One of the oldest culinary delights of India, Gujarati Cuisine reflects the strong influence of the Jains and the Vaishnavas and is known for its vegetarian fare and its mild use of spices. A veritable mix of flavors with the sweet dominating, here is creative cooking at its best.
The traditional Gujarati Thali is known for its lipsmacking food with each dish having a different cooking style. No mean feat! Rotli, Daal or Kadhi, sabzi and rice make for the sumptuous thali. The flavor of the daal is further enhanced by ‘Vaghaar’, a blend of spices purified in hot oil. Home to coastal climate, Gujarat’s food is known for its use of sugar, lemon and tomatoes, to keep the body hydrated.
Most Gujarati thalis are incomplete without farsan, a host of mouth watering snacks that serve as side dishes while some are eaten as snacks in their own right. Khaman, khandvi, kachori, mini-samosa, dhokla, the list is simply endless. Also home to savouries such as Matthias and Namkeens, Gujarati food is every food lover’s haven.
If you have a sweet tooth, Gujarati food pampers you no end. Popular sweets include jalebi, shrikhand, doodhpak, gulab jamun, malpuas and more. During summer, Gujarati food isnt complete without the customary aam ras.
Vegetarian Gourmet food got a whole new meaning with Gujarati food; Or as the cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey calls it, it is “the haute cuisine of vegetarianism” . Go ahead and give your taste buds the treatment they deserve with a Gujarati Thali. They wont be able to thank you enough!Read more >
POSTED BY Manish 756 comments
There is no denying the sheer variety and sumptuosness of Indian Food. Before you get ready to partake of these gastronomical delights, here is a quick overview of Dining etiquettes in India.While table manners vary from culture to culture, dining etiquette is considered an extremely important aspect of Indian tradition.
Traditionally, meals in India are eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or cushions. This tradition continues to co-exist with the more modern Dining Table set up prevalent in urban India.
Hands or silver?
A typical Indian meal is best eaten with your hands as you relish its feel and warmth. While eating Indian breads, the food is best scooped on to the bread and brought to your mouth. Irrespective of being referred to as use of hands, in effect you are only to use your fingertips to eat; an art that you master with some practice. For watery food, however, it is perfectly fine to use a spoon. The more important bit to remember is that irrespective of whether one is using cutlery or one’s hand, hands are supposed to be washed before and after each meal. Also, food is eaten with the right hand while the left is used to serve oneself.
Sacredness of food
Many an Indian meal begins with a short prayer thanking the almighty. In keeping with the sacredness of food, one is expected to finish everything on the plate as a mark of respect for served food.For the same reason, playing with food or distorting it in any way is also considered disrespectful. Other than food, respect is also to be shown towards the host to begin eating before starting to eat. Similarly, one is expected not to leave the table until the host or the eldest person has finished their food.
Just remember these basics as you get ready to undertake a lipsmacking journey!Read more >
POSTED BY Samantha 276 comments
There is nothing quite like the aroma of freshly cooked Indian food wafting through your nostrils. From sweet, fragrant cardamom to the world’s spiciest chili pepper, from smoky cumin to pungent mustard seeds, bold, aromatic spices add that unmistakable character. An integral part of Indian culture and food for more than 3,000 years, spices used in Indian cooking are famous not just for their flavor but also their food-preserving powers.
Used abundantly in Indian cooking, most outsiders not familiar with Indian cooking assume that the main purpose of spices is to render the food spicy and fiery hot. Indian spices, however,serve a number of functions primary among them, to add flavor to the food to give it its distinctive taste and aroma. Other than flavoring the food, spices serve in bringing out the nutrients in each food, thereby adding to its health benefits. From turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties to ginger’s digestive ones, the list of benefits is simply endless.Spices like cloves and cardamom are even known to act as preservatives, keeping the food from spoiling for a long time
While there is a great variety of spices, there are 6- 8 spices that occupy pride of place in every Indian kitchen. Typically used in grounded form these spices are stored in rounded containers with 6-8 small bowls to store each spice or masala as they are also referred to in colloquial language. Stored in the ubiquitous Masala Dabba, typically a stainless steel box,it makes it easy to access all the main spices at one go while cooking. More than just a prosaic storage space, most gourmet cooks would tell you that this dabba serves like an artist’s palette, allowing them to experiment with their creation with ease. Chilli Powder, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek are some of the commonly used grounded spices that give Indian food the authentic taste.
Other than this, an Indian kitchen sees the use of a range of fresh spices (ginger, garlic, curry leaves) as well as whole dried spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and more).
If there was one tip to use Indian spices, it perhaps would be to allow them to blend together before you add the other ingredients. While each spice has its own unique flavor but when blended with other spices, it acquires a new, enticing aroma and flavor. Years of experience of creating gastronomical delights, tells you exactly how much of each spice to add to the dish to give it its characteristic taste.
A word of caution on their storage though- glass bottles enhance their shelf life! Keep them away from moisture, air and heat and see yourself craving that unmistakable aroma they add to food every single time.Read more >
POSTED BY Maharaja Bhog 384 comments
India is clearly a land of gastronomical delights. Not without reason. The food of India is as diverse as its population. Heavily influenced by myriad factors- (history, trade partners, religious and cultural practices of the region, to name just a few), each region has its own lip smacking delicacies to offer.
The best way to explore the food of a state is to try out the local Thali. The genesis of the Thali owes its roots to the ancient Indian tradition of serving up a wholesome family meal enjoyed with all family members sitting together. Ancient Indian cultures used a clever and innovative mix of spices, grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables grown natively to serve up a delicious array of dishes. Food cooked was traditionally served in a huge round plate called the Thali, which was big enough to contain all the delicacies cooked for the day from appetizers to desserts. Small round bowls filled with the delicacies of the day were arranged in meticulous order in the Thali with the rest of the space reserved for rice and roti. The thali, in its modern avatar, is the best way to taste a little bit of everything a region’s cuisine has to offer.
Although the variety of dishes served in a thali, vary from region to region depending on cooking style and taste, the primary constituents served mostly include Dal, Rice, Roti, Salad and Sweets or their regional equivalents. Local geography and cultures have a huge bearing on the constituents of a thali. For instance Rajasthan being a desert state, milk and milk products like curd, cream and buttermilk are very heavily used as a substitute for water and also as coolant. On the other hand thalis of beach states like Goa, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu typically include fish and rice cooked in a variety of ways. Each region also uses its own unique blend of spices to give each dish a distinctive and unique taste. With so much variety to choose from, a Thali is the best way to savor the local cuisine. Simply spoon up each dish individually and eat it with rice or roti and appreciate the individual flavors and textures.
Not just in the taste department, a thali also excels when it comes to providing wholesome food. A balanced mix of protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, it is one nutritious meal.Despite the lip smacking food, that you can benefit from the portion control and avoid overeating, is an added perk!
If you haven’t tasted a Thali yet, it’s about time you made it a mandatory part of your to do list. And we understand it’s not possible to travel every time to taste the delicacies and hence we have 30 items in a single thali and different menu for 30 days. With so much to savor all you need to ensure is a good appetite before you embark on mouthwatering journey.Read more >