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'Gujarati cuisine is like manna from heaven'

September 26, 2018 15:40 IST

We'd asked you, dear readers what your favourite cuisine is.
Ajit Pal Singh tells us how and why he fell in love with Gujarati food.

Gujarati thaali

IMAGE: A Gujarati thaali. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

It has been almost 21 years since I left home; away from the food cooked with love by my mother.

Any cuisine fails if the ingredient 'love' is absent in it.

I have travelled through almost every nook and cranny of 16 states and 3 Union Territories in India.

Being a Punjabi by birth and born in a cosmopolitan city of Jamshedpur (Steel City), I have had the pleasure of savouring almost all cuisines the Indian sub-continent has to offer -- Punjabi, South Indian, Bengali, Konkani, Odiya et al.

Kashmiri cuisine stole my heart, Punjabi cuisine ruled my taste buds. Bangla cuisine blew my mind and Konkani food had me hooked.

Whether it was the wazwan or gushtaba in Kashmir, makke-di-roti and sarso da saag or Amritsari fish, chicken butter masala, tandoori chicken. Aloo-posto, kochuri-alu-dam or succulent rosogulla in Bengal. Idlis or paper dosa, utthapam, upma, poha, Chettinad chicken down South; daal-bati, kathiyawadi food, litti-chokha or meat-litti in the North.

My Punjabi soul and Indian taste buds were in the seventh heaven!

The day I landed in apna Amdavad (Ahmedabad), I tasted sev-khamani for the first time outside my office in Ellisbridge.

The next six years I stayed in the city, I fell in love with Gujarati cuisine.

Imagine an aloo-ka-paratha-eating sardarji loving every morsel of fafda with jalebi and masala chai. There were petis, patra, khandvi, khaman, dhokla as well!

Lunch was a gastronomical love affair. Khichdi with veggies, badam, kajus and desi ghee followed by chaas!

Some days, it was kadhi with rice. On other days, it was kathiyawadi food followed by keri no ras or shrikhand.

Ahmedabad was pure bliss for a food lover like me.

Sweets like rosgulla, the king of sweets, shrikhand, sutarfeni, kaju katli and ras malai never allowed me to feel homesick!

The evening snacks took things to another level. Vada pav, dabeli, radga petis or lasaniya mamra!

Gujarati cuisine has also assimilated chicken, lamb and other non-vegetarian items. But if you ask me, I'd say leave them (non-vegetarian food) to the Punjabis!

The years I stayed in Ahmedabad and Surat, I was on a perpetual food-high.

Every day my wife and I would discover some new dish, a new eatery.

The Krishna temple in Vapi, for example used to serve a special khichdi; we also enjoyed the sea food at Daman-Diu, a few hours away from Surat.

For vegetarian foodies, Gujarati cuisine is like manna from heaven!

 Cover image: Sonam Kapoor/Instagram