West Indian Cuisine
West Indian Cuisine varies from region to region, with major provinces being Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and Rajasthan. Communities in the western part of the country practice mainly Jainism which teaches them to be non-violent. Even in those regions, the cuisine varies according to the climate, history, and geographical location.
Rajasthan and Gujarat have tropical and subtropical climates, so the smaller vegetable varieties available are stored as pickles and chutneys. Goa is a large commercial port and was colonized by Portugal, so it is known for beef, pork, and vinegar, all of which are Portuguese-influenced ingredients.
West Indian cuisine contains simple and lovely non-vegetarian delicacies that include world-famous and well-known seafood. The delicious melt-in-the-mouth recipes like Maharashtra’s bel puris, dhoklas of Gujarat, Rajasthani bati churma, and the vindaloo of Goa are loved by all.
The staple food of the people is rice. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, the staple foods are maize, gram and gram flour, dried hot peppers, buttermilk, yogurt, sugar, and nuts. In Maharashtra, the basic diet is fish, rice, coconut, and peanuts. Plenty of seafood in Goa and Maharashtra ensures that fish and other seafood are an indelible part of a non-vegetarian diet. Subzi, dals and rice, and rotis form a plate for vegetarians only.
Gujarati cuisine is based on the influence of Hinduism and Jainism. However, Gujarati food is mainly a vegetarian diet. Also, the dishes are prepared with a sugar syrup of white or brown sugar. The typical Gujarati thali contains roti, daal or kadhi, rice, and sazi or shaak. Many Gujarati dishes are especially delicious, salty, and spicy at the same time.
Beautiful Goa has won the hearts of seafood lovers across the country and beyond. The recipes for chicken, prawns, fish, pork, and cakes in this beach country are just a mental breakdown.
West Indian cuisine from Rajasthan recounts the struggle of its citizens who had to compete with the harsh climate in the region. Faced with the acute shortage of water and agriculture, it is commendable to note that people have developed recipes that meet the needs of people with high-energy food, foods that take care of local constraints and are still popular among sophisticated diners.
The diversity of the state of Maharashtra ensures additional diversity in its cooking, which can be broadly divided into two parts. The coastal areas of the state call for rice, fish, and coconut as their staple food, while the hilly areas of the Western Ghats are rich in nuts, jowar (sorghum) & millets.
Let us now look into 7 of the most popular West Indian cuisine enjoyed by people throughout the country and abroad.
Misal pav is a traditional Indian dish made from Maharashtra. This dish contains a misal which translates to a mixture of everything. A curry made primarily with onions, chilies, and potatoes and served with chivda, the ingredients vary according to different regions. Along with this is a pav which is a bread roll used to gobble up the entire curry.
Goan Fish Curry
A simple, authentic Goan fish curry recipe that you can prepare at home in about an hour. The delicious combination of coconut-flavored tamarind and rich spices and red Kashmiri pepper gives Goan fish a mouth-watering, fragrant flavor that accentuates your taste. Pair this with cooked rice for nutritious food.
Dhokla is a vegetarian west Indian cuisine found in the state of Gujarat and its surrounding areas. It is made from boiled batter found in rice, ground urad dal, and chickpea flour. Dhokla can be eaten for breakfast as a side dish or a snack.
Batata Vada is a diced Indian potato dumpling covered with a coating of chickpea flour and fried deep until it is crispy. It is served with a tangy spicy chutney which is moderately hot as well. The taste of this Vada is moderately sweet with a sour tinge. Mustard seeds and curry leaves provide a delicious flavor to the mashed potatoes.
Dal Bati Churma
A customary and famous Rajasthani formula made with dal, bati, or wheat rolls and churma which is a powdered wheat ball. Desi ghee plays an important role in the dal bati recipe as it enhances the taste and flavor. It is usually served for lunch or dinner by mixing dal with crushed bati and ghee dipped in it. The dal used for this recipe is a combination of masoor dal, chana dal, and mung dal.
Kolhapuri Rassa Beef
Kolhapuri dishes are best known for their spicy hot taste and aromas. Their spice blends are softer and more fragrant than garam masala and – once you have the pot – you don’t need any other spices to make Kolhapuri mutton curry. A delicious and rich mutton curry, this non-veg dish will blow your mind.
Gatte ki Sabzi
Gatte ki sabji is a popular dish of Rajasthani cuisine. Gatta or gatte is a round gram (besan) flour added to curd-based gravy. There are many variations of this recipe that have been adopted by people around the world. A healthy and spicy Indian curry, gatte ki sabzi is a must-try.