Had Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi, An Epic Jodhpuri Veg Curry

If someone offers you a ‘Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi’ Or a ‘Rasmalai Ki Sabzi’, What would be your reaction? Probably, you may feel that the person has lost his senses. I had the same opinion about my friend Divyesh, a Jodhpur Local who proudly claimed these dishes would blow my mind.

The next day we were standing outside Vijay Restaurant at Katla Bazaar in Jodhpur. The dining hall, which could comfortably fit 25-30 people, was jam-packed. My olfactory senses were already convincing me that this restaurant was not something to laugh about; some serious food was being served here. The aroma of ghee-laden curries engulfed the dining room, and the craving had reached its maximum height.

We started our gustatory exploration with one portion of Gulab jamun. I was confused about whether to order bread with it or if it was simply a dessert (Which was my fear). Soon Mr Bharat Bhati, the restaurant owner, came to our table and explained the restaurant’s cuisine.

Malai roti at Vijay Restaurant

Just as we discussed the superior quality of milk we get in Jodhpur; my eyes rested on the white rotis- lying on a plate inside the refrigerated dessert counter. ‘This is called Malai Roti’, Mr Bhati answered what my curious eyes had already communicated before I asked the question. The creamy top of the full-fat milk is collected and set into a roti-shaped dessert, sweetened and flavoured with Cardamom, raisins and saffron. What a delight it was to try the ‘Malai Roti’. ‘Melt in the mouth’, an overused expression, was fitting to describe this unique preparation. And once we were done with it, we understood why this restaurant and its cuisine were as popular as it is.

High-quality ingredients, cooking techniques, a sense of taste, and recipes perfected over decades, have created a perfect array of dishes which is nothing short of an art form.

The next day, Divyesh was adamant we must try ‘Shandaar restaurant’, A similarly themed restaurant run by Mr Bharat Bhati’s uncle. Serving a similar cuisine, Shandaar restaurant is equally famous amongst local food lovers., Impressed by the cuisine, I had eaten at Vijay restaurant; we were prepared for our visit to ‘Shandaar restaurant’. This time we convinced two other friends of ours, Anuj and Hashmath, for the culinary extravaganza. We ordered many dishes, including the ‘Rasmalai ki Sabzi’, similar to ’Ras Malai’, and the Dal fry, which Divyesh is an ardent fan of.

It was one of the most delicious ‘Dal fry’ preparations I have had, and I could enjoy the best flavours of it with the crisp ‘Tandoori Rotis’; the rest of the meal was a combination of ‘Paneer dishes’ and ‘Kabuli’. We ate to our heart’s content and thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

We were short of words to describe the experience of enjoying this delicious cuisine, spread over two dinners at two different restaurants. All we could muster at the end was our silent praise for Divyesh, who claimed ‘Gulab Jamun ki Sabzi’ would blow our minds. In my head, I vowed never to laugh off a local’s suggestion and felt glad I gave in to the insistence. And on that note, I ordered a ‘Prem Piyala’ and offered it as my token of appreciation to the man who introduced me to this cuisine. May God Bless Him, and May God Bless ‘The Bhatis’.