Jaipur has always been special due to the vivid culinary history of Rajasthani cuisine. it boasts of the royal culture and of a never-ending platter with a plethora of dishes; ranging from tangy drinks to spicy starters, mouth-watering sabzis and crunchy bread along with added delights of chutneys, achars, papad and chhach. Not to forget the delicate desserts and rich crunchy delights that melt in your mouth instantly. Anyone would feel elated while innovating and curating dishes. To name a few – pulled mohan maas tacos, kheema chilada empanadas, laal maas sliders, ghevar cheesecake were some of the recipes curated for the restaurants in jaipur as well as abroad.
Rajasthani cuisine is one of the most delicious and extravagant being from the land of royals who used to have the most elaborate menus and the significant use of dry fruits nuts makes it rich in texture. Rajasthani cuisine is a confluence of varied and vivid cultures, ranging from the Royal Rajput to the Mughals and from the Marwaris to the desert nomads. Adopting the best-suited cooking techniques and ingredients for the warrior lifestyle has led to the evolution of rajasthani cuisine. Some key factors included the scarcity of water, lack of access to fresh vegetables, the need for food to last many days during long journeys and food which did not require heating.
This cuisine is mainly vegetarian and uses ingredients such as besan, asafoetida, fenugreek, pudina, chaat masala and garam masala. Ghee, nuts, yoghurt and raisins are rich staples in most Rajasthani curries. One of its unique ingredients used to add a splash of bright colour to the dishes is the mathania chilli.
Regarding the more unique preparations in Rajasthani cuisine, Ker and Sangri are commonly featured in their pickles and other dishes. At its heart is the staple, aromatic basmati rice, accompanied by an array of exquisite side dishes like Dal Baati Churma, Gatte ki Sabzi, Ker Sangri, Laal Maas, Bajre Ki Roti or Missi Ki Roti, Churma Laddoo, and of course Papad and Pickles.
THE TASTE ENHANCERS: Spices used in the delectable delicacies
Rajasthani cuisine is known for its bold and aromatic flavors, and the non-vegetarian dishes often feature a rich blend of spices. Here are some common spices used in the preparation of non-vegetarian dishes in Rajasthan:
1. Red Chilies (especially Mathania Chilies): Rajasthani cuisine is known for its love of spicy food, and red chilies, particularly the local Mathania variety, are often used to add heat and vibrant color to dishes like Laal Maas.
2. Cumin (Jeera): Cumin is a key spice in many Rajasthani dishes, contributing a warm and earthy flavor. It is commonly used in both ground and whole form.
3. Coriander (Dhania): Coriander is used in both its seed and leaf forms. Ground coriander adds a citrusy and slightly sweet note, while fresh coriander leaves are used for garnishing.
4. Turmeric (Haldi): Turmeric is used for its vibrant yellow color and earthy flavor. It adds a warm hue to the dishes and has potential health benefits.
5. Garam Masala: A blend of warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and black peppercorns, garam masala is added towards the end of cooking to enhance the aroma and flavor.
6. Cloves (Laung): Cloves contribute a warm and sweet flavor to the dishes. They are often used in combination with other spices.
7. Cardamom (Elaichi): Both green and black cardamom are used in Rajasthani cuisine to add a sweet and floral aroma to meat dishes.
8. Mustard Seeds (Sarson): Mustard seeds are used for tempering and add a distinct pungency to the dishes.
9. Fenugreek Seeds (Methi): Fenugreek seeds are used sparingly, providing a slightly bitter taste and aroma to certain meat preparations.
10. Asafoetida (Hing): Asafoetida is used for its digestive properties and imparts a unique flavor to the dishes, especially in lentil-based gravies.
These spices are skillfully combined to create the distinctive and flavorful non-vegetarian dishes that are characteristic of Rajasthani cuisine. The precise combination and proportion of these spices can vary from one recipe to another, adding depth and complexity to the dishes.