The allure of Rajasthan is just like its Jodhpuri Mirchi vada. Once you visit it, you will keep coming back for more. Rajputana is a land full of stories of valor. It reminds you of brave-hearts who always fought invaders, to protect their motherland. Their romance like no other, their sacrifice supreme. You can still feel their energy in the air flowing through Mewat(Aravalli) mountains. There is no place like it. None so colorful and endearing. The ravines are calling to me as I write this today. It is a place close to my heart.
What makes the desert mirage so colorful?
The bright reds and pinks of the odhnis' to the blues of Jodhpur.
The yellows of the turbans to the greens of the colorful glass bangles.
All this give the Thar desert, a fabulous contrast.
The terrain is dry and arid.However,the hearts of the locals warm and pink.
Due to high heat and the absence of water,the whole area has a unique cuisine too.
Traditional cuisine of Rajasthan
I have been fortunate to visit it multiple times as my family belongs from the state.
Traditionally,there is a use of more millets than wheat flour and rice.
In the olden days,they had less vegetables.Hence,the use of chickpea flour/besan and local herbs helped them survive.
The snacks and curries show the colors of the terrain.You can find curries in the shades of red and brown.
Nagori mirch or dried red chilli makes up for the rich red color.Locals make curry out of dried herbs like ker (Dried berries) and sangri(beans).
Snacks made of chickpea flour like mirchi vada,pakode,chilla etc.Curries like gatte ki kadhi ,breads made of millets like sorghum are used to make jowar jo doda and sweets like ghevar show the earthiness too.One of my favorite memories of foodie vacation is of Jaisalmer.Simple people and great food makes its own special place in your heart.
While people remember Jodhpur for Mehrangarh fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace.Foodies remember it for the Ghantaghar makhaniya lassi,tangy mirchi vadas and kale boondi ke laddoo.
How to make mirchi vada? Step-by-step instructions
1.Steam the chillies for few minutes,slit them from one side
2. Use the potato filling to fill the chillies and cover them as welll
3.Roll the mirchi bada in the dry flour first
4. Then dip them into the batter
5.Fry them into medium hot oil
6. Take out once cooked/golden brown
Read the Mirchi vada recipe below:
Mirchi vada-Stuffed jalepano fritters
- 2-3 potatoes boiled
- 5-6 green bhavnagari chillies/jalepanoes
- pinch of baking soda
- 1 cup besan/chickpea flour
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp amchur/mango powder
- Salt as per taste
- oil for frying
- Mash the boiled potatoes with ½ tsp turmeric powder,½ tsp red chilli powder,½ tsp amchur powder& salt.Keep it aside.
For the mirchi bada:
- Steam the chillies/jalepanoes for 5-10 mins and slit them from one side.
- Add potato filling in the chilli and around it, keep it aside.
- Mix all chickpea flour with salt,turmeric powder & chilli powder,keep ¼ cup aside in a plate.
- Mix water with ¾ cup of chickpea flour and baking soda to get a a thick batter
- Roll the mirchi bada in the dry flour first, then dip it into the batter
- Fry in medium hot oil until cooked
- Serve hot with mint chutney.