The traditional Gujarati food is primarily vegetarian and has a high nutritional value. The typical Gujarati thali consists of varied kinds of lip smacking dishes. Gujarati cuisine has so much to offer and each dish has an absolutely different cooking style. Some of the dishes are stir fry, while others are boiled. Gujarati food is more often served on a silver platter. Gujaratis use a combination of different spices and flavors to cook their meals and this is what makes their food truly exotic.
The traditional Gujarati thali mostly encompasses rotli, dal or kadhi, sabzi also known as shaak and rice. People in Gujarat eat one or the other type of curry along with rice and roti in almost every meal Gujarati dishes usually have a very subtle taste that makes it truly distinct from other Indian cuisines. Lot of emphasis is laid on maintaining hygiene while cooking. Most of the Gujarati dishes are sweet, while others have a quite larger concentration of sugar as compared to salt and spices. Sometimes, jaggery is used as an alternative to sugar.
Gujarati food is highly energy efficient and thus do not cause much of fuel wastage. The staple food of Gujarat consists of homemade pickles, chhaas (buttermilk), salad etc. main course includes vegetables which are usually steamed and dal. Vaghaar is a blend of spices, which is purified in hot oil and then added to the dal. To prevent the body from becoming dehydrated, lot of salt, sugar, tomato and lemon is used.
Gujarati cuisine differs from season to season depending on the availability of vegetables. People in the urban areas are starting some new eating trends. In the summer season, spices such as black pepper and its constituent spices are used in lesser quantities. People fast on a regular basis and limit their diet to milk, nuts and dried fruits.
Sweets (desserts) served as part of a thali are typically made from milk, sugar, and nuts. “Dry” sweets such as Magas and Ghooghra are typically made around celebrations, such as weddings, or at Diwali.
Gujarati cuisine is also distinctive in its wide variety of farsan — side dishes that complement the main meal and are served alongside it. Some farsan are eaten as snacks or light meals by themselves.
In coastal Gujarat, the Kharwa community has developed a cuisine consisting of fresh and dried fish. Common seafood are pomfrets, khandwas, gedadas, surmai, prawns, crabs,lobster. and narsinga (calamari).
In the modern era, more and more youngsters have started developing taste for oily spicy food. Even, the modern chefs are coming up with fusion food concept by combining Gujrati food and Western food. Desserts, which were in the ancient times offered only on festivity or some special occasions, have now found their way in the daily meals.