Mention Rajasthan to a foodie, and the rich, spicy and sweet combination of baatis drenched with ghee and served with a spicy daal comes to memory. Yet to be acquainted with this centuries-old delicacy? Allow us!
The Rajasthani staple, baati harks back to the old days when Rajasthani warriors and tradesmen would be away for days on end. In the largely inhospitable terrain of this state where both food and water would be difficult to come by, sustenance of a durable variety was necessary.
The best baatis are coal-baked for a smoky flavour. fryingpan
It is said that they would bury chunks of wheat or bajra dough in the sand which would be baked in the blazing sun all day, ready to be consumed when the men returned to the camp. The otherwise hard bread would be softened with ghee or buttermilk.
The baati thus became the perfect meal for the outdoors- filling, nutritious and less water-consuming. It has since come a long way from the hardy warrior’s tiffin to a gourmand’s delight. Baatis today are made mostly with wheat flour, boiled, baked or deep - fried, and drowned in ghee. It is served with the panchmel daal - another Rajasthani speciality.
The historical scarcity of water made Rajasthan lacking in vegetables. This, however, was made up by the creative use of lentils- toor, urad, moong, masoor daals undergo endless permutations and combinations in Rajasthani cuisine. The panchmel daal is a stew made with five pulses- toor dal, yellow moong dal, red masoor dal, chana dal and split green moong. Generously seasoned with spices and aromatics, this daal makes the perfect accompaniment to the mellow baati.
Crushing up the baati with your hands, adding generous helpings of ghee and having it with the fiery daal is quite a gastronomic experience.
The temperature can be further raised by serving garlic and chilli chutneys as accompaniments. The heat too much for you? Simmer it with the dessert- churma.
The Rajasthani Churma is an intelligent recipe- there can be no better description of it. It is the perfect example of how scarcity of resources makes you incredibly creative. The churma is simply baatis ground to a powder, mixed with ghee, sugar or jaggery, and dry fruits. Voila, dessert is served!
In spite of having a small set of basic ingredients, the beauty of this combination lies in its ability to surprise the palate. The daal - baati is chunky, savoury while the churma is smooth and sweet. And all of it is incredibly delicious, lest we forget to mention!
A tip of the hat to Rajasthan for blessing us with this divine combination!
Visit the Reacho Food Festival to enjoy authentic Daal - Baati - Churma from the heart of Rajasthan.
Title image: niharika