Culinary art of the princely state of Rajasthan is judged as the most majestic and royal by the connoisseurs of food. But the truth is that the story of Rajasthan's cuisine is a success story of the grim determination and struggle of the people of Rajasthan against all odds of nature.
It is matter worthy of appreciation that when even surviving in the rough terrains of Rajasthan is difficult, people here have devised recipes (and a whole lot of them) emulated by all in the country. Ingredients in these recipes have been carefully selected, more out of hard geographical compulsion than out of fetish for the taste.
Daunting tasks for the cooks was to think of recipes which required minimum use of water, could be stored for long period of time without requiring re-heating and did not use great quantities of vegetables. As nothing could be grown in the barren lands facing the hot and stormy sand-dunes and communication was not developed in earlier times. But most of all the pre-requisite was to have food with high nutritional value. One that could provide sufficient aliment to bear not just the hardships imposed by the vast stretches of deserts but also be suitable for the war-like lifestyles of the people.
Greater use of milk, butter milk and other milk products can be seen in Rajasthani cuisine. Crops like millet (bajra) and barley (jowar) is also used as it could be cultivated in parts of Rajasthan. Use of beans from locally grown plants like sangri, ker etc besides dried lentils is also popular here. Gram flour is also a major ingredient of the Rajasthani dishes. Most Rajasthani curries appear red in colour and appear to be very hot but that is not so in taste. Pure ghee or butter is used as a medium of cooking. Chutneys from the locally available spices help to make the food even more interesting.
Khansamas (cooks) working in the kitchens of the royals too generated some exotic recipes. These recipes have been carried forward through the descendants of the khansamas and have helped to add a regal dash to the Rajasthani cuisine.
Recipes in West India