Almost always strictly vegetarian, Gujarati cuisine is unlike any other Indian cuisine. The difference lies in the unusual blending of the sweet with the salty into a harmonious whole. Even though the state of Gujarat has absorbed many outside influences down the ages, the cuisine has remained much the same. The grand spread of Gujarati cuisine can be glimpsed and savoured in the very popular "Gujarati Thali" a large silver platter consisting of innumerable bowls full of vegetable curries, dals or lentil based gravies, a variety of breads, savories - crisp spicy fried farsans, sweetmeats and an amazing range of sweet and sour chutneys and pickles. The entire meal including the vegetables and dals (curried lentils) achieves a delicate balance of flavours – sweet and sour, salty and spicy, crisp and soft, low fat and deep-fried!
Gujarat can be broadly divided into two regions, north and south and the food varies depending on the availability of fresh vegetables and the climate of the place. Some of the well-known Gujarati delicacies are Paunk (combination of various roasted cereals), undhyoo (a speciality of potatoes, sweet potatoes, brinjals and broad beans baked in an earthenware pot in a mud oven), kadi (a curry of yogurt and chopped vegetables), khamam dhokla (a salty, sweet-and-sour cake made from chickpea flour), shrikhand (a dessert made from yoghurt spiced with saffron, nuts, cardamom and dry fruit) and doodh pak (a dessert of thick sweetened milk with dry fruit and nuts).
Gujarat is a dry state, that is to say, it enforces prohibition very rigorously. It has no shops or bars or factories that sell liquor.