Gujarat is a state in the western region of India and the variety one will find in Gujarati vegetarian catering is astounding. Influenced by the strict religious beliefs of Hinduism and Jainism, gujarati catering is almost strictly vegetarian. The combination of the salty with the sweet is unique to the gujarati palate and makes this type of Indian catering very distinctive in taste. The cuisine is simple, uncomplicated and utterly delicious. Many dishes are sweet, salty and spicy at the same time. Ghee is substituted for oil in gujarati vegetarian catering which means the food is not as heavy.
In the Gujarati Catering industry, there are many pure vegetarian caterers. The traditional method of serving Gujarati food is on a silver platter (a thali) with a selection of small bowls to hold the variety of items. The famous gujarati thali consists of Daal, Kadhi, Vegetable Curries (sabzi or shaak), Rice, Indian Bread (either chapatti or puri) Savory snacks (Farsan), sweet and sour chutneys, pickles and Indian sweets. The thali is very colorful and attractive in appearance.
There are many Gujarati vegetarian dishes which have become popular all over the world. One typically recognized dishes is Kadhi, a spicy yogurt based soup which is eaten with Khichdi (a combination of rice and lentils) which is comfort food for Indians the world over. Traditionally served together, Khichdi-Kadhi is an all time favorite with children and adults alike. Gujarati cuisine is especially famous for its variety of snack food or Farsan as it is traditionally called. These side dishes are essential to every Gujarati meal. Examples of these include, Bhajia, Dhokla, Patra, Chaat and Kachori.
The chaats have won hearts of foodies all over the globe. Chaats are mostly made of fried flour flakes, stuffed flour breads, yoghurt, gram, chickpea, bhujia, pickles, tamarind water, boiled potatoes, etc. The most popular chaats are papdi chaat and kachori chaat. Gujarati vegetarian catering also consists of a huge selection of sweetmeats and dessert items. Most of the sweet delicacies in Gujarati cuisine are fried in ghee and thereafter dipped into sugar syrup locally known as chashni. The key ingredients used are milk, yogurt, flour, ghee, sugar, cardamom, dry fruits like pistachios, nuts, almonds, resins, buttermilk, etc. Shrikhand is a popular dish that is a great dessert. It is flavored with saffron, cardamom, nuts and candied fruit, and is basically made of yogurt.
At events where there are a large number of people to serve, vegetarian caterers will usually organize a grand buffet where all the food, whether hot, cold, sweet or savory is served simultaneously. This works really well as a lighter lunch option after a wedding ceremony when there is a wedding reception with a heavier, perhaps non-vegetarian meal in the evening.