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As far as the eye can reachleader of about 30,000 Maldharis vast, sandyplains, barren,rocky and known for his hospitality. hills. The Kutch landscapeis With my meals comprising rice, variegatedshadesof brown and mixed potato and onion vegerusset, occasionallydotted with tables and papads, were served emeraldtreesand bushes, despite desi ghee and jugs of buttermilk. a*t and semi-aridconditions. rainfall here is uncertain, The Wherever I travelled in Kutch, irregularand no perennialrivers even in the humblest hXrijan vilexist. Erraticrainfall and drought lages, I was treated to glassesof have affected the area, and con- fresh chhaas. sequently, the way of life. In general in Kutch the breakThe main produce is bajra, tast consists of bajra rotla and iawar, rnung and kod (matki, milk, khakharas (paper thin, math). crisp roasted chappatis) with The Kutchis a hardy people, curds and home-made butter. are thrifty and industrious. They lead The farmers have bajra rotla with an austerelife. All these factors curds, dungari (onions) and garlic have influencedthe food habits chutney. of the people. The preparations Lunch consists of 'bajra rotla, are simple so ls the art of cook- curds, mixed potato and onion ing. The eating habitsdiffer from bhaji, kitti (bajra flour fried in region to region. But milk and ghee) and a vegetable.Dinner is milk products abound. the main meal comprising khiSituated in the north-west chri with milk or kadhi made of corner of Kutch; bordering the curds. Sometimes gavar (runner Rann,is Banni,an isolatedarea. beans) is served. Alongside are This tiny district is the exclusive placed a plate of jaggery or oreserve the Maldharis(cattle sugar, a bowl of desi ghee and of breeders). Here,vast quantities of home-made butter without which milk and ghee are produced.I no Kutchi meal is complete. rlas the guest of Miyan Gulbeg Since Kutch is an arid area not 'n Dhordo village. He is the many varieties of vegetables are

available,These are even more scarcein winter. To overcome this problern, sukotri (dehydrated vegetables) used. Okra, methl are bhaji, gawar, green chillies dipped in curds, kantola,tinda and kothimba (a kind of cucumber) are dehydrated during summer and stored for winter use. Baris made from ground mung dal, dried in the sun, are atso stored. ln winter ponk is availablein plenty. Green bajra or jawar is roasted over glowing embers of charcoal and'served hot with fine sev, greenchutneyor curds.This rustic fare is quite special. In Bombay, in areas inhabitedby the Cujaratisand Kutchis,ponk vendorsare a common sight during the cold months. fvery community has its special pickles and morrabbas. Amongother things,Kutchis make pickles from debra (a kind of berry), biioda (this resembles grapefruit) and stemsand roots of brown garmar. Snacks comprise pakwan, phaphada (small crisp purles) and chorafali(long thin strips of spiced matkl flour, deep frieGin oil).

Sweets are prepared on auspicious occasions,during feasts and .marriages. Seero made from wheat flour, jagtery and ghee is common, Others include sweet sev, crisp puris coated with sugar syrup, meva-wadi and ghari puri (made from maida with filling of grated coconut and sugar), gulabpak made from mava - all very si.mple, reflecting the austere lifestyle of the people. I was invited to a Kutchi wedding feast in Bhuj. The menu was unostentatious-rice, f ribhangl dal (chana, tuvar and mung), ,mixed vegetable bhajiyas, channa-potato vegetable, papaya pickle and garlic pickle. Puries are never served. The sweets offered were bat (rava seero), jalebi and doodh pak.

RECIPES FROMKUTCH

BAJRA NA MUTHIA
2 cupr bafra flour * cup each becanend whcrt
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llour cmell bunch methl leevcr Contlnued on page 79

A TOUCH OF KUTCH
Continued frcm page 5l 2 onions, flnely chopped I pod garlic, ground * tsp. ganrn masah 1 tsp. eadr red chlllis rnd dhenle powder I tcp. turmeric powder 1 bunch coriander leavcl, droppcd Seft lo hsle Mix all the flours and other ln-gredients,add a little groundnut oil and water to make a soft dough.Takefistfulsof dough and lfr.angeoval shapesin a metal rse and steam.You could use r pressure cooker for steaming. '\hen cooked, temove and let it rcol. Seasonin groundnut oil, mustard,red chillies and cury leaves. Garnlsh with coriander leaves.Servehot.

2-3treen chlllies Grouodnut oll for frylng Salt to tarte Add curds to the flour and make a pliable dough. Keep this overnight. ln the morningadd al! the ingredientsand mix well. Shape the dough like meduvadas and deep fry. Serve hot with garlic chu!ney.

TASANNI CHUTNEY
8-10rcd chllller I lsp. each cummln reedr end corlender powdea I garlic, crushed I tsp. faggery telt to tute

Add water and salt to the hatf kilo maida and make a soft dough. Keep aside"Mix ghee in the remainingmaida and knead well without water. Spread dhe maida dough thinly on a wooden board. Over this sprinkle evenlythe mixture of maida and ghee. Cut into three-inch strips and roll lightly. Cut the roll into three to four pieces makeinto and balls using a light pressure. Roll out into puris againwith a gentle pressure. Deep fry on both sides till golden brown. These could be made smaller in size as required. They resemble crisp 'khari' biscuits. Preparingpakwans needsa little skill but you will be able to make them with a little practice.

and remove from heat. Mix ddi,e and jaggery and'keepon a low flame stiring till the dalia is cooked. Let it simmer for about 15 mlnutes. When done, remouc from heat. Add nutmeg and cerdamom powder, raisins and mk well.

GUI.ABPAK
I kg rnava (lftoy., 750 grn. rugar 25 gn. carhen'nut, cut Inlo plecel 5 gm. cerdetnoml, porrdcrcd 23 tm. d?y or frulh mre pd (dry fetek can be hd d eny ayutedlc $op)

KOD NA GAYADA
I 19 qgh, metkl (kod) Sour curds I tsp. cech corirnder porvder, rcd drillier end garam mrnle l-lnch plece glnger, crurhed

Add about a glass of water to Soak the chillies in water over- rAPtf sugar to make a two-string connight. Mlx all the ingredients and sistency syrup. Roast the mava grind finely adding a little water. kg. wheet, coeruely gound for about five minutes. Add to I , Add one teaspoon hot ghee to (dat!a) the syrup and stir well. When it thc chutney. 4fXl em. l,qjglery bubbles, remove from heat. Kecp l* cups ghee on stirring for a few minute* 5-6 cerdamo,rns,powdered To this add rose petals, casharPAKWAN About.25 nlslnc nuts and cardamomand mir A plnch of nutneg porvdcr well. Smeara thali with a llttle kS. malda !o rneke e dough I ghee and pour the mlxture in it 200 8rr. nalde lor rprlntling on Pour a little ghee in a kerahland to about a one-inch thickness. Palwan roast the dalia till brown. Keep let it set and cool. Cut into rec100 gn ghec aside. Boil the iaggery in four tangular pieces and garnish wlth Selt to tertc cups of water for a few fiinutes rose petals. A llttle la$ery Soak the green nuts in hot water and then qut open to remove the kernels. Slice the tlndlis lnto strips lengthwise. Heat oil and add mustard, udad dal and red chillies. Nert add the curry leaves, turmeric, the tindlis, green chillies and the cashewkernels. Add a few teaspoonsof water for the tindlis to cook. When done, add the salt, coarselyground coconut and jaggery. vegetablesif belng complete cooking. used and

GOV|NDA, cOVtNDAt
Continued from pege 39 Soak the channa dal for two hours and grlnd to a pastewith the coconut,green chillies and cummin. Mix the above ground paste well with the curd, add turmeric and salt and bring to a boil. When the dal has cooked and the huli has thickened, remove from the fire and season with mdstard and curry leaves, fried in two tablespoons oi!. of Ambdai bhajias made from soaked channa dal, ground with red chillies, curry leaves and ginger are deep fried and added to the maggigehuli sometimes.

MUTTON BAFAT
This is a dish made by the Christians the .Manfalore in area and shows the similarity in the food styles of the people living along the Wesffioast.
lg; mutton clovec I lerge piece cinnilon 3 onionsr gl:ced 5 greer chlllles, rllced 2 4ds garllc, rliced 1 Itch piece 6inger, dlccd I tbrp. vineger GRINDTO A PASTE: I rsd chillles I Gb. cummin rcedr I l:p muelard 1 tsp coriander I tsp."tmrerlc 10 peppercorirr kS. potrtoc ot l cabbage(opt)

COORGI PORKCURRY
1 kg. pork 5 green chilllcr 8 .to l0 clovcr grrllc 4 blg qnlonr !-lnch piece glngcr t trp. lumrcflc 3 tbcp. vinegrr or Cooryl tl. champull Salt to tactc I frp. chllli porvder ROAST AND POWDER FINELY:
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MULLUSOUTAKAI (KAKDI) DOSAI


250 gn" tender kekdls (crqlm. bers) 2 cupr rice coconut * 3 grcen chllllec f walnut-sized ball faggery Salt to taste

(GREEN GERUBEEJA CASHEWKERNEL) VEGETABLE


100 gnr. gfrc*lnr (tlndli) zlXl gm. crshw kcrnclr 2 tbsp. oll 1 Gp. uded del 2 rcd chllllcr tsp. murterd * 2 green chllllel * trp. tunnadi Some cuny lcevcr coronuq, coarrely ground I Selt to terio

* 2 2

ttcp. corlandcr rcrdt trp. mustrrd rccdr trp. cummin reedr tlp. peppercomr

Cut the pork into medium-slzed pieces.Wash and smearwith turmeric, chilll powder and ralt. Grind the green chlllies,onions, ginger and garlic coarsely. Put Cut the mriftbn and wash. Place the cut meat in a dekchi with Soak the rice in water for four the mutton in a vesselwith all the ground masalaand a cup of to five hours then drain and the ground masala and the cloves hot water. tet it cook well. When grind with the coconut, green and cinnamon. Add salt and vine- almoit cooked, add the powderchillies, jaggery,salt and lastly gar and cook adding just sufli- ed masalas, When well cooked the cucumbers. Form lnto a thln clent water to allorv the meat to add the vinegar or kachampull batter and make dosas on a hot cook. When the nieat is almost and remove from the fire. There tava using a little oil to grease ready add the sliced ginger, chih should be a thlck grary for the the base. Eat with fresh butter. lies, onions and garli.' Add the curry.