After 36 complete meals from all 36 Indian States and Union Territories I am looking forward to some Pasta.
Honestly, I am almost sad the project is over. What am I going to cook now? My boyfriend suggested to do now a challenge with Non-Vegetarian Dishes from each state haha. No.
I also like the idea of famous dishes from every German state or every country.
This project was also much more time consuming, then expected. Originally, I thought I would cook anyway every day.
But normally I would not follow everyday recipes from cooking books or food blogs. Normally I would not shop that specific. Normally I would not be in the kitchen for an average of 2 hours.
Not counting all the preparation work of finding suitable recipes and the afterwork in publishing everything!
To sum up: This cooking project kept me busy for a good month.
But I am very grateful for this Challenge.
I not only developed my cooking abilities (I am pretty good now: Tell me an Indian dish and I will make it for you), but also developed a new approach to cooking: Preparing something special and bringing the focus to the cooking process made me really enjoy it and was almost meditative. Every evening I got excited to spent some time cooking, what would be otherwise more of a daily task and unavoidable.
I also loved to present the dish for my boyfriend and click a photo of it.
Every night my boyfriend would come from work and asked half curious half scared, which state I prepared.
While researching I also learned a lot about every single state. The Cuisine of each state can tell a lot about the people and the environment.
There were some dishes I knew before, but have never tried to cook before, such as Paranthas, Naan, Kulcha, Bathure, Puri, Dosa (all breads basically) Upma and Siddu.
Some dishes genuinely positively surprised me and turned out to be better, than expected, such as Cauliflower Bai, Khandvi, Zan, Poha, Amita Khar, Lauki Ki Al Yakhni and Kashmiri Aloo Paneer, Skyu and Dalma, Sana Thongba, Goan Moolyacho Ross
With other dishes I surprised myself (Making Naan, Bathure, Khandvi, Luchi, Siddu).
Other dishes I definitely have to try at it´s origin place again, because I don´t believe they turned out the way they should: Pulihori, Sel Roti, Galho and Jadho.
Some dishes didn’t convince me so much (probably my taste or my cooking), such as Biryani, Dal Dhansak, Aloo Dum, Pav Baji, Shimi ko Achar and Oal Subzi
And finally, my favourite dishes of this project are: Siddu, Kadala Curry, Chole Bathure, Tandoori Vegetables and Paneer Tikka, Urulaikizhangu Podalangai Turuttu, Kafuli, Dal Makhani, Kaju Curry and Zan.
Give me some time and I will create a small booklet with all the dishes along with recipes and information about all Indian States and Union Territories.
During the last weeks I wrote down over 10000 words, spent approximately 75 hours cooking, used a variety of spices and spice mixes, 4 different oils (Mustard, Sesame, Coconut and Soyabean), lots of Ghee of course, 12 different types of lentils, 5 different types of flour, lots of rice and a very nice colourful variety of vegetables, including spinach, potatoes, aubergine, beans, okra, Yam, Taro Root, carrots, raw papaya, Lauki, Pumpkin, capsicum, peas, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, Kher, Sangri, cauliflower. I also used some milk products such as paneer, cream, yogurt, milk as well as tofu, soyabean nuggets and granules.
If I remember correctly, the only one fruit I used was Pomegranate.
17 different Indian Breads:
Butter Garlic Naan, Luchi, Bathure, Siddu, Pav, Neer Dosa, Chila, Chilka, Sel Roti, Litti, Besan Masala Roti, Aloo Parantha, Amritsari Kulcha, Khoba Roti, Roti, Appam, Papadam
10 different Lentil Dishes:
Veg Dhansak, Dalma, Pondicherry Sambhar, Kabala Curry, Chole, Khatti Meetha Dal, Rajma, Dal Makhani, Dal Pithi, Wade Dubuk,
5 Rice Dishes:
Dum Biryani, Kashmiri Pulao, Veg Jadoh, Cauliflower Bai, Galho, Pulihora
26 Vegetable Curries:
Gajar Methi, Lauki Ki Al Yakhni, Kashmiri Aloo Paneer, Vendakka Mezhukkupuratti, Veg Kosoi, Oal ki Sabzi, Lingri, Kaju Curry with Mushroom Xacuti, Goan Moolyacho Ross, Hui Bui, Amita Khar, Kadhi Pakora, Chilli Curry, Urulaikizhangu Podalangai Turuttu Curry, Beans Fugath, Thekera Tenga, Baingan Ki Lonje, Bangali Aloo Dum, Veg Sagu, Gatte ki Sabji, Ker Sangri, Baji, Kafuli, Sana Thongba, Naga Hinkejvu
9 Pickles, Raitas and Chutneys:
Lauki Ka Raita, Pitud Raita, Tomato and Baingan Choka, Shimi ka Achar, Kumauni Raita, Mint Coriander Chutney, Mint Coriander Yogurt Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Veg Raita
And 5 other Vegetable Dishes:
Zan, Tandoori Vegetable and Paneer Tikka, Khandvi, Skyu and Upma
Though at times difficult to find a typical vegetarian dish of a state, mostly I had the opposite problem and couldn´t decide for which dish to go, since the variety to choose from was just so enormous. That is one thing I love India for: The enormous diversity in vegetarian dishes!