Enjoy the Exotic Cuisine of the Land of Rajas, Rajasthan

Rajasthan, Rajputana, the land of Rajas or kings is a state pulsating with life. The people are friendly and affable by nature. The beauty of the golden sands of the desert, the plush palaces and havelis add magic to the exquisiteness of this land.

The cuisine of Rajasthan is rich, exotic and mainly vegetarian. A variety of curries and sweets, a range of unique, spicy and rich dishes are prepared here.

The vegetarian food is mainly of two types, food for common man and food for Marwari Jains. An assortment of spices and herbs are used in the food prepared by the common people while the food prepared by the Marwaries is cooked without onion and garlic. Popular dishes include gate ki sabzi, khichra, dal bati churma etc.

People here also savor non-vegetarian food prepared from lamb, chicken, pea-cock etc. Some well liked dishes are safed maas, maas ki kadhi, laal maas a very spicy dish, etc. In the kitchens of Rajas, the recipes of the dishes were passed on from father to son and these were not disclosed to others.

Due to the shortage of water and green vegetables in the desert area, butter milk, butter and milk are used during cooking. Pulses, beans, gram flour and spices like garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin seeds, red chillies etc. are commonly used.

Cuisine of different places:

Jaipur – The pink city of Jaipur is known for its vegetarian cuisine as well as the sweets. The most popular dishes are Dal Bati Churma, Ghevar  and  Dal ki Kachoudi. Kachoudi and Jalebi are served for breakfast.

Jodhpur – Jodhpur is known for its spicy and sweet dishes. Every meal starts with a sweet dish like ladoos, and ends with Dal Batti. Creamy lassi is also served with the meal. Pyaaz kachouri, Besan ki chaaki, maakhan vade are some of the popular food items of Jodhpur.

Jaisalmer – The cuisine here is traditional and reflects the rich cultural inheritance. The vast assortment of dishes is prepared with fewer amounts of oil and lots of chilli. The food is spicy and hot. Some of the popular dishes are Ker Sangri, Kadi pakora, and bhanon aloo.

Some popular food Items of Rajasthan:

Rajasthani Dal – This dal is part of the famous Dal Baati recipe. It is prepared with Bengal gram, green gram, ginger, turmeric, asafetida, cumin seeds, onion, red chillies, amchur, ghee and salt.

Ghevar – This special sweet dish is generally prepared during the festivals of Teej and Rakhi. It is made from maida, corn flour, ghee, sugar, milk, kewra essence, soda bicarbonate, silver vark, and almonds.

Ker Sangri – This is prepared from dried ker (beans), dried beans (sangria), yogurt, olive oil, cumin seeds, red chillies, garlic paste, ginger, turmeric, coriander, amchur, garlic and salt.

Jodhpuri Vegetable Pulao – This recipe is from the royal kitchen of Rajas. It is prepared with cauliflower, fresh green peas, basmati rice, cumin seeds, ghee, fennel seeds, raisins, cashew nuts, almonds, dried dates, ginger paste, yogurt, garam masala, black pepper corns and salt.

Conclusion

So, if you are planning a trip to Rajasthan, you must try some of these exotic Rajasthani dishes like gatte ki sabzi and kadhi. The beauty of this desert region enthralls your heart and soul. To get the best taste in Rajasthani Food items, one must check the Ramdev food Masalas.

Turmeric – The Golden Glory: Widely Used Spice in Indian Cooking

The scientific name of turmeric is Curcuma longa. The turmeric powder is prepared by the roots of this plant. The powder has a yellow colour and a very good aroma. Turmeric has the first place in any puja, wedding or thread ceremony; house-warming etc. turmeric is the most important ingredient in the Indian kitchen. It gives colour, taste and aroma to the dishes. Turmeric has blood purifying, anti-septic and digestive properties. These days, we see an increase in the usage of artificial ingredients in various food and food products, which may affect our health adversely. With the intake of turmeric, the adverse effects on health can be controlled. Turmeric is also a very safe and an effective beauty aid. Applying a paste of turmeric and sandal wood to the face and washing it after 15 minutes makes the face glow and is believed to cure pimples.

Turmeric is also full of medicinal values. It has anti-cancer properties. For cuts, turmeric is applied to the cut to stop the bleeding and avoid infection. The intake of turmeric keeps pregnant women healthy. It helps to increase the anti-biotic properties in babies. Turmeric is a spice widely used in India in cooking various curries. It has also been used since ancient times as a traditional medicine and also for beauty care. In Ayurveda, the system of Indian medicine, it is an important herbal product prescribed for various ailments. It is very commonly used throughout India as an ingredient for traditional beauty care treatments. Some reputed health benefits of turmeric include a reputation for supporting healthy skin care, healthy cholesterol levels, liver and gall bladder health, and possible joint-pain relief through anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The antioxidant power of turmeric is so effective that it actually helps to preserve the shelf-life of foods that it is added to. Turmeric has antiseptic properties. Putting its powder over the cuts, bruises or scrapes helps in stopping blood loss as well as healing the wounds.

The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric powder help in alleviating the pain associated with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric is alterative, analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, appetizer, astringent, cardio-vascular, carminative, digestive, diuretic and stimulant. Natural plant products like turmeric have been formulated to heal and prevent dry skin, treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne, and retard the aging process. Traditionally, women rub turmeric on their cheeks to produce a natural golden glow, extract of turmeric has been added to creams for use. Washing with turmeric improves skin complexion. Natural cleansers like milk and turmeric powder are effective natural cosmetics in themselves; they bring a healthy glow to the skin and make the skin beautiful. They also help to restore youth by controlling wrinkles on the face. Effective healing properties of turmeric have made it sought after ingredient in cosmetics and drugs, as the leaf oil of turmeric and extract can also be used as bio-pesticides and sunscreens. Turmeric is also very effective tonic and a blood purifier. It is skin-friendly and constitutes an important ingredient in many creams and lotions.

Garam Masala – The Famous Indian Blended Spices

A blend of ground spices used alone or with other seasonings is called the Garam masala. Different regions prepare garam masala recipes in accordance to region and personal taste and thus varying combinations of spices are used as per the local flavour. The spices are carefully blended to achieve a balanced effect. The famous Indian Garam Masala is available as a commercially prepared ground mixture. It is often added at the end of cooking a dish to retain its aroma. The garam masala is the most popular spice blend used throughout India. It is the basis for Indian curries. It gives a delicious final touch to a dish. Some of the basic whole spices used to prepare the garam masala are….bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns, cinnamon, mace, cumin seeds nutmeg, carom seeds, star anise, coriander seeds, etc. It has a pungent taste which is important to make the flavourful recipes.

The Garam masala is used in vegetable recipes, curries, dal and many such dishes. It can also be used as a great sprinkling powder, and can be used just before serving the hot and sizzling dishes. Using a small amount of garam masala powder is enough to bring out the richness of gravy and even vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Dal fry, dal makhani, simple dal can be topped with a pinch of garam masala for that unique touch at the time of serving. The Garam masala is to be stored in air-tight container and should be away from wet places.

Garam masala is known to be the heart of many Indian dishes. Spices actually slow down the ageing process while promoting weight loss. Black pepper used in the garam masala contains a type of antioxidant that is so powerful that it does a lot of good. Pepper is anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic. It increases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It is a natural metabolism booster, and also contains a compound that breaks down fat cells. Black Pepper is high in Vitamin K and manganese, which assists the body in metabolizing fats and carbs. Cardamom relieves gas, heart burn, and soothes stomach upsets. It increases blood circulation and also flushes the toxins from the body. It is a natural breath freshener. Cardamom reduces the formation of blood clots while lowering blood pressure and is a great source of manganese. It is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic.

Cinnamon is an excellent source of calcium and fibre. It is a natural painkiller and containsGaram Masala a potent antioxidant. It fights bad breath, and kills the bacteria responsible for it. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels while increasing insulin production. Cloves relieve tooth aches. Cloves have a blood purifying property and thus support a healthy immune system. Cloves boost the metabolism and remove toxins from the blood stream. They help cardiovascular health by preventing the formation of blood clots while regulating blood sugar levels. Cloves provide an excellent source of calcium and vitamin K. While low in Omega 6’s, cloves are impressively high in omega 3′s. So the famous Indian garam masala is not just tasty…but healthy too.

Spices in Indian Cooking – Spices for Aroma, Taste, Medicinal, Preservative, Seasoning

SPICES…

Spices have been the inspiration for trade, exploration, war, and poetry since the beginning of civilization. Spices are evidenced from the beginning of hieroglyphic practice. Not only were many men’s fortunes made in the pursuit of spices, spices at many periods throughout history literally served as currency. That ground pepper you shake on your salad was once worth its weight in gold. Archaeologists discovered spices in Egyptian tombs as early as 3000 BC. The strong preservative quality of many spices made them ideal for embalming. Many of the spices had strong connections or affiliations with different Gods. Throughout many periods of history, spices have claimed attention for their mystical properties. Trading spices among different cultures and countries over the centuries became a means of acquiring and flaunting power and influence.

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Ajwain – Strongly Pungent, Assertive and Aromatic Spice

AJWAIN….

Ajwain, commonly known as ajowan, bishop’s weed, ajowan caraway, carom seeds, or thymol seeds, is a plant of India, Pakistan and the Near East whose seeds are used as a spice. This beneficial herb is used in culinary process as spice as well as a major ingredient of different kind of medicines. Ajwain seeds are small in size but taste hot, penchant and bitter. It acts as good appetizer, laxative and stomachic. It is used as effective remedy in managing ailments like vomiting, mouth diseases, pile, treatment of ascites, abdominal tumor, abdominal pain etc. They are strongly pungent and aromatic. Ajwain seeds are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. Ajwain seeds consist of moisture, protein, fat, minerals, fibre, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. The active principles in the ajwain may help increase the digestive function of the intestinal tract by increasing gut juices. Continue reading