Before we dive right into the kaleidoscopic components of a typical Rajasthani Thali, let’s absorb some trivia about the royal, elaborate cuisine. As the name suggests, the cuisine originated in the state of Rajasthan and the regions surrounding it. The unique cooking styles and food habits of Rajasthan can be credited to the arid topography, the extreme climate the state experiences and the scarcity of water and vegetation.
These influences make the food taste rather peculiar and obviously, different from what one gets to eat in the entire subcontinent. Another thing that makes it truly special is the element of surprise in it. A lot of us associate royalty with Rajasthan, but the one aspect that is often overlooked is how the state was once war-ravaged and embarked on a years-long evolution to harmony. Thus, the culinary style evolved in such a way that the dishes wouldn’t go bad for a couple of days and could be served without heating.
Don’t worry; you’d be served piping hot lip-smacking delicacies when you walk into thali restaurants in Jaipur like The Baluchi, The LaLiT Jaipur. The thali served here is guaranteed to give the most authentic gastronomical experience. The exquisite and vibrant Rajasthani thali would certainly consist of –
Bajre ki roti and lahsunki chutney
Probably the first bread that you’ll be served on your platter would be bajre ki roti. The grey coloured flatbread is extremely healthy and is a favourite amongst the natives. Though the roti tastes great with kadhi or any other vegetarian dish, it is mostly relished with lahsun ki chutney. The chutney is a fire red coloured saucy condiment prepared with garlic. The spicy taste of the garlic chutney is mellowed by the subtle but balancing power of the bajra roti.
The global fame this signature Rajasthani dish has acquired over time is tremendous. The scrumptious dish brings together a spicy dal, a deep fried baati, and sweet-ish churma. The baatis are small, round baked flaky brittle bread made of wheat, semolina, salt, milk and ghee. The same ingredients are mixed with jaggery and sugar and served as the crumbly churma.
Gatte ki sabzi
Also, referred to as pithhod, gate ki sabzi is one of the most popular curries in Rajasthan. Gatte or the gram flour balls are fried and then cooked in gravy, prepared with liberal use of buttermilk and spices. The thick curry’s taste is enhanced when the brittle gatte amalgamate in it with every consecutive bite.
Gatte ki sabzi is given a richer spin by stuffing nuts into the gates before frying them. The same dish then is called shahi gatte. Both the curries can be savoured with roti or rice.
This dish is a staple in Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Jodhpur and other towns which come under the desert regions of Rajasthan. It is made by combining beans (ker) and the berry (sangria) and stir-frying them with local spices. The preparation of ker sangri is rather elaborate and the ingredients have to be soaked overnight for them to soften. But once you taste it, you know it was worth the wait.
Unlike the kadi prepared in Punjab, Haryana and other North Indian states, the curry here is free from gram flour dumplings. The focus is on the flavour of the curry, thickened by buttermilk and gram flour. Often, aam ka ras is added to the curry to make it more rich and heavenly.
The main course must comprise of the above-listed delicacies. If you thought this was the best part then wait to try the sweet dishes you’ll be offered at the top restaurants in Jaipur. Bhalushahi, Imarti and ghevar, are especially popular and for all the right ‘sweet’ reasons.