|Mirchi Bada~Indian State Rajasthan|
Today we stop at Rajasthan, a state that I hope to visit soon not just because of the food which is splendid collection of colourful, spicy and unique dishes but because of its inhabitants and their rich culture.
As a child, in my nomadic lifestyle, we were at Akola, Maharashtra. Our neighbours were marwadis, a joint family their lifestyle amazed me. I loved watching how the old lady called dadiji though very old was very sweet and saw to it that we were invited for every ”Teej Towhar” not only for food but the earlier day to apply mehendi, mehendi being the most important ritual. They used to draw the designs not with the mehendi cone but with matchsticks and the designs were breathtakingly beautiful. Thin lines and weaves it was really magic the way they did the job.
Another strange thing was the vessel were washed suka. That means the vessels were dampened then were scrubbed with ash. With a dry cloth they were wiped clean of all residues. Then one more cloth finished all the rest of the cleaning. This way the water used was minimal.
Food, like I said is delicious Rajasthani cooking was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. Because of lack of leafy green vegetables, the use of lentils, pulses, legumes and milk, curd and buttermilk in place of the water in the gravy marks the essentials of Rajasthani cuisine. To decrease the use of water in this desert state they use a lot of milk and milk products to cook.
Originating for the Marwar region of the state is the concept Marwari Bhojnalaya or vegetarian restaurants, today found in many part of India, which offer vegetarian food of the Marwari people.
Rajasthan is known for not only its snacks like Bikaneri Bhujia, Mirchi Bada and Pyaaj Kachori but also for dishes like Bajre ki roti (millet bread) and Lashun ki chutney (hot garlic paste), Mawa Kachori from Jodhpur, Alwar ka mawa, Malpauas , let’s not forget dal bati churma ………………
The Rajput clan was always known to enjoy a hearty hunt (shikar) and the royal chefs (Khansamas) would delicately cook the day’s capture and incorporate the dish into the night menu. The women of the household never involved themselves in cooking the meat which they considered impure
Rajasthan Food is an experience to be cherished.