The vast subcontinent of India has a variety of cuisines as well as cultures, all with their own cooking methods and blends of ingredients. If you are floored by the beauty of Rajasthan with its luxurious palaces and amazing art, now is your chance to get awed with its delicacies. Perhaps some of the most varied techniques are used while preparing Rajasthani cuisine in India. The dry weather, limited availability of water has deeply affected the cooking process. The shortage of fresh green vegetables and water have meant Rajasthanis to create delectable dishes using lentils, gram flour, sugar, dried red chillies, nuts and vinegar.
Although much of the food prepared by the Hindus in Rajasthan is vegetarian; some also enjoy cooking with meat, in particular with pork and chicken. Meat dishes are seen as a speciality in Rajasthani cooking. Due to the arid climate, water is often replaced in cooking with clarified butter, milk or buttermilk. The use of these rich and lavish ingredients when cooking meat has given Rajasthan its title: “the state of the princes”.
Safed Maas is a very popular meat dish in Rajasthan, and refers to cooking meat in a white sauce; “safed” means white, and “maas” means meat. It is usually made with boneless lamb, which is washed, blanched and cooked with spices. Khoya (an ingredient widely used in Indian cuisine, similar to ricotta cheese but made of thickened milk or dried whole milk) and ground nuts are then added, which gives it a very rich and creamy sauce.
Another typical meat dish from Rajasthan is Khad Khargosh. This exotic dish is made with wild hare, which is covered in masalas, stuffed with kheema, wrapped in dough and cooked underground. Game pickles are very popular in Rajasthan, often considered an essential component in completing a meal. Traditional wild boar pickles, known as Saanth Ro Achaar, are made using every part of the animal, and combined with a Rajasthani liqueur made from venison offal, known as ‘Kesat Kasturi’. Rajasthani pickle recipes usually involved marinating and wind-drying before the pickling process, although some wild boar pickles can be made using fresh meat.
‘Laal Maans’ is yet another meat preparation from Rajasthan which is based on mutton dipped in curd and chilli gravy, which can be both thick as well as light. Usually, it is very tasty, yet hot and rich in garlic. ‘Laal Maans’ is mostly eaten with chapattis.
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There are many curry houses in London that fail to show non-vegetarian Indian dishes at their full potential; meat within these kinds of curries can often be bland and chewy. The Real Indian Food Company, however, showcases regional cooking techniques (in their three fine dining Indian restaurants and seven brasseries around London) to produce tender and delicious meat cooked in spices that will awaken the senses. Amaya, for example, specialise in age-old traditions when cooking their high-quality meat: Sigri (cooking over a coal flame), Tandoor (a very hot clay oven), and Tawa (searing and griddling on a hot plate).