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Know Your Food: Gujarati Cuisine Decoded

Tanvi Juwale February 03, 2017

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Gujarati cuisine at a glance...
People of Gujarat, have travelled around the globe and they’ve taken their cuisine everywhere they’ve gone. Even though it’s a coastal state, most of people are either lacto-vegans or Jains. Their vibrant culture and delicious cuisine have been relished only in Thalis, but there’s more to it than just that. Here’s a list of yummy eats, your Gujju food 101.
Thali@Golden Star Thali, Charni Road
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Thali

It’s probably the first thing that occurs to one when you say Gujarati food. The idea of Thali restaurants is based on the importance of food in the warm and welcoming Gujarati culture. A Thali is an ensemble of roti, vegetables, curries, rice, savoury snacks and rice.
Khandvi@Ashok Khaman House, Malad
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Khandvi

Khandvi is a popular snack in Gujarat. Seen at many snack joints, they resemble pinwheel sandwich, except this one has no bread. Tempered chickpea flour and buttermilk is made into a gooey mixture, flattened onto a surface and rolled back. They are lusciously tender and delicious as the spices blend well with the slightly sour buttermilk.
Undhiyu@B Bhagat Tarachand, Marine Lines
When winter arrives, it brings with it a bunch of seasonal fruits and veggies. For Gujarat it is Undhiyo; everyone relishes this winter favourite dish. This one-pot vegetable dish is made with numerous seasonal vegetables and muthiya – deep fried gram flour dumplings.
Dhokla@Bikaji Food Junction, Malad
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Dhokla

Dhokla is probably one of the well known Gujarati snacks. It’s like the SpongeBob of Gujarati snacks. This fermented dish is  both a street food favourite and go-to comfort dish. Made from a lentil flour and yogurt batter, it’s steamed and that’s what makes it light and porous.
Thepla@Guru Kripa, Sion
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Thepla

The Gujarati community is known to be avid travellers and wherever they’ve travelled, they carry Theplas with them. What is Thepla you’d ask? It’s a thin flatbread, usually made with fenugreek leaves makes for an appetizing snack for an untimely hunger pang or something to go with your piping hot cuppa chai.
Dal Dhokli@Chetana, Fort
Dal dhokli is a hearty dish that beats your bad mood and rescues you from your hunger pangs. Made with thinly rolled cakes of dough in a thick rich lentil gravy, it is a substitute for a meal when you crave some warmth and nutrition.
Patra@Status Veg Restaurant, Nariman Point
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Patra

Another pinwheel snack, it is a side dish during dinners too! Colacasia leaves are stacked on top of each other sandwiching a rice and lentil flour mixed with spices that are twice cooked, first steamed and then shallow fried.  Rolled up together with sesame seeds garnish, it is crunchy and delicious!
Locho@Gopal Locho, Kandivli West
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Locho

Hailing from Surat, Locho is a nourishing yet delicious snack and it has an interesting backstory to it. Whilst making some Dhokla, the cook, by error added a little more water to the batter and when he realized it, he exclaimed Su locho (problem) thai gayu?!” and hence the name was derived. Made with very little oil or spices, the traditional variant comes drizzled with clarified butter and sprinkled masala. This heart snack also doubles up for a mini-meal sometimes.
Sev Tamate nu Saak@Kailash Parbat, Colaba
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Sev Tamatar nu Shaak

This one’s a favourite amongst the ones who like a little more spice in the rather balanced Gujarati food. Sev, deep fried lentil dough shavings is a snack enjoyed at all times and they have recipes too!
Khakra@Brijwasi Sweets, Powai
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Khakra

Ever fancied a snack that’s filling enough for the mid-meal hunger pangs and portable enough to carry around everywhere? You should probably try Khakra. This is a flatbread made of cereal but it comes is many variants such as pav bhaji, Jeera, Masala, et al.
Shrikhand@Dwarka, Fort
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Shrikhand

Hung curd and sugar make a luscious dessert that no one can ever get enough of. This creamy concoction can be relished either as a dessert or with a piping hot puri.
Mohanthal@Kandoi Haribhai Damodar Mithaiwala, Borivali
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Mohanthal

Mohanthal is one of the signature dishes that Gujarat is known for. Just like the warm hospitable and friendly people of this state, the cuisine offers a dessert called Mohanthal. It is a delicacy of gram flour, nuts, butter and saffron. Slow cooked until it gains a fudge like consistency, this melt-in-your-mouth delight will have you swooning over as soon as you take the first bite.
Images for representational purposes only.
Photo Credits: Cryselle D'souza

About the Author

Food is my favourite F-word! Master in Eatmylogy. Future food entrepreneur. Antevasin. Spaghettivore. Hates the casual use of the word 'foodie' and loves a well-cooked meal, snowflakes and the mountains! Follow me on Instagram: @MsFoodieTwoShoes Twitter: @pinchofsalt_23


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