HomeFoodClassics Combine With Innovations In Abhilasha Jain’s Marwari Cuisine

Classics Combine With Innovations In Abhilasha Jain’s Marwari Cuisine

Classics Combine With Innovations In Abhilasha Jain's Marwari Cuisine

Classics Combine With Innovations In Abhilasha Jain’s Marwari Cuisine

NEW DELHI, (IANS) – It is one of those unresolved ironies. For the world, Marwari food is synonymous with being a vegetarian, no onion-no garlic-no tuber fare, but Rajasthan’s rugged Marwar region is equally famous for its robust non-vegetarian cuisine with game meat, notably wild boar, ruling the tables of the Rajput royalty.

The only way one can explain this dichotomy is that Marwar, though famous for brave kings and warriors who were hearty non-vegetarians, became known as being strictly vegetarian when the trading class of this region, particularly those from Churu Jhunjhunu and Sikar, moved to other parts of the country and gained control over the levers of business and finance. They became famous everywhere as the ‘Marwaris’.

It is their cuisine that Abhilasha Jain has been serving over the past ten years to her growing clientele across her home base, Gurugram, and Delhi, from her 1,000-square-foot cloud kitchen. And the brand she helms is appropriately called ‘Marwadi Khana’.

Jain, a homemaker who was born in Bhilwara, studied in Ajmer, and got married to a software professional in Jaipur, started modestly on Facebook, becoming active in foodie groups that were sprouting all over the social networking site in the early 2010s.

She acquired a formidable social media following because of her recipes and very soon, people started placing food orders with her.

Those were the early sparks that lit the fires of the ‘Marwadi Khana’ kitchen and Jain quickly realized that her home kitchen was too small to handle the kind of orders she was getting, from corporate meals in Goa to house-warming parties.

Jain could have stuck to a familiar script and done the dal-baati-choorma routine, followed by kair-sangri and gatte ki sabzi, but her touches of innovation are what make her spread stand out.

The honeycombed ghevar, a dessert associated with Teej during the monsoon, ends up in a chaat; the nibbles, from the soft and crunchy papad paneer rolls to kachche kele aur badam ke kabab (a Navratra favorite because of the injunction against eating potatoes), are a meal by themselves; the sangri, or stringy desert beans, go into koftas (a favorite, Jain told us with visible pride, of Mewar’s popular royal, Sriji); the kair, or desert berries, end up with cashew; and makhana, or fox nuts, are paired with grapes to make a delicious sabzi.

Jain will leave you gobsmacked with her kadhi kachori and mirchi bada chaat, and her rendition of Jodhpur’s savory gulab jamun ki sabzi.

Abhilasha Jain has opened a new world of tastes, textures, and flavors.

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