Gujarati cuisine is one of the oldest culinary treasures of India. In this blog post, let’s delve deep into what homestyle Gujarati food looks like.
Heavily influenced by Buddhist and Jain vegetarianism, Gujarati cuisine offers a wide variety of vegetarian dishes. It boasts of a unique style of pure vegetarian food accompanied by pickles, farsans, and chutneys 0ffering healthy, nutritious food.
Known as the Jewel of Western India, this region offers a homestyle of cooking, which is simple, yet wholesome with a combination of spices traditionally served on a large silver or steel thali.
Most dishes are either stir-fried or boiled in a concoction of spices that complement one another with vaghar/ chounk (tempering) to make the meal truly exotic. The subtle flavors and tastes of Gujarati food set it apart from most other Indian cuisines.
Homestyle Gujarati food
In a typical Gujarati household, curry is served with rice and roti for most meals.
A distinctive feature of the food here is the balance of spices with sweet, both jaggery and refined sugar, as well as the seasonal nature of dishes, spices, and flavors.
In the summer months, for instance, minimal spices are used; and mango and its pulp find its way into most recipes.
Gujrat has four distinct geographical regions with its distinctive cuisine.
North Gujrat – The traditional homestyle Gujrati thali has put Gujrati Cuisine on the world map. This region offers the healthiest food with minimal use of oil and spices. A typical thali has a range of dishes on a platter:
1. Rotli (homemade flatbread);
2. Rice, shaak (vegetable) which could be spicy or sweet cooked with a variety of seasonal vegetables and spices;
3. Khandavi dal;
4. the signature Gujarati kadi prepared with chickpea flour and vegetable pakoras (fritters);
5. Farsan (snacks) such as dhokla or pathra;
6. A salad of sprouted beans and cucumbers;
7. Raita (spiced yogurt) and chaas (buttermilk)
7. Mishtaan or dessert, which could be a mohanthal or a jalebi
The exotic Dhoodpak, sweet milk made of condensed milk, saffron and a sprinkling of nuts, as well as papads (poppadums), and an assortment of chutneys and pickles are a must in every traditional thali.
Daily Gujarati meals are nutritious and straightforward, comprising of dal-bhat-rotli-saak.
Gujaratis love special occasions and festivals; these augment the regular food thaali with a variety of farsans (sides) and mithais (sweets/desserts)
There are a variety of dishes that have found a place on the famed Gujrati Thali like the khatti mithi daal with its fine balance of sweet and sour flavors; bhakhri, a round home bread that’s crispy and thicker than a rotli; undhiyu which is spinach paste cooked with mixed vegetables; ringana methi nu shak, which is fenugreek leaves combined with aubergine; badshahi khichdi (rice and lentil dish); bhindi (okra); sambhariya; aaloo rasila which is a curry of tomatoes and potatoes; accompanied by kachumbar salad, and a variety of chutneys.
South Gujrat cuisine – Just as the region is hot, the locals have a penchant for spicy and hot food with green chilies added in good measure. The dishes are very similar to the North of Gujarat with the spice quotient up several notches. South Gujrathis are also known for their sweet tooth, and local streets are peppered with sweet-shops and bakeries. Bakery items like Nankhatais which are crumbly and light shortbreads often flavored with cardamom and rose, and Gharis are very popular.
Kathiawari cuisine– Saurashtra is synonymous with Dhebra, which is loaded with iron and fiber. It is a delicious cutlet made of flour, spinach, green chilies, and yogurt served with the most impressive hot and sweet mango pickle.
Another specialty is methi masala (spiced fenugreek), which is prepared with a special spice mix made of dried fenugreek, red chilies, and salt. In fact, this spice mix is often stored and used in curries, giving them a defining kathiawari flavor.
Thick rotis of wheat, garlic, onion, buttermilk, and spices combine to make bhakris. These are most prevalent during the harsh, cold winter to warm the body. Phafda and omun, along with a wide variety of pickles, make this region very famous. Pulses are the mainstay of Kathiawari food, as are sweets made of jaggery.
Kutchi Cuisine – Kutchi and Kathiawari cuisines are simple with generous use of red chilies. Khichdi accompanied with Kadhi is the staple dish of this dessert region. Khaman dhokla, doodpak, and shrikhand accompanied by light and fluffy fried pooris (fried flatbread) are what you are likely to find in every homestyle Gujarati meal.
Gujarati households follow a simple rule in the preparation of a meal that is kadhi is always accompanied with daal; a sweet dish served with kadi would be almost always dairy-based and raita is usually not part of such a meal. During festivities when daals are served, the sweets would be wheat-based like lapsi. Spices are also combined to aid digestion.
Bohra cuisine – Bohras are the Muslim trading community who bring in the non-vegetarian fare in this predominantly vegetarian land. They are known for their soups which can be hot, cold or bright with vegetables and a whole lot of cashews. Malai wa Khalija and sagle bagla are both lip-smacking and a scrumptious. Basundi, ghevar, puran poli, malpua, halvasan, keri no ras, son papdi, shakkarpura, coconut barfi, and halva are just a few of the sweets this warm community indulges in.
From this land which gave India, Mahatma Gandhi, and people that believe in simple living and high thinking comes a wholesome vegetarian meal with an assortment of green leafy vegetables prepared with mouth-watering, balanced spices and subtle flavors. The dairy goodness of buttermilk, coconuts, and groundnuts makes up for the meal’s protein content.
Moong daal is is another hugely protein-rich dish popular in Gujarati home kitchens.
The hot and dry summer has nudged Gujarati homestyle food to use a lot of lemon, tomatoes, salt, and sugar to beat dehydration. This cuisine works well with Las Vegas summers as well.
Homestyle Gujarati Food In Las Vegas
Most restaurants in the United States serve Mughlai or South Indian cuisines. It is difficult to find Gujarati food in the U.S.
We started Rotifix to provide people in Las Vegas with an Indian meal delivery service focusing only on homestyle food from various regions in India. Our Gujarati menu consists of some of the most popular Gujarati homestyle dishes that are a staple in a typical Gujarati household. The nutritional value of these delicious dals, curries, and sides lend a universal appeal to Gujarati food. If you are a vegetarian or would simply like to add more vegetables to your diet, you should try this menu out.
We churn out fresh, homestyle ready-to-eat rotis all day long from our kitchen. We also make theplas (made with methi or fenugreek) and it’s a healthier version, popular with meals or even as a snack.
Our menu is great for vegans and Jains as well as others with dietary restrictions. All our items are clearly labeled. To order, go to https://www.rotifix.com/order-homestyle-indian-meals now.
To find out how Rotifix works, got to https://www.rotifix.com/home
To help you navigate Gujarati, food, we have put together a glossary to help you better understand Gujarati homestyle food and Jain vegetarian dishes:
Bhat – Rice is a staple of the thali and found in a variety of styles. From plain rice to khatta-mittha bhat, which is a delightful combination of rice with spices and potatoes accompanied by a lemon.
Biranj – is rice with saffron, dried fruits, and sugar for seasoning.
Doodhpal – is a lip-smacking dessert of rice boiled in milk with sugar, cardamom, saffron, almonds, cashews, and raisins.
Rotlo – Homemade bread in different styles is very popular in this cuisine made by single flour or a combination. Puran poli and thepla have put Gujarati Cuisine on the globe.
Shaak – Luscious and exotic vegetables make up homestyle Gujarati food. Batata nu shaak, bharela arela, chola nu shaak, dudhi nu shaak are some of the most often cooked dishes.
Farsan – are the scrumptious sides and are often taken as snacks. Most famous farsans that you find are the mouth-watering chaat, dahi vada, dhokla, and kachori.
Mithai – Gujarati cuisine has a wide variety of sweets to offer. From dairy based to wheat based desserts like shrikhand, jalebi, sukandi, malpua, kansar, son papdi to name a few. During festivals, ghooghra and magas are in plenty and can give you a sugar rush you have not yet experienced.
Looking for homestyle Gujarati food and vegetarian Jain food in Las Vegas?
Now for the first time, you can order homestyle Gujarati food for delivery or curbside pickup in Las Vegas. Check out our Gujarati food menu and let us know what you like best.