Being influenced from Jains and Hindus, Gujarati Cuisine is primarily a vegetarian one even when the Gujarat has abundant supply of fish and seafood. All the Gujarati dishes are a unique combination of salty, spicy and sweet flavors. Gujaratis have been known since ancient times for their elusive use of spices while retaining the original texture and the flavor of the ingredients used.
According to me, Gujarati Cuisine is a delightful combination of leafy green vegetables and pulses with subtle use of spices accompanied with either wide variety of breads or rice.
Almost each Gujarati dish has some amount of sugar. The use of sugar is prevalent so as to neutralize the salty taste of water.
Due to climatic and cultural variations in different regions of Gujarat, there is a significant difference in methods of preparation of food. Ingredients like yogurt, sugar, buttermilk, lime juice, coconut etc form the staples of Gujarati Cuisine.
What’s in the Gujarati Platter?
Gujarati food is usually served on a large silver platter along with the most popular dishes of Gujarat and wide variety of breads or rice. A typical Gujarati thali consists of a variety of dal (pulses) & wide variety of beans, two to three vegetables, a curd preparation, salads, sweets, coconut, pickles, chutneys, rice, sweetened yogurt and chappati or puri (breads).
Gujarati Cuisine in Different Regions of Gujarat
There are four main regions in the state of Gujarat, North Gujarat, South Gujarat, Kathiawad and Kutch. The style of preparing Gujarati Cuisine varies according to these regions.
The traditional thali food is very popular in North Gujarat. The thali contains all the elements mentioned before but the use of oil and spices is very less in this region. Khandvi and Khaman Dhokla are two inseparable parts of a Gujarati thali in north Gujarat.
South Gujarat mainly consists of Surat. People of this region love to eat Gharis and Nankhatis which are very popular sweets of Gujarat. In main course, Paunkh and Undhiyo (vegetarian Gujarati Dishes) are quite popular.
Apart from their sound love for Dhebras (wheat flour preparation), Khatiawad loves the Chikki which is a sweet made with sesame seeds and peanuts.
The people in Kutch region like simple food with rice and pulses being the main ingredients. Gujarati Khichdi is very popular here. Also, the very famous sweets of Gujarat Shrikand and Doodhpak originated from this region.
Gujarati Snacks, breads and Sweets
Farsan(Snacks), breads and sweets – if you visit Gujarat and don’t taste these three things, your visit is of no use. And don’t you think that these are just three things. There is a wide variety of these three available in Gujarat.
Snacks like Dhokla (prepared from chickpea flour), Khakra (a crispy flatbread with variety of flavors), Khandavi (made using gram flour and curd), Muthiya (steamed combination of vegetables and gram flour) and Pandoli (moong dal preparation) are known worldwide.
The breads Dhebra, thepla, bajra no rotlo and bhakri are worth trying.
The luscious sweets like Shrikhand (made using hung curd), Malpua (the Indian version of pancakes), Ghevar(made on special occasions in Gujarat) and Basundi (cooked in milk) are irresistible.
Gujarati Kadhi (sour curd preparation) is extremely delicious and mouth watering.
A very famous chef of India, Vikas Khanna considers Gujarati Cuisine as ‘the best comfort food’ and has tried very hard to discover what makes it so popular all over the world. Gujarat has become a touristy place especially for foodies.
The potpourri of Gujarati Cuisine is the reason. The uniqueness of this cuisine is the reason!