Bundi Utsav is a visual extravaganza. Dotted with several cultural and religious ceremonies and fun activities, it brings the explorer closer to this region's soul. The host place, Hadoti has a lot to offer, incredibly a few of its unique culinary fares are must try
Every year in November, the grand and vibrant Bundi Utsav is held in Rajasthan's Hadoti region, in the picture-perfect and regal Bundi district. It falls in the lunar Kartik month according to the Hindu calendar, honouring Rajasthan's culture, traditional art, and traditions. Bundi Fair, organised by the Rajasthan State Tourism Department, effortlessly grabs the attention of travellers with its time-honoured charm and ethnic appeal. When Bundi Utsav takes off, this otherwise tranquil place becomes a travel destination. It sees a surge in tourists, travellers, visitors and explorers from inside the country and overseas. This year it's taking place from 11th to 13th November. Apart from the motley of music, rustic spell, and architectural brilliance, the food of Hadoti can bewitch anyone. And this soiree allows one to learn about them.
A Rajasthani performer at Bundi Utsav, Image Source: Alamy
Why is it celebrated?
The old Bundi was recognised as the home of Rajasthan's Parihar Meena tribe and was named after Raja Bunda Singh Meena. The ancient name of this town was 'Bunda-Ka-Nal,' which means 'narrow roads.' Bundi was then captured by the Britishers until India's freedom. The festival commemorates the area's rich historical and cultural diversity that has retained its authenticity. Aside from the most popular Bundi Utsav, the town is also noted for its architectural work. It is also known as Rajasthan's Choti Kashi because of its many Hindu temples.
The attraction of Bundi Utsav
The three-day Bundi Utsav highlights this region's rich cultural heritage. The festival's principal attractions include an exhibition of native handicrafts, moustache competitions, folk music, a turban binding competition, and dancing performances enjoyed by young and elderly alike.
Thousands of people participate in the Deepdaan event, in which men light earthen clay lamps or diyas and hand them over to women, who take them down to the river and release them while reciting prayers. Thousands of tiny earthen diyas cast a surreal spell illuminating Bundi with their light and sacred aura.
The host place Hadoti has a few traditional foods to offer which are native to it.
Daana methi ki sabzi
Daana methi subzi, Image Source: thespiceadventuress.com
This traditional Hadoti curry calls for dried fenugreek seeds, dates, cashews, raisins, and jaggery. To remove the strong flavour of fenugreek seeds, they are first soaked in warm water and then thoroughly rinsed under running water. This tasty and nutritious dish also works excellently as a travel dish because it does not require refrigeration.
Kadke sev, or simply kadke, is a type of sev namkeen that is extremely popular throughout Hadoti. This spicy and crunchy snack is made from gram flour, asafoetida, coriander seeds, curry leaves, and other spices. They are also used in some homes and restaurants to make a unique dish known as kadke ki sabzi.
Hadoti sweet Katt, Image Source: Shakkha-Mumma Chef@YouTube
Katts are either sugar or jaggery-based barfis. Mung dal flour, urad dal flour, wheat flour, gramme flour, and semolina are used to make the panchdhaari sugar katt. Ghee is also utilised extensively. The jaggery variant is prepared with bajra, jaggery, a thick layer of ghee, and sesame seeds for crunch.
Baaflas are steamed wheat balls with 49 spices, such as fennel and coriander seeds added. They are boiled and roasted over a fire made of dried cow dung pats that suffuse a typical smoky flavour.