A typical Kutchhi meal consists of Bajre Ka Rotla (Millet Bread), Odho (A Brinjal Delicacy, also known as Baingan ka Bharta), Garlic Chutney, Jaggery & Chhas (Butter Milk)!!!
The influence is easy to understand as Millet, Sugarcane & Brinjals grow in abundance in this area. Jaggery not only adds the Sweet Rasa to the meal but it also helps in cooling the body. In many households, guests are welcomed with Jaggery water rather than the fancy sherbets for this reason. Chhas is required to balance the dryness of Bajra Rotis & also to combat the heat of the desert. Nothing cools you off like a glassful of Chhas 🙂
How the garlic chutney was added in this meal is not known..whether it was to add spiciness to the food or it had Kathiawadi influence, is a subject of research..more so because majority of the population in Kutchh is Jain who abhor anything grown under ground 🙂
This kutchhi meal is not restricted to Kutcch..All kutchhi families residing in Mumbai are proud to have this meal as their staple diet inspite of temptations in the form of Pao Bhaji, Chats, & recently Pizzas & Pastas..;-)
A spread of Garlic Chutney on the Bajra Roti would make it an amazing Kutcchi Pizza & it would be drowned with couple of glasses of Kutchhi Beer (i.e. the heavenly buttermilk ;-))
So that was the menu of this Sunday!!!
The Garlic stock was empty at home & hence rushed to the nearby vegetable vendor to get some..Then began the humongous task of peeling the garlics..A quarter kg of garlic stared me in the eyes..I wasn’t deterred by those but removed my weapon from its scabbard, i.e. knife from the stand & started peeling off the skin..some of it stuck to my fingers & it was becoming increasingly difficult to complete the task..Meanwhile my neighbour aunty popped in for a chat..she saw me struggling & gave me a tip to crush the garlic with my hand & the skin would be removed easily..& voila flashback time..I remembered how I used to peel garlic…Then the task was easy peazy..;-)
All the garlic peeled & sitting happily naked in the dish, waiting to be crushed & mated with the red chilli powder 😉
The mixie was plugged & while attaching the jar, I realised that the power was off due to load shedding..There were two options: one, wait for the power to return, which would take another hour or use the good old pestle..And guess what? Pestle it was..Though thought to be strenous, I found it quite easy to make the chutney in the pestle..in fact it was quite fun, easy & did not take much time..
In fact this chutney tasted much better than the mixie made!!!
I asked my neighbour to taste it..She loved it so much that it inspired her to make it at her home as well!!!
There would be one more day where I won’t be lazy & cook something interesting again! Till then, keep drooling!!! 😉