Jaisalmer – Cuisine and Lifestyle of the Locals

While on a Rajasthan holiday package, a tourist is intrigued by the local lifestyle  of the people, the food habits and the living conditions are totally unique to the area.


Exotic Rajasthani cuisine has a distinct flavour. Typically, it is hot, spicy and deep fried. Due to the paucity of vegetables in the region, gourmet food concentrates on preparations made with gram and lentils. An authentic Rajasthani meal would generally be a four-course meal starting with refreshing lassi or buttermilk served chilled in huge glasses, and savouries. The main course includes Ker Sangri, which is a combination of dried berries of the khejri tree and sangri, a green bean. Lal Mas, mutton cooked with a host of spices, and Gatta Kari, a yoghurt-based curry are all-time favourites with the locals. No Rajasthani meal is complete without dessert. Ghotua, typical of Jaisalmer, and kheer are all offered in plenty. Rajasthani hospitality is legendary and you will find refills on your plate without asking for them. It is advisable to order a Rajasthani meal some time before you want to try it, as the dishes are time-consuming, though some restaurants do have the more popular dishes ready to serve.

Changing Lifestyles

Change came slowly to Jaisalmer. For centuries people lived exactly as their forefathers. Some change in living patterns came about under British rule but the real change in the lifestyles of people has come with the advent of tourism, in the seventies. Tourism is now a major source of income for nearly 50 per cent of the families settled here. It is said that traditionally the first son in any family went into agriculture, the second went into the king’s service and the third looked after the livestock. This has changed dramatically, with at least one son in nearly every household directly or indirectly involved in the tourism trade.

The easy availability of water is one of the major reasons for change in lifestyle. Gone are the days when women would walk down the fort to Gadisar to fetch a couple of pots of water which would then be used sparingly by the entire family and the animals for the entire day. A well-loved saying in the region is that a daughter would not be chided for dropping a glass of milk, but would be reproached by her mother-in-law for wasting even a drop of water. Water is now available on tap, and the time, energy and inventive thought that went into the preserving and storing of water is now changing and new patterns are emerging.

The younger generation has started dressing in Western clothes—a pant and shirt instead of the kurti and dhoti as was the norm of the day. Those gorgeous turbans are now worn mainly for festivals and rituals. The women have changed their ghagras for saris, which are considered more modern than their traditional attire.

The mode of entertainment has completely changed mainly thanks to television and videos. Restaurants serving fast food have recently sprung up. Youngsters now prefer Hindi film music to the melodies of the Langas and Manganiyars and this music is now played at weddings and fairs as well. The literacy rate has gone up considerably. The greening of the desert has brought prosperity to the region. Despite changes in attire, food and leisure activities, people are strongly bound to their religion. Old customs and traditions are respected and followed fervently. Women still cover their faces in the presence of their elders, both young men and women observe fasts and visit temples regularly.

For more interesting facts on different regions of Rajasthan contact Swan Tours Delhi, India. For travel package details on Jodhpur Jaisalmer tour package call our Rajasthan travel expert on 011 23415601.