Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Rajasthan - Vinaigrette of Past

Vignette, vinaigrette, does it matter? But the tag line of the hotel I passed by did make for a big grin - and I knew that would be the title for my next post. Here are some delicacies we tried in Rajasthan over the past week, across Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Jaipur.

Dinner at a canteen in the Jaipur Railway Station. The round breads in the plate in the foreground were a pleasant surprise. We got those when we ordered a 'kulcha' - it took us a few seconds to realise they were more pav (of the pav bhaji kind) and less kulcha - the South Indians in us immediately noticed their resemblance to ootappams. We liked them so much, we ordered another plate. The gravy was a thin channa/chick pea gravy, which was spicy and rather ordinary.

Behind, you can see some kachodis. They were filled with dal, spices (saunf/fennel, dhaniya/coriander) and red chillies. Very tasty, very heavy - and very, very hot! The other plate (covered by an arm) contains pooris.

How long has it been since you had a Cassata? This brand used to be famous all over India once, now I suppose it's not marketed everywhere any longer. This was dessert, and comfort, in the cold Jaipur night, in a women's waiting room where we huddled trying to forget we had only two confirmed tickets for a group of four.

Roasted papad and bandhani tablecloth - all set for our first full Rajasthani meal in our hotel!

Ker sangri - the desert vegetables Rajasthan is so famous for. I never realised it would be so oily. (Granted my picture/version in the link above is no adequate representation either, but none of the pictures on the Net seem to contain so much oil!)

Gatte ki sabzi - oily again, but quite tasty.

Samosas (right) with a dry, spicy filling and chilli/mirchi vada at a snacks/sweet shop in the market.

More savoury snacks. The one in the foreground is a maida preparation intended to resemble fried cashewnuts.

Mawa kachori, filled with milk solids and nuts and sugar, which Jodhpur is famous for. We had this in Jaisalmer, though. 

A hole is punched in at the centre of the kachodi and some sugar syrup is poured into it. The periphery also is wetted with the syrup.

Maybe we didn't eat it at the right places but we didn't like it very much as the mawa just tasted burnt and the other batch we had reeked of kerosene from the stove rather than anything else!

Yes, all these curries were very oily! This was a methi-papad curry, the methi being the fenugreek seed and not the greens.

That's a Rajasthani thali. Clockwise from the yellow dish is the kadhi, dal, churma, roti, ker sangri and the gatte ki subzi.

Breakfast at Pokaran - mirchi vada and kachodi frying. 

Another Rajasthani thali - rotis, dal, potato curry, kadhi with pakodas, cauliflower and potato curry

This churma was a delight, fragrant with ghee and cardamom

The chaas (light buttermilk spiced with roasted cumin and carom (ajwain) 

This stall serves up jaljeera, lime juice, shikanji and lemon soda. 

My friend asked for lime juice with mint - this is what she got, I guess it was shikanji!

Yet another Rajasthani thali - notice the churma, it's different in this thali.

Churma, close up - it's been processed in the mixer!

The baati of the classic dal baati churma. After we were served this, a waiter came up with more baatis and ground sugar, crushed a baati in our plates, drenched it in sugar and told us to eat it up with the dal. In a more ignorant past, my first reaction would have been to gag, but I tried it now with a more open mind. Strangely enough, it didn't make a difference or affect me much, so I was content with just a taste.

You can see more pictures from my Rajasthan trip here.


  1. HI,
    This is sin dear, a real sin,
    to share only the photos!!
    Lovely clicks.

  2. Waaw Sra, Its my dream to tour Rajasthan but don't know when I will!! Thanks for sharing the pics.
    You are having fun Gal:) if you are visiting any palaces pls do give me info on it:)

  3. All those kachoris are making me extremely hungry. You have such good time eating

  4. oooohhh......Rajasthan, another one on my bucket list. So first you make us jealous with the trip, and then you show us all that food *sob*. though I must say, that cassata was such a blast from the past, that was the de facto wedding dessert in kerala in the '80s!

  5. You are killing me. I am a Rajasthani and love my spicy and lovely food... mmm... mmm.. mmm..

    Glad you had fun there :)

  6. What a fantastic post- this culinary journey made my day. The title is too much!

  7. This is one loaded post - too many goodies and inspite of them looking oily, I'm salivating! :)

  8. Vicarious pleasure to see your clicks.. Baati-Churma are supposed to be almost completely immersed in hot hot dal. Like Idli-Sambar or wada-sambar. Tastes glorious on cold cold nights! Have fun if you are still on the vacation. :)

  9. Oh jeez, Sra, you lucky lucky thing! You've no idea how deeply glowing green I am with envy. Practically fluorescent. I LOVE Rajasthani food and the snacks especially. I'm so hungry now...

  10. Sra,

    Mouthwatering, visited rajasthan few years ago and your pictures brought back all those wnderful memories.

  11. Love the photos!! What a treat to visit Rajasthan and sample all that lovely food!!

  12. Sra, I haven't had breakfast yet, and my stomach's rumbling from looking at those pics.

  13. 3 words for you for not taking me there.


  14. That lime drink looks fabulous, so bright and refreshing. Sorry I've been out of pocket lately, Sra, but it looks like you've been, too. And having a lot of fun at it. ; ) Thanks for sharing your travel pix. I'll go look at the others later on.

  15. droolworthy rajstahni dishes...specially Churma ladoo:) it..thanks for sharing those tempting pics...!

  16. that plate is to die for... only if I could grab that thali out of there!

  17. Oof - those Rajasthanis really know how to eat :)

    And don't tell me you passed through Delhi to go to Rajasthan??

  18. ohmygodddddddddddd!! vinaigrette indeed... i lurve this post... my mouth is watering looking at all these delicious yummy food... i love rajasthani food, and oh yes cassatta my favourite indian ice cream and also tutti frutti. this one looks humongous or is it a close up? couple of years back i 've has cassatta in delhi... but i think in the south no one has an idea abt it. love the green layer the most next to the tutti frutti.


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