Saurashtrians have a special place in the heart of Madurai; along with them they carry a history too! They are a group of people who trace their ancestry to the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. They migrated to the southern part of India due to Invasion by Mohammad Ghazni, which led to most of them settling in Madurai. But along with them they bought their delicious cuisine and art of silk weaving. So let’s dive into the tasty Saurashtrian delicacies.
1. Ambat Bhath
It is a favorite food of all Saurashtrians and this is a mandatory dish for a get-together. It is actually Tamarind and Fenugreek Rice. It is similar to Puliyogare but tastes different. People love to have it with kolinji or Veet (A type of pickle) in Saurashtrian households or Coconut and Black Chana. Non vegetarians eat it with Polte Chaino (boiled mutton).
2. Losan Kolkar
It is basically a thick curry rich in Garlic and Pepper, taken with Rice. People love to eat it as a light Sunday lunch in the absence of Non Veg. It also goes well with Boiled Mutton and Coconut.
3. Kenni Pace
It is a broken Rice Porridge usually eaten on Sunday morning. It cools u r body and is good for health. Can be a light Sunday Breakfast and u can have a heavy Non Veg lunch after that!
4. Vangi Bhudith
It is a Brinjal curry rich in Onion and Tomato. It is a mandatory dish served in Saurashtrian weddings. People love to eat it with Ghee Rice ( Pongal). It is also served with dosa and tastes ultimate when it is eaten with Coconut Chutney. It’s consistency varies with what it’s eaten.
5. Halke Dhowro Dhido
Halke Dhowro is nothing but Alagar Kovil, a famous temple in the outskirts of Madurai. Dhido is nothing but Dosa but it’s not the dosa we usually eat. It’s thick made out of Ginger, Pepper, Green Chilli, Cumin Seeds, Coriander and Curry leaves and Turmeric powder. It goes well with Ginger and Coconut Chutney. U can get this in the prasadam counter of Alagar Kovil.
6. Pankara Paan Bhairi
It is a healthy snack which looks like tiny Pooris served with Chenna Bhurko (a powder/ podi made of fried gram and Chilli ). It contains 3 types of leaves namely Mullu Murungai, Thoothuvalai and Murungai making it super healthy and delicious at the same time.
7. Sekki Bhaath
It is a sweet dish similar to sweet Pongal. It is made of 3 types of milk which include Coconut milk, Cotton seed extract and Cow milk. Even Ghee and Jaggery is added to it. As a part of tradition it is fed to pregnant women during their fifth month.
8. Dhoodh Dhowlo
It is Rice Dumplings soaked in sugar Milk and Turmeric and Cardamom powder is added to it. It is a winter delicacy.
9. Polte Chaino
It is a very easy dish, which includes Mutton, Coconut, Onion, Chilli and Turmeric. It tastes very mild and juicy due to Mutton. Therefore it is preferred as a side dish with spicy food like Ambat Bhath, Kolkar (mentioned above) and Pilchar (Rasam).
10. Ambat Bhajji
Ambat means sour, Bhajji means leaf. Ambat Bhajji is an authentic and healthy dish made of Arai Keerai (Amaranth leaves). It is a kind of thick gravy rich in Tamarind. It is made once in a week in Saurashtrian households.
11. Bhajji Char
Bhajji char is kind of a broth made of Arai Keerai, Melagu Thakkali Keerai and Agathi Keerai (all are different varieties of leaf). It is eaten with Rice and is very healthy.
It is a very famous pickle among Saurashtrians and always present in their homes to accompany subtle dishes like curd rice or Kenni Pace (mentioned above). It is made of Mint leaves, Tamarind and Chilli. It’s super easy to prepare and delicious at the same time. It can be stored for many days and therefore it’s always present in one’s home.
13. Roti Halwa
Roti is nothing but Rusk. It is a tasty sweet which is a mandatory dessert in Saurashtrian weddings. It is very easy to prepare just Ghee, Rusk, Dry fruits, Sugar and Milk and you get your delicious Roti Halwa.
It is again a tangy pickle which goes well with Sambar Rice, Curd Rice etc. Made of Gooseberries, Ginger, Tamarind and Chilli .Tastes extraordinary and is a favorite dish of most of them.
15. Loula Puri
Loula Puri is a sweet made of Semolina, Maida and sugar. This crispy dish is a very famous Prasad made at home during Varamahalakshmi Puja. It is always a dish of joy for kids.
16. Kajali Ambad
It is a vegetarian dish which tastes similar to Mutton and is very popular dish in Saurashtrian weddings as in weddings Non Veg is not served and Kajali Ambad gives the taste of Non Veg. It is made by steaming the batter of Green Gram and Gram flour similar to Idly. And that steamed flour mixture is cut into pieces and given the touch of Spices and Oil Which ultimately gives us this tasty dish.
17. Bombay Chutney
The name Bombay is weird but it doesn’t have anything related to Bombay. It is a Chutney made of Gram flour . Goes very well with chapattis but is not preferred with Pooris as Saurashtrians have another kind of lentils broth with poori which tastes ultimate with Poori.
18. Alla Chutney
Alla means Ginger and it’s basically spicy Ginger Chutney, which tastes delicious with Idly. It’s usually eaten by people whose stomach is upset and it improves digestion. It is also loved by pregnant ladies.
19. Thakkali Char
Thakkali char is a mild and subtle Tomato Broth, which is not similar to Thakkali Charu of Andhraites. It is made of Dal or Rice water. But along with water even Dal is added, which leads to a tasty broth. It goes well with Rice with a spoon of Ghee.
20. Thoob Pongal
It is a kind of Jeera and Ghee Rice which is prepared with Lemon Rice and Sambar in every Saurashtrian household during Amavasya. The yellow and white Rice combination looks as well as tastes ultimate.