It is a state which frequently attracts the jetsetting crowd from all over. British supermodel Naomi Campbell was there recently to boyfriend and Russian tycoon Vladimir Doronin, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy shot for The Dark Knight Rises at Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort, the now divorced Katie Perry had tied the knot with Russel Brand in Ranthambore...in short, one can go on and on about Rajasthan's association with the high and mighty.
But quiz people around the cuisine of the desert state and in most cases, you might come up with a blank look. Rajasthani food is, still by and large, what you eat at the homes of your Rajasthani friends. While Delhi's food map throws up places near and far, there are only a handful of restaurants which serve Rajasthani food, and apart from that odd thali somewhere, chances are that you might never have heard of them.
But if you would really like to know what the royals once ate and what the common folk in Delhi's neighbouring state (after all, Jaipur is just a few hours' drive from Delhi) still eat, then we suggest you head to The Imperial. Their latest promotion, aptly called Royal Rajasthan, is all about signature dishes from the state. So you have your Kair Sangri (as tikkis), the Maas ke Sule, Laal Maas and of course the Gobind Gatte (a more majestic version of the simple gatta). And all this, with a twist and toning down of spices keeping the Capital's tastes in mind.
On the menu are delicacies from Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner, prepared with generous helpings of dry fruits. Among things I tried, and liked, are the Kair Sangri (melt-in-your-mouth delicate and tempered down with raisins), the Maas ke Sule (spicy and tasty), the Gobind Gatte (with ample dry fruits to keep you busy). The Laal Maas was made from very tender lamb and though it looked a fiery red, it wasn't very spicy and went perfectly well with the Masala Missi Roti.