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Rajasthan - Cooking and Food
swswsssssssOverview of Rajasthani Cuisine History
The vast and mysterious sub-continent of India has a range of cuisines as diverse as its cultures. Every corner of this massive country has evolved its own unique cooking methods and developed its own choice of ingredients and blend of flavors, which land up to present a fascinating repertoire of ideas, techniques and recipes for any foreigner to explore and enjoy. The same is the case with the Rajasthani cuisine and its history or culinary. The cooking of Rajasthan was immensely influenced by the war-like and belligerent way of life of its people and the accessibility of the ingredients that were grown in this region. Back in the day, Rajasthani food that could last for numerous days could be consumed without even heating as that was the preferred style of eating, but obviously it was due to more out of requirement than an option or choice. The shortage of water, fresh green luscious vegetables have had a massive effect on the Rajasthani cuisine. In the desert belt of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner, people make minimum usage of water and have a preference, in its place, to use more milk, buttermilk and clarified butter. In the past, Rajasthan was known as the “state of the princes”. Thus, with its royal past with its rich, lavish fare. Meat dishes are a specialty in the Rajasthani cuisine. The geographical and cultural as well as historical influence that this region of Rajasthan has had, has left a mark on its cuisine. Rajasthan has a hot, and dry climate, therefore there is a relatively little range of vegetables in the region. Culturally, Rajasthan is a Hindu state, and that makes its cuisine a lot more vegetarian.
The Rajasthani region almost certainly has the most varied techniques of food in India. Rajasthani cuisine is spicy and for the most part of it is vegetarian save for a few delectable and mouth-watering meat dishes like Laal Maas (red meat curry), Thaali (a large plate) is the Rajasthani manner of eating and a meal can consist of as many as 10 special and varied vegetable dishes, rice, chapati (Indian bread) and sweets! The Rajasthani’s thrive on a snack and chef a huge assortment of them. These are collectively known as Farsan. The Rajasthani cuisine uses a lot of dry coconut. The Rajasthani food is rich, tangy and strongly flavored by coconut, red chilies and vinegar. The staple food in the cuisine of Rajasthan are corn, lentils and gram flour, dry red chilies, buttermilk, yogurt, sugar as well as nuts. The cooking oils that are commonly used in the Rajasthani cuisine are mainly oils such as vegetable oils like sunflower, canola and peanut oil and ghee. The vital spices and ingredients that you will find in the cuisine of Rajasthan are dried chilies, sugar, sesame seeds, coconut, nuts, vinegar, fish, pork and many other types of meats. A few of the most popular dishes that you will find in the cuisine of Rajasthan are the Pork Vindaloo, Chicken Xacuti, Fish Curry, Daal-Baati-Choorma, Laal Maas, Ghewar and many more. They are simple to cook and do not take up a lot of your time while preparing them.
Indian Food Glossary
Finding the ingredients for an Rajasthani Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to
make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.
- Check out the Indian Food Glossary
Preparation Methods for Rajasthani Cooking
Although no specific method which is ‘special’ is used while preparing your Rajasthani cuisine, nevertheless there are various methods used in the preparation process of the Rajasthan cooking. If you are looking for perfect results to stem out then it is better to stick to the old traditional manner of preparing your Rajasthani cuisine. Some of the few cooking methods and styles applied in Rajasthani cooking are the many and highly distinctive in their nature. The preparation methods applied in the Rajasthani cooking were first used when man discovered fire. A lamb or chicken which is usually prepared with rice, spices and water is prepared in a highly simple manner. Another type of method that involves the preparation of the Rajasthani cooking is grilling the seasoned lamb or chicken on flat stones that are usually placed on top of burning embers. There is also a quick cooking preparation form of the whole wheat in the Rajasthani cuisine that is cleaned and parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. It usually comes in four particular forms of grind sizes which further provide different textures and cooking properties for a range of food applications.
Special Equipment for Rajasthani Cooking
Very little ‘special’ equipment would be needed to prepare your Rajasthani cuisine. Pots and pans those are non-sticky of course as they make the best utensils for simply any type of cooking, so try getting a hold of a few of those if you do not have them already. Moreover, using wooden stirrers in place of stainless steel ones is the best choice always. Even so, it is always exciting to know about and if you wish to cook with specialized Rajasthani equipment. If you are a creative and innovative cook and want to prepare your Indian meal in the true traditional Rajasthani Indian style then it will not be a bad idea to invest into getting a ‘Tawa’. The traditional Rajasthani breads such as chapattis, parathas and rotis are all made using the tawa. Karahi is another deep frying pot which looks quite like a Chinese wok but it is heavier and deeper than the former. The karahi makes a great alternative for ordinary deep frying recipes. Commonly the meat dishes are prepared in the karahi. Other than the traditional Indian tawa and karahi, spice grinders, food processors or electric blenders are always useful to make your cooking easy and joyful. Getting a hold of a few metal skewers for meat and vegetable threading is also a handy utensil. Other than that, electric spice grinder or a simple pestle and mortar are invaluable for grinding small quantities of spices. Food processors or electric blenders usually save a lot of your cooking hours and make your preparation of the Rajasthani cooking even easier.
Rajasthani Food Traditions and Festivals
India is a country which is rich in its traditions, customs and festivals. There are some really interesting and vital aspects relating to food and cookery in the region of Rajasthan. The best possible food is prepared for guests even if the other members of the family have to go without eating. A guest is normally given a seat or the place of honour at the head of the room. To quench the guest’s thirst, tea is first brewed and served many times over cool beverages are also served instead of tea.. While the guest is drinking and having a conversation with his host, all the women of the family are greatly involved in the preparation of food. Special dishes and food are prepared for the New Year. Weddings, birth of a child, etc all call for the Rajasthani cuisine to be laid out and served to their guests. On the whole, the Rajasthani people love an excuse for a party. Births, circumcisions, engagements and weddings are celebrated in a grand style, with great amount of food dishes and tasty desserts are prepared and served.
People in Rajasthani Food
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