The Rann Utsav 2023 A Kutch Cuisine Haven

Gorge on mouth-watering Kutchi food at the Rann Utsav in Dhordo, Kutch, Gujarat
The Kutchi dabeli. Credit /
The Kutchi dabeli. Credit /

One of Gujarat's most significant cultural festivals, the Rann Utsav, also called The Tent City, is a cornucopia of delights. Hosted by the town of Dhordo, close to the Great Rann of Kutch, it has scenic views that stretch to the horizon.&nbspIn&nbspthe Kutchi&nbsplanguage, Rann is desert, and kutch&nbspcomes from the tortoise, which was the shape of the land deciphered by the ancients. Kutch&nbspcan also mean a marshy, damp, fallow low ground, a desert in summer that is flooded during the monsoon.

The three-month-long Rann Utsav celebrates the white desert of Kutch and its rich cultural and artistic heritage. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi envisioned the concept of Rann Utsav when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. 

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Food For Ages

The 5,00,000 square meters festival area is lined with stalls of handicrafts and, more importantly, delicious Kutchi cuisine. It primarily differs from traditional Gujarati cuisine by not being biased towards adding sweetness as a flavouring agent. The more balanced the flavours, the more it becomes Kutchi.

Most people of Kutch are vegetarians, and the staple food in villages is kadi-khichdi (rice and lentil sticky pilaf had with yoghurt and gram flour-based curry), bajra (pearl millet) and milk porridge bajara na rotla (pearl millet flatbread) with yoghurt, and buttermilk. Bajra&nbspwas introduced to the region by king Lakho Fulani when he returned from exile. At the Rann Utsav, you will get the chance to taste delicacies such as odho, which is a Kutchi delicacy of roasted eggplant and is similar to the north Indian staple of baingan bharta. Dig into khari bhaat (a spicy rice pilaf with vegetables), rotlo (flatbread of grains), besan gatta&nbspvegetable (black chickpea flour dough rolls steamed and added to vegetable curry), ker-sangri (dry cooked mix of tangy ker berries and sangri beans), buttermilk, bhajiya (deep-fried flour-coated vegetable crisps), churmu (roasted wheat flour dry mixed with ghee, jaggery/ castor sugar, crushed cardamom, and nutmeg), and maggh ni fotravali dal (green gram lentils tempered with spices). 

Sweet Tidings

In the desserts, a must-try is the mesuk, or what is known in south India as mesur-paak. The Mughals invented this dense dessert of thick slices of roasted gram flour, sugar, pistachio, and ghee (clarified butter), and it has remained a top dessert since then. Or, you could get a portion of gulab pak, made from a reduction of milk to its solids and flavoured with rose petals, almonds, cashew, pistachio, and sugar. A winter-specific dessert of Kutch is the adadiya, made from urad dal (skinless black gram lentil), ghee, and sugar. Pick up a slice or a sphere you are sure to ask for second helpings. 

Break For Snacks

As a post-meal snack, you should try the Kutchi&nbspdabeli. Dabeli&nbspmeans pressed in Kutchi, and it was invented in the 1960s by a Keshavji Gabha Chudasama, a.k.a. Kesha Malam, a resident of Mandvi town in Kutch. It has remained the favourite snack of the region since then. Take advantage of Kutch's famed mava&nbspfrom the milk-producing Banni grassland region. The milk-solids-based dessert is also an instant-energy snack at the Rann Utsav. 

Once you are done satiating your soul with the food, indulge in a camel cart excursion, a golf cart, or an ATV ride, or go para-motoring. To wind down your day, take part in yoga and meditation sessions.  

The Information

When&nbsp26th October 2022 to 28th February 2023.

How to get there The Kutch region is well connected to the rest of the country by air, rail, and road transport. 

For more information 

For an online entry permit of the White Rann at Dhordo, check here.

For tent bookings, check here and here

For aditional information, check the website and this.   

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