Gujarat has a wide-ranging cuisine, which includes everything from sweets and snacks to subzis and one-dish meals. The farsaans and mishthans especially are much-loved aspects of Gujarati cuisine. It is an amalgam of flavor and mostly vegetarian. Recipes like Khaman Dhokla, Bhatia Kadhi, Dabeli and Patra have an unmatchable and unique regional touch.
Come lunchtime and Gujaratis do not like to settle for anything less than a balanced meal, which they fondly call the “Dal Bhaat Rotli Shaak” combo. But, when in a hurry, one-dish meals like Dal Dhokli will come to your rescue. Let’s talk about the different aspects of the grand Gujarati thali. It generally consists of rotli (roti)/puri ,dal/kadhi, shaak (subzi) , bhaat (rice), farsaans with a wide range of chutneys, kachumber, homemade athanu (pickles) and finally mishtaan(sweet) to end the meal on a sweet note. Meals are incomplete without a bowl of curd or glass of buttermilk.
A stack of leftover rotli, rotla, rice or khichdi are transformed into delicious treats like Whole Wheat Roti Chivda, Wagharelo Rotla, Bhaat Na Poodla. Crunchy on the outside and chewy inside, this flavourful Khichdi Pakoda is made by enhancing moong dal khichdi with besan, sesame seeds and coriander, shaping this ‘dough’ into balls and deep-frying till nice brown and crisp. Dahiwali Roti is a zesty soup-style breakfast made with a balance of refreshing ingredients like bland buttermilk, sweet jaggery, spice powders and finally an aromatic tempering. At times of emergency or in a mood to eat something spicy instead of the basic dal-bhaat, this tasty Vagharela Bhaat can be made in a jiffy with a handful of ingredients that are easily available in our kitchen shelves.
Tea-time or Diwali, if the kitchen shelves are not filled with air-tight containers hoarding suka nasta (dry snacks), it’s not a Gujarati house. Chakli, Chivda, Nimki, Shakarpara, Namkeen Shakarpara, Khakhra, etc. are some jar snacks that come to rescue when hunger strikes. You can even take them to work and relish anytime! Coarse besan mixed with spices to make cylindrical rolls, that are deep-fried to make delicious Phoolwadi is a crispy snack that tastes amazing with a cup of hot chai. Also, fafda/ ganthia are other savory snacks that are popular tea accompaniments. My grandmother prepares snacks like Papad Poha, Sev Mamra in bulk and stores in an airtight container so that we can munch on it whenever we are hungry. Along with this, a wide variety of farsaans or snacks prepared on different occasions and to entertain guests, but also enjoyed with tea on any normal day. Soft, steamed dhoklas, pankis, deep-fried kachoris, ghughra, masala puri, tava-cooked pudla, simple delights like khichu, dabeli,… the list is endless!
Gujaratis are hardcore sweet lovers. Dabbas of laddoos, Golpapdi or Mohanthaal are always present in the kitchen. Also, special occasions are celebrated with rich desserts like Basundi, Shrikhand, Fada ni Lapsi, Doodh Paak. Try your hand at Gujarati special mishthans and enjoy with your friends and family!
Phulka smeared generously with ghee / Chapati / Bhakri with a texture similar to biscuit is a quintessential part of most Gujarati meal especially lunch. These flatbreads are accompanied with shaak made using vegetables especially local produce,combined with an array of spices, a dash of jaggery or sugar and sometimes tamarind too. These subzis are tongue-tickling because they believe in balancing the khatash-methash (sour-sweet) flavours and can also, be enhanced by the addition of Gujarati farsaans like muthia, patra and sev. Gujarati’s believe in eating seasonal vegetables and make elaborate preparations like Oondhiya and Panchkutiyu Shaak with a myriad of native vegetables and special combinations of spices to season them, resulting in homely and satiating dishes. Dry subzis are generally combined with batata (potato) to make delectable delights like Kobi Batata Nu Shaak, Tendli Batata nu Shaak, Karela Bateta Nu Shaak. They even eat a lot of kathol (pulses). Khatta Moong/ Sukha Moong on Wednesday and Rasawala Chana on Friday are a fixed menu at my home and I believe it is consumed this frequently in every Gujarati household. Vaal Ni Dal, Mixed Kathol, Masala Chawli are other popular Kathol cooked on a regular basis. A side of Gujarati Dal, Khatti Meethi Dal and Kadhis like Bhinda ni Kadhi and Dapka Kadhi are some of the everyday favourite fluid preparations to make food easier to ingest. Check our Gujarati Dal & Kadhi section to explore more delicacies from this region.
Thepla is a popular Gujarati flatbread that is an important part of their travel food bag because they stay fresh for almost over a month. They can be perked up with the addition of nutrient-rich vegetables like methi, mooli, doodhi to make Methi Thepla, Mooli Thepla and Doodhi Thepla. Also, you can add multigrain flour to gehun ka atta and make Multigrain Methi Thepla. As I mentioned earlier, they love seasonal produce , be it vegetables or fruits. Come summers and most households are seen enjoying keri no ras (aam ras) with garma garam puri or Padvali Roti which is an authentic flatbread made with a pair of the rotis layered for rolling and cooking, in order to make thin rotis that can be cooked perfectly without crisping them on a tava. Also, they make Fajeto that is a special type of curry made by combining mango pulp with dahi and besan and finally tempered with aromatic ingredients. Shrikhand is replaced by Aamrakhand and refrigerator are stuffed with Doodh Keri. Bajra no rotlo with Ringana no olo , jaggery with safed makhan is a classic Gujarati winter special. Rotla can also be made using jowar or nachni flour, ensure you roll the rotlas uniformly to make them puff up. They can also be blended into smooth powder and cooked with ingredients like onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies, to make Wagharelo Rotla which is surely an irresistible dish.
Chaas is aptly called a Gujarati’s beer since the meal is incomplete without it. Also, Komal is another refreshing, delightful beverage made by combining curd and coconut milk, mildly spiced with chillies. Similar to the Punjabi sweet lassi, Piyush is an authentic Gujarati drink made using shrikhand and buttermilk, this thick and luscious drink is simply irresistible!
Gujarati One Dish meal
Appease your hunger and pep up your mood with mouth-watering Gujarati one-dish meals. Khichu is an authentic Gujarati snack, soft, melt in the mouth, it has a soothing taste, and is sure to warm your soul. A drizzle of oil and sprinkle of red chili powder or koro sambhar perks up the taste. This one-dish meal is quick and easy to make, usually made with grain-based flours like rice flour or jowar flour, try this different variant Yellow Moong Dal Khichu and enjoy it hot. Handvo is a traditional savory cake made by mixing a myriad of vegetables, an array of spices and mixed dals/flours. Mixed Dal Handvo, Moong Dal Handvo, Mixed Vegetable Handvo, Potato Handvo are some varieties you must try! Looking for a sumptuous meal to prepare in a jiffy after a long day? Fada ni Khichdi made with nutritious broken wheat and yellow moong dal simmered with vegetables and spices is quite wholesome and takes not more than 25 minutes. Ek Toap Na Dal Bhaat is another Gujarati rice-dal combination dish cooked together with vegetables and spices.
Dinner generally consists of simple khichdi made by combining dal and rice. They can even be enhanced by substituting/adding vegetables, pulses and various spices to make different preparations. The humble Moong Dal Khichdi is surely my comfort food. Khichdi ke chaar yaar – dahi, papad , kadhi aur achaar is rightly said! Instead of moong, you can even make Toovar Dal Ni Khichdi, Bajra and Moong Dal Khichdi that take hardly any effort. Also, kathiyavadi popular Ram Khichdi, or the royal Badshahi Khichdi, nutritious Panchamel Khichdi are some other variations that you must try!
Let us discover many more such marvels of this cuisine!
Try Our Other Gujarati Recipes…
87 Gujarati Faral Recipes
50 Gujarati Dal Kadhi Recipes
198 Gujarati Farsans Recipes
48 Gujarati Kachumber Chutneys Pickles Recipes
63 Gujarati Khichdi Rice Recipes
70 Gujarati Mishtan Mithai Recipes
85 Gujarati Shaak Sabzi Recipes
40 Gujarati Rotli Recipes