Rajasthan is the largest Indian state. The state borders Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. It shares an international border with Pakistan. The Thar Dessert in Rajasthan forms a natural border between India and Pakistan on the Northwestern part. This state is a historical state, rich in culture and heritage. The civilization dates back to Indus Valley civilization. State is known for its palaces, forts, intricately carved temples built by the Rajput kings. Capital city Jaipur is known as Pink City. State attracts many tourists, both domestic and international tourist. Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer-Puskar, Mount Abu, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer are some of the popular destinations.
I visited Rajasthan on a school trip. I do not remember which year I went but I was old enough to remember a lot from this trip, though it was a long time ago. I must have been in middle school. Our trip was to Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer and Mount Abu. I do not remember the order in which we visited the cities. I remember visiting Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal and a fort nearby in Jaipur. There was also a temple we visited near the fort. I do not remember going to Jal Mahal but do remember seeing it from the road. I do not remember going to Jantar Mantar either. Another stop on this trip was Udaipur, city of lakes. All I remember of this city is the statue of Maharana Pratap in a garden/park, probably in the grounds of a palace. I also have a group picture near the palace. And off course, remember the Lake Palace that is converted into a luxury hotel and we saw it from a distance. From Udaipur we visited Chittorgarh Fort and I remember the most of this fort; Padmini Palace where Rani Padmini showed the Sultan of Delhi her face in a mirror and a temple where Meera Bai worshipped lord Krishna. One of the other stops during the trip was Amjer Puskar and Mount Abu. In Ajmer I remember visiting a dargah or a shrine, in Puskar Brahma temple and seeing the sunset in Mount Abu. This is the summary of my only trip to Rajasthan when I was in middle school. I hope I did not put you all to sleep.
Coming to the cuisine of the state, it being a dry region, food is based on the ingredients available. The food is generally cooked in milk or ghee, making it rich. Gram flour is used a lot and food is cooked in such a way that it lasts several days and does not require re-heating. Some of the specialty food is dal baati churma, gatte ki subzi, kadhi, kachori. I won’t write much about the cuisine but will redirect you to Majula’s blog, who did a very good post on Marwari food few months ago. Manju is also doing this marathon and the thalis she is coming up with for each state is just mind blowing. When I say thali, I am not talking about a mini thali, her thali has at least 6-7 varieties of food for each state!
Coming to today’s recipe, I chose one from Manju’s blog. I had initially planned on doing a spicy Laal Maas (spicy red meat/goat/lamb). Although most of the Rajasthan cuisine is predominately vegetarian but there are a few non-veg eaters in the region. In fact this was the first recipe I tried out for the BM but could not take a picture. This was back in mid Dec and never got to cook it again. Even when I was cooking for rest of the states, I was least bothered about this state as I had tried and tested recipe. Unfortunately, I could not cook it again. I normally do not cook mutton curry that much and it is always mutton biryani. I cooked three mutton (goat) curries for this marathon and did not get a chance to cook laal maas again. Last week I decided to cook something else, as I wanted to finish the cooking and write the post before I take off on a trip to mid-west. This is one state I did very little search on the cuisine as I found a Rajasthan recipe even before I committed to do the BM. It was after seeing the pictures of this dish online that U said I should do this BM. I need him on the board before I committed to it, as he is the only taster for all the food I cook. Anyway, I wanted to finish off the cooking part by last week and I did not have any goat meat at home. It was then that I contemplated if I should cook a different dish with the ingredients on hand and finish off the cooking part of the BM. That is when I remembered Manju’s post and picked Kale Channe ki Kadhi. I followed her recipe exactly as given, so I will just link back to her post for now. This is the same post where she wrote about the Marwari food. You need to scroll ½ way down the page to get to the recipe. But I do suggest you read the post to know more about the cuisine.
Source: Desi Fiesta.
Serves: 2 – 3
I used 1/2 cup black channa as the recipe called for and I felt less than 1/2 cup would have been better. Also, I used big black channa. That could be the difference and my kadhi was a little thicker than Manjula’s. Kadhi was on a milder side but loved it with roasted green chilies on the side.
Again, I will update the recipe later. For now head over to Manjula’s space.