Famous all over the globe for its lustrous, verdant lakes, sacred shrines, fabulous forts, rich culture and traditions, the Mewar region is also well known for its characteristic cuisine.
The traditional Mewari dishes include Makka Ki Roti, Makka Ki Papdi,Makka Ka Gheria, Makka Ki Raab made with maize flour and served hot and thick as a starter and Kadhi made with gram flour and buttermilk have their own flavour. Chapatis made of maize flour with a generous helping of Ghee and Gur is also a favourite dish. Chutney made with spicy condiments, green coriander and garlic has a strong pleasant smell. Jhakolma Pudi is also relished very much.
Among freshly prepared sweets, Jalebi, Besan ki Chakki and Gulab Jamun are some other mouth-watering dishes. Jajaria is another sweet dish.Lapsi made of Katha wheat, Gur and lots of Ghee is a common sweet. So are Malpua, Rabdi and Diljani.
In saint Meera Bai’s Padas are mentioned several tasty dishes that are offered to Lord Krishna as Bhog. In Krishna temples like Jagdish Mandir (Udaipur), listening to Bhajanas about different delicacies is enough to make the listener’s mouth water with a desire to taste them himself.
The traditional and one of the most like dishes of Mewar Dal, Bati, Choorma has a long history. It is said that when in 18th century, Bappa Rawal laid the foundation of Guhil Rajya in Mewar, other Rajput Sardars also began to extend their empire. So there were frequent battles. It was not by any means an easy task to prepare food for big armies and many a times the soldiers had to starve. One day a soldier prepared dough for making Roti, but before he could make bread, the battle began and he had to leave in a hurry. Before doing so he had made loaves and put them under the sand. In the evening when he returned from the battle, the loaves had been fully baked due to the hot sun. When the tired soldier ate them, he found them very tasty. So making Batis became a routine. They were eaten with pickle, chutney and curds made with goat and camel milk. Thus the soldiers saved time and got a lot of energy. Batis became popular food and then came the practice of baking them on Kanda.
With the coming of Mughals to Rajasthan, it is said that Batis reached the Mughal kitchen. Mughal cooks began to boil Batis and named them Baafla. Gradually Bati became a popular dish in many other parts of India.
It is said that when some businessmen from the south came to Mewa, they began to eat Bati after soaking it in Daal. People found it tasty and this combination became popular. At that time Panchmel Daal was eaten. It was a mixture of five kinds of Daal -Chana, Moong, Toor, urad and Masoor. It was garnished with oil or ghee and strong spices.
Making of Choorma was incidental. Once by chance, Batis from the hands of a cook of Guhila tribe fell into jaggery juice and became soft. Then people began to add Misri, Elaichi and Ghee to it. The process of breaking Batis into very small pieces and adding them to Ghee etc. is called Choorna and the product came to be known as Choorma.
Daal, Baati and Choorma is now a common combination that is offered as Prasadi to Lord Ganesh at temples like Bohra Ganesh, Udaipur by devotees on the occasions like birthdays and the fulfillment of their desires when friends and relatives are invited.
There is no dearth of appetizing non -vegetarian courses that include White Meat and Mutton Curry, meat with bones. Laal Maas, another palatable dish is relished by the tourists and the locals alike.
Papads made with maize, moong and gram also form part of meals.
Taken after meals, Mukhwas, includes Kapura, Supari, Elaichi and Paan.
Several other dishes are taken to keep warm and to make one healthy during winters.They include Khas Khas Ke Daane, Goond and Methi Ladoos, Gud Pare, Haldi ki Sabji ,Gajar ki Kanji, Aachars made with Gobhi, Gajar, Shaljam, Mirch and Rai. Dishes made with Baajra that are rich in iron and fibers are also liked. Also relished is hot Kesar milk with Paneer Jalebi.
The delectable lip-smacking delicacies with distinct flavour associated with each dish set them apart from the cuisines of other regions. This is all due to the fact that the cooking of food in Mewar has been raised to an art form.