Jodhpur’s Food Walk: Blue City’s Favourite Street Foods
- Sidharth Bhan Gupta
Updated : September 14, 2022 09:09 IST
A visit to Jodhpur must be on the to-do list for all lovers of Indian heritage, good life and good food
Jodhpur is known for all things grandeur, from the majestic Mehrangarh fort to the exquisitely planned Havelis spread across the blue city of Jodhpur. From the grand palaces of Marwar and its royal cuisine, a visit to Jodhpur is a treat to our palate and senses. The deep and colourful culture of Jodhpur is bound to mesmerise you.
Start from an experience of the old city of Jodhpur, where lies the busy Sardar market circling the famous Clock Tower of Jodhpur, overlooking the mighty Mehrangarh fort. As you stand in the centre of the bazaar, you can experience the epic visuals of daily life in an artistic setting. It seems to be a shot from the movie and transports you back to the past; the city’s old-world charm is at its expressive best in this area around Sardar market and ‘Rawaton ka Baas’ (A popular neighbourhood in the old town of Jodhpur).
Shri Mishrilal Sweets
‘Makhaniya Lassi’ at Shri Mishrilal sweets is what you must try to start your street food exploration of Jodhpur on a sweet note. The Lassis here are so thick that you can stick a spoon in its centre, and it won’t move an inch. The flavours are enriched with cardamom, which carries its delicious notes and provides the necessary cooling effect, often the much-needed respite in the hot weather of Jodhpur. ‘Makhan’ means butter, although no butter goes into it. Yet, the churned ’Malai’, which sits on every glass of ‘Makhaniya Lassi’ as a crown, makes it a captivating experience to enjoy the delicious Lassi of Shri Mishrilal.
Varun Arora, whose family has been running this iconic institution for nearly 100 years, speaks highly about the standards they have maintained over generations. The purity of the ingredients, especially the high-quality milk that goes into this heavenly tasting beverage, makes all the difference and attracts people from all over the world to try a glass of Makhaniya Lassi.
‘Kachori’ is an ideal accompaniment to the Lassi; the delicious snack of Jodhpur is another speciality of Shri Mishrilal Sweets. Enjoy this exciting combination and praise the luck that you are in Jodhpur and experiencing such an old and legendary food joint in the city.
One of Jodhpur's most famous street food outlets is ‘Shahi Samosa’, which is also its famed food item. ‘Shahi Samosa’ sold at this iconic shop opposite the entrance of Sardar Market is a true delight. Enjoyed hot and crisp, the filling of potatoes cased inside the crispy external layer is what truly stands out as the USP of this samosa. Potatoes are well cooked and have a sweet and spicy flavour to them. Any time of the day, you can find huge Kadhais of samosas fried out for the long snaking queues of people looking for a quick and satisfactory bite.
Interestingly, Shahi Samosa also serves ‘Mawa Samosas’, which have entirely sweet stuffing made up of ‘Mawa’ and ‘Mewa’ (Khoya and Dry fruits). It’s a gastronomic wonder to enjoy a sweet version of Samosa, which is otherwise well known for being a savoury snack. Also, try the famous street snack of the Jodhpur region, known as the ‘Mirchi Vada’. Mirchi Vada is prepared with big green chillies, which often carry less heat; they are slit and stuffed with potato stuffing similar to a samosa and then dipped in a gram flour batter and fried till it gets a right crisp yet juicy texture.
Arora Chaat Bhandar
Next door to Shahi Samosa is another place worth trying for all chaat lovers- ‘Arora Chaat Bhandar’. Although this shop is small, the craze for its delicious ‘Dahi Gujiya’, ‘Palak Patta Chaat’ and other chaat delicacy is unmissable. Himanshu Arora is not just the current generation of the family running this age-old chaat shop but also their star chaat-tender. His unique style of preparing the chaat and artistically decorating each piece of ‘Dahi Gujiya’ with delicious and bright green coloured chutneys is a treat to the eyes.
Many elements make a chaat place successful, from the core item's texture and taste to the spices and chutneys providing it with its addictive flavour and the sweet chilled thick yoghurt that gives the required sweetness to the chaat dish. Enjoying ‘Dahi Gujiya’ at ‘Arora Chaat Bhandar’ will leave you asking for more. During my week-long stay in Jodhpur, I did not miss a day to taste ‘Dahi Gujiya’ at this famous and must-visit chaat shop.
Sweets And Snacks
‘Janta Sweets Corner’ is famous and one of the city's most prominent food joints, offering Jodhpur's traditional snacks and sweets. I got to try the ‘Mirchi Vada’, ‘Jodhpuri Kachori’, ‘Khaman Dhokla’, ‘Imarti’, and a colossal ‘Jalebi’. Narayan Mishthan Bhandar, also known as the ‘Laal Bhatti’, prepares incomparable ’Desi Ghee Moghar Kachoris’ in the ‘Sodagaran Mohalla’ of Jodhpur’s old city. The crisp and luscious ‘Kachoris’ stuffed with ‘Moghar’ (Moong Dal) have a rich texture from the high quality of ghee. Of all the places in Jodhpur known for their ‘Kachoris’, Narayan Mishthan Bhandar is undoubtedly one of the most favoured places for Jodhpur residents and tourists. Chaturbhuj’s Gulab Jamun is an iconic sweet dish to try in this neighbourhood. one bite into Chaturbhuj’s soft and syrupy Gulab Jamuns will make you a lifelong fan. Try the ‘Rasmalai’ at Moolji Sweets, an old institution serving delicious sweets and snacks to patrons for ages.
Dal Baati Churma
‘Dal Bhati Churma’ is the star dish of Rajasthan, and no culinary exploration of Jodhpur would be complete without trying this delicacy. Without any doubt or research, head straight to Bhawani Dal Baati and enjoy their ‘Baatis’ unbeatable flavours. The combination of ‘Baati with ‘Panchmel’ dal, sweet ‘Choorma and a spicy and flavourful accompaniment of garlic Chutney is a match made in heaven. Overeating is often an expected side effect of visiting a place like Bhawani Dal Bati; thus, go with an empty stomach to enjoy the Dal bati choorma to your heart’s content.
Jodhpur’s sweetest delights are the ‘Malai Ghewar’, Available at multiple sweet shops, especially loved and enjoyed during the month of ‘Saawan’ and for festivals like Teej. Jodhpur’s ’Ghewar’ is a dish worth taking back home to your town if you are visiting Jodhpur. Janta Sweets or any other famous sweet shop in Jodhpur may be able to satiate your cravings for a Ghewar.
‘Malai Roti’ is a unique dish made purely from the ’Malai’ (A creamy layer collected from the top of full-fat Milk). These ‘Malai Rotis’ are sweetened and flavoured with cardamom and saffron and carry a delightful texture your palate deserves to try when you are in the culinary-rich city of Jodhpur. Try the Malai Roti at Vijay Restaurant in Katla Bazaar.
Milk and milk products are of superior quality in Jodhpur, and many of its famed sweets and snacks are based around high-quality dairy produce. Spices and chillies found in the region of Jodhpur also add a wonderful flavour to the dishes. Some interesting namkeens can be bought from the Surya Namkeen at Jalori Gate. In this location, late-night chit-chats take place over some delicious chaats and the famous Kashmiri Soda Cart, adding to the happy vibe of this prominent circle in the heart of Jodhpur.
A visit to Jodhpur must be on the to-do list for all lovers of Indian heritage, good life and good food. Once you have fully explored Jodhpur’s food map, you will certainly agree with my opinion. So, visit and experience the magic of Jodhpur first-hand.
Sidharth Bhan Gupta is a Hospitality/F&B Consultant travelling across India exploring regional cuisines.