The spectrum of food culture and culinary art in Madhya Pradesh is vivid and diverse. Many cultures have flourished on this land of the divine natural landscape and have inspired different culinary cultures. Let us explore seven lip-smacking delicacies from this state.
The spectrum of food culture and culinary art in Madhya Pradesh is vivid and diverse. Many cultures have flourished on this land of divine natural landscape and have inspired different culinary cultures. From Mauryas to the Mughals, several major dynasties have influenced the food preferences of the state, which still reflect today.
People in the state mainly use traditional cooking methods and spices, preserving the authenticity of the cuisine. There's occasional fusion with modern practices, offering diverse and delicious aromas throughout the region. The cuisine, featuring mouthwatering snacks and heartwarming meals, reflects why MP is considered the heart of India.
From Indori Poha to Bhopali Gosht, we will cover the top 8 regional dishes in the state that you must enjoy when travelling to Madhya Pradesh.
1) Indori Poha-Jalebi
One thing that’s on everyone's mind when travelling to Indore is its famous poha with jalebi. It is a super light, healthy, and delicious breakfast option among Indoreans and people all over India. Although the dish might seem similar to poha from other states, its recipe and preparation are quite different. Unlike other poha recipes in which onions are sauteed in oil first, Indori poha uses onions only as a topping, and the taste is a bit sweet and savoury. This dish is famously eaten with jalebi, and the combination is a staple in Indori cuisine.
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2) Rewa’s Bagheli Chicken
Bagheli chicken is a special dish from the Maharaja of Rewa's kitchen in Madhya Pradesh. It reflects the region's cultural heritage. The dish is known for its abundant use of khada masala. The spices are dry-roasted and ground into a fine powder. The chicken is marinated with the spice mix, garlic, yoghurt, and more, and slowly cooked on a low flame until all the flavours get absorbed. This is a must-try dish in Madhya Pradesh.
3) Khandwa’s Palak Puri
Palak puri is a widely loved breakfast dish in Khandwa. Made with wheat flour dough mixed with spinach puree and light spices, rolled and then fried in oil, this dish can be served at dinner time as well. For those who don’t like eating spinach, this is a good way to include it in your diet. The simplicity and elegance of palak puri are what make it one of the most popular choices of food in Khandwa and the entire MP. Palak puri is commonly served with aloo ki sabji.
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4) Panna’s Kebab
Kebab from Panna city is one of the most celebrated dishes in Madhya Pradesh. Inspired by Mughal cuisine, kebabs are embraced in north India as well as several parts of Madhya Pradesh, the most prominent being the Panna region. People from all over India visit Panna to taste the juicy skewered minced meat roasted on an open flame, which can be found in several streets of Panna. The Mughali kebab is renowned for its smoky flavour, which it gets from slowly cooking on hot coals. The kebab is mostly served with cooked basmati rice, or roti.
5) Bundelkhandi Bara
This dish is a significant part of bundelkhandi cuisine found in several parts of Madhya Pradesh, including districts like Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Damoh, and Sagar. The bara from Datia district is mostly popular in the state. Made with split black lentils soaked in buttermilk, seasoned with ghee and mustard seed tadka, and served with crushed sugar or tamarind chutney on top, this dish is among the traditional cuisines and has been kept alive for generations.
6) Jabalpuri Khoya Jalebi
One speciality of Jabalpur is its khoya jalebi. Looking like a fusion of gulab jamun and jalebi, this immensely sweet and delightful dish is made with mawa batter deep-fried in piping hot oil. The dish is also famous as a comforting snack for vrat. The dish is suitable for vrat because it incorporates ghee and healthy fats, which aid in providing energy to the body for long hours. It is a favourite among all.
7) Katangi Ke Rasgulle
The tradition of making this satisfying and delicious sweet has been going on for more than a century in Madhya Pradesh. Jhurra Rasgullas are famous in the Katangi area of Jabalpur. The soft khoya mixed with dry fruits like chironji and cashew nuts are kneaded into small balls and deep-fried in desi ghee until its colour turns rich golden. This is an imperative dish for everyone who travels to Madhya Pradesh.
8) Bhopali Gosht Korma
Tender and juicy mutton, marinated with humble spices and simmered slowly in a pot until all the flavours are harmonious, makes the Bhopali gosht korma so special and unique. This dish is a precious gift given by the Nawabs of Bhopal to the state, and the recipe is still followed religiously and has been improved over time. The Nawabs were known for their hospitality and played a huge role in influencing the culinary traditions in Madhya Pradesh. Naan or roti are typically used to serve the dish, and it will leave you wanting more.