If Rajasthani Thali is your only idea of Jaipur Food, you must come with us on this exploration of Street Food in Jaipur.
Jaipur, the pink city is dotted with a variety of street foods that tickle a plethora of taste buds. While the main attraction is the historic monuments of Jaipur, the food scene is very inviting for travelers who want to go local with what they eat. Jaipur as a city has all kinds of tastes, cuisines – some authentic and some adapted to the local palate.
Must try Street Food in Jaipur
I present a small but selected list of eateries that make it to the “must eat food in Jaipur” list.
Kachori at Rawat Mishthan Bhandar
Starting the list and topping the charts is the Rawat Misthan Bhandar, located in Sindhi Camp, not too far from the bus stand and the railway station. This eatery is famous for its Pyaj Kachori and Mawa Kachori.
The Pyaj kachori is loaded with sweet onions stewed in peanut oil and spice mix that give a clear tinge of red chilies and garlic powder. The onions in the kachori are so moist that you don’t need a chutney or a sabzi to enjoy this kachori. When I asked for chutney the counter guy informed me that you would not need a chutney as the kachori would be moist and juicy.
Mawa Kachori is filled with khoya and nuts, deep fried and dipped in sugar syrup. It’s a must-have Jaipur Food if you relish sweet stuff. Besides Pyaj & Mawa Kachori, Rawat is famous for its Ghewar and its varieties.
Chai at Gulab Ji ki Chai – Jaipur Street Food
Conveniently located at MI Road and around the corner of Ganpati Plaza, you would find Gulab Ji Ki Chai. This small tea shop opens early morning at 4 or 5 am and serves a very well made chai and if you are in for a small bite, go for their Bun Makhan Samosa.
The shop owner is known for his philanthropy as he serves chai and bread butter to the needy. I am a chai fan, and have tried chai at a variety of joints and am confident that Gulab Ji serves the best chai in Jaipur town, far better than the fancy tea outlets of that have mushroomed in the city.
Dal Kachori at Sodhani Sweets
Our next stop was Sodhani Sweets, located on Main Tonk Road, not too far from Rambagh Circle. This corner shop was teeming with people and is one of the famous Mithai Shops of Jaipur. But on this visit, our focus was not on the mithai but on the street food, namely Dal Kachori and Mirchi Wada.
The Dal Kachori has a stuffing of urad daal that has been cooked with spices and flavored with asafetida, that lends the kachori its characteristic taste. Served with sweet jaggery and dried ginger chutney, the kachori is a heavenly treat.
The Mirchi Wada is a local Jaipur food wherein the cooked potatoes enhanced with dry dhania (coriander) and black pepper, are stuffed in wax peppers, coated in seasoned gram flour batter and deep fried.
You can have it with lassi, served in Kulhad and that makes a brilliant breakfast. Also available is Bread Pakoda, Piaz Kachori and Samosa and all of them are highly recommended. The best treat that Sodhani Sweet offers is its spongy Rasgulla. Made from fresh dumplings of Chhena (cottage cheese) and is cooked in the light syrup made of sugar. Rasgullas at Sodhani’s is undisputedly the best of Jaipur Food to try.
Dal Cheela at Kalkatta Chaat Bhandar
Moving on behind the high court, in a by-lane called Vaniki Marg, is parked a small cart with a signboard reading Kalkatta Chaat Bhandar.
It is always surrounded by eager and hungry customers, the eatery specializes in Dal Cheela (pancakes) and Dahi Wada. The specialty of both these items is the dal that is used along with a set of ingredients that the shop fellow refused to disclose (as expected). Unlike the usual husked Urad dal, Moong Dal with skin is used, giving the product a very characteristic taste and texture.
The huge Dahi Wada is topped with Dahi, Sonth and a mix of black gram and moth daal, spiked with roasted cumin powder. The Cheela, topped with paneer, is served with Sonth Chutney, two types of yogurt mix, and a very interestingly textured black gram and moth dal, chili and garlic chutney, mint chutney. A complete meal as a combination, this eatery is a place that you should not miss while in Jaipur.
Jalebi at Samrat
Samrat is very popular breakfast joint of the Jaipur city, located on Chaura Rasta in the walled city, Samrat is a place that you can’t miss as the small eatery would have the customers thronging outside it. Its an outlet where the fun is standing out and relishing the Samosa, Poha, Kachori, Chai and Lassi, all of the above is highly recommended and gives close competition to the top shots eateries of these items.
My personal favorite here is the Bread Pakora and Jalebi. Stand there and watch the magic of Jalebis being fried and then steeped in Sheera. Enjoy the snacks and wash it down with the tea.
Another interesting snack available here is the Laccha Aloo ki Tikki, which is a pleasant departure from the regular aloo Tikki.
Pakodas at Jagannath Sharma Pakodi Wale
Located next to Badi Chopad, Jagannath Sharma Pakodi Wale is one of the quaint eateries of Old Pink City. This 7 decades old shop is famous for the variety of Pakodas that it serves. The seasonal vegetables are battered in gram flour that is flavored with asafetida, cumin, red chilies, fennel seeds, black pepper, cloves, ginger, green chili that lend the Pakodas its addictive flavor. Take these Pakodas and quiet literally hog on them by the kilos. They are by far the most popular Jaipur Street Food.
Kulfi at Pandit ki Kulfi
A little ahead of Hawa Mahal is a small shop selling the traditional kulfi. The shop is called Pandit Ki Kulfi. Rich creamy dense and not so sweet, in short, an excellent Kulfi. Available in multiple flavors and with an option of “on the stick” or tub. The kulfi is made of milk that has been cooked till that just right consistency where it’s still creamy and has not turned granular. The flavor of cardamom, saffron, and pistachio unfold at you with every bite.
Lassi at Lassiwala
While driving on the Main Street of Jaipur, MI road, just as you cross Paanch Batti Crossing, a few hundred meters ahead on your left is the famous Lassiwala. Although a lot of Lassiwalas have cropped up in the vicinity, their lassi is nothing much to talk about.
This shop opens early in the morning. And is shut by 4 or 5 pm as by that time they have sold their days’ produce. The lassi is available in two sizes and is served in earthenware Kulhads. The creamy lassi is made of pure homemade curd. No water or ice is added to it. This incredibly simple drink is flavored with kewra water and topped with Dahi ka malai. Have a grande one and chances are very high that you will skip your next meal. A must have while in Jaipur Street Food.
Falooda at Indian Ice-Cream
While you are roaming around shopping in the streets of Bapu Bazaar, there a tiny hole in the wall outlet with name proudly reading “Indian Ice-cream”. This is the place where you get the best Falooda in Jaipur town. The Falooda (homemade vermicelli noodles), topped with some homemade ice cream, a scoop of Rabri, some rose water, and sweetened rose sherbet. This yummy delight is a must if you have a sweet tooth and don’t mind a few extra calories here and there.
Paan at Prem Paan
End of every great meal is with a Mukhvaas or a Paan. Jaipur has several famous Paan Outlets that create magic around the simple betel leaf and areca nut. The most prominent ones are Annu Mobile located at Panchvati circle in Raja Park and Prem Paan located at MI Road.
Annu Mobile serves a range of about 100 varieties of Paan. Ranging from the humble Saada/Meetha paan to a set of Zardas and Jodis and flavored paans, Chocolate loaded paan. And the most exotic one is the Fire Paan, where the paan in flambeed and the paan guy feeds it to you. That is an experience that one must have. They also claim to have some Paans which are medicinal in nature for common cold, mouth ulcers etc. The efficacy of the same needs to be verified.
Relish Jaipur Street Food
While this may not be a comprehensive list of famous eateries for Street Food in Jaipur, these sure do make it to the top of every list. The street foods of the cities that I have ever been had always evolved with time. And usually for the betterment. Some business does vanish as the consumers prefer the glamorized but, toned down versions of the real thing served in swanky outlets. The earthiness of these old, Street Food in Jaipur outlets lends to a certain identity to the cities they reside in.
Happy reading…. Till the next blog.
This is a guest post on Street Food in Jaipur by our friend Neelabh Chugh.
Author, Neelabh Chugh, is a hotelier and has been in the trade for last 21 years. He loves both cooking and eating food. A passionate hotelier, mildly interested in arts and greatly awed by our Hospitality, History and Cultural Heritage. He tweets from the twitter handle @neelabhchugh and can be reached at [email protected]