If you are planning to travel to Rajasthan, don't miss the opportunity to try the delectable Rajasthani cuisine. Referred to as 'the land of Kings', Rajasthan is a treasure house culinary delight - both within the palaces and outside. During the days of yore, preparation of food in the royal kitchens of Rajasthan was a very serious matter and was raised to the level of an art form. Hundreds of cooks worked in the stately palaces and kept their recipes very closely guarded. Some recipes were passed on to their sons and the rest were lost forever.
The cuisine of Rajasthani was highly influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in the desert region. Scarcity of water and lack of fresh green vegetables also had their effect on Rajasthani cooking.
The passion for shikar (hunting) of the Maharajas has been largely responsible for shaping the culinary art in Rajasthan. In the world of good eating, game cooking is easily the most respected art form, largely because the skills required to clean, cut and cook game are not easily acquired. With the Pathani invasions, filtered in the art of barbecuing which has now been honed to perfection and the quintessential sula-smoked kebabs or skewered boneless lamb-can be prepared in 11 different ways. On the other hand is the vegetarian cooking of the Maheshwaris of Marwar or Jodhpur, who do not use even garlic and onions, as these are said to excite the blood.
Beside the spicy delicacies, each of the regions of Rajasthan is distinguished by its popular sweet - ladoos of Jaisalmer, mawa kachori of Jodhpur, malpuas of Pushkar, dil jani of Udaipur, mishri mawa and ghevar of Jaipur, sohan halwa of Ajmer, mawa of Alwar, and rasgullas of Bikaner, to name a few. Bikaner also has a whole range of other savories and snacks like the world famous Bikaner ki bhujia.
In the royal kitchens of Rajasthan, food was very serious business and was raised to the level of an art form. Hundreds of cooks worked in the stately palaces and kept the recipes a closely guarded secret. It was a matter of great prestige to serve unusual dishes and the royal cooks were encouraged to experiment, the royal.
Guest were treated to such delicacies as stuffed camels, goats, pigs and peacocks… it was perfectly normal to have pigeons fly out of elaborately prepared dishes. It was usually difficult to taste all delicacies. Safed Maans or white meat is served on festive occasions.
Even as the Mughal influence is noticeable in the cooking in the courts, the common man’s kitchen remained untouched. Cooking here has its own flavor and the simplest; most ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes. Dried lentils, beans and gram flour are liberally used. In the desert belt, a minimum of water is used, and instead milk, buttermilk and clarified butter form the base of the dish. There are dozens of varieties of sweetmeats-Ghevar, Rusgulla, Gulab Jamun, Barfi the list is endless.