BM # 56
Week : 5 , Day: 2
Theme: Blogger’s Choice

Let me take you to Kutch today. 

Kutch district is a district of Gujarat state in western India,and it is the largest district of India.
Kutch literally means something which intermittently becomes wet and dry; a large part of this district is known as Rann of Kutch which is shallow wetland which submerges in water during the rainy season and becomes dry during other seasons. The Rann is famous for its marshy salt flats which become snow white after the shallow water dries up each season before the monsoon rains.
Kutch District is surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch and the Arabian Sea in south and west, while northern and eastern parts are surrounded by the Great and Little Rann(seasonal wetlands)  . 
This district is inhabited by various groups and communities. Many of these have reached this region after centuries of migration from neighbouring regions of Marwar(Western Rajasthan), Sindh, Afghanistan.

The language spoken predominantly in Kutch is Kutchi language, a slightly varied dialect of standard Sindhi, to a lesser extent Gujarati, and Hindi.
In the villages, staple foods include bajra and milk; bajara na rotla with curd and butter milk is very common food for all the Gujarati people.
This is about the Kutch region of Gujarat, I took a trip to a small town called Gandhidham in Kutch. My father’s sister has been living there since years but somehow I have visited the place only on occasions where one is not able to explore the place.
This year mom and I decided to visit my aunt and while on this tour I was able to explore this region. For me exploring a place is naturally exploring the cuisine and the specialties of the place.

Gandhidham is a very small place and to reach a destination you need just a few minutes, so it was easy to go around . My cousin’s children who are no longer children took me around and trust me I was amazed to see the street food of this place.

Fresh green channa.roasted with their pods
Vada pav
Vada pav is a Maharashtrian street food which is very popular in Gujrat too. We have a Ahemdabadi version of Vada pav which is dunked in butter and garlic chutney, but the Kutchi version was absolutely different. They served loads of mini chilly pakoras along with the Vada pav. A post on this version is due since long! 

The cone 
When we say Cone we naturally think of ice cream, but this is a savory cone made of all purpose flour. The cone size is just like ice cream cone. The vendor has a stove where he has a masala or stuffing made of spiced potatoes. He stuffs a little of this stuffing in the cone , adds some chutneys, tops with spicy peanuts and repeats the process . Definitely a very delicious savory cone.
It definitely was not very appealing hygiene wise , but I loved the concept. 
Ice Dabeli
Dabeli is a Kutchi street food and is popular all over the world now, but in Kutch you get dabeli in umpteen variations. One variation which made me curious was the Ice Dabeli. I wondered what it would? Can you guys guess? …well this Dabeli was made in a slightly different manner with chilled curd and chutneys, hence the name Ice Dabeli.
The most famous Dabeli shop of Kutch
If the pav bun remain in the oven and become hard just like rusk, what would you do? , probably throw them. Rt ? …well Kadak is a Chaat made with those hard pav buns , potatoes, peanuts and chutneys! A speciality of Kutch, this was totally new to me! 
Besides these they had the regular pani puri, Tikki Chaat and the routine chaats that are available all over.
Fortunately we had chosen just the perfect time to visit Kutch . 
We wanted to go and visit the Rann of Kutch where the famous festival Rann  Utsav is held, I am sure most of you must have watched the advertisement by Amitabh Bachan .
First a little about the Rann.

The Rann is a seasonal salt marsh located in. The Thar Dessert in Kutch. The name Rann comes from the Hindi word Raan, meaning dessert. The Rann is all white and on a full moon night it looks absolutely breathtaking. An unexplained strange dancing light phenomenon locally known as Chir Batti occurs in the Rann.

The famous Rann Utsav is held every year between December and March.It is a cultural and artistic extravaganza which is organized by the Gujarat tourism annually.the fair showcases traditional Indian art forms and celebrates the distinctiveness and diversity of the Kutch district. Tourists can see the various sights of the Rann as well as get the taste of the local culture, cuisine and hospitality. Specially built local houses are also used to house the tourists. 

The festival is interesting and one gets a visual treat of traditional culture, shops are lined up selling the Gujrati handicrafts and cuisine. Activities like traditional dances and music highlight the fair. While going around the stalls there was one very interesting food stall which attracted me. They sold those fry yum pipes, which we had as kids. I remember those pipes, we used to put them all in fingers and play. Well the same pipes were served with garlic potatoes. These pipes are called Bhungra and served with Lassaniya Bataka. They tasted delicious and it was quite a fun snack to enjoy.

I love to shop traditional stuff so I picked some Kutchi mirror work shawls for the family. We were there for one evening which was a memorable one.
We returned back to Gandhidham and the very next day we left back for Ahemdabad.
All in all it was a beautiful trip where I caught up with my paternal family, who went overboard to take care, a food journey and exploring a mesmerizing Rann with super shopping .
This picture shall show you the super fun we had with the cultural activities in the Rann !

Kutch , The Street Food and The Rann Utsav

17 thoughts on “Kutch , The Street Food and The Rann Utsav”

  1. Wow Vaishali looks like you had great fun and got us the same too..enjoyed the virtual tour..all the pictures are the first one and last most..:)..eating about their food made me want to try them myself..those maida cones sounds like a great thing to do it ourselves!

  2. I don't know where to start. Nice write up and beautiful pictures. The first picture is stunning and a classic picture to represent the region. Hari boot, fresh green chana is my favorite and always use to look forward for December when these were found in abundance by on the streets of Hyderabad. Delicious visual street of local chaat and I remember those pipes. We use to call them fingers as we always stuck them to finger before eating.. 🙂

  3. Wow Vaishali not only did you enjoy yourself but managed to write a superb piece of travelogue. I remember most of the stuff especially those pipes. We called them poga pandit. I have no words to say about the post.

  4. Lovely post Vaishali. All that street food made my mouth water 🙂 My dad stayed in Kutch for 6 months about 20 years back for work. I remember he bought back shawls and dress materials from their. One of them was almost like the one in your picture (the white one in the right). You brought back memories of my dad 🙂

  5. This is a fantastic post .I would love to visit there.The green chana looks yummy.We used to roast the in coal when we were kids at grandmas's place.All the food looks so tempting.You had great fun there and thanks for the virtual tour.You looks so happy in the last pic 🙂

  6. Omg, those street foods are absolutely alluring, again a different and unknown place for me.. Wow wish a day i can visit this place and enjoy the street foods as much as like you do.. Started dreaming already.

  7. well written and precisely what i was looking for but could not find anywhere – the knowledge about local cuisine.

  8. Came here looking for a recipe I discovered in preparation for one of my Jan posts and this came up instead but glad I found this post to give me more background info what an interesting region for sure. Must be such an explosion of the senses to visit.

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