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
Maa Ki Dal
Slow cooked creamy, earthy black gram lentils
- 1 cup whole black lentils
- ½ cup Channa Dal/ Split Bengal gram
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 inch ginger, crushed
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 4 cups water
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves for garnishing
- Rinse the whole black lentils and channa dal in water 2-3 times and soak it in water overnight or at least for 4 to 5 hours
Preparing Maa ki dal
- In a pressure cooker or deep stock pot heat 1 tbsp ghee, add cumin seeds. when they sizzle, add chopped onions, fry the onions till golden brown.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and mix well.
- Add the crushed ginger-garlic or ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies, and all the dry spice powders mixed with a little water.
- Sauté the masala till the oil starts to leave.
- Add the soaked Whole black gram and channa dal
- Add water and salt to taste
- Cover the pressure cook for about 15 to 18 whistles or 30 to 45 minutes if cooking in stock pot, till the lentils have become soft and buttery. if still they are not cooked well, then continue to pressure cook/ slow cook as necessary.
- If the dal looks thin and runny, then simmer without the lid, till it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Garnish Maa Ki dal with coriander leaves and dollop of ghee.
Serve hot with steamed rice, roti or naan