By Nmami Agarwal
The land of Dandi march, known for Garba—Gujarat has a lot to offer in terms of history, tradition, culture and food. Located in the western coastal area of India, has a good combination of different flavors like spices and jaggery making the dishes taste slightly sweet. The influence of Jainism and Vaishnavism has made the food more inclined toward vegetarianism. Talking about the non-vegetarian food, well, it’s consumed less and is influenced by Parsi and Christian method of cooking. The Gujarati cuisine will defiantly make a sweet spot in your heart, once you savor it.
Food is an essential part of every state that helps all understand its authentic flavors and taste. Talking about Gujarat, spices play a crucial role in most of its dishes. The spices and seasonings commonly used in preparing Gujarati cuisines are turmeric powder, coriander, tamarind, saffron, jaggery, kokum, fenugreek seeds and leaves, mint, asafoetida, ginger powder, cayenne pepper, curry leaves, and garam masala.
Gujarat has come up with an excellent agricultural progress with a huge economy dependency. More than fifty per cent of Gujarat’s available land is used for agriculture. The major food crops that are being cultivated in Gujarat are bajra, jowar, mangoes, banana, rice and wheat. Apart from that, commercial crops are groundnut, and cotton, linseed and sugarcane. Grains like bajra, jowar, rice and wheat significantly has to offer good fiber content, protein, fats, carbs and B vitamins managing your healthy diet and lowering the risk of heart issues. Coming to the sweeter part of agricultural aspect, mango- a king of fruits is being counted as the most famous part of Gujarat agriculture. Mangoes contain certain enzymes having stomach comforting properties with an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin A, C, magnesium, potassium, copper, beta-carotene, quercetin, and astragalin. All in all, preventing constipation, piles and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Relishing Gujarat Food Guide
- Undhiyu: Undhiyu is a one pot mix-vegetable casserole type dish that is the hallmark of Gujarati vegetarian cuisine. An easy and super delicious that does not take much time to get prepared. This nutritious bowl has an assortment of vegetable that is slow-cooked in pressure cooker and definitely makes it a healthy option.
- Gujarati Khichdi: A very common dish consumed in every part of India but this Gujarati Khichdi is indeed different. Nutritious and health full flavors in Gujarati Khichdi come from of ingredients like rice, spices, cereals and vegetables. This meal has the perfect balance of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fibre, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. That makes it a perfect meal.
- Kadhi: Particularly recognized because of its white color, this traditional Gujarati kadhi is made of curd, spiced with thickened gram flour and sweetened with a jaggery. Unlike other kadhi, Gujarati kadhi is slightly high on a sweeter side. The two essential ingredients besan and curd are packed with protein, calcium and is good for digestion.
- Rotlo: A staple food of Gujarat is Rotlo- a flatbread made of bajra, jowar or ragi flour that is consumed with raw white onion, green chilies or buttermilk. This dish is primarily consumed by the locals of Gujarat in the winter season. This flatbread is high in dietary fiber, essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Chora nu Shaak: An authentic, healthy, sweet and spicy Gujarati recipe, chora nu shaak (black eyed beans curry) is the power-house of proteins and multinutrients. The word chora means black eyed beans. This traditional recipe tastes great and offers a lot of energy to the body to function smoothly.
- Ringna No Olo: This dish is char roasted eggplant that is flavored with ginger and spices. The flavors are absolutely delectable and served along with millet roti. Eggplants are the good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 and are also well-known for heart health and to control blood pressure.
Having so many varieties in the main courses, the interesting part is that you do get that variety in snacks also. Thinking about snacks, it’s always considered as unhealthy as most of the time its deep fried, have lots of oil or unhealthy ingredients. But with Gujarat it’s different. Let’s have a look at healthy snack options.
- Thepla: No Gujarati journey is complete without this ubiquitous snack that is made from gram flour, whole wheat flour, fresh fenugreek leaves and spices that is served hot with fresh curd or pickles. There are several varieties in thepla but the most common one is made of fenugreek, spinach, orraddish, making it rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Patra: This snack is completely a roller coaster ride in terms of taste! It has a good balance of sweet, spicy and salty. The colocasia leaves are stuffed with a spicy mixture. This can be deep-fried, steam or shallow-fried as per your preference.Colocasia leaves contain good amounts of antioxidants and are a good source of vitamins B, C and E, that is good for immunity and is vital for skin health.
- Dhokla: It is made with a fermented batter derived from rice and split chickpeas that are soaked overnight. Dhokla can be eaten any time of the day and is a healthy snacking option that is packed with protein. This light and fluffy delicacy is enriching and has a fewer calorie count.
- Khakhra: This thin flat-bread is a popular Jain cuisine made of mat bean and wheat flour. A common addition to the household Gujarati breakfast recipes and makes for nutritious snack best to be enjoyed with methi chutney. Made with a mix of whole wheat, refined flour with a pinch of salt, this thin roti like flat-bread is baked or roasted on a non-stick griddle.
Over to you
Gujarat has a lot to offer on the field of foods and flavors. Even if you pick one dish to prepare every day, you will know how much Gujarati’s menu is loaded. So, plan your January menu accordingly!!!