lassis are a definite recommendation – especially, the Kesar Pista and Badam ones. The Rosemilk ones were a little too sweet for me, but the kids totally loved them. And if you want to try an even richer lassi – try the Malai one.
Lassis especially at the Kailash restaurant in Jaipur are so refreshing in the hot Rajasthani heat.
A specialty sweet of Jaisalmer. This one was a complete surprise. We came across it during our stay in Jaisalmer when our homestay owner got us a complimentary box. Personally, I found it sugary sweet but unusual and the kids did like it a lot. Made of gram flour, with ghee and saffron, this sweet is definitely worth a taste if you are in Jaisalmer.
Rajasthani food is typically not very spicy. The bread are a little dry and hence, they are best had with one of the gravy dishes. If you need something light and easy on the stomach, try out the Khichadis in Rajasthan, especially what they call- Ram Khichadi. This will definitely help settle your stomach.
So, doesn’t this make your mouth water? Comment in and tell me if you have tried any of these dishes or which one would you like to try out.
- Most of the local restaurants and hotels offer these Rajasthani dishes
- Some of the food like the Dal Baati Churma can be really heavy on your stomach. It is a meal by itself.
- When unsure, Khichadi will be the best option – safe, non-spicy and good for an upset tummy.