Well known for its rich history, vibrant culture and mouth watering cuisine, the city has a new twist at every turn. For the foodie, the Pink city is nothing less than paradise- from succulent meats to melt in your mouth sweets, the city has something to satiate the palette of the gourmet as well as the gourmand. Looking to navigate the streets of Jaipur through the amazing, mouth watering Rajasthani cuisine? Here are 7 Rajasthani dishes that you have to try when you're in Jaipur because the food is not just an explosion of flavour, but a riot of colours as well.
Dal, Bati, Churma
A dish that is a full meal in itself, the Dal, Baati, Churma is a Rajasthani speciality. Emerging from the rural places in Rajasthan, the dish made its way into the heart of tourists by its sheer texture and its unique taste. The three elements of the dish must go hand in hand or it just doesn't taste the same. The Dal is the plain and simple one that we all love and know. The Bati and Churma is where it gets interesting. The batti is like a ball of maida, which has a flaky, somewhat hard texture and the churma is what goes along with it. To get the best out of the dish, break apart a piece of the bati, douse it in the daal and proceed to top it off with some sweet, heavenly churma.
Perhaps the most quintessential Rajasthani dish , the Laal Maans is not for the light hearted. Peppered with fiery powders and masalas, the dish is so hot that it almost exudes heat. The meat in the dish is specially cooked to give it a soft, tender and juicy flavour. The spicy gravy adds to the explosive flavours of the magnificent dish, making it all the more alluring. To best take in the dish, we would recommend that you order a well buttered naan and let the calories take a back seat. According to tradition, the reason that the dish has so much spice, masala and fire is that it veils the gamey aroma of the mutton.
In stark contrast to the Laal maas, the Ghewar is sweet and melts in your mouth. Made of chickpeas, flour and loads of desi ghee, Ghewar is a sweet which is enriched by a layer of dry fruits. Sometimes it is also garnished with paneer. It is most nourishing and rich, so be sure you have a good appetite before you start. Generally it is prepared during the Saawan months (rainy season) and is a must serve sweet for any special occasion.
When in Jaipur, do as the Rajas do or did. With the massive Rajasthani thali, you'll be dining like royalty in no time. The thali has a little bit of everything that Rajasthani cuisine has to offer- hence the name. You can find some nice naans, soolas, daal, rice, laal maans, papads and even more sweets. The thaali is not just a meal, it is an experience and perhaps this is why many tourists visit the city just to take in the rich flavours of everything this mega thaali has to offer.
Pretty much all of us are suckers for a nice juicy piece of chicken tikka. The smoky flavour, the soft texture, all just blend together to give an amazing treat to the taste buds. In Jaipur, however, there's a different type of chicken tikka called soola. In soola, the meat pieces are marinated with rich flavourful marinade which includes spices, onion and sometimes raw papaya. Soola literally means barbeque and this preparation from the kitchens of Rajasthan's royals is a hot favourite for all sorts of meat.
This sweet dish is an instant fan favourite of tourists and residents alike. Much like the Rasgullas from Bengal, it has a similar texture. The difference lies in the taste. This one has a more mellow as well as muted texture and flavour. Possibly this could be a result of all the saffron that goes into making the dish. In all of Rajasthan, Jaipur has the best Rajbhogs and if you haven't tried these, was your trip even worth it?
Pyaz Kachori and Mirchi Vada
A departure from the sweet delicacies, the mirchi vada and pyaz kachori are must haves. Jaipur has many great outlets that serve these two dishes but you'll find many street vendors also selling the same. Regardless, the pyaz kachori is unlike any other you've had and once you take a bite of it with the mint coriander chutney, everything blends together well and is an absolute treat for the taste buds. The mirchi vada too, is rather common and tastes best with some chutney. However, the mirchi vada lives up to its name you need to have a fireproof gut to relish this delicacy.
The Pink city has had a long and vibrant past. The architecture, the grandeur and the opulence all point towards a city that has managed to keep its charm intact while embracing new mindsets. The food, however, is one constant that seems to be true to the olden days and not only makes you salivate, but tells you a historic tale as well.