Rajasthani cuisine is rich, colourful and unique just like its culture. Milk, lots of clarified butter (ghee) and local spices are the prerequisites of many local dishes. From a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, to sweet and savoury delicacies, discover the quintessential Rajasthani dishes you need to try.
If there has to be a national dish of Rajasthan, Dal bati Churma would be the one. Made with whole wheat flour that is roasted over firewood, the batis are hard round-shaped dumplings that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The dal is made up of spices and different varieties of lentils that are soaked in water overnight. The churma is the crushed bati doused in ghee and mixed with sugar or jaggery. The three combined together – baked bati, dal and jaggery mixed churma make a hearty and scrumptious meal. No trip to Rajasthan is complete without trying this classic dish.
A traditional delicacy of Rajasthan, Gatte Ki Sabzi is fried or steamed gram flour (besan) balls cooked in curd gravy with lots of Indian spices, resulting in a delicious tangy flavour. It is best eaten with Indian flatbread (roti).
Touted as one of the best non-vegetarian dishes of Rajasthan, Laal Maas is essentially a meat curry made with a yogurt-based sauce and an array of hot spices, like red Mathania chillies. The red chillies give it the rich colour and fiery taste, though the spice level can be changed. This can be eaten with either aromatic rice or Indian flatbread.
Ker Sangri is a kind of pickle that is a combination of Ker, which is a piquant wildberry, and Sangri are the dried beans of Khejri (Rajasthan’s state tree) – both are stir fried with an array of local spices. This dish may not look particularly enticing, but it bursts with delightful flavours that make it a must-try dish. It can be savoured with bajra roti (millet or wheat flat bread).
Ghevar is a dessert that blends flour, milk and ghee together, and is then doused in sugar syrup, best accompanied with a sprinkling of almonds, pistachios and saffron on top. It is prepared in a mould and available in different shapes (usually disc-shaped), sizes and varieties, like Plain Ghevar, Malai Ghevar or Mava Ghevar. Any festival or celebration in Rajasthan is incomplete without this classic sweet signature dish.
There are numerous variations of Kadhi in India, each leaving a different effect on the palate. The Kadhi of Rajasthan is a spicy and tangy yogurt-based sauce, further thickened with gram flour. For some added kick, add gram flour dumplings (besan pakoras). It’s as light and delicious as it is fragrant, and often served with rice.
Kachori is a fried puff pastry that can be found throughout India. In fact, there are several variations of this snack, and the Rajasthani variants top the charts – pyaaz kachori (savoury) and mawa kachori (sweet). Pyaaz kachori are stuffed with onions, spices and potatoes, best accompanied with sweet and sour tamarind sauce. The mawa kachori has khoya and dried fruits and soaked is in sugar syrup. It’s no exaggeration to say that once you’ve eaten these Rajasthani kachoris, you’ll keep coming back for more.
Michi bada are spicy fritters available all over India, but no one does it better than Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It has a filling of potato and chilli, and is served hot with mint and tomato sauce. With the perfect combination of spicy and sweet flavours, it’s hard to stop at just one.
Another traditional dish of Rajasthan is lip-smacking Safed Maas, which is a meat-dish. The tender meat is cooked in a gravy of cream, milk, curd and cashew paste, and assorted mild spices and dried fruits. The fruits notches up the dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Bhuna Kukda is a Rajasthan take on chicken. Chicken is thoroughly marinated with local spices and then cooked until it becomes tender, the end result is a mouth-watering dish that will leave you hankering for a second helping. Top with fresh coriander, and savour with Indian flatbread.
Mohan Thaal is basically gram flour (besan) fudge infused with cardamom flavour, and topped with sliced almonds and pistachios. With chewy texture and sweet grainy taste, when you’re craving something a little sweet, this could be your dish. It is popular in both Rajasthan and Gujarat.