Thali Menu #142 – Kathiyawadi & Bohri (Gujarat)
Part of the Gujarat state, Kathiawar/ Khatiyawad is a peninsula on the Indian west coast bordering the Arabian Sea. It is bounded by the Gulf of Kutch in the northwest and by the Gulf of Khambhat in the east. In the northeast, it is connected to mainland Gujarat. Kathiawar ports were flourishing centres of trade and commerce since at least the 16th century.
The word Kathiawad means the land of the Kathis, a Rajput tribe who migrated to the region in the 8th century and controlled the southwestern peninsula of contemporary Gujarat.
The peninsula is dotted with antiquities and has a continuous history from prehistoric times to the early periods of the Mahabharata through the Indus civilization.
The region is also famous for its own indigenous horse breed called the Kathiawari horse. It was originally bred as a desert war horse for use over long distances, in rough terrain, on minimal rations, today however it is a diminishing breed.
Gir National Park in the region is home to the the last remaining Asiatic lion population.
Khatiyawadi cuisine is distinct from the more popular Gujarati cuisine. In winters, the region witnesses a severe dip in temperature and the spice factor in the meals helps warm the body to the weather conditions.
Khatiywadi cuisine tends to be more spicy and heavier as compared to the Gujarati cuisine that has lighter curries with a hint of sweetness in most preparations.
The region is largely vegetarian, however, it also has a sizeable Muslim population of the Bohri sect and their cuisine too is unique and different. Bohri food is influenced not just by their home region of Gujarat but also by Mughal and Middle Eastern food.
This weekend at Daana, we take you on a journey to this beautiful part of India and present some culinary delights that will leave you asking for more!
Recipe of the week
Maharashtrian style tempered dal
For pressure cooking:
- ½ cup Toor dal or split pigeon peas
- 1 ½ cups Water
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery
- 2 teaspoon Ghee
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- a pinch Asafoetida
Pressure cooking the Dal
- Wash Toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear.
- Soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, discard soaking water.
- Add dal to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and turmeric powder.
- Close the lid, put the weight on and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 whistles, open the lid once the pressure is released.
- Mash or hand blend the dal till smooth.
- Add salt and jaggery to the dal. The dal needs to be thin consistency but not too watery, add water to get the desired consistency.
- Turn the heat to medium and bring the dal to a simmer.
- Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Making the tempering
- Heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan.
- Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
As seeds sizzle, turn off the stove, wait for a few seconds.
Then add red chilli powder and asafoetida.
Immediately add the tempering to the dal. Stir well.
Serve hot with steamed rice.