Gujarat: Kutchi-Bhatiya

May Thali

 

The cuisine of my mother and the mothers that preceded her. Kutchi-Bhatiyas are said to be descendants of Sythians who came to India with Alexander-the-Great, who wanted to conquer the world and thought it ended in India. He clashed against the valiant King Porous, whom he respected and spared for the way he fought. Tired at the thought of battling the immense armies yet to come, it was not long after that he retreated via a southern route. 

Featured in this meal are recipes from four generations of women. The planned menu has ingredients that usually have emerged in May. Let’s hope our Minnesotan spring is on time!

 

 

Khichidi: A festival version of this dish made of rice and lentils seasoned and cooked with vegetables.

Kadhi: Seasonal vegetables cooked in a broth prepared with a chick-pea flour roux in the style of my maternal great-grandmother.

Shaak: Seasonal amaranth cooked with cumin, onion and garlic.

Thepla: A flat bread with cumin and ajma seed.

Green chutney: My mother’s fresh Corriander chutney with hints of green mango and coconut. 

Rhubarb-cachumber: Local ingredients to recreate this tart, fresh,Indian-style chop-salad.

Lemon pickle: Lemons off my mum-in-law’s tree in Florida, and my mother’s recipe make this memory-laden savory preserve.

Dudh-paak: The comforting dessert of my childhood: basmati rice cooked in sweetened milk with saffron and cardamom.