The Guide tucked into rustic vegetarian delicacies from Rajasthan prepared by Maharaj Bhuralal at Shakahari
Rajasthan is all about royalty and it reflects in their cuisine. The amount of ghee they use while cooking may be considered blasphemy by today’s health conscious lot but that’s what lends it taste. We started our royal journey with Moong Dal Ki Chillas, stuffed with a paneer mixture and some Mirchi Ke Pakode, both served with thick flavourful garlic chutney.
There’s no need to worry about the ‘mirchi’ factor in the Mirch Ke Pakode, which are mild chilli peppers stuffed with a mashed potato mixture, dipped into gram flour batter and deep-fried.
Without further delay, we jumped right into the main course, and what a lovely spread it was. We had round wheat buns, called Baati, a special mixed Dal prepared the same way throughout the state of Rajasthan. Paired with the Baati we had round balls of a sweet mixture called Chura.
There is a particular way of eating this dish, one must first crush the baati in a bowl, pour generous amounts of Dal and then mix in the Chura as per your taste. More chura gives you a sweeter taste as it is made of powdered sugar, ghee and roasted wheat powder. There’s no doubt this preparation tops the list of Rajasthan’s most famous dishes, and a spoonful is enough to realise the reason for it.
Maharaj tells us about the tradition of Kear Sangri, a vegetable that is dried and collected by almost every household during the summers, then stored as pickle, cooked as a daily vegetable or stacked away for future use.
We enjoyed a dry spicy and tangy preparation of the thin, dried, bean-like green vegetable. It teamed up perfectly with the Tawa Parathas, which had a hint of sweetness. The dry Aloo Ki Subzi and the spicy curry of Gatte Ki Subzi was served with a Rajasthani counterpart of the Vegetable Biryani.
The potato preparation was tempered with various regional spices that made it absolutely lip-smacking, while the Gatte Ki Subzi took some time to set in its taste on the taste buds. The rice was made with dollops of ghee and yogurt and was considerably tangy. The grand meal ended with hot Jalebis topped with delicious Rabri.
There is no compromise on the authenticity of flavours and spices in this food festival, so we warn you; this is not for the weak hearted. Only those who are brave enough to enjoy theauthenticity of rustic areas of Rajasthan will love the spread here.
Till: June 31
At: Shakahari, Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, Senapati Bapat Road.