What is Rajasthani cuisine and why is so famous?
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What is Rajasthani cuisine and why is so famous?

This post will clearly answer the question of What is Rajasthani cuisine and why is it so famous? If you are planning a trip here or simply a food lover, then this blog is for you. Here you will find everything you need to know to gain a good understanding of this iconic food.

It must be a surprise to no one to learn that Rajasthani food is from Rajasthan. The food is spicy and tends to require a minimum amount of water in the cooking process. 

Rajasthan is by far the worlds most populous desert, and all of those mouths need food. Throughout the centuries, the local cuisine has been shaped by the fleeting nature of the crops and the scarcity of water. Astonishingly it is no less delicious for it.

The cuisine of this state is so famous simply because it is so damn delicious. I am sure you will find Dining out here to be one of the most memorable gastronomic experiences of your life. Rajasthani food is not famous because of an excellent marketing campaign or years of advertising. It is famous solely through merit and the resourcefulness of the chefs who create it.

Now we have answered why it is so famous; let’s look at exactly what Rajasthani cuisine is and the dishes to look out for while you are on your own adventures to India’s land of kings.

The corner stone of a rajastani meal is chapati

Few meals in Rajasthan will be served without chapatis. In the north of India, bread is favoured over rice and here, chapatis reign supreme. Even the dough to make them requires little water. Chapatis are unleavened bread that is cooked on a Tava (curved skillet) and requires no oil. These delicious slices of bread can be bought either plain or brushed with ghee, although the latter will set you back a few extra rupees. The food is in such a stark contrast to that of the south of India. Follow the link to find out more. 😁

Vegetarian Rajasthani cuisine to look out for

Let’s start by talking about all the vegetarian cuisine to look out for. Here seems a good place to start since Rajasthan is predominantly a vegetarian state. The people are devout Hindus and there is also a sizable population of Jains who also call this place home. It is unsurprising then that you can find some of the tastiest vegetarian food to be found anywhere on the subcontinent.

I am predominately vegetarian myself when I travel in Rajasthan as it’s a much safer bet when it comes to food. I will be honest with you and tell you the infamous Delhi belly is certainly not unique to that one city. Generally eating vegetarian food in India is a good deal safer than not. I only eat meat in upmarket restaurants in Rajasthan. For more of my best tricks and tips to keep your digestive system happy click the link provided.

Here are my top 3 vegetarian dishes in Rajasthan

  1. Dal baati churma – The most iconic dish of this state. It consists of unleavened bread that is served with dal.
  2. Besan Bhindi – Okra or ladyfingers are tossed in chickpea flour and served in a dry and spicy gravy.
  3. Rajasthani aloo pyaz paneer ki sabji – Oh yes! Here is a super spicy curry that involves creamy paneer, potatoes and fiery red chilli.
at the heart of Rajasthani cuisine is the ingredients

When answering the question of what is Rajasthani food, we must first look at the ingredients. Due to the dense population and the meagre harvests, the local people have had to come up with as many ways to feed a family as possible. I dont know this for a fact, but it certainly seems although there is a greater diversity of dishes here just about anywhere else. That is certainly my observation while I travel. This works out to be a good thing for a traveller for obvious reasons.

Non-veg Rajasthani cuisine to look out for

Despite most of the state being herbivores, writing about the best non-veg Rajasthani cuisine is surprisingly easy. Oddly  Rajasthani meaty curries are some of the best around and I wholeheartedly recommend trying them. Well, if your diet allows you of cause.

The fine food of this state is heavy in spices. The liberal use of red chillis will be abundantly obvious to your pallet that can feel like it’s on fire after eating the food. I have found that unlike most of the dishes you will find here, the meaty dishes tend to have a rich gravy. It is certainly congruent with the fact that it is expensive to prepare a meaty feast like this if you live in rural Rajasthan. Again I have no idea if this is a fact, but I am here to write about my observations. I dont copy and paste anything on my website. All my work is based on actual experience.

Here are my top three non-veg dishes in Rajasthan

  1. Laal maas – I have to lead with this dish as it is the most iconic and the most delicious. This mutton curry comes in a spicy red gravy.
  2. Banjara gosht – The banjara are a traveller community who have some tasty ideas to add to the Rajasthani repertoire, including this one.
  3. Safad Maas – Yet another mutton curry and a truly decadent version of korma. This one is definitely not to be missed.
millet flour helps define what rajasthani cuisine really is

In the far reaches of the state, millet flour is largely used in place of wheat. Millet is happy to grow in harsh and arid conditions, so it is hardly surprising, is it? While you just have to try it at least once, it is definitely not my thing. It literally feels like I am having the moisture sapped out of my mouth when I am eating it. However, the locals seem to actively relish its grainy, dry texture. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. 

Rajasthani Thalis

Rajasthani thalis are a must-buy for any visitor to this state. A thali is a dish that is sold all across the subcontinent. Or should I say a collection of them? They represent fantastic value for money as they are inexpensive and often bottomless.

They come in veg and non-veg varieties where ever you buy them. The Rajasthani version will also consist of chapati, papad, pickle, dal, sabji and sometimes rice. They will also often come with a sweet. Look for where it is popular with the locals as this will indicate it will be delicious. You will not need another meal for a very long time after one of these.

Rajasthani sweets

Rajasthani sweets are never referred to as desserts and can be served at any time. If you are in a restaurant and you order a sweet, it will almost certainly be tasty. My absolute favourite is moong dal halwa. It is made from sugar, ghee, cardamom and moong dal. It does not sound awesome, but you can trust me when I say that it is incredible.

If you are walking into a sweet shop, you may be blown away by the choices you are faced with. There is a lot to choose from and I can’t stress enough that some of them are an acquired taste. I strongly recommend trying whatever one you plan on buying before committing to a kilo.

You can try so many different kinds of food with Rajasthani thali

What is Rajasthani cuisine? You can get a good idea of that with one of these. You get lots of dishes on a thali and that will give you a sweeping view of what’s on offer.

Rajasthani Lassi

The Indian lassi is synonymous with the countries food and is enjoyed worldwide. Rajasthan has to produce some of the best in the land, with Jodhpur being the most famous. There are oodles of flavours to choose from. I recommend you try many of them as each one is special in its own right. My favourite is the mango lassis when they are in the height of the season. Oh my god!

I would also add you should watch out for Lassis with the word Bhang in them. These are laced with weed and can send you halfway to the magical land of Narnia if you are not careful. Maybe that’s what you actually want that of cause. However, it is now unlikely as the government has clamped down on licencing for the sale of Bhang, especially to tourists.  They are obviously widely sold under the table, so to speak and it’s obviously up to you if you try one or not. If you would like to try this from somewhere legitimate, then the Bhang shop in Jaisalmer will be your jam.

Depite it being a dry state rajasthan produces some of the best in India and a magical accompaniment to the cuisine.

The idea of lassi is to calm the fire in your mouth after a good curry. Since you will be in the land of fiery curries, these wonderful beverages are practically indispensable.

In summary of my post on what is Rajasthani cuisine?

As you can see, the cuisine is a major highlight of visiting the state. Travelling your taste buds is surely one of the greatest joys there is to have. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in Rajasthan. Life may be hard here, but the food is well flavoured and sumptuous by anyone’s standard.

If you enjoyed this post and found it of value, you may enjoy some of my other foodie blogs. Why don’t you check out my posts on Meghlai sweets, Mughlai cuisine or where to get the best food in Delhi when you get the chance? Alternatively, if you would like one meaty post to get your teeth into (pardon the pun,) check out my in-depth post on where to get the best food in India.

If you have any further questions regarding this post or anything else to do with Indian travel, simply leave your questions in the comments section below. With that said, I shall see you in the next post, guys. 😁




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