Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gujarati Thali

Gujarat is located in the western part of India. Its capital is Gandhinagar and some of its large cities are Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Jamnagar. Gujarati is the language spoken in this state. The dance styles dandia and garba originated in Gujarat. During the navratri festival Gujaratis and non-Gujaratis alike dance to the melodious music of the dandia for hours.

I feel a special connection to Gujarat as my mother spent a good part of her childhood there. As children along with Marathi nursery rhymes she also taught us Gujarati rhymes like 'pata upar gadi'. When I was little I knew the age old tunes of garbas like 'Mehendi te vavi' and 'Mune Elkine Meline Rame'. Even today when I hear that music it give me goose pimples.

My mother occasionally made Gujarati food. Gujarat is just to the north of Maharashtra and the food in southern Gujarat bears resemblance to that in Maharashtra. Northern Gujarati (Kathiawadi) cuisine is closer to its northern neighbor Rajastan.

The Gujarati thali consists of a wide variety of food. The thali looks different depending upon where you are in Gujarat. The Kathiawadi cuisine is different from that in Surat or in Kutch.

Some of the dishes like dhokla and patra are very popular on their own. When served in a thali they enhance the flavors of the other dishes. There is usually rice or khichadi, poli and a bhajri rotla, dry vegetables and curries, dal or kadhi and dessert.

This is a list of all the dishes on the thali. In the next few days I will post recipes for all of them.
Lasan chutney
Bajri na rotla
Koru tindora shaak

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