My Gastronomical affair with Jaipur

22.10.2017:

It was noon by the time I completed my visit to the City Palace, Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal. Am hungry! Jaipur is not only famous for its palaces, architecture and bazaars, but also for its rich cuisine and hospitality! The streets are filled with roadside ‘tapris’ selling hot chai and doodh-jalebi and the restaurants selling their famous kachoris and ghewar. The other day when I asked my auto-wallah to suggest me a good place to have my lunch, he asked me to go to ‘LMB’. Frankly, I don’t know what this LMB stands for! :-p

When searched over the internet, the search will throw a list of famous restaurants of Jaipur likeΒ  Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar (LMB), CM Karodia Namkeen and Gopi Kwality Sweets at Raja Park, and bars and cafes like Anokhi CafΓ©, Polo Bar at the Rambagh Palace hotel and Chaandi at the Hilton Jaipur. This is from where I recognized that LMB stands for Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar :). Soon after coming out from the Hawa Mahal, I saw a street hawker selling hot pakoras on his cart and I bought some pakoras. They were served hot with a spicy green chilly and mint chutney. I strolled through the market lanes surrounding Hawa Mahal eating those hot pakoras! πŸ™‚

The streets around Hawa Mahal are also good for shopping. And to my relief, LMB is also near to this Johari Bazaar. I took a tuk-tuk to get dropped at this famous eatery and the tuk-tuk wallah charged me Rs. 10/- from Hawa Mahal. The entrance leads us into the sweet section of this franchise and a further doorway leads us into the restaurant. The restaurant was dimly lit with moderate furniture and the staff are in their traditional headgear! They gave me a warm welcome and placed a high priced Menu Card. The restaurant is a vegetarian one and they serve the typical Rajasthani food along with continental dishes too!

Ofcourse I know that no trip to this beautiful city would be complete without having an elaborate Rajasthani meal and LMB offers one such incredibly authentic meal. Also equally famous is the Marwari thali, which includes bajre ki roti, dal bhati churma (which is composed of a lentil curry, mopped up with a bhati – a roundel of stuffed flour that’s baked in a charcoal fire or oven), pyaz kachori and other local varieties. But the quantity would be too much for me. So I chose a simple menu – Bajre ki roti with paneer makhani.

There are few other restaurants like the Chokhi Dhani, a village a little outside the main city, which offers an ambience akin to a typical Rajasthani village and fair, complete with thatched roof huts, bangle and jewellery sellers, camel rides, elephant rides. Customers are served traditional Rajasthani recipes prepared in pure ghee in a manner similar to the locals and make the guests feel the true heritage hospitality. Though the people at my hotel suggested me this option, I dropped this from my list as I was running short of time! 😦

Having had my lunch, I returned to the sweet shop πŸ™‚ The first dessert which I picked up was the Rasamalai – it’s yummy! The others to follow are the raj kachori and mawa kachori. Finally before leaving the place, I got some Rasa Malai packed πŸ™‚ I have left out a lot more stuff which I would be trying the next time I visit Jaipur! πŸ™‚ My bus is waiting to drop me in Delhi!!

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The TASTE BUD Encounters…

India – the land of diversity! Diverse in its cultures, religions, landscapes, and traditions. Not only these, but India is diverse in its cuisine too πŸ™‚ . A mixture of flavors and tastes reflecting a variety of cultures and regions. It is like an ocean full of flavors, and culinary techniques. Some call it ‘overtly spicy’, some ‘charmingly rustic’ and some ‘elaborately royal’. With its assortment of spices and aromas, India’s cuisine is best seen on the bustling streets of its cities. From the traditional to the mix-and-match modern, from the saucy to the royal, street food is affordable and fast, satiate the belly and entice the senses.

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, there is something unique about the cuisine that is served in every region of India making use of spices and pulses local to each state. Be it Dum Pukht Biryani from Lucknow, Fish curry and rice from Bengal or fiery Pork Vindalho from Goa, our cooking uses a rich range of aromatic spices and other simple ingredients. And yet, if one takes a look at what India eats, one would be surprised at the simplicity of the recipes. Say for example the kheer or Khichdi πŸ™‚

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And the long coastal belt of India gives India its favorite tiffin – idli, vada and dosa. The coconut chutney is one among the several relishes in coastal Indian cuisine, including the tomato khatta, curd dips and wood apple chutney. Take Kerala – Appam, puttu and kadala (chick-pea) curry. Tamilnadu – Chettinad food and dosas. Karnataka – It’s Dharwa Peda and Bisi bella bath. Andhra Pradesh – it’s tasty Hyderabadi Biryani and seafood pickles. Mumbai – Manchurian biryani, sushi noodles with masala. Kolkata – eat on the streets without any qualms. Zesty puffed rice for as little as Rs. 5. Lucknow – it’s kababs and biryani.

Mathura – the tasty peda, Punjab – Chicken Tikka Masala and the tasty stuffed parathas. Each of the seven states in North East India has its distinct culinary history and ways of cooking, but the underlying principle remain the same – organic, wholesome and uncomplicated! Oh my God, all this makes my mouth watering πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ . And thus, here I am, to share my food encounters of my daily life as well as during my travels.

Hope you enjoy!!!