Dal, bhat, roti, shak and kachumbar, this is the Gujarati food mantra. Dal as in broken pulse stew, bhat as in rice, roti as in chapati as in Indian flatbread, shak as in vegetable dish and kachumbar as in fresh vegetable salad.
Gujaratis love their food so please try pronouncing these words with veneration. DBRSK is serious stuff. The different components are assorted on a metal plate, a thali, and are typically served for lunch and dinner. The result looks like a plate full of mezzes or tapas.
One would start eating the shak and kachumbar with the roti. Small pieces of bread are wrapped around pieces of vegetables that are always very finely cut. At the end of the meal the dal is mixed with a heap of rice and eaten with the fingers.
We had D.B.R.S.K for dinner last night. The kitchen became a culinary ashram, where the Gujarati-maharashtran thali guru Anuja, imparted her knowledge on how to compose a proper thali. No serious digression was allowed.The cashew nuts in the rice were kindly overlooked. Anuja approved the vegetables to be used in the kachumbar and soberly declared that my dal tasted quite authentic.
I hope I have inspired you to try this. Don’t forget to wash your hands before eating and then just enjoy touching your food and licking your fingers when you are done. Delicious….