It is no enigma that Gujaratis are known for their love to travel and exceptional quest for food. This may be one among those reasons why Gujaratis are found all over the world and carry their culture and tradition wherever they are. Be it a hotel or a restaurant at well-known tourist places in India, one would find a Gujarati cuisine for sure. In case you visit Gujarat, do introduce yourself to the delectable cuisine here. But what they are, and what you should definitely not miss, we’ve listed down. Thank us later! Spoiler alert: All of these are vegetarian dishes. Not that all Gujaratis are vegetarians, but these dishes sure are!
Jaman (Main course)
Inarguably, Dhokla symbolizes a Gujarati and people here are frequently considered to be a Dhokla lover. Dhokla, made of fermented rice and split chickpeas, can be segregated in various sizes, colour and the varied style of fried and boiled ones, often served with Green Chutney/ Meethi Chutney made of Khajoor (Dates) and Aamli (Tamarind). These soft, sweet- namkeen tasted, often fried with mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves (Indian Lilac), relish the taste-buds.
Be it a breakfast, lunch or dinner, a Gujju would never deny the Handva offered to him/her. Handva, a member of Dhokla family has its own uniqueness which makes it appear and tastes differently than its ascendant Dhokla. Handva, a single layered thick bread is cooked either in pressure cookers or Handva cookers (yes, we have specially designed cookers for it here!) after applying a tadka of oil, mustard, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Guard, peas, garlic, ginger, green chillies and coriander are the ingredients that make a great combination when served with pickle. We know, the ingredients itself are lip-smacking.
Often to be considered as a form of Parathas, however, a little different, Theplas are mostly made of wheat, spices and Green leafy Fenugreek mixed well in dough. They’re much different than the stuffed Parathas popular in the North India. Thepla holds a position among mandatories in food menu while travelling. Served with pickles and various types of Indian curries, it only makes one drool for it!
Yogurt, butter milk, gram flour/maize flour, garlic, ginger, green chillies, black pepper, clove, asafoetida and dry Fenugreek are the ingredients that make this delicious dish. It is often served as a best liquid mixer along with Khichdi, Rice, Chappati or Thepla. Not only that, it sometimes gives pretty much similar effect as the medicines for sore throats when served ready hot.
Undhiyu, a regional Gujarati dish prepared during the famous kite festival of Gujarat is a very popular dish. An amalgam of different vegetables stuffed with spices and a dry fruit dipped in oil just makes you forget everything and force you to watch the amazing kite competition with Undhiyu to savour.
A common food of many in the state of Gujarat now is becoming an attraction in hotel menus of other states too. Rotlo is bread made of Maize/Millet flour, often taken along with raw white onion, green chillies, Ringan Odeo and butter milk. The combination is surely irrefutable, but Rotlo when combined with jaggery and hot Ghee is totally unbeatable.
7. Matla Undhiyu
Health conscious people should try this at least once and actually should learn the recipe. MatlaUndhiyu, a member of the Undhiyu family is a delicious dish stuffed with roasted ground nuts, ginger-garlic paste and spices is well cooked in an inverted hot pot. This traditional dish is nothing but a Gujarati Barbeque, only more healthy and appetizing.
8. Sev Tameta nu Shaak
Limited time? Not to worry, a simple, healthy and quick recipe would just help you for your hunger wars! A typical tomato Indian curry made of tomatoes and onion garnished with green coriander and a Gujarati snack- Sev (deep fried snack made of gram flour). This tempting, delicious dish would burst more hunger cramps in your stomach for sure, so why to wait?
A bowl full of nutritious comfort food made of rice, cereals, vegetables and ghee is what you have for a Gujarati Khichdi. This twice a week cooked food in a Guajarati house is often served with butter milk or Kadhi. After having other deep fried and high calorie food, one should often have Khichdi!
10. Sev Usal
Sev Usal is the tempting street food available in almost every town and city roads of Gujarat. This spicy curry is made of dry Peas and garlic paste and is very popular among the youngsters. It definitely would leave a peppery tart on your tongue!
Khandvi is a popular Gujarati snack among people who love light flavoured dishes rather than spicy food. It is again made from the widely chosen gram flour and curd. You can have it as it is or can be enjoyed with different chutneys made of green chillies or dates. A single piece of Khandvi, dipped in Green chilli-garlic chutney would just make you want to eat more and more!
Ask any Guajarati, and they will narrate their love for Khakhras, which are not only tasty but are healthy too. A dry thin crust wheat bread made of cumin seeds, spices and Fenugreek just cannot hold a health conscious person to take a dip into the blessings of both flavour and fitness.
A Gujarati snack which is both sweet and spicy has a blend of sugar syrup amalgamated into the fermented gram flour mixture. It’s the best appetizer for the people who have love for both sweet and spicy food. The dual flavour of this dish would surely put you into a world of zests!
A crunchy street food called Fafda is almost available in every corner of cities in Gujarat. It is served with hot fried green chillies and Jalebi making it a great mishmash for a foodie. Fafda and green chillies add to the flavour of spicy tart while Jalebi would surely pamper the sweet tooth!
Colcocasia leaves with the mixture of gram flour and spices add to the good health. The easily available leaves are not only an addition to the nutrients count but also a simple recipe without leaving a dent in your pocket.
A regular companion of tea/milk for any Gujarati is Ganthiya. Often served with famous Rajkot ki Meethi Chutney and fried chillies give you a feeling of a never ending pleasure!
Have you ever asked a Surati about their default love for anything? Ask them, I am sure the answer would be Locho. Yes, that’s correct. A steam boiled street food is a desire of many evening lovers. Served with green chutney and Sev would compel you to relish the moment.
Dabeli, originated from the Kutch region of Gujarat is consumed by people of all ages. A type of Vadapav, stuffed with mashed potato and a mixture of spices and groundnuts is often served with meethi chutney made of Dates and Tamarind. The colourful texture, the aroma of spices and a single bite of Dabeli would surely trigger the flow of Ghrelin in you!
19. Sev Khamni
This crushed steam boiled food from Surat, Sev Khamni is popular next to Locho. The combination of soft Khamni and the crunchiness of Sev when served with green chutney would ignite the milieu of happy moments in you!
The crunchy Gota, made of green Fenugreek and gram flour mixture is the street food of Gujarat, very popular in Dakor. It’s quite like the Aloo Vada of Maharashtra, but if you ask us, we say this is way yummier!
A festive snack of Gujarat made usually on the occasion of Diwali; however, the crunchy and spicy taste of this food has created a great demand and the reason it is now available as a street food too. So street food lovers, add one more to your must haves!
22. Lilva Kachori
A South Gujarat delicacy made of green pigeon peas as stuffing and plain flour is the most popular among elders. When you visit Gujarat in winters, never miss the chance of having hot deep fried Lilva Kachoris in breezy winds of winter.
Mathiya, a must in festivals like Diwali is a member of the Papad family which gives you the spicy and salty flavour. The snack often sprinkled with red chilli powder is a great combination. The goodness of spices, hotness of red chillies would amazingly burst the plethora of flavours in your mouth.
24. Papdi no Lot
Gujaratis also have substitutes for health conscious people and here is one. Papdi no lot is baked dough made of rice flour, green chillies, salt and cumin seeds. One can munch this snack anytime at home within no time ignoring the long process of drying and deep frying. Hey people on low calorie diet, here’s one for your cookbook.
A tea-time snack, can be made of almost all Indian flours, has a divine taste mixed in it. The taste doubles when it is fried in hot oil with curry leaves (known as Mitho Limdo in Gujarati) Mustard and Sessame seeds. As all the Gujarati dishes leave a great remark in a feedback of a gourmet, you can be assured that Muthiya can be one among those loved ones.
For all the people who have a sweet tooth, here is the remedy. Ghughra, a must have dessert in festivals and occasions is a stuffed half-moon shaped sweet, dear to many. Health conscious can bake them instead of deep frying and fall in love with the delectable dessert.
Shrikhand is a dessert which is transformed from ordinary curds into a delicacy along with its various flavours that make you lick your fingers. Sometimes it’s good to go clumsy!
Gram flour fudge is a treat for the palate made in almost all the auspicious occasions in a Gujarati family. Mohanthal has the cinnamon flavour blended so well that it is impossible for one to hold their hands going towards the dish!
The goodness of milk, rice, saffron, dry fruits is simmered to get a semi-liquid rice pudding which your stomach may deny but your taste buds definitely can’t!
Another semi liquid dessert made of thickened milk, almonds, Pistachios, sugar and saffron which is similar to the North Indian Rabdi. Though it has high calories and fats, yet it is healthier if we use low fat milk and sugar substitutes. The question is, why shouldn’t one try having this delicacy of flavour right away?
So the next time you plan to visit Gujarat, be sure to eat all of these, because what’s travel without good food? Also, do not forget to share this list of delicacies with your foodie fellows and with those who do intend to visit Gujarat soon! Keep eating!
Have you tried any of them? Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know. :)
Written by Bhakti Patel