A trip to Jaipur (or anywhere in Rajasthan) is not complete without digging into authentic Rajasthani food. Whether you’re craving dal bati churma, laal maas, kachoris or ghevar, Jaipur is foodie’s paradise.
If you’re new to this cuisine you can’t return without trying dal bati churma, the flagship dish of Rajasthani cuisine. Bati is a baked ball made from flour which is then covered in ghee and eaten with the dal. Churma is a flaky sweet dish made from flour that goes with the dish.
Here are some of the places to try good and authentic food.
Spice Court: This restaurant lives up to its name – it’s set in a lovely courtyard and offers the some of the spiciest dishes in Rajasthani cuisine. If you’ve tried laal maas and find it fiery yet delicious try junglee maas, a mutton dish cooked in just red chillies, garlic, onion and of course oodles of ghee. It’s a traditional tribal recipe from the Aravalli hills. The moment you take the first bite you realise that it’s not meant for the faint hearted. Warning: when we say it’s very very spicy we mean it – one dish contains about 3 to 5 tablespoons of red chillie paste and then the dry red chillies are added separately. The mutton simply melts in your mouth.
Most of the Rajasthani dishes are heavy as they are cooked in a lot of oil, and ghee is used generously while serving a meal. They also have an interesting version of dal baati churma – its keema baati – two huge round flour balls deep fried and stuffed with spicy keema. It’s absolutely delicious.
Natraj: If you’re shopping at Bapu Bazaar, Natraj is just a stone’s throw away on MI Road and is a good option for thalis. They offer a huge variety – from Chinese, Continental, South Indian to a range of mini thalis. It’s been there for around 40 years and besides their range of sweets, the dahi vadas, kachoris, chaat and samosas are extremely popular. But if it’s typical Rajathani food that you are craving for (just like I did) go ahead and order the seasonal special thali which comes with two kinds of churma.
Shri Thaal Village Restaurant: If you can’t go all the way upto Chokhi Dhani this is a good alternative. Set like a rustic Rajasthani village Shri Thaal is a good bet for trying typical Rajasthani thalis. A trip without trying one of these will not be complete. To do justice to the food its best to be ravenous when you arrive here for you’ll be seated on the floor and served unlimited helpings of dal bati churma, kadi, gatte ki sabzi, aloo pyaaz ki sabzi, roti, rice salad and piping hot jalebis. Everything is simply delightful.
Rawat Mishtan Bhandar: This outlet, famous for its onion and dal kachoris, dishes out 10,000 kachoris every day and the crowds at the humble restaurant corroborate this fact. Don’t go here for the ambiance but the finger-licking food. Chaats, Rajasthani thalis and traditional north Indian dishes are part of the extensive menu.
Laxmi Misthan Bhandar: The famous sweet shop is crowded through the day, and it might take you at least 20 minutes from choosing the sweets to having them delivered. The adjoining restaurant serves thalis and vegetarian north Indian delicacies. It’s the perfect option for a meal or snack in between shopping. Do try the ghevar – a crisp and flaky sweet made from milk, flour and ghee. It’s a Rajasthani speciality.
The article was first published in 2014, and has been updated since.