This is my ancestral food…I am a Gujarati Patel, Gujarati food is known for its sweet taste, that’s not how we Patel’s eat our food, I can never eat food at a Gujarati restaurant cause it is so different in terms of flavours from the food we eat at home.
Patels are originally farmers, hence our food is very rustic, spicy and full of flavours. I like of the Patel’s for our big-hearted, larger than life nature and straight talk. There are things I don’t like much (sorry if I have offended anyone) is a genral male chauvinism (may be thats why I married outside) and there is a lack of aesthetics but I love Patel food and I am so proud of the tasty food we make in our homes.
I am not a fan of sweet tasting Gujarati food cause I have grown up eating Patel style spicy food. For me Patel food is a whole different cuisine in itself. Before my husband got married to me he never fancied Gujarati food, slowly he started tasting food from my home, now every Monday night he has to have Patel food for dinner. In fact he loves it so much that if I am travelling or not having dinner he will tell our cook to make Patel food most of the days.
Patel food is eaten in combinations, I don’t know why but that’s how it is, there is a set menu and from years we cook like that. Certain meals are only cooked in mornings and certain meals in the evening. Garlic is a prominent ingredient in the sabji’s and curries. All food is eaten with raw onions as an accompaniment. Rice, dal and roti is cooked in the morning and kichadi ( a mixture of rice and lentils pressure cooked) and bhakhari ( a thick small roti) is cooked in the evening, morning food is accompanied with butter milk and evening food is accompanied with curd. Most of the food is eaten with mango pickles or garlic chutney. Red chilli powder is used more.
Below are photographs of a regular home cooked evening meal in a Patel household.
The curry is cooked with corn or drumsticks. The curry is eaten with dry potato Subj, bhakhari and kichadi.
Below is my grandmother’s ( father’s mother) recipe, we cook this curry in our family from generations…I can imagine my great grand mother preparing this meal for my great grand father when he returned after a long days work in the farm…
RECIPE: PATEL STYLE CORN/DRUMSTICK CURRY
2 drumsticks boiled and cut into 2 inch long pieces or 2 boiled corn cut into 2 inch round pieces
2 tbsp gram flour
1 cup sour curds
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 tsp jeers
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chiles
1/2 tbsp asafetida
4-5 curry leaves
2 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tbsp of oil
Salt to taste
Mix the curds, besan and 1 cup of water together. Mix well there are no lumps. Keep a side.
In a kadhai heat the oil add the rai, jeera and the hing. Once the seeds splutter add the garlic, curry leaves and dry red chilies in a few seconds without burning the garlic add the curd mixture. Add the red chili, turmeric, drum sticks and salt and let the mixture boil, once boil let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. You can add water to adjust the consistency of the kadhi.
Remove and serve with sabji, roti, bhakhri, kichadi or rice.
p.s. food wise I think I am more patel than nema :-), other things have influenced me after my marriage but I still have to have my patel food in their combinations, they say somethings never change 😉