Gujjus and food go hand in hand. They are always talking about food.
No matter at what time you land up in a Gujarati household, you will be offered food.
If nothing is available then they will cook something for you. I remember mom cooking food for guests at 1 am. a “Proper Thaali”.
And they ate it. Even though they had had dinner en route. It’s a kind of sin not to offer food. Even bigger sin is to not eat it.
And the biggest sin is to order food from outside. You HAVE to cook for your guests. And feed them more than they can digest. But they can in fact digest much more than that too.
Gujjus have weird food preferences. They have weird menus.
They will serve you the weirdest combination you could ever think of. They will cook the weirdest dish you could ever imagine.
They make Guava Sabzi, Sev ki Sabzi, Papad ki Sabzi. They even make Onion ki Sabzi.
They add Aam Eas to Kadhi, Dumplings can replace Aalu in any damn thing, Bananas are used instead of Potatoes in all the Jain preparations – the list is endless.
Their definition of dinner is another story.
I remember mom making Upma for dinner. Or even Poha. Yes. Just that. Or just Dhokla. Or Khandvi. Or Haandvo. Or Muthiya.
There was another dish – Dumplings made in a kind of Kadhi for gravy. And it was called Manchurian.
When I came face to face with Manchurian for the first time, I refused to call it that. Later on, realized that moms can be wrong too!
My Favorite Gujju Food Items
Here are the best Gujju food items for foodie Gujjus.
This sponge snack is steamed and made in just 30 minutes, using Besan (Chickpea Flour), with a colorful, chili tempering.
It’s traditionally served on a leaf called the Kesuda, but today it’s eaten as a snack in Farsan (snack) shops with tangy chutneys and several pieces of green chilies.
No picnic or trips are complete without this delicious go-to Gujarati food item.
These flatbreads are made from gram flour, whole wheat flour, fresh fenugreek leaves, and spices. They have a long shelf life, making them great (healthy and tasty) options for snacking.
This rolled, bright snack (made out of gram flour) is tempered with Coconut, Mustard seeds, and Curry Leaves.
It’s also called ‘Suralichya Wadya’ in Maharashtra and is a favorite among Gujaratis and Maharashtrians.
Kadhi is a distinctive dish that’s uniquely identifiable because of its creamy white color.
It’s made from Sour Curd, spiced with thickening of Gram Flour, and sweetened with Jaggery or Sugar. The texture of this soup-like curry is great to escape the heat.
This staple food of Gujarat is great to escape the heat.
A perfect breakfast for mote Gujjus.
These are a match made in heaven – two popular snacks from India – Fafda (crunchy, fried chickpea flour) and jalebi (sweet deep-fried pretzels). You’ll love both!
If you happen to live in a Gujju area, you will come across a Jain version of all the possible dishes. Even Chinese food. I don’t know how is it even possible, but it is.
Popular food chains compromise in their menu just to serve Jain food.
Because the majority of the people eating out are Gujjus. And Jains don’t eat Onion, Garlic, and Potatoes.
In fact, a few Gujarati community people do not eat Onion and Garlic.
Why Do Jains and some Gujaratis don’t eat Onions?
Those of you who are not Gujaratis or Jains might always wonder – Why Jains don’t eat Onions and Garlic? Why Gujaratis don’t eat Onions? Even if it’s vegetarian.
Well, the reason is quite thoughtful. Jains and a few Gujarati community people do not eat Onion and Garlic because root vegetables such as Potatoes, Onions, Roots, Garlic, and Tubers are considered ‘Ananthkay’, which means one body, but containing infinite lives.
A Potato, though from the looks of it is one article, is said to contain infinite lives in it.
The little tiny creatures inside the roots are injured when the plant is pulled up and because the bulb is seen as a living being, it is able to sprout again.
In addition, consumption of most root vegetables requires uprooting and killing the entire plant, while consumption of most terrestrial vegetables does not require killing the plant.
The terrestrial plant lives on after plucking the vegetables or it was seasonally supposed to wither away anyway.
They believe in eating vegetables that involve the least possible destruction.
Food Habits of Gujaratis
So far as eating habits are concerned, Gujjus have one ritual – they do not cook on Sunday evening. They have to eat out. And most of them (be it rich or middle class). There are no poor Gujjus. You won’t come across any.
Even if they are poor, they will pretend to belong to the middle class.) will be spotted in some areas eating roadside food.
In all the Gujju areas, you will find one Khau Galli (Eatery lane literally) selling snacks items that Gujjus usually call ‘Dinner’.
But one thing is there – you will rarely come across any Gujju who makes lousy food. They are gifted when it comes to cooking. And they will serve and feed anyone.
Even if the person comes unannounced at their doorstep. Gujjus will usually land up at your doorstep unannounced.
During dinner time. Without having their own dinner. And after you are done with your dinner. And they cook fresh food, with a smile on their face. Good tasty food. Full Thaali.
Because it’s all about food for us. You are judged based on the dishes you served to your guests.
Meetha and Namkeen have to be served no matter what. They are always stocked up at home. Usually homemade stuff.
Travel Agencies have special Gujju tour packages for abroad trips. They promise to serve Gujju food to their customers.
When Gujjus go for one-day picnics or even tours, they have to pack Theplas.
Even when I travel anywhere, mom packs Theplas. Every time. Theplas are our elixir of life, to be had thrice a week in different meals.
Phew! I can write so much more. We live to eat. Literally.
They say this about Punjabis. But Punjabis are more about the quantity of food.
We are more about the variety. And weird combinations.
We think about food first when we plan a trip. Not the destination, not the journey, nothing.
Is Gujju food available there? Or at least veg food?
These are our first two questions when we plan a holiday.
Yes. We are awesome like that.
A Foodie Gujju
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