Where Tradition Blends With Modernity

By Rachna Virdi April 04, 2024

Chef Ayush Khandelwal from Paro India, Jaipur, rustles up Rajasthani delights with a modern twist.

The culinary heritage and rich, traditional cuisine of Rajasthan is what connects us to the beautiful state. Let’s give that a break this season, and merge the traditional with the modern. Chef Ayush Khandelwal from Paro India in Jaipur, sets the tone for a unique and flavourful Rajasthani spread befitting the royals. Don’t just explore the flavours sourced from the land of Rajputs, know their significance too before you indulge in them.

feni & sprouts chaat

A harmonious blend of Rajasthan’s iconic feni and the lively streetstyle sprouts chaat, crowned with a mesmerising swirl of nitrogenfrozen dahi. Traditional flavours meet modern techniques, creating an exciting, visually captivating, and utterly delicious culinary masterpiece. A true celebration of heritage and innovation.

How to make

  • 2 circles feni
  • 100 g sprouts
  • 25 g mint chutney
  • 25 g tamarind chutney
  • 25 g curd
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 g cumin powder
  • 5 g chaat masala
  • 5 g red chilli powder
  • Thin sev, for garnish
  • 10 g pomegranate seeds
  1. Take the feni pieces, and add some sprouts on top.
  2. Then add both the chutneys (sauces) and curd.
  3. Add salt, cumin powder, chaat masala and red chilli powder.
  4. Garnish with sev and pomegranate, and serve.

phalsa kulfi

Experience a tantalising symphony of tangy phalsa (Indian sherbet berry) infused into a velvety sorbet, served with the charm of tan-tan kulfi presentation. A delightful balance of flavours and textures, where nostalgia meets refreshment in a captivating fusion dessert.

How to make

  • 100 g fresh phalsa
  • 5 g cumin powder
  • 5 g black salt
  • 10 g chaat masala
  • 10 g castor sugar
  • 50 ml water
  1. Wash the phalsa lightly and delicately. Soak it in enough water for an hour. Add castor sugar while soaking so that it gets dissolved during the soaking time only.
  2. After an hour, rub the phalsa with your hand to extract the pulp. Pass the mixture through a sieve to get a thick juice.
  3. For the kulfi, pour the extracted juice in a kulfi mould and place it in the freezer.
  4. Now put the leftover seeds of the sieve into a vessel. Add some water and rub it with your hands and again pass it through the sieve. Repeat this 1-2 times to get all the juice from the seeds.
  5. Add this mixture to the frozen juice, then add black salt, cumin powder and chaat masala and refrigerate it again. Your phalsa kulfi will be ready in a few hours.

shiitake mushroom & mascarpone gujiya

This savoury masterpiece is a transformation of the traditional gujiya. Delicate pastry embraces an exquisite blend of shiitake mushrooms and luscious mascarpone, delivering a symphony of umami flavours. A culinary journey where heritage and innovation meet, reimagining a classic with a bold, savoury twist.

How to make


For the gujiya dough

  • 250 g flour
  • 65 g ghee
  • 40 ml water
  • Salt to taste

For the stuffing

  • 200 g shiitake mushrooms
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 10 g garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 g cumin powder
  • 10 g red chilli powder
  • 20 g coriander powder
  • 2 g turmeric powder
  • 10 g fresh coriander
  • 5 g fennel seeds powder
  • 10 ml oil

For the berry chutney

  1. 20 g each of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and blackberry
  2. Black salt to taste
  3. 5 g red chilli powder

For the garnish

  1. 10 g crushed pistachios
  2. Silver foil, for garnish


  1. Take flour and salt in a bowl. Heat ghee in a pan until it melts and becomes warm. Pour the desi ghee on the flour.
  2. First mix with a spoon, then rub and mix the ghee with your fingertips to form bread-like crumbs. Add water in parts and begin to knead the flour until it becomes tight. Cover it with a moist cloth and set aside for 30 mins.
  3. Soak the shiitake mushrooms for 20 mins in hot water. Chop the mushrooms and sauté in hot oil for 3-5 mins on low heat. Then add all the spices and set aside. When the mixture cools, add mascarpone cheese to it.
  4. Add water in a sauce pan and keep it on medium heat. Add all the berries and stir until well combined. Simmer until the berry mixture is thickened.
  5. Add black salt and red chilli powder and cook for 2-3 mins. Remove from heat and cool it, then blend the resultant berry chutney in a mixer.
  6. Knead the dough again and divide it into two equal parts. Take each part and give it the requisite round shape.
  7. Press one ball on a rolling board and roll it into a circle like a puri, then give it the shape of a gujiya using a mould. Put the stuffing on one side of the mould, lightly moisten the edges, cover and pack it tightly, and remove the extra dough.
  8. Cover the raw gujiyas with a wet cloth on a plate until they are ready for frying. Heat oil in a pan and deep-fry the gujiyas until they turn golden brown and crisp. Garnish with silver foil and pistachios and serve with berry chutney.

Chef Ayush Khandelwal says: Gujiya and feni hold integral roles in Rajasthani celebrations due to their cultural and social significance. Gujiya's sweet richness, traditionally filled with khoya and nuts, symbolises prosperity and bonds during festivals like Diwali. Feni's delicate layers, resembling the arid desert landscape, evoke nostalgia and communal joy. Both treats embody Rajasthan's culinary artistry, heritage, and communal values, fostering a sense of togetherness and celebration. Their presence in festivities honours tradition, creating a flavourful tapestry that binds generations, ignites shared memories, and reinforces the spirit of unity within Rajasthani culture.