5 Delicious Gujarati Dishes That You Must Taste in Your Lifetime

September 28, 2017 7:47 am 0 comments

Think Gujarati food and probably the first thought that comes to your mind is the weird sounding names like Fafda, Thepla and Khakhra! But look beyond these popular and strange-sounding names, and you will discover that not only are these dishes absolutely delicious, but Gujarati cuisine as a whole has a lot to offer and will leave you asking for more. For foodies, Gujarat is the perfect place to dig!

The Gujarati food theory encompasses Mithu (sweet), Khatu (sour), Kharu (salty), Kadvu (bitter) and Masaledar (spicy). There are 26 districts in the state and offer an interesting platter of flavours’ that tingle your taste buds. The four major regions of Gujarat are North Gujarat, Kutch, Kathiawar and Surti Gujarat, and all boast of unique dishes that add colour and spice to Gujarati cuisine. And lest you forget, Gujarat is the land of Farsan, i.e., dry snacks, which come as colourful, flavourful and filling as you can imagine!

Also, interestingly, the popular conception is that Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, while 40% of Gujaratis are non-vegetarians!  Thanks to its massive coastline, there is an abundant supply of seafood, and there are non-vegetarians galore who relish it too. Gujarati Kshatriayas are primarily meat eaters since generations. The Jain culture is popular in the state and it promotes vegetarianism, which is why Gujarat is perceived as a vegetarian state and global fast food chains like Pizza Hut and Subway offer vegetarian and Jain variants of all their popular dishes here.

Though Gujarat and its people have happily accommodated new ingredients and cuisines, thanks to modernisation and Gujarat having a key role in international trade with its ports, what is unmissable about the food you get in Gujrat is that it always combines two or more textures in a dish and there is always a dash of sweetness even in the most savoury dishes. Gujarati food makes generous use of peanuts, which are loaded with monounsaturated fats, that are good for health, and jaggery, that is a good digestive. Moreover, the authentic cooking style is that of cooking over charcoal fired sigri, which makes the food oil-free and naturally healthy too. There is also an interesting mix of millets, which fortify the body with essential nutrients.

Ekta Kapoor’s daily soaps which invariably feature rich, joint Gujarati families, made Theplas and Khandvi popular on Indian TV. But there is a lot more to explore!

Here are 5 of the most lipsmackingly delicious Gujarati dishes that everyone must try at least once in their lifetime

1.     Methi Muthiya

A very popular Gujarati snack, Methi Muthiyas are made of chickpea flour and whole-wheat flour. Loaded with fenugreek, also called methi, and various spices, and sometimes spinach, amaranth, bottle gourd or even bitter gourd, they come fried or steamed (dream come true for the health conscious food lover) and must be tried to get a taste of authentic Gujarati food. They get their name from ‘muthhi’ or fist, since the Muthiyas are made by holding the dough tightly in the fist. The golden crisp exterior and juicy insides give the Muthiyas an interesting mix of textures. Couple a dash of chutney or ketchup and a cup of piping hot tea with a bowl of Muthiyas,, and you can experience heaven on earth!

2.     Dhokla

Popular all over the State and even the country, Dhokla is the ultimate delicious Gujarati dish that can be had for breakfast, lunch or as a snack in the evening too. Dhoklas can be had with tomato ketchup, tamarind chutney or mint coriander chutney or by themselves. And they are healthy too, since they are made by steaming sweet and sour gram flour batter to fragrant perfection. The tangy sweet Dhoklas are cut into cubes and tempered with mustard and chillies, and served with coriander leaves and grated coconut.

3.     Murghanu Shaak

For those looking for an authentic Gujarati non-vegetarian dish, the search ends at Murghanu Shaak. A chicken dish that also has potatoes and drumstick cooked in Gujarati style; this dish is a mouth-watering combination of sweet and sour. Easy to make in a short time, Murghanu Shaak is made with chicken that is marinated with yogurt and spices first, and then cooked in a sinful gravy of ginger, garlic, onions and tomatoes, with spices and vegetables. It can be had with rice or chapatis and makes a complete and wholesome meal.

4.     Undhiyu

Packed with every possible vegetable you can think of, Undhiyu is a delectable dish that can be mastered only with some practice. Deep fried vegetables combined with a mix of gravies makes this dish as good as a meal on its own. Undhiyu is quite the star of Gujarati cuisine and the name means ‘inverted’, ‘undhu’ in Gujarati. Slow-cooked in winters in an inverted clay pot, it consists of fresh winter vegetables, generally small brinjals, potatoes, peas, beans and raw bananas, as well as crunchy Muthiyas mixed with coconut, spices and buttermilk. It is generally served with puris and Shrikhand. Gujaratis wait for winters eagerly to have their Undhiyu and you have to have it at least once to understand that this is a dish that is worth waiting for!

5.     Dal Dhokli

When you need something delicious to have rice with, and to have the most gratifying meal ever, you cannot go wrong with Dal Dhokli. It is a lentil curry that encompasses all flavours’ like sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The diamond shaped dumplings found in the curry are made of whole wheat dough seasoned with sesame seeds and spices. It is a one-pot dish and is flavoured with various condiments. Some variations of Dal Dhokli come with vegetables like pumpkin, potatoes etc. added to it. The aroma of freshly cooked dal Dhokli tempered with lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves can whet anyone’s appetite.

If there are only 5 Gujarati dishes you can taste in your lifetime, these must be it. However, try to get your hands on any and every Gujarati dish you can; it will be well worth the effort.

Author’s Bio

Siddhi Panchal

Siddhi Panchal is a food blogger at CookingwithSiddhi and food aficionado who loves to cook. Her cooking skills cover a range of Indian and international cuisines. Her aim is to enable other food enthusiasts explore their love for food by helping them cook delectable dishes from India and around the world. Follow her on YouTube.

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