The State of Gujarat is located in western part of India. The main spoken language of state is Gujarati, though the dialects differ from south, north, Saurashtra and Kutch region.
Gujarati cuisine is all vegetarian cuisine. It offers lot of variety and the Gujaratis love to eat. The cuisine differs from south, north, Saurashtra, and Kutch region just like the dialects.
The main meal of Gujaratis is known as Gujarati Thali. The Thali consists of four main components-cereal (some type of flat bread), pulses or legumes (dal or kathol), vegetables (shak), and rice (bhat) with accompniments like pickle (athanoo), papad, chutney, salad (cachumber), yogurt (Dahi) or buttermilk (lassi or chash) making it a balance diet.
The spices and fresh herbs used in cuisine are referred as masala. The spice blend of ground coriander and cumin known as dhana-jeeru is unique to Gujarat. The use of green chilies (maracha), ginger (aadoo) and garlic (lasan) is widespread and so is use of jaggery (raw brown sugar) instead of sugar.
The main grains used for making breads in Gujarat are wheat (ghau), millet (bajari) and sorghum (juwar). Different varieties of rice are available for different use but most of the time plain rice is served with a meal. Legumes, which are hulled and split, are called dal and legumes, which are kept whole, are called kathol. Tuver dal (split pegion peas) is the most commonly used dal in Gujarat and it is cooked in a soup form, which is also called dal. Whole beans and peas are sometimes cooked in a soup form or sometimes as a vegetable. Another type of soup often served with meal, is yogurt soup made with split chickpea flour (Besan or Channa no lot) is called Kathi, which is a specialty of Gujarat. There are many different varieties of vegetables available.
The pickles are mostly made from raw manoges (Kachi Keri), which are available in summer time in Gujarat. Pickles are made for the whole year with extra salt, oil, with or without sugar or jaggery as preservatives. The pickles might be hot and sour, hot and sweet, sweet and sour. The papads are made from urad dal flour and rice flour, which are either baked or deep-fried. The rice flour papad, which are called Papadi, are made when new rice is harvested and those are kept for the whole year.
On special occasions dessert or sweet dish (Mithai) and a savory dish (Farsan) is served with a meal. Both of these dishes are eaten with the meal and serving of rice usually means end of the meal. Rice is eaten with Dal or Kathi.
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