Besides the richly embedded traditional apparel, and their truly distinct language and colors, fun, and frolic that accompany when they welcome a guest as you are likely to have noticed in Ramleela, Gujaratis have an eclectic and mouth watering platter, which is best served hot. Although they are predominantly vegetarians, there are however certain communities who incorporate non-veg dishes. Gujarati cuisine is more subtle than is immediately apparent, and it will stay with you long after you have left your chair at the dining table.
If you don’t know what to expect in your Gujarati platter, here is a foodie’s guide to the very conventional Gujarati thali, cooked with a combination of varied flavors, spices and is immensely exotic!
What to expect in your Gujarati platter?
A traditional Gujarati thaali will usually contain all the varied items served in a plate preferably silver. The daily meal of Gujaratis are relatively simpler, but in a platter on festivals or other special occasions the items are very diverse including a variety of farsans and mithais. The platter usually contains rotli or chapatti (bajri no rotlo, makai no rotlo, bhakri, phulka rotli, juvar no rotlo, puri, pooda (sweet)), rice (biranj, khatta mitha bhaat, doodhpak, pulao).
The shaak/sabzi in your platter can be either sweet or spicy strictly adhering to your dietary needs and demands. The variety of vegetables that you can expect are bateta nu shaak (potato curry), bateta sukhi bhaji (dry potato vegetable curry), bharela bhinda (stuffed dry okra), bharela karela (stuffed dry bitter gourd), bhinda nu shaak (dry okra), chhola nu shaak (black eyed peas curry), dudhi nu shaak (bottle gourd curry), fansi nu shaak (dry green bean curry), guvar nu shaak (bitter melon curry).
A hot, lip smacking Kadhi (dal item) will make its way from the plate to your heart. The items in the kadhi are inclusive of moong dal, toor dal, mix dal, meethi kadhi and kadh. Another famous kadhi dish is mag nu shaak (moong bean curry), and ringan nu shaak (eggplant).
The farsans or side dishes in a platter can also be consumed separately as snacks. The very inviting and palatable farsans are a kind of chaat (a dish consisting of a mix of potatoes crispy fried bread and lots of chutney), dahi vada fried dumplings dipped in yogurt, dhokla or rice flour steamed cake or kachori.
The Gujaratis also have a lot to offer when it comes to mithai or sweets. Jalebi, sukhadi, shrikhand, malapua, keri no ras, sutarfeni, ghughra, gajar halwa, gulab jamun and a lot more. In fact, one can never stop when it comes to mithais in the platter. They increase your appetite and make you yearn for more. Trust me on this one; you can never have enough of Gujarati mithais.
You cannot leave without consuming the basic condiments. These compliment a thaali and include khakra, chakri, fafda and sev. Also, you are likely to be served fresh raita, athanu, chutney and papad.
A Gujarati platter is a serving dish replete with pure ecstasy. Now you have exquisite and delectable reasons to befriend a Gujarati! If you don’t know what to order for lunch/ dinner, you can always do it the Gujju way! JSK! (Jai Sree Krishna)