Jaipur, the capital city of the former princely state of Rajasthan, today serves up an assortment of its traditional gastronomic delights – vegetarian and non-vegetarian spreads – and imports from here and there, to an extent that a Marathi Bhel Puri or a Gujarati Khaman Dhokla or for that matter the pride of Punjab – Chicken tikka or a Ras Malai — a sweet meat with its origins in Odisha– to name a few – add to the already long list of tasty, mouth-watering offerings on the streets of Jaipur. Today, the newer arrivals (relatively speaking) of say a Kulche Chole wala on cycles have sprung up in many places as have newer eateries in and around the glittering modern malls that make eating out an even more interesting, fun fulfilling event that promises to tickle the taste buds with an array of aromas, tastes and finger-licking goodness of savouries on the plate. If your tummy says no more but still are stuffing more, you are only human. Come indulge yourself, count no calories as you pack your plate with princely feasts. Listed below are some of the most popular things you can try while enjoying the food in Jaipur.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: BHELPURI
Rajasthani twist to Gujarati dish
Not much can be definitively said about the historical origins of this salty, spicy and tangy snack – Bhelpuri – but it is widely believed that it originated in Gujarat and became immensely popular in Bombay (now Mumbai) and made almost a household dish after it was featured in early Hindi movies. Bhelpuri belongs to the family of Chaats and essentially is a preparation out of puffed rice, minced vegetables – onions, green coriander, green chillies, a dash of lemon and boiled potato cubes – with a generous sprinkling of desi sauces (chutneys of sweetened Tamarind) and namkeen sev. One can get Bhelpuri almost anywhere in Jaipur, but Statue Circle has a small band of vendors who have become synonymous with the spot where Jaipurites and tourists too hang out in the evenings.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: SEVPURI
Beyond Bhel, tastier treat
It is all in the little twist given to Bhelpuri – crusty papris /flattened gol gappas – when added to the Bhelpuri the result is an amazing addition to taste, making the mixture a tad more interesting and crispier. Like its mother recipe Bhelpuri, Sevpuri is also an import from Mumbai and in Jaipur the best place recommended for this variant is a Kiosk inside the City Pulse Mall on Narain Singh Circle.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: SAMOSA
Samosa, lives long
Samosas are stuffed surprises that have now become very popular across India. Each different region gives a different twist to the triangular, crispy and tasty snack that has its origins to Mughal nobility. It was their cooks who introduced this triangular delicacy, that has a three dimensional triangular covering made out of maida that has a filling that varies from place to place, cook to cook and modified as per tastes. The mashed filling that is stuffed inside Samosas usually has a mix of mashed boiled potatoes, green peas, minced green chilies, green coriander, onions and spices. The filled Samosa is deep fried in vegetable oil till it is turns into a golden brown coloured crispy item. Served along with chutneys made out of mint leaves or green coriander leaves or sweetened tamarind. Any self-respecting small eatery on the street usually stock Samosas and are available all across Jaipur.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: KACHORI
The Kachori family
Kachori is in a way another variant of Samosa, but in a strikingly different way – in shape, size, taste and preparation and is among the most favourite anytime snack of the average Jaipurite. To each according to his taste and for this the stuffing inside the Kachori – a crispy ball like cup made out of Maida – is different. After stuffing the ball, slightly flattened, it is deep fried in vegetable oil till it acquires a golden brown to dark brown colour and served hot with an assortment of chutneys, and or Chole in some places.
1. DAL KI KACHORI
As the name suggests, this kachori has filling of cooked moong dal, spiced up with different ingredients for taste. Readily available at most street food outlets where Samosas are served. Accompaniments are chutneys, the salted, sweetened and hot spicy ones .
2. PYAZ KI KACHORI:
Now this is among the most famous of Kachoris at Rawat Mishtan Bhadar on station road – with its fame reaching far and wide and people get it packed to travel long distances by road, rail and air. Pyaj ki kcahori has, as the name suggests, filling of minced onions, boiled potatos and spices. Available at almost every kachori outlet, but the recipe may vary slightly from place to place. But for the most authentic one everyone knows where to go – Rawat Mishtan Bhadar on Station Road.
3. HEENG KI KACHORI:
Heeng Ki Kachori has a filling of boiled washed Urad Dal, Hing- asafetida — and spices. Served with sweet tamarind chutney or fresh curd and the most recommended outlet for this delicacy is a small counter behind SBBJ bank in Chaura Rasta or opposite the now defunct Mayur Cinema.
4. MAWA KI KACHORI:
A sweet meat preparation, this kachori has fillings of Milk solids and is dipped in sugar syrup just before serving. Rawat Mishtan Bhandar’s Mawa ki Kachori are also world famous.
5. RAJ KACHORI :
Most easily, Raj Kachori is the mother of all Kachoris. It is more like a puffed puri, but a tad more crispy, and is filled with an assortment of ingredients — minced boiled potato pieces along with sprouts doused in fresh curd and garnished with green coriander chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Sprinkling of sev is customary to give it the taste it is known for. The most popular places to eat this in Jaipur are Kanji Sweets at Station Road and Chawla Sweets in Raja Park.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: MIRCHI BARA
A biggish green chilli, slit lengthwise and then stuffed with a mixture of mashed boiled potatoes, minced green chilies and spices is dipped in fluidy paste of gram flour and then deep fried in vegetable oil till it gets golden brown colour. It is served with green coriander & sweet tamarind chutney. This spicy pan-Indian snack is very commonly available in most localities.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: KANJI VADA
One of the most popular street foods, Kanji Vada comprises vadas made of a paste of moong dal (green gram pulses) and deep fried in vegetable oil till they become crisp. Then these are dunked in chilled Kanji water – which is prepared by fermenting coarsely ground mustard seed powder with salt and red chili powder in plain water for 48 hours. Many street hawkers in walled city sell this most popular item that flies off the shelf.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: PAANI PATASI
Pani puri, batasha, puchka, gol gappa…whatever one would like to call it, is undoubtedly the most favorite street food item of all times. Believe it or not, even the thought of it makes one’s mouth water. Maida & Sooji dough is used to make small puffed puris which are filled with small pieces of boiled potatoes, curd, sweet tamarind chutney and tangy tamarind laced spicy mint water. The sweet-spicy-tangy blend just leaves you craving for more and more. Link Road is the oldest place in town for enjoying the scrumptious gol gappas. “Main pichle 51 saal se yaha chaat bech raha hu aur jo yaha ek baar aata hai wo dobara zarur aata hai” says Ajay Kumar, owner of Lakshmi chat Bhandar, Link Road. Odhni and burqa clad women can be seen alongside hip college going girls trying to stuff the huge gol gappas in their mouth at one go. On the other hand, boys can be seen competing with each other on who will eat more gol gappas.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR:PAPRI CHAAT
Papri Chaat is made from flattened Maida puris or from crisp Maida wafers and small bits of boiled potatoes drowned in fresh curd, topped with a pinch of red chili powder, salt and sweet tamarind chutney.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: LASSI/ CHACH
Lassi is sweet and made from whipped fresh curd and served cold in terracotta Kulhars(glasses). Best Lassi can be had from Lassiwalla on the M.I.Road. However there are a lot of counters offering Lassi in Jaipur. You can also try Lassi at one of the Falahar branches or Rawat Mishthan Bhandar on Station Road.
Chach on the other hand is a much more watered down version of Lassi but is salty. A pinch of powdered roasted cumin seeds is also added. During the summer months Chach is regularly made in Indian households and is commonly available at the SARAS dairy counters, located in almost all localities of Jaipur. They also offer a version of Lassi which is as watery as their Chach but is sweet and does not have any roasted cumin powder added. Try both, they are refreshing.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: MATKA KULFI
One of the first ice creams of India – dating back to the Moghuls, Kulfi is the first frozen Indian dessert. It is prepared by boiling milk long enough for water in it to evaporate and then sugar and flavours are added – flavours like cardamom, rose, saffron or mango juice – to make different varieties of Kulfi. The flavoured milk is sealed in small triangular boxes with lids and placed in earthen pots known as Matka containing ice and chunks of salt to prevent ice from melting. Nowadays the Matka is made of metal like brass and the molds are made of plastic. You can find Kulfiwalas selling Kulfi from a huge metal pot tied to the back of his bicycle on the Statue Circle or near Jantar Mantar in the walled city. Highly recommended is Pandit Kulfiwalla in the walled city.
The ‘tantan’ of the kulfiwallahs can be heard in almost every street of Jaipur during the summers and the monsoon. But now you don’t have to gratify your sweet tooth with only the traditional flavors like kesar or pista badaam as flavors like butterscotch, strawberry, mango and chocolate are also available these days. “The Indian ice cream and kulfi faluda” at link road has been catering to the kulfi cravings of the Jaipuriites from the past 57 years.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR: ALOO TIKKI
Aloo Ki Tikki is a circular, flatish cutlet made of boiled mashed potatoes, green peas, minced onions, green chili, ginger and green coriander shallow fried in Desi Ghee on a flat Tawa. It is served with some fresh curd which is laced with sweet tamarind and green chutney. Alternatively, it can also be served with Chick Pea curry and the two chutneys. The sizzling aloo ki tikki is perennially available in all seasons in Jaipur. It can be tried in the various localities of Jaipur by the roadside vendor or in any upscale restaurant of the city. LMB restaurant in the Johri Bazar serves a version in which washed moong dal is added to the cutlet.
#FOOD IN JAIPUR:PAO BHAJI
Perfected in Bombay of yore, Pav Bhaji has travelled, across the length and breadth of India, and how. In every nook and corner of the country you get Pav (bread) Bhaji (curry) with local variations in ingredients that give a distinct and different taste. – Each according to his ability is what makes the bhaji different. Pao is a small, square bread bun which is cut in half and fried lightly with a little butter on a hot Tawa before being served. Bhaji is a mix of mashed vegetables cooked in butter or oil and spices on a flat Tawa. It is easy to find Pao-Bhaji in the localities and the various restaurants of Jaipur. Opposite Birla Mandir there are a number of Barrow men selling Pao-Bhaji, all through the day. They all have PANDIT painted on their barrows as a part of their business name. It is safe to assume that a Barrow Boy by the name of PANDIT used to dish out excellent Pao-bhaji that it became a brand in itself. A chaat market inside the Jawahar Circle also provides Pao-Bhaji through the day. It is also available at the Statue Circle in the evenings.
Be it the torturous Monday or the much awaited Friday, nothing can be more divine than having some lip smacking and delectable edibles giving the tongue a roller coaster ride. The unparalleled street food at numerous places in and around Jaipur is finding favor with Jaipuriites. BMWs to Marutis to young couples on bikes are all spotted at many food stalls in the city. The plethora of street food available in the pink city can certainly take a foodie for a gastronomic delight.
Do let us know which dish is your favourite from the street food in Jaipur.