From Goa we are now going to Guajrat. Gujarat is a state that is on the Western coast of India. It is said that this state draws its name from the term - Gujarat ,a sub tribe of Huns, who ruled that area between the 8th and 9th century.
It got its present status in 1960 after when the erstwhile Bombay state was divided into Maharashra and Gujarat on the basis of the language.
The Gir National forest that houses the Asiatic lion,Nal Sarovar Bird's sanctuary that attracts many species of birds from all over are present in this state.Due to very limited rainfall, this region has a very small forest area.
In this state we have the majority as Hindu and the minority being the Muslims. The Jains are also present here and so are the Parsis who fled to this place from Persia / Iran a long,long time ago.
Let us see some interesting facts about this state...
Gujarat was supposed to have been the central place in the Indus valley civilisation.The history of this state dates back to 5000 BC!
Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi was born here.Some of the other famous people born here are Sardar Vallabai Patel, Vikram Sarabai,Jamshetji Tata, Dhirubai Ambani etc.
It is great to know that alcohol is banned in this state since 1960!
Now coming to the cuisine part...
This state has a predominant vegetarian cuisine despite having a large coastline. This is due to the influence of the traditional Hinduism and Jain Vegetarianism.
The dishes have their very own uniqueness.It is a blend of excellent flavors and textures.Some can be sweet ,spicy and salty at the same time!But there is a harmony among these tastes.
Gujarati cuisine is predominantly a vegetarian one.This cuisine is said to be influenced by the Jains and Buddhists and that may also be the reason for vegetarianism.
The eating habits and the method of food preparation can be classified into 4 broad types based on the region as -
- South Gujarat - The dishes from Surat are quite popular. Green chillies are used to flavor the food. There are no special or expensive ingredients in the dishes and the method of preparation is quite simple,yet the taste is truly exotic.
- North Gujarat - They use lesser amounts of oil and spices in their dishes. The elaborateness of their thali / platter is very well known.
- Kathiawad - Their cuisine is quite spicy as they use red Chile in their dishes. They also use more of peanuts and sesame seeds.
- Kutch.- This cuisine is said to be simplest of the four.
Breads like Roti , Chapathi , Puri, Parotta, Bahakri are some of the famous ones in the Gujarati Thali.
Rice varieties like plain steamed rice, kichidi, pulao are also seen in this cuisine.
Shaak or vegetable curries/gravies are predominant in this food culture. There are so many varieties to choose from.
Some of the Farsans and Nasto[appetizers and deep fried snacks] that we are familiar with and are hugely popular world wide are Dokhla,khandvi, kachori, Muthiya,Kakhra, Sev, Ghanthia etc.
A wide range of desserts are present to satisfy the sweet tooth, the most well known ones being the halwas, pedas, Basunthi, son papdi, Shakkarpara,Mohantal etc.
Homemade pickles,pappads and raitas too find a place in this cuisine.
A wedding / festival platter is very elaborate and I still recollect a dinner at a Gujarati festival that was served in silver plates and bowls.There were so many dishes that I lost track of the number of items served and the delicious goodies kept coming and I was not able to clear even half of what was served. I tasted all that was served but could not finish them off!
And if that was not enough, the platter that was served to us when we visited Ahmadabad last year for the Blogging Marathon#25th edition meet, is still fresh in my memory!
Since I am very sure that there will be plenty of such platter for this states offered by my friends, i stuck to this simple recipe for the day....
Behind the scenes :
This was one was the last states that I cooked for in this series. I wanted to make an elaborate thali but given the status at home, I could not do that. Even after finishing off all the states, I was temped to redo something for Gujarat, but then, I did not transform that thought into action....
This one has been in my bookmarks for a long, long time. So I have cut off one more dish from my ever growing list of 'to-try '.
I somehow felt, my folks will not eat this one.For one ,it had methi and kids nowadays don't like the bitter taste and then, it was steamed, So my guess was that I would have a happy time munching on these. When I made this, Lil Angel was looking at it as though she would not even touch it and hubby constantly kept asking what I had made.
I did not answer till I finished with the pic and told them they can taste it and tell me how it was. By the time, picked up the props and cleared the photo shoot place, the plate was almost empty with just a single piece left!
My Lil Angel informed that she had saved it for me!!This time round, I was happy that my guessing was all wrong. Lil Angel told me that it was a little spicy yet she liked it. I don't even have to mention what hubby would have said!
Well, hubby wanted some more. I promised to make some after this BM cooking was all done. Let me see if I can keep up the promise.
There are plenty of variation for this recipe. This is what I have prepared for this state....
Methi leaves / Fenuugreek leaves- 1 cup packed
Besan / Chickpea flour- 1 cup
Suji/ semolina - 2 teaspoon
Wheat flour- 2 teaspoons
Red chili powder- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Ginger paste- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard- 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves and grated coconut to garnish
Take the methi leaves in a colander and add a little salt to it.Mix well and set aside. After a while squeeze it and remove the water. This step is to remove the bitterness. You can skip this step if you wish.
Take all the ingredients in bowl and add the methi leaves to it.Mix well. Mostly you won't need water to make the dough.But if you need just add a splash o water.
Roll it out into 2-3 cylinder and place in a steamer. Steam for 15 minutes or till done.Check by inserting a skewer and if it comes out clean , it is done.Do not over cook.
Let it cool a bit. Cut into 1" pieces.
Heat oil in a pan and put in the items for the tempering. Gently add in the dumpling pieces. and toss around gently.
Arrange on a serving plate and serve garnished with coriander leaves and grated coconut....
Steamed Methi Muthia ready to be savored with a cup of tea...
I also tried the deep fried method..
It is the same until steaming the dumplings. You can deep fry the dumpling as such after steaming or can cut into 1inch pieces and fry...
We all loved the steamed version. So the vote is for the healthier version of this snack....
Labels: Blogging Marathon, Gujarat, Methi, Party Snacks, Sesame Seeds, Snack Bar, Step-by-step Pictorial Recipes, Vegan varieties