Rajasthani food has been influenced by the dearth of vegetables and water in this arid state. The hunting expeditions of the rich and the lifestyle of local warriors has given rise to a whole range of innovative dishes and ingredients that can last for several days. The use of dried lentils, beans, milk and buttermilk is common in cooking. Oil and red chillies help preserve the food and reduces the need for water. Each region of Rajasthan has its own trademark dish. Try not leaving the land of the royals without having tried these dishes.
Daal Bati Churma
This dish is a signature classic of the state. Baati, a hard unleavened bread, is traditionally cooked in the desert regions of Rajasthan. Baati is valued for its extended shelf life and the fact that it requires very little water to prepare. It is typically enjoyed with dal, which is made from lentils, and churma, a mixture of coarsely ground wheat, cooked in ghee, and sweetened with either jaggery or sugar.
This is a classic curry made from five commonly found ingredients in the Thar Desert. Panchkuta was a staple for desert travelers during long journeys on carts or camels. It has a long shelf life and is traditionally served with pooris/rotis. The five ingredients that make up panchkuta are sangri, ker, Kumat (seeds from a deciduous tree pod), gunda (a type of wild berry), and dry red chillies.
This street food favourite first originated in Jodhpur but is now enjoyed all over the state as a popular breakfast snack. These flaky and deep-fried breads are made from plain flour and filled with a spicy mixture of onions and various spices such as fennel, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. Typically, kachoris are served alongside coriander and mint, as well as date and tamarind chutney.
This dish is a hearty soup that is made from a mixture of millet (bajra) flour and buttermilk, which is heated and fermented. To make it, the flour and buttermilk are combined in an earthen pot and cooked over a low flame for several hours until thick and fully cooked. It can be enjoyed as is or with the addition of boiled corn kernels to create a variation known as 'makki ki raab' or corn raab.
Ker and sangri are two popular Rajasthani dishes. Ker is a tangy and peppery wild berry, while sangri is a type of long bean that is grown abundantly in the desert areas of Jaisalmer and Barmer. During droughts, sangri becomes a mainstay as it is 53% protein. Legend has it that during a famine in Rajasthan, villagers found these two vegetables when all other vegetation had withered away. They took them home and cooked them in vegetable oil with spices, eating this delicious concoction with their bajra rotis. Nowadays, they cook it with buttermilk or water.
Indulge in a luxurious dining experience at the award-winning restaurant situated within the iconic Amer Fort. The restaurant features magnificent interiors adorned with traditional gold and red artwork that will make you feel like royalty. If you prefer to dine amidst nature, outdoor seating is available to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city. The must-try dishes are their vegetarian silver thaali and Laal Maas. It's recommended to make reservations in advance as tables fill up quickly. The restaurant is located at Amer Fort, Jaipur. The operating hours are from 11 AM to 11 PM and the approximate cost for two people is INR 4,000.
Address: Amer Palace, Jaigarh Fort, Jaleb Chowk, 1135 AD, Devisinghpura
Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar
This restaurant is a popular destination for those seeking authentic vegetarian Rajasthani cuisine, particularly a sattvik meal. Situated in the lively Johari Bazaar, it attracts both tourists and locals who indulge in delicious dishes such as onion kachori, laal maas, and Rajasthani thali. The restaurant is open from 9 AM to 11 PM and the cost for two people is approximately INR 1000.
Address: No. 98, 99, Johari Bazar Rd, Bapu Bazar, Biseswarji
If you're looking for a truly regal dining experience, look no further than Suvarna Mahal. This restaurant, located inside the Rambagh Palace Hotel, is steeped in tradition and offers a feast for the senses with its ancient mirror work and silver serving plates. And the authentic Rajasthani cuisine is simply unbeatable. Don't leave Jaipur without trying their delicious laal maas and gatte ki sabzi. Suvarna Mahal is open from 7 PM to 11 PM and will cost you approximately INR 5000 for two people.
Address: Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur