The land of the royals, the Pink City, the home to the Suryavanshi clan, Jaipur is all this and so much more. The capital of the state of Rajasthan is famous for a lot of things, including grand palaces, heritage museums, old temples, and stories of yore. This is the city to shop for textiles, precious stones, handicrafts, and silverware, but the real joy lies in the markets where a heavy street food culture thrives. Everyone has a pyaaz ki kachori haunt, a favourite pit stop for lassi, and a sweet shop they swear by. But here’s a list of where the locals go to eat their favourite Jaipur foods.
Looking for Jaipur’s Best Street Food? Check Out These 5 Picks:
1. Gulab Chand Dairy
An 80-year-old restaurant that goes by in the blink of an eye. As is the case with most hole-in-the-wall enterprises, this place has all the vintage charm of years gone by, and the staff treats you like family the moment you stop at the counter. They open at 6:30 am and are usually sold out by 11:30 am, so bookmark this place for a breakfast of Fafda Kadhi, Shrikhand, Lassi with a side of a unique combination like Jalebi Fafda. Pack a little bag of Methi gota, a ‘mathri’-like preparation seasoned with secret spices and dried fenugreek leaves, which incidentally are a Jaipur speciality.
Where: Indra Colony, Sirsi Rd, Bindayaka, Jaipur
Of all the ‘Pyaaz (onion) Kachori’ places that have achieved heights of fame, it is this obscure little eatery a stone’s throw from Gulab Chand where a lot of true treats await. Apart from the legendary kachori, which is fresh, crisp, ‘khasta,’ implying that even though this snack is deep-fried, it isn’t overtly oily when served, the menu here is impressive. The real deal, however, is the ‘Dal Pakwan,’ an essentially Sindhi breakfast dish that has found firm ground in Jaipur, perhaps due to the trade links between Sindhi businessmen and a city that loves to snack. The base is a deep-fried disc of white flour and ghee, flavoured with carom and cumin seeds, topped with a thick lentil curry made of Bengal gram and finished with a garnish of chopped onions, tomatoes, fresh coriander, green chillies, served with a side of tamarind and jaggery chutney and fresh coriander and mint chutney.
Where: Shop No. 273, Choura Rasta, Pink City, Bapu Bazar, Biseswarji, Jaipur
3. Sardar Ji Lassi Wale
Nestled in the heart of Nehru Bazaar, this is the ideal place to take a break between shopping stints across the city. Run by a lovely family, you will be greeted with the signature warmth of the Punjabis the moment you walk in. There is ample seating, and the place is always bustling, so find your way in and sit down for the best Rabri in town, a dessert made with thickened reduced milk, dry fruits, and flavoured with rose water and cardamom. Sardar Ji goes a step further with his signature ‘lacchedar’ rabri and serves up Rabri Lassi and Rabri Sundae too. For a giant treat, try the Patiala Lassi, but be warned, you will need a nap thereafter.
Where: 31, Nehru Bazar Rd, Nehru Bazar, Modikhana, Jaipur
4. Shree Ram Chaat
Apart from the endearing names of the back alleys of Jaipur, the true charm is in the fact that they all have hidden delights like Shree Ram Chaat. This establishment is over 60 years old, and at the helm sits a very friendly gentleman in a Rajasthani pagri, who will make conversation with you while he rolls out ‘bedmis’ (lentil-filled pooris) and deep-fries mini kachoris. This is ‘the’ place for the best Bedmi Chana Alu and Kanji Vada, a Marwari delicacy of mung lentil fritters immersed in a spicy and tangy yellow mustard-flavoured water, possibly the oldest fermented snack in the cuisine of this region. This is also a good place to pick up a few unique snacks like spiced papris, jaggery shakkar paras, and mini samosas and kachoris that keep for weeks in good weather.
Where: Shop no, 178, Ghee Walo Ka Rasta, Johri Bazar, Pink City, Jaipur
5. Shri Radha Govind Mishthan Bhandar
Another enterprise that is closing in on a century of service, Shri Radha Govind is unique because they make very few types of sweets, but they make them exceptionally well. With a rather nondescript storefront, it’s easy to miss this place, though the aromas are likely to take you straight to the third generation of the family who mans the store and are quick to offer you a tasting portion of their most famous ‘mithai’ – the Kalakand. The version they do is cooked far longer and is more caramelized, which gives it a richer flavour and texture too. Do ask if they have made gulab jamuns that day and pack their signature – Mishri Mawa, a dessert they have honed over the decades. A combination of milk solids (mawa), sugar, and ghee lightly flavoured with cardamom and garnished with pistachios is perhaps the essence of all Jaipur sweets rolled into one delightful bite.
Where: Corner, Nahargarh Rd, Chandpole Bazar, Chandpole, Purani Basti, Jaipur
Eat your way across the delightful city that is Jaipur. Embellished with spectacular structures and looming hills, it is a place that makes you forget you’re in the desert mainly because there are plenty of colours, sights, sounds, and, most of all, there is plenty of food.
About the Author: Parul Pratap boasts over 25 years of culinary expertise as a professional chef. Currently serving as the Executive Chef at Music & Mountains, Parul is not only an avid reader and eater but also fervently dedicated to preserving recipes, sourcing indigenous ingredients, and exploring diverse cuisines during her travels.
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