In today's episode Anubhav is on a quest to experience the extraordinary glory of Rajasthan's favourite snack, the Bikaneri bhujia. It is an indispensable part of the cuisine out here and hence it won't be an exaggeration to state that it is the lifeline of Rajasthan. Today this distinctly flavourful savoury snack has become a favourite treat all over the country and even beyond because it is such a versatile thing that complements most of the food items. People have paired it with both sweet and savoury options.
Its unique taste and texture is solely attributed to the local climate, water and ingredients. Consequently Bikaneri bhujia has the GI certification that acknowledges it's quintessential characteristic.
In this journey undertaken to experience it up close and personal, Anubhav is being joined first by Giriraj Ji and next by two city based food bloggers Amiit and Gaurav. It introduces us to the small scale bhujia production, the large scale production and some fascinating dishes made of the same. We braced ourselves for some interesting stories, anecdotes and experience related to this king of namkeen.
First Giriraj ji took Anubhav to a small scale bhujia shop Guru Kripa Namkeen bhandar in the old city to show how it is made by hand. Here he got to know how this simple snack is prepared using mother dal flour, besan, pepper and salt. The process seemed simple but it was actually not for extruding the bhujia dough closer to the boiling oil is a thought task. It is the marvellous expertise of the workers. Here he also learnt about the different variations in terms of the width. So there are the fine ones and the thick ones. The bhujia here was quite fresh and tasty. The owner informed us how they maintain the quality by changing the oil on a daily basis.
Thereafter we met Gaurav who took us to Medical College Circle to try bhujia sandwiches. Unfortunately it was here that our drone crashed leaving the team sad. But the hearty bhujia sandwich and the prospect of further exploration eased the grief. It was a crisp grilled sandwich filled with a mixture of bhujia, onions, capsicums, tomatoes and some spices. It was an easy to grab fun snack.
After this we paid a brief visit to the manufacturing unit of Bhishanlal Babulal Namkeen. They are one of the popular namkeen brands. Owner Pawan Agarwal told us about the process, the characteristics and the consumption. He then suggested Anubhav to try the monn paratha which is made of that dough which sticks to the huge perforated ladle used to extrude the bhujia into the oil. It was half done stuff. This seems very interesting so we collected some monn and some bhujia packets and headed to Jeetu Bhai parathe wale vendor at Medical College Circle. This is Amiit and Gaurav's one of the favourite paratha places in the city. Jeetu bhai prepared two kinds of parathas for us one was of bhujia and the other of monn. Bhujia one was crunchy and spicy while the monn one had a soft texture and light flavour in it. Overall it was an enjoyable snack.
Next we reached Mitra Da Dhaba in Pawanpuri to have bhujia sabzi. This quick to make side dish surprised us with its spicy, slightly crunchy, tangy and distinctly flavourful taste. The taste of the bhujia stood out sharply.
Thereafter we went to our final destination which was the manufacturing unit of one of the leading bhujia and namkeen brands, Bhikharam Chandmal. It was a huge facility where bhujia was being prepared both manually and by machine. They have a legacy of more 250 years. We saw the process closely and gathered some really fascinating anecdotes about the snack from Mr. Ashish.
Hope you enjoy the presentation.