India has remarkable culinary diversity, which is intriguing to say the least. To add to it, we the people of India, innovate with our food, remixing traditional dishes into something totally new, creating something new from the scratch, anything to satisfy our love for food. One such place in Gujarat, that has given to the world some amazing food stuffs, would be Surat. The khari and the nankhatai and the undhiyu and the ghari, are all some of the most famous dishes from in and around Surat.
At the Sattvik Food Festival, there was a stall set up by a family from Surat, who was offering a slice of Surti dishes to everyone – some of it remixed, some totally desi. And it had me hooked, I spent a good half an hour sampling everything and had a fun time.
We know Khichdo, a popular Gujarati dish we all Gujjus dig. Khichdo, a lip smacking treat prepared around Makar Sakranti using cracked wheat, vegetables and loads and loads of ghee. There is even a sweeter version of it made using milk and dry fruits. This stall was serving two special types of Khichdo, both sweet. One was the chocolate coconut Khichdo and the other was a plain dry fruit khichdo. Both of the dishes were amazing. I was easily looking at third helpings, if I didn’t have to save my appetite for the entire food festival that was still awaiting my attendance.
Next I tried something I hadn’t heard of before – Tava Chapdi. Some people say Tava Chapdi is a Kathiawadi dish. Either ways, that does not diminish the finger licking goodness of the dish. It is super spicy and super tasty. Chapdi is a fried bhakhri or a baked one, and tava is a spicy, vegetable gravy full of all the amazing Indian spices. It is similar to the Rajasthani Dal Baati in some ways. It is very famous in Amreli and Rajkot too. Tava Chapdi is quite oily and quite spicy too, so people new to it, handle with caution.
Next we have muthiya. Muthiya are made from chickpea flour, fenugreek, salt, turmeric, chili powder and oil. They are generally steamed, but sometimes, they are tossed in oil with sesame, etc. too. It is a staple Gujarati dish, and very good for health too. However, I have often felt that Muthiya come out quite dry and end up being rolled around in the mouth making it a little difficult to swallow without an accompaniment. Incidentally, this stall served a gravy version of Muthiya which was awesome. They had a thick gravy with the Muthiya, which made it very easy to consume, and took the flavors to another level. The gravy was made with some yogurt, and it smoothed up the the otherwise dry muthiya very nicely.
This stall taught me a lot about Gujarati cuisine, and it was a total fun to be at.
Only at Sattvik Food Festival, organized by Shrishti, at AES ground, Ahmedabad.