Story Of The GI-Tagged Bikaneri Bhujia
Image Credit: freepik

The savoury and crispy bhujia has always been an essential part of Indian snack platter. It has the capacity to change the flavour of a boring food. No matter how many new snacks come into the market, none can be replaced by India’s favourite bhujia. And the oldest and most popular bhujia is Bikaneri Bhujia. The self-explanatory name suggests that it belongs to the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. The delicious snack is made by marinating different spices to give the distinctive texture and flavour. It can be eaten not just as a snack but also as a complimentary meal with other dishes like sandwiches and poha.

Did you know that your favourite snack is more than a hundred years old? It was in the year 1877, when the first batch of bhujia was manufactured in the princely state of Bikaner during the reign of Maharaja Shri Dungar Singh and since then it has been ruling the taste buds of India. In September 2010, the Bikaneri bhujia was granted Geographical Indication(GI) tag to ensure no one, apart from the registered users and those residing inside the geographic territory are allowed to use the popular name for their product. This would help to protect the identity of the original snack from the people who started using their name for profit. 

And if we talk about the history of the city Bikaner, it is a small place of Rajasthan that was established in 1488 by Rao Bika, son of Rao Jodha who was the founder of Jodhpur city. Located on the edge of the Thar desert, the ‘camel country’ is popular not only for its bhujia but also for its spectacular heritage sites and traditional dishes like laal maas and gatte ki sabzi. Most of the time, the city is filled with tourists who come here to experience the royalty and tradition of Rajasthan. 

The Bikaneri bazaar is mostly occupied by lovers and makers of bhujia where the technique and art of bhujia-making has been famous for decades. Over two and half million people are employed in this business and around fifty-thousand tons of bhujia are manufactured by them. The cottage industry has also employed women into the business that has contributed to women empowerment. Bikharam Chandmal is the oldest manufacturer in the market. 

Prepared with the dough of moth, garbanzo bean, gram flour and spices including powdered cellulose, salt, red chilli, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, etc. the snack is given texture by pressing it through a sieve and deep frying in vegetable oil. The secret lies in the ratio of ingredients that makes the Bikaneri bhujia much more delicious in comparison to other bhujias. There are other varieties of bhujia too, such as aloo bhujia, ratlami sev and punjabi tadka. The flavour of Bikaner is loved not only by Indians but its demand is also outside our country and if you want to try making bhujia at home, here is the recipe: 


  •  1/2 cup gram flour 
  •  1/2 cup moth flour 
  •  1/4 tsp cardamom powder 
  •  1/4 tsp asafoetida 
  •  1-1/2 tsp pepper powder 
  •  1 tsp oil 
  •  Salt to taste 
  •  Oil for deep frying 
  •  Water as needed 


  • Mix all the ingredients to form a soft dough. 
  •  Heat the oil in a deep-frying pan.  
  • Press the dough through a sev mould and then drop it into the hot oil.  
  • Deep-fry the bhujia till it is light brown.  
  • Remove the batch and drain the excess oil. 

And enjoy! 

There are other bhujia in the market as well but nothing can beat the legendary taste and flavour of the original. So, if you ever plan to visit Rajasthan make sure you go to Bikaner market and feel the aroma and flavour of Bikaneri bhujia.