In spite of having a long coastline, Gujarati dishes are primarily vegetarian. This is mainly due to the influence of Jainism. Gujarati dishes vary widely in flavour across the state. However, most are usually distinctively sweet, spicy, and salty at the same time. While many dishes are available across the country, they are at their authentic best in Gujarat itself.
The most iconic of Gujarati dishes, dhoklas are made with fermented rice and split chickpeas, fried with curry leaves, mustard and cumin seeds. They’re served with a hari chutney (mint and coriander) and a meethi chutney (tamarind and dates).
This semi-liquid is made with milk, rice, sugar, saffron and dried fruits. They are simmered together to create a delicious pudding.
Another classic Gujarati dish, the thepla is a flatbread made with gram flour, whole wheat flour, fresh fenugreek leaves and spices. Methi (fenugreek) theplas are the most common, though palak (spinach), and muli (radish) ones are also common. They are served hot with fresh curd and pickle.
4. Gujarati Kadhi
There are numerous versions of this dish; unlike the Punjabi and Rajasthani kadhi that is thick and spicy, the Gujarati kadhi is thin and sweet. Its made with sour curd, with thickened gram flour, and spices, sweetened with jaggery or sugar. Koftas or pakoras are often added.
Originating from the Kutch region of Gujarat, dabeli is a version of the Maharashtrian vada pav. A bun is stuffed with mashed potato, spices, and groundnuts. This colourful dish is often served with meethi chutney.
6. Fafda and Jalebi
The combination of the fried chickpea flour fafda and the hot and sweet jalebi may seem unusual. However, this delicious mishmash is hugely popular in Gujarat, especially Ahmedabad. It is served with green chillies and papaya chutney.
7. Patra Vadi
Made with colocassia (arbi) leaves mixed with gram flour and spices, this dish is very easily available. The leaves are rolled and steamed or fried to create a delicious snack
A delectable empanada-like dessert, ghughra is a stuffed half-moon shaped pastry that can be baked or fried.
This popular Gujarati snack is made with thin layers of gram flour cooked with buttermilk, rolled up and seasoned with sesame seeds. This simple dish is garnished with curry leaves, coriander, cumin and mustard. It is served with hari chutney.
This sweet dish from Surat is often served during the Chandani Padva festival. It is made with puri batter, ghee, milk mawa, and sugar. The mixture is shaped into round shapes and flavoured with pistachio, almonds, or cardamom.
11. Murghanu Shaak
For all those who think all Gujarati dishes are vegetarian, you have dishes like murghanu shak. Chicken is marinated in a mixture of oil, yoghurt and spices to create this sweet and sour dish. It is then is cooked in a gravy with vegetables.
A chewy gram flour (besan) fudge infused with cardamom flavour and topped with sliced almonds and pistachios, it has a sweet grainy flavour.
13. Lilva Kachori
Kachoris can be found all over the country, but the Gujarati lilva kachori is truly unique. This fried snack is made with plain flour and stuffed with a lilva mixture (green pigeon peas, green chillies, coriander and spices).
Of course, there are tons of other delicious Gujarati dishes you can try; Handva, Undhiyu, Sev Tameta nu Shak, Gota, Undhiyu, Khakhras, and Locho are all also definitely worth a try. So the next time you visit Gujarat, eat at least a few of these dishes.