Jodhpur’s vibrance is not a false notion. We have carried with ourselves a cluster of pictures of traditional folk tribes singing ‘Kesariya Balam’ to us, the kids snaking their way through the lanes of the Blue City, the Marwari meals, the funny faces of “aaj toh jee bhar ke khayenge” and then miserably failing at the task (hahahaha!) and there’s just so much more as Naina would say, “inn yaadon ke pitaare mein!”. What we can say is that the foodie traveller in us enjoyed Jodhpur a lot! You have got to agree that good food with a good atmosphere is nothing less than an eternal experience.
Let’s take you through!
Narayan Misthan Bhandar- If you have an acquired taste for old dilapidated food joints, then this is the place for you! We had our hands on their Kachoris and Malpuas.
Malpuas are fried disc-like breads made from refined flour, rabri (reduced milk) and yogurt. They are deep fried and if you are standing near the cauldron, your nostrils will be filled with a strong flavour of ghee (clarified butter) and elaichi (cardamom). This strong flavour is truly a magnet for Indian desserts. It is further dunked in a sugar syrup. Imagine, 4 kgs of rabri is reduced to just 1 kg through constant boiling for the preparation of malpua!
Kachoris, according to our founder, were the “Best till date!”. They were hot and crispy from the outside and the first morsel just lost itself in the mouth. The dough is mixed with ghee which gives it a very flaky texture and a robust look. It has a filling of a moong ki dal (a lentil type). The Kachoris were a result of a fine experience, they spelled perfectionism!
A momo-looking dessert caught our attention too! Its name was Tawa Puri and instead of a bouncy outside, it had a flaky and a tougher covering. Sweet besan (gram flour) was used as the stuffing.
All the snacks were served in torn pieces of a newspaper and it was probably how we expected our old Jodhpur’s tour to be!
Price- INR 20 per Kachori.
ChaturBhuj Rameshchandra- This shop is popular for its Gulab Jamun. It is basically a soft gooey ball which is laden with sugar syrup. Here, it was slightly different because it was grainy in texture and the balls were perfectly fried (not deep fried, just adequate). And then they were drenched with sugar syrup before serving.
There was Mawa Chikki and Mishri Goonja too. Mawa Chikki is pure milk solid. It is like a grainy dollop. Mostly it becomes the filling of a lot of desserts but here they give it raw to try. Mishri Goonja is moulded milk solid which has a filling of cardamom caramelized sugar crystals. The best feeling is two textures playing the mouth! On one side, the soft milk solid tends to dissolve and on the other side you can crunch the sugar crystals.
Price- INR 15 per piece.
Brijwasi Chaat Bhandar- This is the only place in Jodhpur where you’ll get Kanji Vada. Vadas are basically spongy balls and Kanji is mustard water. So, these vadas are made to soak this water to give a very spicy and tangy flavour. It is also very healthy!
And, we must add, the location is very aesthetic!
Price- 20 per plate.
Mohanji Sweets- Rabri Ladoo was our next grab! It had an amazing texture owing to chickpea flour and rabri as its main ingredients. It was deep fried and was soaked in a sugar syrup. A few chopped pistachios were also put in it to enhance the ladoo’s flavour.
Price- INR 300- 500 per kilogram.
Shri MishriLal Hotel- This shop is so old that it is a popular landmark in Jodhpur. Here, Lassi (a curd based drink) is served with saffron flavour and a mass of butter is put on top of it. This diversely unique combination tasted amazing, more so like Srikhand because it had a similar consistency.
Price- INR 35 per glass.
Bhawani Dal Bati- Rajasthan is a massive food affair but the one thing that is extremely popular is Dal Bati Churma. To break it down, Dal is a lentil curry and Bati is a baked ball made from wheat flour dough. The Bati is crushed and mixed thoroughly with Dal and eaten. Hence, the name!
This place gave us a wonderful experience of this dish. The bati was given to us in a crushed form and was laden with the goodness of ghee. Then, we spilled our dal over it and in the mouth it was nothing but a Jodhpuri Heaven!
As compliments, crushed chilli pickle, diced onions and garlic red chilli chutney were given to us and we loved, loved it. In meetha or sweet, there was Churma, which is crushed bati marinated with ghee, sugar and dry fruits. Very earthen and original!
To know the origin story of Dal Bati, watch the video linked below! This place is a must recommend.
Price- INR 50 per plate.
Arora Chaat Bhandar- A traditionally dressed man wearing a colourful turban and a long moustache sells Dahi Goonja here.
The lovelier the process, the lovelier the taste! First, a yogurt dunked vada (somewhat a cutlet made from lentils) is placed in a bowl. It has cashews, ginger and raisins in it. Then, it is sprinkled with some salt, red chilli pepper and chaat masala. Some tamarind chutney and coriander chutney further laces it from the top. By this time, the vada completely gets drowned because three more ladles of yogurt are poured over it. With some sev and fried spinach leaves, the process finally comes to a halt.
Coming to the flavours, the selection and the quantity of ingredients makes it very well built and balanced. Also, they make and serve it fresh!
Price- INR 50 per plate.
Vijay Restaurant- This place was a major highlight! We ate Kabuli, Sabzi Sandwich and Malai Roti and Prem Payala over here.
Kabuli is basically a rich rice preparation which has the extravagance of ghee and dry fruits in it. At the base it has a bread curry which is made from onions, tomato, garlic and chickpea and obviously a few pieces of bread. The second layer is of good quality thickened long rice and the third layer is of paneer (cottage cheese) curry. It is a mixed pulao at the end of the day and tastes awesome!
Sabzi Sandwich is a very unique take on Gulab Jamun. As we all know, Gulab Jamuns are sweet in flavour but this one’s made spicy. Garlic chutney is lathered over two pieces of bread and then this spicy gulab jamun like a tiki or vada is put in between and squeezed from both the sides. The sweetness of the moist fresh bread balances the flavour of the stuffing. This is a good food gain in Jodhpur!
Next up, Malai Roti! Whenever we boil milk, we get a thick layer of malai over it. Malai roti is basically rescuing this malai and coating it in sugar syrup. Then, it is given a saffron flavour, even, the saffron threads are visible and is garnished with some finely chopped dry fruits. It is round in shape, thus, it is called roti. This dish was legit a find! Infact, this whole place is a FIND! Must, recommended!
Keep counting! Prem Payala or the ‘Bowl of Love’ was our next dessert. Diced fruits, rabri and dry fruits were all mixed in a bowl and it tasted very rich. It was creamy and thick in texture.
Price- INR 50- 100 per plate.
Location- It is a cart found opposite KunjBihari Temple in Katla Bazar.
Jodhpur has a very vibrant street food circle. There are many carts organized in a particular fashion in the Shastri Circle of the city. Here we tried Pani Puri, Kulfi, and Girlfriend Chaat! The last one undoubtedly sounds funny!
Listen, we will be direct! Old Jodhpur is very very beautiful. If you are charmed by the idea of walking in the historical lanes while enjoying the local cuisines, you should watch this video.