The walled town of Jaipur, or the pink city, is dotted with umpteen hawkers and shops serving delicious street food. Walking through the bustling bazaars or riding around in a tuk-tuk will immerse you in the streets’ culinary revelry. Jaipur is also home to some eclectic bars and restaurants that combine Rajasthani hospitality with global cuisines.
Early To Rise
Ask any local for a breakfast recommendation, and the first place they’ll direct you to is Samrat Restaurant on Chaura Rasta. Nestled in the heart of the walled city, Samrat is loved by Jaipurites because its diverse menu is in tandem with the evolving palates of its well-travelled patrons. You can start with the hot-selling pyaz ki kachori served with tamarind chutney. These deep-fried pockets of flour stuffed with onion and garlic are utterly tantalising. Next, dip into spongy and succulent khaman, a steamed gram flour cake served with a chilly dressing and a tangy green or red chutney. Wait, you thought we’d forget about chai on a breakfast spree? Walk towards Sahu Chaiwala at New Gate for your chai in a kulhad, or unglazed terracotta cup, and as you like it – sweet, kadak (strong), or milky. Remember to get a crispy khari, a flaky, salty puff pastry, to go along.
As the morning shines brighter and the bazaars come to life, head to Golcha Cinema (previously Prem Prakash) on Chaura Rasta for Prem Prakash’s samosa. Locally known as the PP samosa, these are deep-fried flour pockets filled with a tangy and spicy mashed potato and pea mixture. The first bite will reveal the USP of the PP samosa, and it is the tantalising pop of coriander.
It’s Just Started
Once you have spent some time exploring swathes of fabric and troves of jewellery at Bapu Bazaar, head for a lunch of appetisers-only, to Danger Special Patashi (DSP) for what is known variously as patashi or pani puri, or gol gappa, or puchka. Deep-fried dough discs puff up when fried, and the hollow is filled with a spicy, tangy, watery concoction along with tamarind chutney, boiled chickpeas, and diced potato. DSP’s spice content is notorious for making the toughest consumer tear up instantly.
Main Course, And A Quick Side
Flag down another tuk-tuk and journey to Prajeet Chaat Bhandar on Baba Harish Chandra Marg for a chaat (savoury snack) inspired lunch. Two generations of the family serve the crispiest, most crunchy aloo tikki, a potato patty topped with chickpea curry, coriander, and tamarind chutneys and garnished with yogurt. After this, take a long stroll to Special Kulfi Bhandar outside Khejron ka Rasta for rabri kulfi, a reduced-milk, and ice cream combination.
As dusk blankets the walled city and it lights up, head to Baradari in City Palace, which curates a regal dining experience courtesy of HH Maharaj Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur. Dine on gourmet pasta and gulab or rose-flavoured ice cream made in-house with fresh flowers.
Eating Out, Again
The next day, reach the Bombay Mishthan Bhandar outside Sanganeri Gate, best known for creamy, piping-hot milk as an accompaniment to flaky bhature, a yeast-based, deep-fried fluffy, type of naan-bread, served with spicy chole or chickpeas. This is a breakfast course that Indians across the country swear by.
If you are in Jaipur till mid-January, chances are that you can attend the Khadi Mahotsav in Ramleela Maidan, a one-minute walk from Saraogi. Ride a Ferris wheel, shop for some artisanal products, and then reach Nehru Bazaar for a satisfying lunch at either Neelam. Or, for a bird’s-eye view of the walled city, go to Ganesh Dhaba. At either place, you can order some good old cottage cheese preparations, dal tadka, or lentils tempered with spices, with chapati, or naan-bread, hot from the tandoor.
Dine, And Then You Are Done
End your gastronomic journey at Mahaveer Rabri Bhandar on Mishra Rajaji Ka Rasta, Chandpole, with the ultimate taste of Rajasthan: Missi roti or flatbread made with chickpea flour served with robust aloo pyaz ki sabzi or onion potato mix, and lehsun (garlic) chutney, followed by the soul-warming rabri. Bon Appetite!