Maharashtra state is just south of Gujurat, so it is natural that there are a number of Gujurati restaurants here.

The first Gujurati meal I had was at Chetna, a restaurant similar to Rajdhani in that it serves full plates of food. While not served in discreet courses, food doesn’t arrive all at once.

First, I was served miniature samosas as an appetizer, along with a steamed grain of some kind (perhaps a kind of dhokla?) and a pappad.

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When I had finished those, the katoris (cups) on the thali were filled with dals thick and thin, okra, sauteed potatoes and kadhi (the chickpea flour thickened yogurt soup.)

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My favorite part of a Gujurati meal is the breads.  They taste healthy even when topped with a spoon of ghee. Here’s a chapati and a bajra rotla, millet bread.

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The food at Chetna is likable.

At Soam, the atmosphere is more upscale. We had kanda batata sambhariya (a thick, coconutty dish of onions and potatoes)

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and turiya paatra (steamed roulades of chickpeas and taro leaves served on a ridge gourd stew.) Both came with flaky biscuit breads.

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The final Gujurati restaurant we ate at, we ate a LOT. Swati Snacks is all vegetarian (like most Gujurati food), and serves in a style reminiscent of tapas. Smaller portions of food come in a comfortable, leisurely fashion.

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This is thalipith pitla, a mixed grain bread with thick chickpea flour stew. That’s cilantro chutney on the side, and lightly pickled green chillis of some kind.

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I drank a mix of sugarcane juice and soda. This is a panki.

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A panki is some kind of grain steamed in a very thin layer in between banana leaves. This one is topped with a sprinkle of fresh dill. Very delicate.

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And this is a methi dhokla, a fluffy steamed grain batter enlivened with fresh green fenugreek leaves. It’s served with amti, a kind of sauce Maharashtrian could explain. (Hemal pointed out the cross-regional pairing of dhokla with amti, here, to me.)

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Here’s my friend Stef at a second meal behind my saffron lassi.

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This is crisp, thin crepe of green mung dal (a chilla). Sprinkled with red chilli powder and served with a sweet dish of mango chutney.

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This bread is similar to the thalipith, but different. It’s another dense, healthy bread made from millet and fresh fenugreek leaves, this time served with a warm, savory compote made from guavas. Stefin loved this dish, but I think she’s particular to guavas.

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Now *this* is an interesting sweet, or perhaps I should say sweet dish. Shrikhand with bedai roti and alu shaak. The shrikhand I’ve always mentally categorized as a dessert, but this doesn’t seem to be quite right. It’s cool, sweet, thick cardamom scented yogurt. And it’s served with a crusty, crumpled bread. AND it’s served with a spicy, salty, savory saute of potatoes. You eat the elements together–it’s very good. We had this midway through our feast.

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These are sabudana patties with peanut sauce. Sabudana is derived from either tapioca (pearls) or from the sago palm. So, the pearls have just the lightest and most delicate chew to them. I hesitate to say something like elasticity because the texture is so good.

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This is dabka kadhi (a dabka is a kind of soft lentil fritter, I think) with corn rice. Savory and delicious.

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And the last dessert was a malpuda (a soft thick crepe) wrapped around thick cream in a saffron syrup. Yum.

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