So we now have a Gujju bhai for a prime minister and there are loud cheers with masala chaas and aamras poori parties being arranged to celebrate the achchhe din. This, however, is not a political column, it is simply about how food influences us and therefore our views in life.
Gujju cuisine is like the dark horse which never ran the race for popularity and yet every community exposed to a Gujarati neighbour savours dal-dhokli, khandvi, dhokla, chundo and the like. And this is because any Gujarati worth his salt, or shall I say sugar, will always want to share his goodies.
Like most traditional cuisines these days, Gujarati cuisine is also being looked at with scepticism. Is it really healthy or just fattening? Well, it’s 100 per cent, sau takka healthy, even therapeutic; the only fattening thing is the modern Gujarati’s need to eat “variety”. It simply means eating every cuisine other than their own for dinner. Dosa, idli, sev puri, pav bhaji, it may be a breakfast or an evening snack originally, but the rich, urban Gujju will have it for dinner. Worse, he will blame his genes, and traditional cuisine for the fat that will get collected around bhai’s paunch and the ben’s hips.
The Gujarati cuisine hasn’t really received the recognition it deserves because a cuisine so evolved requires understanding beyond the calculation of calories, fats and carbs. As a food lover and believer of diversity, I hope that the Gujju PM will endorse and eat his khichudi kadhi, thepla chundo and not junk it for cereal milk breakfast and carb-free dinners.
The Lightness Of Being
So here’s an attempt to clear some common myths about Gujju cuisine
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