Karl Rock's Blog

India Travel Safety & Advice plus the Best of Incredible India

Tag: Local Food Page 1 of 2

Sev mixture in Indore

A Local’s Guide to the Best Food in Indore [Exclusive Video]

I wasn’t aware of Indore being a foodaholic city until the moment I reached there and saw Sev-Poha-Jalebi shops all around the city. The people of Indore are known as “Indoris” and they call themselves “Khawda” – a term that means they can eat a lot and at any time of the day, as you can literally get food at any time of the day.

A Little on Indore

A city that hones pride for different food varieties, and cleanliness. It was ranked first in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Survey – 2017 for amazing waste management, and cleanliness initiatives. Recently it also topped the airport service quality ranking in Asia Pacific region.

It is the only city in India that’s home to both an IIM (established in 1996) and an IIT (2009) that makes it lively because of the young crowd being in majority. It is also the commercial, and booming IT capital of Madhya Pradesh.

56 Dukaan (Shops)

As the name suggests, it is a street consisting of 56 food shops (obviously more than that) where you will find cuisines from every part of India.

Vijay Chaat House

$ – Multiple branches: 56 Dukan, Bhawar Kuan, and Sarafa – Khopra Patties & Sev-Poha

Khopra patties at Vijay Chaat house, Indore. Photo courtesy: Zomato

Vijay chaat house is one of the oldest food shops in Indore. Khopra Patties is a must eat dish there. A perfect place to start the day off if you are willing to have sev-poha, jalebi, khamand (dhokla) and samosa-kachori as your first meal.

Johny Hot Dog

$ – Multiple branches: 56 Dukan and Navlakha – Amazing hot dogs

Egg Benjo at Johny Hot Dog, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Egg Benjo at Johny Hot Dog, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Specializing in hot dogs or some may call it the Vada Pav of Indore, Johny Hot Dog has been serving hot dogs for decades at a very economical rate. A properly managed veg and non-veg distribution of hot dogs, even when it caters to a huge amount of people every day. Egg banjo is a must try, apart from veg hot dogs, mutton hot dogs, and egg mutton hot dogs are available.

Madhuram Sweets

$$ – 56 Dukaan – A real healthy shikanji

Shikanji at Madhuram Sweets, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Shikanji at Madhuram Sweets, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Madhuram Sweets is famous for Indian sweets and Indori Namkeens. Its uniqueness lies in shikanji, which is not the usual Nimbu-Shikanji (Lemonade), but a highly nutritious drink made of dry fruits, saffron, and milk.

Live Tawa Ice Cream

$$ – 56 Dukaan – Different ice-cream

Gulaab Jaamun Icecream at Live Tawa Icecream, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Gulaab Jaamun Icecream at Live Tawa Icecream, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

If you got to taste and experience an amazing and totally different icecream, head to this place. They explain the creating process as well. Ferrero Rocher tawa ice cream and fudge brownie tawa ice cream are good. You can also try the blend of Gulaab Jaamun and ice cream over here.

Joshi Dahi Bada House

$ – Sarafa Bazaar – Amazing process and awesome dahi bada

Dahi bada at Joshi Dahi Bada, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Dahi vada at Joshi Dahi Bada, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

This is one the best dahi bada seller in Indore. It’s not only the taste that is awesome, but also in the process of how its made. If you are looking for some an awesome dahi bada and butte ka kiss, must visit this place. You won’t be disappointed for sure.

Rajhans ke dal baafle

$$ – Sarafa – Daal Baafle

Daal Baafla Thali at Rajhans Daal Baafle, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Daal Baafla Thali at Rajhans Daal Baafle, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Indore lies in the heart of Malwa region. If you are in this region, you have to try this regional food. Best Dal Baafle in town without a doubt. Quantity for one Thali is sufficient for 2 people. Thali Includes Dal Baafle, Kadhi, Rice, Aloo Sabji, Churma laddoo, Salad and Chutney.

Pishori Dhaba

$$ – Sapna Sangeeta – Delicious Non-Veg

Chicken lollipop at Pishori Dhaba, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Chicken lollipop at Pishori Dhaba, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Pishori his known for its non-vegetarian delicacies. It has gained the pride of one of the best non-vegs of the city and that too at an economical price. There are two portions. One for alcoholics and the other for non-alcoholics. You must try out the chicken lollipop, Boti Chicken, Amritsari fish, and butter chicken.

Sarafa at night

One of the most famous midnight eating streets of India that offers you a wide range of dishes. To experience Sarafa at its best, head there around 11 PM, and stay till 1.30 AM. Some of the dishes that are must to try:

$ – Chhole tikiya at Sawariya Chaat house

Chhole tikiya at Sawariya Chaat, Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Chhole tikiya at Sawariya Chaat, Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

$ – Garadu or Rataalu

Garadu at Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Garadu at Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

$ – Sweet dishes – Jalebi, jaleba, maal pua and rabdi at Bhairvanand

$ – Kulfi at Agarwal Icecreams

Late night food shops

Indore is well known for 24×7 food availability. Here are some cafes that you can go into if you crave food late night.

Make my Sandwich

$ – Teleperfomance, Vijay Nagar – Sandwiches

If you are craving for food at 2 am, head straight to this place, and have Pizzawich, and Strawberry Fizz. This cafe is 24×7 up and running.

Sandwich at Make my sandwich, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Sandwich at Make my sandwich, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Maggie at L. I. G. Square

$$ – LIG Maggie – Maggie and Pasta

If you want something at the stroke of the day at 4AM, go to LIG Maggie, at LIG Square. They have a food truck and they specialize in Maggie and Pasta. You would get to know how crazy Indoris are when it comes to food.

Khopra patties at Vijay Chaat house, Indore. Photo courtesy: Zomato

Vijay chaat house is one of the oldest food shops in Indore. Khopra Patties is a must eat dish there. A perfect place to start the day off if you are willing to have sev-poha, jalebi, khamand (dhokla) and samosa-kachori as your first meal.

Johny Hot Dog

$ – Multiple branches: 56 Dukan and Navlakha – Amazing hot dogs

Egg Benjo at Johny Hot Dog, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Egg Benjo at Johny Hot Dog, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Specializing in hot dogs or some may call it the Vada Pav of Indore, Johny Hot Dog has been serving hot dogs for decades at a very economical rate. A properly managed veg and non-veg distribution of hot dogs, even when it caters to a huge amount of people every day. Egg banjo is a must try, apart from veg hot dogs, mutton hot dogs, and egg mutton hot dogs are available.

Madhuram Sweets

$$ – 56 Dukaan – A real healthy shikanji

Shikanji at Madhuram Sweets, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Shikanji at Madhuram Sweets, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Madhuram Sweets is famous for Indian sweets and Indori Namkeens. Its uniqueness lies in shikanji, which is not the usual Nimbu-Shikanji (Lemonade), but a highly nutritious drink made of dry fruits, saffron, and milk.

Live Tawa Ice Cream

$$ – 56 Dukaan – Different ice-cream

Gulaab Jaamun Icecream at Live Tawa Icecream, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Gulaab Jaamun Icecream at Live Tawa Icecream, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

If you got to taste and experience an amazing and totally different icecream, head to this place. They explain the creating process as well. Ferrero Rocher tawa ice cream and fudge brownie tawa ice cream are good. You can also try the blend of Gulaab Jaamun and ice cream over here.

Joshi Dahi Bada House

$ – Sarafa Bazaar – Amazing process and awesome dahi bada

Dahi bada at Joshi Dahi Bada, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Dahi vada at Joshi Dahi Bada, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

This is one the best dahi bada seller in Indore. It’s not only the taste that is awesome, but also in the process of how its made. If you are looking for some an awesome dahi bada and butte ka kiss, must visit this place. You won’t be disappointed for sure.

Rajhans ke dal baafle

$$ – Sarafa – Daal Baafle

Daal Baafla Thali at Rajhans Daal Baafle, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Daal Baafla Thali at Rajhans Daal Baafle, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Indore lies in the heart of Malwa region. If you are in this region, you have to try this regional food. Best Dal Baafle in town without a doubt. Quantity for one Thali is sufficient for 2 people. Thali Includes Dal Baafle, Kadhi, Rice, Aloo Sabji, Churma laddoo, Salad and Chutney.

Pishori Dhaba

$$ – Sapna Sangeeta – Delicious Non-Veg

Chicken lollipop at Pishori Dhaba, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Chicken lollipop at Pishori Dhaba, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Pishori his known for its non-vegetarian delicacies. It has gained the pride of one of the best non-vegs of the city and that too at an economical price. There are two portions. One for alcoholics and the other for non-alcoholics. You must try out the chicken lollipop, Boti Chicken, Amritsari fish, and butter chicken.

Sarafa at night

One of the most famous midnight eating streets of India that offers you a wide range of dishes. To experience Sarafa at its best, head there around 11 PM, and stay till 1.30 AM. Some of the dishes that are must to try:

$ – Chhole tikiya at Sawariya Chaat house

Chhole tikiya at Sawariya Chaat, Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Chhole tikiya at Sawariya Chaat, Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

$ – Garadu or Rataalu

Garadu at Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

Garadu at Sarafa, Indore. Pic courtesy: vkpriyesh

$ – Sweet dishes – Jalebi, jaleba, maal pua and rabdi at Bhairvanand

$ – Kulfi at Agarwal Icecreams

Late night food shops

Indore is well known for 24×7 food availability. Here are some cafes that you can go into if you crave food late night.

Make my Sandwich

$ – Teleperfomance, Vijay Nagar – Sandwiches

If you are craving for food at 2 am, head straight to this place, and have Pizzawich, and Strawberry Fizz. This cafe is 24×7 up and running.

Sandwich at Make my sandwich, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Sandwich at Make my sandwich, Indore. Pic courtesy: Zomato

Maggie at L. I. G. Square

$$ – LIG Maggie – Maggie and Pasta

If you want something at the stroke of the day at 4AM, go to LIG Maggie, at LIG Square. They have a food truck and they specialize in Maggie and Pasta. You would get to know how crazy Indoris are when it comes to food.

Behind the Scenes at a Muslim Wedding in India [Video]. Photo © Karl Rock.

An Inside Look at a Muslim Wedding in India [Exclusive Video]

While in Hyderabad, I went behind the scenes at my friend’s wedding to give you an inside look at a Muslim wedding.

Experience the marriage contract ceremony, after party, and watch the cooks in action backstage as they prepare a royal feast!

If you’re like me and love food and want to see more of the kitchen, check out this extended clip featuring all the food being made out the back of the reception venue.

The Golden Temple at night. Photo by Arian Zwegers.

Don’t Leave Amritsar Without Eating These 3 Things

We woke at 4:45 am. It was still dark and boiling in Chandigarh. Today, the three of us had decided to take a road trip across Punjab to visit the world-famous Golden Temple and devour some of the delicious foods found in the India Pakistan border city of Amritsar.

I stumbled into the shower and struggled to locate the light switch in the darkness. In India, light switches can be found in the most bizarre of places. I wished I’d slept earlier, but there’s always a party in Punjab. Punjabis love to party, dance, sing, drink and eat. They’re merry people and always fun to be with. A splash of cold water began to wake my sleepy eyes. Fifteen minutes later the three of us piled into the Suzuki Swift (the most popular car in India) and began our journey.

One bad thing about India is that restaurants don’t do breakfast. Indians generally wake up late and start work late at 10 or 10:30 am. So nothing opens until 9 am at the earliest. We were keeping an eye out for somewhere to get a quick bite but alas the rest of India was still sound asleep. It’s so peaceful in India when everyone is asleep, and the dogs aren’t barking.

We eventually found a Burger King on the highway at 8 am that was open, well their drive-through at least. Not exactly Punjabi food, but beggars can’t be choosers. There’s no breakfast menu in India so we scoffed down some whoppers and fries and kept going on our 228 km journey to Amritsar. You might be thinking, “228 km, that’s not far.” In India it is. You’re on average going to be travelling only 50 km per hour because of potholed roads or having to serve around cows.

Langar

Free – Golden Temple Food Hall

Langar in the Golden Temple. Photo by Haresh Patel.

Langar in the Golden Temple. Photo by Haresh Patel.

We started off the day visiting the beautiful Golden Temple. It’s surrounded by a lake with the temple on an island in the middle. Men added to the mystical atmosphere by performed Punjabi folk songs loudly as we sat and took it all in. All Sikh temples such as the Golden Temple are called Gurdwaras. All Gurdwaras provide shelter and food to anyone who wants it. While most people won’t sleep at a Gurdwara, although they’re welcome to, most will eat the food, called Langar. The Golden Temple alone serves tens of thousands of meals a day. Gurdwaras are entirely run by volunteers. You’re welcome to visit the kitchen and washing room and see the masses of people giving their time to serve others – it’s something a lot of religions could learn from.

As you enter the Langar hall, you’ll be handed a plate and spoon. Find a place sit on the mats provided and wait to be served a two-course meal. The meal is usually some sort of lentil or chickpea curry, rice, and roti followed by a sweet dish such an Indian rice pudding (Kheer). It’s always delicious and hygienically produced.

One thing you can do help the Gurdwara sustain their free meal plan is to donate a few rupees or help roll rotis or clean dishes. But it’s in no way compulsory, and you’ll never be asked or hassled to donate like some other religion’s temples shamelessly do.

 

Automatic Roti making machine in the Golden Temple kitchen. Photo by BOMBMAN.

Automatic Roti making machine in the Golden Temple kitchen. Photo by BOMBMAN.

 

Amritsari Kulcha

$ – Kulchaland
$ – Kesar da Dhaba

Amritsari Kulcha. Photo by Prateek Rungta.

Amritsari Kulcha. Photo by Prateek Rungta.

Next up we went on a 1 km walk to Kuchaland. You can’t leave Amritsar without eating one of their famed Amritsari Kulcha. A kulcha looks like a naan bread stuffed with potato, onion, and spices but it’s actually very different. The bread is very light, and the texture is that of multiple layers of wafer thin, buttery bread. To top it off they smother it with melted butter and sometimes seeds and spices too. You then break it like a naan and scoop up the unlimited portions of spicy chickpea curry provided.

You could confuse it for an Aloo Paratha too, but once you taste it and feel the texture of the bread, you’ll see how delicious and superior it really is. It’s the ultimate stuffed bread!

The name Kulchaland inspired thoughts of Disneyland or some other land of epic proportions. But it’s really not the case, unfortunately. Kulchaland has 0 atmosphere and the non-existent and slightly dirty decor may put some people off. If you want somewhere slightly cleaner, then set your GPS to Kesar da Dhaba. Both places are great and serve authentic kulcha.

Lassi

$ – Gian Chand Lassi Wale

Lassi being made in Amritsar. Photo by Sean Ellis.

Lassi being made in Amritsar. Photo by Sean Ellis.

To wash down the Langar and Kulcha we’d just eaten we headed to the most famous Lassi store for a large 500ml plain yoghurt lassi drink topped with a dollop fresh cream. After a spicy meal, I always have a plain or sweet lassi or just plain milk to neutralise the spices and refresh my mouth.

As we took the car out of the parking lot, we realised most of the streets were completely empty and that Police and Swat teams were swarming around. Turns out the Chief Minister of Punjab was nearby, so that made our ride to Gian Chand Lassi Wale very quick with no traffic!

After eating all the best food that Amritsar has to offer the span of 4-hours our stomachs were stuffed. Make sure you spread these meals out over the day. You’ll want to do it all over again the next day, I know we did.

Punjabi Butter Chicken. Photo by stu_spivack.

A Local’s Guide to the Best Food in Chandigarh

I took a train to Chandigarh recently to meet a Punjabi friend and go on a road trip across lush Punjab to the Golden Temple in Amritsar. While I was there we stuffed ourselves with the best food Chandigarh and Mohali (an adjoining city) had to offer. I purposefully avoided TripAdvisor recommendations and told him we would only eat where he and his friends eat.

A Little on Chandigarh

Chandigarh is not a typical Indian city. It’s strangely the capital of 2 states, Haryana and Punjab. But it’s technically not part of either state, it’s its own state or what India calls a union territory. It’s also one of the first planned cities in India, so it’s not an average India city, rather its one of the cleanest and most livable cities in India.

It’s also known as the tri-city because the cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali all neighbour each other and you can barely tell when you leave one and enter the next.

Sethi Dhaba

$$ – Zirakpur – Authentic Punjabi Dhaba (roadside restaurant) experience

Chole Masala at Sethi Dhaba, Chandigarh. Photo © Karl Rock.

Chole Masala at Sethi Dhaba, Chandigarh. Photo © Karl Rock.

Sethi Dhaba is a busy place frequented by celebrities and politicians as you’ll see on their photo wall. It’s one of the most famous dhabas in Chandigarh where you can experience traditional Punjabi food. They even have the traditional seats that you’ll see villagers sitting on and eating from, it’s not really a seat though, it’s a large bed that four people can sit on and eat from a table in the centre of it.

They only serve vegetarian, but even for a big meat eater like me, it doesn’t matter because Indian vegetarian food is the tastiest in the world. Make sure you order the Chole Masala, Egg Bhurji, and Dal Makhani along with either Naan or the healthier Missi Roti (made with whole wheat flour, gram flour, and spices).

Yadav Tea Stall

$ – Advocates Area, 1st Foor, District Court Complex, Sector 43) – Special bread rolls

Bread Roll from Yadav Tea Stall, Chandigarh. Photo © Karl Rock.

Bread Roll from Yadav Tea Stall, Chandigarh. Photo © Karl Rock.

This is a truly hidden delicacy. It’s not at all healthy, but it’s damn tasty. Yadav serves a unique deep fried bread roll that’s filled with savoury and slightly spiced potato filling. Accompanying it is a spicy sauce made from green chillis. It’s out of this world and only found here at the court. It’s a standard lunch for the lawyers.

Pal Dhaba

$$ – Sector 28 – Authentic Punjabi food

This is the most famous Dhaba in Chandigarh. While it’s not the traditional motorway roadside eatery, rather it’s part of an outdoor mall, the food is pure Punjabi. Punjabi food is known as rich and creamy, and Pal Dhaba delivers this.

The Butter Chicken is the best you’ll ever have. Punjabi Butter Chicken is very different to the Western version. It’s more flavorful and less sweet. Lap it up with their buttery naan bread. One other dish to try is the Punjabi favourite, Dal Malakani.

Dining outside at Pal Dhaba, Chandigarh. Photo © Karl Rock.

Dining outside at Pal Dhaba, Chandigarh.Yes, that’s an entire bowl of boneless Butter Chicken! Photo © Karl Rock.

Baba Chicken

$$ – Phase 10, Mohali – A Different Butter Chicken

For a slightly different take on Butter Chicken, Baba is a good place to go. It’s yellow and has a slightly different less spice filled flavour. Some people prefer this lighter version.

Acme India Taste Point

$ – Sector 14, Chandigarh – Bhel Puri

The Punjab University campus foodcourt is where you’ll find all the students eating each day. The standout here is the chaat/juice stall that serves great Bhel Puri (a kind of puffed rice salad with spicy sauces).

Bhel Puri from Punnjab University Foodcourt. Photo © Karl Rock.

Bhel Puri from Punnjab University Foodcourt. Photo © Karl Rock.

Backpackers Cafe

$$$ – Sector 9, Chandigarh

If you want something a bit more upmarket, head to the highly rated Backpackers Cafe. You’ll find all sorts of international fare there. Including one of the biggest Lamb Burgers I’ve ever eaten.

Lamb Burger from Backpackers Cafe. Photo © Karl Rock.

Lamb Burger from Backpackers Cafe. Photo © Karl Rock.

Sector 8 Market

The Sector 8 inner market has something for everyone. It’s a pricey market, but the quality and taste of the food in this market is great. Do a loop of the market then decide what you want to try!

Preet Eating Zone

$ – Phase 7, Mohali – Chole (Standing area only)

Preet Eating Zone's Chole on Rice. Photo © Karl Rock.

Preet Eating Zone’s Chole on Rice. Photo © Karl Rock.

Preet is known for their Chole (Chickpeas) on rice topped with coriander and cabbage. It’s a slightly spicy tomato flavoured dish on saffron rice. Perfect for a quick lunch or breakfast. Wash it down with their lassi (yoghurt drink) which surprisingly not very sweet – such a relief as India has a tendency to over sweeten everything.

Dishes available at Preet's Eating Zone, Mohali. Photo © Karl Rock.

Dishes available at Preet’s Eating Zone, Mohali. Photo © Karl Rock.

Amrit Confectionary

$ – Phase 5, Mohali – Indian sweets and bakery

Butter Paneer roll from Amrit Confectionary, Mohali. Photo © Karl Rock.

Butter Paneer roll from Amrit Confectionary, Mohali. Photo © Karl Rock.

Amrit is an Indian sweets (mithai) store with a bakery outside. The Bakery is what you come here for. They do a spicy Indian take on buns, rolls and sandwiches. The most popular item here are their deep fried rolls filled with different flavours including butter paneer or manchurian. It’s going to be hard for you to choose what to try from their beautiful cabinet.

Haandi Dum

$ – Phase 7, Mohali – Kathi Rolls (Standing area only)

Originating from Kolkata, West Bengal, Kathi Rolls are available all over India. Haandi is a local favourite. Try the soft and buttery double egg or paneer rolls.

Sindhi Sweets

$ – Sector 17 – Indian Sweets

Sindhi Sweets is regarded as the best in Chandigarh. Their speciality is Kaju (Cashew Nut) Barfi. It’s a non-spicy Indian sweet made of creamy cashews and sugar. It’s soft and lightly flavoured. Kaju Barfi is one of the most popular sweets in India making it a must try wherever you go.

Entrance of the hotel at night

5-Star Indian Restaurants That Are Almost Perfect

With its 29 states and seven union territories, India definitely provides a world-class experience to foodies. Be it the cheap and absolutely delicious street food (if you’d like to read more about the various street foods in India, check out The Most Popular Street Foods in North India) or the sophisticated and luxurious restaurants. If I can guarantee you something in this country, then it’s that the local food of any state, whatsoever, will not disappoint you.

Some people prefer eating in 4 or 5-star restaurants and if you’re one of those people, here is a list of the top 5 restaurants that will make your tummy happy.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén