Story: Gujarati Cuisine; 9-8-2021;
Gujarati Cuisine is sweet, salty, and spicy sometimes;
Factors shaped the cuisine?
The current form of Gujarat's Cuisine is a result of the region's history, geography, and cultrure.
The hot summer season gave the state predominant use of salt, lemon, sugar, lime, and tomatoes.
While the cultural values prevented the extensive use of seafood uses in the state despite the easy and wast accessability to it.
The typical Gujarati Thali consists of Roti (a flat bread made from wheat flour, and called rotli in Gujarati), daal or kadhi, rice, and sabzi/shaak, preparations made from pulses or whole beans (called kathor in Gujarati) such as moong, black eyed beans etc. with some sort of pickle alongside with it. Topping it up with sweet like mohanthal, jalebi, doodh pak etc.
Fast Food or Snack:
Snack items include dhokla, pathra, samosa, fafda, Dabeli, Bhajiya, Ganthiya, Khakhra, Chakri, Khandvi, Dal Vada, Dahi vada, Kachori, Patra, Upma while sweet snacks include jalebi, doodh pak, Basundi, Ladu etc.
Cuisine can vary widely in flavor and heat, depending on a given family's tastes as well as the region of Gujarat they are from.
North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and Surti Gujarati are the four major regions of Gujarat that all bring their own style to Gujarati food. Many Gujarati dishes are distinctively sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time.
Due to very hot summer season the predominant use of Salt, sugar, lemon, lime, and tomatoes is part of the cuisine, it prevents dehydration.
Staples include homemade khichdi (rice and lentils or rice and mung beans), and chaas (buttermilk) and pickles as side.
Main dishes are based on steamed cooked vegetables with different spices and dals that are added to a vaghar, which is a mixture of spices heated in oil that varies depending on the main ingredients.
It is common to add a little sugar or jaggery to some of the vegetable dishes and dal, which enhances the slightly bland taste of the vegetables.
The cuisine changes with the seasonal availability of vegetables. In summer, when mangoes are ripe and widely available in the market, for example, Keri no Ras (fresh mango pulp) is often an integral part of the meal.
Change of Taste and Staple:
In modern times, some Gujaratis have become increasingly fond of very spicy and fried dishes. There are many chefs who have come up with fusions of Western and Gujarati food.
Non-Veg & Gujarat:
Although the majority of the state is vegetarian centric due to religious beliefs, the non-veg foods have also thrived in the state as many sources suggest, almost 40% or more of the Gujarati population consumes meat including the Muslims, and the coastal population.
The historical influencers such as British, Portuguese, Rajputs, Mughals but majorly the Muslim community have brought their influence to the cuisine of Gujarat. Bringing certain meat-based dishes to the state.
Major Non-Veg consumption may include chicken, mutton, eggs and fish, major uses of the non-veg cuisine could be seen in muslim community areas and specially in Ahmedabad.
The Kharwa community is one that is majorly dependent on the seafood and do earn their bread and butter working as fishermen, seafarers, salt makers and more.
Famous Non-Veg Dishes:
Kawab (very thin chopped Mutton pieces with many spices and Gram Flour mixed together and then fried), Seekh (Mutton pieces on stick eather roasted or fried), Biryaani (Rice, Mutton and blend of spices cooked together), Korma (Lamb mutton gravy), Chicken Dana (Famous in Ahmedabad, fried chicken pieces.)
While the Seafood includes various fish items (mostly fried with minimal spices), Patra ni machhi (fish) The Patra ni Machhi is a popular dish from the Parsi community in Gujarat.