Rajasthan has a very distinctive cuisine so I was keen to try lots of local dishes while I was in the regional capital. I’ve put in links to similar looking recipes for all the ones I tried. You’ll find my map of Jaipur with everywhere I mention here.
This first place is in the bustling Johari Bazar in the dowtown which is an interesting sightseeing destination in itself…
LMB Hotel (Intermediate A), 100-101, Johari Bazar Rd, Bapu Bazar, Pink City, Jaipur, hotellmb.com
The Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar was the first three star hotel in the region and is particularly famous for its restaurant and sweet shop.
Their vegetarian Rajasthani thali is pretty comprehensive. From seven o’clock in the picture we have steamed Basmati rice, Boondi Raita (a cooling, yogurt dish), possibly Danamethi Kishmish (sweet and sour fennel seeds with raisins), Bela Rajasthani aka Gate Ki Sabzi (steamed gram flour dumplings cooked in yogurt), Kari Sangri (a desert vegetable and capper beans), Cauliflower Masala, Dal, Kadi Chhokanwali (fried gram flour balls with local herbs and yogurt curry), Salad, Curd and finally two kinds of Churma (sweetened gram flour, plain and ‘rose’), best eaten with the dal and bati below.
And in the centre, a Papad and a Missi Roti (bread made with home ground flour with lightly blended spices). On top of the roti is a Sada Bati (roasted wheat flour ball served with ghee) and a Masala Bati (deep fried stuffed wheat flour ball). The batis should be crumbled and mixed with the dal and churma. Not pictured was a bowl of Papad Mangori Soup (lentil ball soup). The dessert of the day was (non-local) Falooda (see photo of the ice cream with cutlery sticking out) which is one of my favourites.
Samode Palace (Advanced A), Samode Village, Tehsil Chomu, www.samode.com
I had another slightly smaller but still very good Rajasthani thali in the restaurant of this wonderful hotel about one hours’ drive north of Jaipur. The former palace is now a luxury hotel. See my previous post the Jewels of Jaipur for pics.
Niros Restaurant (Intermediate C) 319, MI Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, www.nirosindia.com
Very famous and higher end, but a bit of a tourist trap in my opinion. I had the Rajasthani Sula (lamb ) with Dal and Missi Roti as usual, and for dessert some non-local Ras Malai (cheese curds in clotted cream, flavoured with cardamom).
I wasn’t that impressed by the food and probably wouldn’t go back.
Sharma Dhaba (Elementary A), Road 8, Vishwakarma Industrial Area, Murlipura, Jaipur 302013
This is the selection of my friend Vishaal who knows his grub. We all went for our final lunch in Jaipur here before we parted ways and headed back to Mumbai and Delhi.
Sharma is a common Hindu surname in India (the Sanskrit stem means ‘comfort’or ‘happiness’) and a dhaba is a roadside restaurant. As both words are quite common, you’ll get half a dozen Sharma Dhabas suggestions from Google maps. All I know is that on the menu it said it was in Vishwakarma Industrial Area in Jaipur 302013. I’ve put my best guess on my map but you could maybe look to see if the chairs are the same as in the photo.
It really is worth the effort of tracking it down. The food was wonderful (A) and the lassi, churned on the spot, was the best I’ve ever had (A+).
Can’t remember what we had exactly but I recognise Aloo Piaz in one of the pictures; a delicious Rajasthani fried potato preparation.
Back to Uttar Pradesh for a visit to Lucknow next…