The first Indian state that I traveled extensively in happens to be Gujarat. I should have said the first Indian state that I didn’t “belong to”. This was about 21 years ago. Until that time, our travel was limited to the three states that I have called home: Maharashtra, Karnataka and TamilNadu. I don’t count going to Tirupati as it is closer to Madras than it is to most urbanized parts of A.P. Gujarat left its indelible mark on me. Literally and figuratively. Literally as it was the very first time I was experiencing temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius. (Yes, Madras in those days wasn’t half as hot as it is now.) I developed heat boils, which, as they healed, left scars on my neck and legs. (I even had to have one boil surgically removed.) Figuratively, I was so impressed with what the state had to offer that I made three or four trips since then. And I keep going back.
One of the things I love about any place is the food on offer. It’s not like I’m never disappointed. But Gujarat has never disappointed me in this matter. From the khakhras to the dhoklas and khandvis to the theplas and rotlis to the quintessential khichdi and kadhi… I love them all. I once joked to my cousin about wanting to marry a Gujju boy so my MIL could feed me all the lovely stuff. She said, “Your MIL will probably get stuff from the shop, as it is so much simpler, which you can also do”. Initially, I got my recipes from my dear friend M who could never understand why I loved her food so. As soon as Tarla Dalal came out with her Gujarati Cookbook, one copy was on my bookshelf.
1 cup Rice (Basmati or Sona Masuri), washed and drained
1 cup Green Gram (Moong) Dal, washed and drained
1 tsp Oil
1 cup Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, Beans, Peas)
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Peppercorns
1” piece Cinnamon
1 tsp Green Chilli Paste
¼ tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds, asafetida, peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves. When the cumin crackles add the rice, dal and vegetables. Fry for a minute and add the chilli paste and salt. Add about 4-5 cups of boiling hot water and cook for 20 minutes (4-5 whistles).
While the khichdi is cooking, get the kadhi going.
2 tbsp Gram flour (Besan)
2 cups Curd
2 cups Water
½ tsp Green Chilli Paste
½ tsp Ginger Paste
2 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
For the tempering:
1 tsp Ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
½ tsp Mustard Seeds
¼ tsp Asafoetida
1 Red chilli, broken into bits
Beat the curds with the gram flour and water until you get a smooth mixture. Add the green chilli and ginger pastes, curry leaves, sugar and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil on a low flame.
In a frying ladle, heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the asafetida and the red chilli. Add the tempering to the kadhi and boil for 1-2 minutes.
Serve the kadhi along with the khichdi. This would also go down as a classic comfort food for me. S doesn’t care much for kadhi and sometimes I make the mixed vegetable khichdi alone which we have with pickle and curd.
Regional Cuisine of India: Gujarat event which is being hosted by Mythili. if time permits, I'll send in my other recipes too. I'd like to send the Khichdi to
This is my first entry to the