The variety of Indian cooking is immense, it is colourful and aromatic, it can be fiery or not as desired and it is inexpensive even at the top class hotels. No wonder, then that it is now the third most popular cuisine in the world nor will it be any more surprising when it becomes the first.

Perhaps the best known Rajasthani food is the combination of Dal Bati and Churma but for the adventurous traveler,willing to experiment,there is a lot of variety available. Besides spicy flavours, each region is distinguished by its popular Sweet-Ladoos from Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, Malpuas from Pushkar, Jalebies from most big cities, Rasogullas from Bikaner, Dil Jani from Udaipur, Mishri Mawa and Ghevar from Jaipur, Sohan Halwa from Ajmer, Mawa from Alwar, Tilpapadi from Beawar.

We present a few traditional recipes for your culinary pleasures:

Dal Bati Churma (Puffed dough dumplings with lentil curry)

Serves: 6 & Cooking time: 2 hours

For Dal
* 2 cups rajma beans (soaked in water overnight with a pinch of soda bicarb).
* 3/4 cup whole black gram (urad) (soaked in water overnight with a pinch of soda bicarb).
* 3 onions, chopped finely.
* 2 tomatoes, chopped finely.
* 2 tsps garam masala powder.
* 2 tsps chilli powder.
* 1 tsp turmeric powder.
* 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste.
* 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise.
* 2 tbsps cream
* 4 tbsps ghee.
* 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped finely.
* Oil.
* Salt to taste.

For Dumplings
* 5 cups whole wheat flour, sieved.
* 1 cup ghee, melted.
* 2 tbsps curd.
* Salt to taste.

Pressure cook rajma and black gram till it becomes soft. Heat 4 tbsps oil. Add onions. Brown them. Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes. Fry. Add all the masalas, beans and salt. Simmer till well blended. The gravy should be thick. Pour over cream and ghee. Knead a soft dough with flour, ghee, curd, salt and just enough water. Roll into lemon-sized balls. Cover and keep for one hour. Then roast in batches on hot coals till puffed and golden outside and spongy inside. Keep hot. Garnish the dal with coriander leaves and slit green chillies. Dip hot dumplings in the dal while eating.

* Wheat flour 200 gm.
* Ghee 400 gm.
* Khoya / Mawa 100 gm.
* Sugar (grounded) 200 gm.
* Soaked almond (finely chopped) 50 gm.
* Cardamom (small) 4.
* Dalchini 1″.

Melt 150 gms. of ghee and mix it in wheat flour. Make a stiff dough using very little water. Heat the rest of the ghee in a kadahi. Make about 15-20 balls with the dough. Fry it on low flame till it becomes golden brown. Churn it in grinder after it cools down. Mix khoya. Heat 1 tbsp. ghee in kadahi. Add cardamom seeds and dalchini. Add the above mixture of wheat flour and khoya. Fry it for one minute. When it cools down, add sugar and chopped almonds. Mix well. Serve in a plate. You can enjoy the taste of churma for 8-10 days if you keep it in an airtight box.


Serves : 6

* 2 cups besan (gram flour).
* 2 cups water.
* 1+1/2 tsp red chillie powder.
* 1 tsp coriander powder.
* 1/2 tsp turmeric.
* Salt to taste.
* 4 green chillies finely chopped.
* 2 onions finely chopped.
* Few sprigs coriander finely chopped.

Gravy For Pithode
* 1 onion sliced.
* 3 whole pods garlic, ground.
* 4 tsp red chillie powder.
* 1+1/2 tsp coriander powder.
* 1/2 tsp turmeric.
* 2 tbsp curds.
* 4 tbsp oil.
* 1/2 inchpiece ginger, ground.
* A pinch garam masala powder.
* Few sprigs coriander leaves.

Grease a large thali and keep aside. Put all ingredients except gram flour into the water and keep to boil. As it starts boiling gradually add gram flour, constantly stirring to avoid formation of lumps. Cook for a few minutes Pour into the thali and pat evenly. Allow to cool and then cut into two inch pieces. Rinse out remaining besan in pan with one cup of water and keep aside. Pithode can be deep fried or can also be used without frying.

For Gravy
Add chillie powder, coriander powder, turmeric, salt, ground garlic and curds to little quantity of water to form a paste. Heat oil in a kerahi. Brown onions. Add masala paste, and cook till oil separates. Add besan water from pithode and more according to desired quantiy of gravy. Add pithode and sprinkle with garam masala. Allow to boil and serve.

Gatte Ki Sabzi

Serves : 6-7

* Besan 200 gm.
* Dhaniya 1 tsp.
* Ghee 2 tbsp.
* Curd 250 gm.
* Salt 1 tsp.
* Oil 2 tsp.
* Red chilly powder 1 tsp.
* Haldi a pinch.

Mix besan while adding ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp red chilly powder, ½ tsp. dhaniya powder and ghee. Make a stiff dough.
Make 5-6 thin and long strips of the dough.
Put these strips in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
Cut these gattas into small pieces.
Strain the curd through a strainer.
Add ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp red chilly powder, ½ tsp dhaniya powder and haldi to the curd. Mix well.
Add the gatta pieces.
Heat oil in a kadahi.
Put the tadka of jeera and add the curd mixture.
Cook it for 5-7 minutes while stirring continuously till it comes to a boil.
Simmer the flame and cook for another 5-7 minutes.Turn off the gas.
Finally put the tadka of red chilly powder.

Papad Ki Sabzi

Serves : 4

* 200 gm papad (fried and broken into 2/3 inch pieces).
* 6 tbsp ghee.
* 300 gm yogurt.
* 1 tsp cumin seeds.
* 2 tbsp coriander powder.
* 1 tsp red chilly powder.
* 4 tbsp ginger-garlic paste.
* 1 tsp chopped ginger.
* 1 tbsp chopped green chillies.
* 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander.
* Salt to taste.

Heat ghee in a pan add the cumin seeds.
When they start to crackle add ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder.
Fry for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, add chopped ginger and green chillies.
Then add the beaten yogurt and fry for another 3 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
Put the papad pieces into the boiling gravy and lower the flame to a simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes.
Season to taste, remembering that papad is already salted.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Dahi Kadi (Yoghurt Curry)

Serves : 4 & Cooking time: 15 mins

* Yoghurt,sour 2 cups.
* Jaggery 2 tbsp.
* Bengal gram flour 2 tbsp.
* Ginger 1″ piece.
* Curry leaf stalks 2-3 nos.
* Coriander leaves 1/2 cup.
* Green chilies 2 nos.
* Salt To taste
* For Tempering :
   Cinnamon 1″ piece.
   Cloves 5 nos.
   Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp.
   Cummin seeds 1/2 tsp.
   Asafoetida powder 1/4 tsp.
   Oil 1 tbsp.

Whip the sour yoghurt and add enough water to obtain a pouring consistency. Add gram flour to it and set aside. Scrape the ginger and finely chop and slit green chilies in two and set aside. Chop the jaggery, wash, chop the coriander leaves and set aside. To the yoghurt mixture add the chopped ginger, the jaggery and salt to taste. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add slit green chilies and asafoetida. Add the yogurt mixture and stir constantly till it boils. Cook on slow flame for 5-8 minutes. Serve hot with white steamed rice or khichdi.

Dal Dhokli (Dumlpings in Lentil Curry)

Serves : 6 & Cooking time: 30 minutes

For Dal
 1 cup tuvar dal.
* 2 tbsps peanuts, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
* 1 tsp cumin seeds.
* 5 cloves garlic, chopped.
* 4 cocums.
* 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
* 1/2 tsp chilli powder.

For Dhokli
* 1 cup wheat flour (aata).
* 1/2 tsp turmeric.
* 1/2 tsp chilli powder.
* l/2 tsp asafetida.
* Oil.
* Salt to taste.

Boil the dal and the peanuts in a pressure cooker till soft. Keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, garlic, asafetida and finally, the boiled dal. Add cocum, turmeric powder, chilli powder, sugar and curry leaves. Boil and add salt to taste. To make the dhokli, mix the flour, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, asafetida and a little oil and make a stiff dough with water. Knead well and roll out into 10 cms discs. Cut the discs into diamonds or squares with a knife and drop them into the boiling dal mixture. When all the dhokli pieces are put in, boil the dal for a further 15 minutes on a low fire. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

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