Food is one of the most important attributes of any city that completes the overall experience of the place. After all other activities, one needs to fuel oneself for later pursuits. And if you are a foodie then that is exactly what you travel for. Hence for this episode, we are at Dehradun the capital of Uttarakhand to explore the gastronomic scene on the streets that are filled with quaint natural beauty, smiling faces, and remnants of an intriguing bygone era.
Located in the Doon valley between the river Ganges on the east and Yamuna on the west, the city is famous for its pretty landscape and pleasant climate. It provides a gateway to popular tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, Auli, and the holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, etc. For this exploration, we are super elated and fortunate to be guided by celebrated anthropologists, cultural activists, and flaneur par excellence. He is the founder of Been There Doon That, which conducts curated walking tours across the city.
We started with the traditional meal platter at Chetan Puri wala at Hanuman chowk which was served on leaf plated. The homely spread consisted of puris, chole, potato curry, and raita. Their assortment of ladoos made with desi ghee is another hot favorite among the locals.
Next, we ambled down the historic streets lined with old havelis and mansions to have an interesting thing called Katlamme at Mamaji Katlamme wala at Purani Sabzi mandi. Katlamme is a frontier dish that is exclusively available in Dehradun. It is essentially a big-sized deep-fried crisp flatbread that is eaten with a spicy chole and pickles. This closer cousin of Bhature is a craze with the locals.
Our next stop was kachori bhalle stall where we tried a unique and zesty snack that comprised of crushed Khasta kachori and fried lentil vada topped with chole sabzi and grated radish. No wonder with all the yummy things it turns out to be a popular fare.
Lokesh Ji then took us to Bengali Sweetshop to try a quintessential sweet of the state, the Baal Mithai. This chocolate-like fudge is made from khoya, sugar, and dry fruits. It has a unique smoky taste that comes from the caramelizing of the khoya.
The next stop was Sunrise Bakery a name that the city reckons with when it comes to bakery items. Here we tried some of their popular items like rusk, Pista biscuit, patties, Plum cake, and cream rolls. Continuing with our sweet pursuits we reached Kumar sweet shop. Here we were intrigued by the exciting taste of Bottle Gourd ladoos and Kaju Paan.
Soon after that, we arrived at another popular fast food joint named Joshi Fast food centre whose momo are highly recommended for their fresh and irresistible taste. It is a craze among the young crowd. We also shared a heartwarming conversation with the owner of the place.
The pleasant gastronomic trail was halted by a sudden downpour but after that, we gorged on an irresistible plate of Pakodas and bun samosa.
Our ultimate stop was Vicky Bun tikki wala where we tried Dehradun’s signature street-side dish Bun Tikki. It wasn’t just a delicious snack but a harbinger of nostalgia and emotions for Anubhav. Watch the video to know the connection.
We are immensely grateful to Lokesh Ohri Ji for taking us on this gratifying gustatory journey across this emerging city that still holds its glorious legacy dearly. Big shout out to team Been There Doon That for their amazing work. To know more check out their social media handles. See you soon.