The Kutuchi Cuisine
The best way to explore and understand a new place is by its cuisine
Most Indians love to travel and explore new places but we Indians are criticised for not knowing how to explore a new destination. A professor at Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai (identity not to be revealed on request) said, “We Indians don’t know how to travel and explore new places. Where ever we go, we carry our traditional Indian food or we try finding Indian restaurants at those new places. I believe the best way to explore and understand a new place is by its cuisine.” In addition he says, “Do you know why foreigners are the best travellers? Reason: they experiment with different cuisines.”
Like most of us, I too love to travel and explore new places. My recent visit was to Kutch, Gujarat. In this article, I’m going to explore the traditional cuisine of Kutuchi’s which I discovered during my visit to the Kutch. Ms. Jyoti Nandu, a resident at Kodai Village, Kutch, said, “Most of the times, we Kutuchi’s are mistaken as Gujarati’s and this is one of the reasons why people think that our cuisine is same as the Gujarati cuisine. I thank you for giving me an opportunity to share our Kutuchi cuisine with you’ll. This will help us create awareness amongst people about the Kutuchi community.” In addition, she said, “What differentiates every community from other community is its cuisine. Our traditional cuisines are Bajre ki Roti, Dabeli, Dal Dhokli, Khichdi and curry and Finiya laddu.”
Ms. Jyoti Nandu shares the traditional Kutuchi cuisines recipe with us.
- Bajre ki Roti: She said, “We have Bajre ki Roti with makkhan (Ghar ka butter) in our breakfast. Our breakfast meal is a heavy meal and a substitute for lunch. All day my children are occupied with work which is one of the reasons why they skip their lunches. A heavy breakfast helps them to work all day long.” It is prepared from Bajre Ka Aata (Millet Flour), Whole Wheat Flour, Carom Seeds, Ghee and Salt. Bajre ki roti tastes best when it is hot.
- Dabeli: She said, “We have dabeli in our evening snacks. It a type of a chaat and another version of Vada Pav.” The Dabeli filling is prepared from potatoes, cumin seeds, asafoetida, salt, pomegranate, onions, peanuts and Khajur Imli ki chutyney. This filling is filled in a bun or bread.
- Dal Dhokli: She said, “We have Dal Dhokli with papad and rice in our dinner. One can also have Dal Dhokli without rice but it tastes better with the rice.” The Dhokli is prepared from whole wheat flour, besan, salt, coriander-cumin seeds, oil, chilli powder, and asafoetida. The Dal is prepared from arhar dal (toovar), tomatoes, peanuts, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, jiggery, tamarind, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander and salt.
- Khichdi and Khadi (Curry): She said, “Khichdi is prepared for dinner and we have it with Curry. It is one of the lightest meals. There are two types of Khichdi’s- Masala and Plain.” The Plain Khichdi is prepared from rice, moong dal and jeera. The Masala Khichdi is prepared from rice, moong dal, jeera, oil and cinnamon, mustard, onions, asafoetida, potato, carrots, chillies, garlic and ginger paste and garam masala. The curry is prepared separately. It is prepared from yogurt, water, besan, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, fenugreek leaves, coriander, mustatrd, cumin, ajwain, asafoetida, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and oil. Curry can also be eaten with chapatti.
- Finiya laddu: She said, “Finiya laddu is a sweet dish and it is prepared during all occasions. On the other hand, every household out here will have this sweet prepared without any occasion.” It is prepared from wheat flour, ghee, cardamom and sugar.
I thank Ms. Jyoti Nandu for sharing the recipes and helping me to understand the Kutuchhi community a little better. She hopes that all the readers prepare these dishes and hopefully like them. I am definitely going to prepare these dishes. Are you’ll ready to try something new?
Ruchi Nandu- T.Y.BMM