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As we further explore the culture and the cuisine of the city, Mysore we begin with the local markets. Firstly, we visit the Devraj market. Built by Chamraj Vodeyar, it is apparently believed to be the first planned market of India. A beautiful, vibrant and a colourful market, it happens to be 120 years old. Filled with shopkeepers selling variety of vegetables and fruits, you are bound to explore the intricacies of the Mangalorean culture.
We briefly stopped at the Raja Coffee works to understand the different mix of coffee and then headed towards Gayatri tiffin room to try green dosa and their amazing filter coffee. Green dosa, is certainly one of its kind and healthy too. The green dosa is stuffed with coriander, spinach and fenugreek leaves and it is served with bhonda sambhar and coconut chutney. We then ended our meal with a glass of strong filter coffee.
Keerthana introduced us to a sweet delight known as dil khush for the evening snacks served at VB bakery. A puff pastry stuffed with a lot of sugar and everything sweet! Basically, it’s stuffed with sugar, coconut and cherry. Certainly, quite a catch for kids. We also, tried the badam milk which was being sold right beside the bakery. Mysore is incomplete without its Mysore dosa found at Dosa point. A crispy dosa topped with red chutney and stuffed with delicious aloo masala.
Last stop of the day was the food street at lalit mahal palace road. It is known for its tasty chaat and 99 whooping varieties of dosa! A unique blend of western with the Indian culture, it is a must try!
A great day filled with food exploration and exploring various blends and fusion of food and dishes! Mangalore is a must visit if you’re a foodie!
Mangalore as a city and Mangalorean cuisine has grown up to accommodate various cultures and ethnicity ranging from Muslims, Mangalorean Catholics and Saraswat Brahmins to name a few. Being a coastal city, it is easy to recognize that the staple diet here happens to be fish. Moreover, almost like all coastal cuisines it is spicy and rice based.
With, Karishma we explored the Hotel Maharaja which is situated on bunts hostel road in Mangalore, Karnataka. The restaurant is well- known for its ghee roast! We tasted some flavoursome Mangalorean delicacies To begin with, we tried shell fish (marvai) sukka. Sukka means dry in their local language and it is a sea fish prepared in Mangalorean style. This was followed by Neer dosa or what is also known as water dosa along with chicken curry. Neer dosa is prepared using the same usual batter that is used to prepare the basic dosas, except that a lot of water is added to the batter. Hence, the dosas are much thinner in their texture. With different dishes being brought to us we also tried the chicken ghee roast. It is a spicy dish cooked heavily in ghee with red chilli paste. Later, we tried the kori roti. An absolute favourite of the Mangalorean’s, these are crisp dry wafers made from boiled brown rice served alongside chicken curry. Kori means chicken in tulu. Kori rotis are also, readily available at grocery stores so if you want to take them back to your home, it won’t be much of a task! One ingredient that is taken into account while preparing almost major Mangalorean dishes is curry leaves. They are heavily used in almost all preparations.
Next, we head to one of Mangalore’s the most popular go-to spots is Giri Manja’s. This little eatery is tucked away in the car street. Highly recommended by the locals, it is a must try out here! Well-known for their sea-food we try their fish thali which consists of boiled rice served with kokam saar, fish curry and veg curry. The thali is served with bonda juice also known as tender coconut juice. Along with this, we tried the prawn fry locally known as yetti fry and squid fry which is known as bondas fry. We were then served with, anjal fry. A seer fish fried in Manjas style. This, happens to be their special dish, which is certainly a must-try! The flavours are tangy and the fish is marinated for the longest time thus, bound to capture your taste pallets.
At hotel Karthik, we try the Mangalore snacks. Here we ordered the very-famous Kalladka tea also known as KT, a three layer tea with the bottom layer consisting of condensed milk, foam and then served with decoction. This was served with banana podi locally known as parndh podi. These are banana fritters. The bananas used to cook these are known as Etha pazham banana. Then comes the Mangalore buns, sweet, soft and fluffy puris from Udupi, a well-known region in Mangalore. Not to forget, the goli bajje, a famous evening snack. These are soft and spongy fritters made with all-purpose flour, spices and herbs.
We were later introduced to, a local mobile shop known as Halli Mane rotties situated in Gandhinagar. The food joint offers three types of rotis made up of ragi, jowar and rice. These are really good for health and gluten-free! The rotis are served with a mixed vegetable curry and punarpalli juice also called as Kokam juice. The juice is sweet and good for digestion.
Right opposite to Kaddri park, is a lane which has quaint little food joints for everyone to try. We head to Dinky dine where we tried the grape juice. It is juice joint really famous in Mangalore. The day came to an end on a sweet note as we headed towards the ice-cream parlour. Here we tried the Marzi pan ice-cream, a sweet pan-flavoured ice-cream and gudbud, a multi-layer ice-cream consisting of three flavours, butterscotch, strawberry and vanilla served with cherries and fruits.
1st Floor, Trade Centre, Near Jyothi Circle, Bunts Hostel Road, Balmatta, Mangalore
Namaskara! Today we are headed to the cultural capital of Karnataka which is Mysore. Mysore, officially known as Mysuru is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka. According to hindu mythology, Mysore was ruled by the demon Mahishasura, known as a buffalo-headed monster. It is apparently said, that the demon used to terrorise the local population and in response to their prayers to save them from the demon, goddess Parvati took birth as chamundeshwari and killed the demon on the top of the Chamundi hill. Thus, the city got its name as Mysore.
Our food journey started with Keerthana accompanying us.
Along with Keerthana, we headed to the famous Mylary Agrahara and tried their Mylari dosa. It is really soft in its texture served with coconut chutney and onion sagu. The softness of the dosa filled us to the brim and we then headed towards Amruth Veg. Here we tried a combination of three different dosas also known as the Amruth special dosa. These were Ragi masala dosa, pudi masala dosa and plain dosa served with vegetable sagu, chutney and loads of butter! The meal was followed by a yummy frothy and strong filter coffee. Keerthana, later introduced us to Mallige idli, these are soft, spongy aromatic idlis got its name due its texture and resemblance to jasmine flowers.
Our next destination was Hanumanthu hotel, a pretty old establishment. Well, 1932! You can imagine how old it must be! We came here to try their famous mutton pulao which is cooked from bullet rice and mutton fat.
Further, to try the rural food of Karnataka, we went to Uncle Loobo’s- Sugi mane. We had an amazing experience learning how to cook Ragi Mudde. Moreover, you get to have a totally authentic experience as the food is served on banana leaves. We had the amazing keema sambhar which was served with minced meatballs and had to be consumed with little bites of Raggi Mudde. Having Raggi Mudde, only makes us realize how we are slowly coming back to our roots as we try to cure various lifestyle diseases, like diabetes. Ragi or finger millet is a staple rural food of Karnataka which is consumed frequently.
To try some classic home-based Karnataka dishes we visited, Anima Madhva Bhavan. Here we tried their, well-known heritage platter which is served without any onion and garlic. The platter consists of paddu, these are steamed rice balls and they are deep-fried served with coconut chutney. The next item is, nucchinunde these are dumplings made up of lentils. This was followed by gojjuvalakki, a popular breakfast dish prepared using beaten rice with rasam powder and tamarind. The meal ended with ghodi payasa, which is cooked broken wheat kheer.
We then headed towards, Guru Sweet mart for Karnataka’s one of the most loved sweets Mysore Pak, which is made up of gram flour, ghee, cardamom, turmeric and sugar. This was originally invented in the royal kitchen of Mysore by Kakasura madappa. The sweet dish later went on to win the hearts of many!
A great day spent exploring food and traditions ranging from the best Malhari dosa to the creamiest Mysore pak which simply melts in your mouth! Go try and we’d love to know your experiences with the city of culture, Mysore.
Namaskara! Today along with Karishma we explore the local delicacies of Mangalore. The second major city of Karnataka, Mangalore is also known as the gateway of Karnataka. Not only that, it happens to be the largest coastal city in the Malnad regions of Karnataka besides being an educational, commercial and an industrial hub in the west coast of India. Also, an important port city it is one of the most multi-cultural and non-metro cities of our country.
Our journey on exploring the amazing delicacies begins with the famous and one of the oldest restaurants in the city, the New Tajmahal Café. Brought to us, were some classic dishes like Rice Pundi which are soft rice dumplings served with chutney and bele thove (moong dal), Kottige also known as gunda in their local language is idli batter served in steamed jackfruit leaves and biscuit roti. Biscuit roti is a famous Mangalorean snack prepared using all purpose flour, semolina, grated coconut and spices. A pocket friendly café, it is known for its Mangalorean dishes. Not to forget, the well-known sweet dish Sanjeera, looks almost like the Kachori served in North-India except that it’s sweet and stuffed with sugar and coconut. Also, when in Mangalore things always end up with the yummiest filter coffee!
Our second stop is the Ayodhya Hotel which is well known for its seasonal dishes they serve. A true highlight of our food tour, this no-frills restaurant accommodates one of the best local and authentic Mangalorean cuisines. We begin with our authentic Mangalorean breakfast with turmeric leaf gatti. These are steamed rice dumplings stuffed with coconut, jaggery and cardamom mixture.Further followed with is, Patrode, a Mangalore style spicy steamed rolls prepared with colocasia leaves and rice. We also tried the Kadpeere podi, a fried dish made up of seasonal vegetables which tastes and looks similar to bitter gourd. Thus, a bit bitter in taste. Another dish which is available only during the rainy season is the tojank biji (sena tora, thakara leaves). These are made of seasonal leafy vegetables. These are really healthy and rich in fibre! We next move on to another well-known dish which is the Moode, these are particularly cylindrical shaped idlis steamed in screw pine leaves. Not to forget, it should be accompanied by the healthy cucumber idli. Also known as, kadamb or Taushe idli they are made using cucumber. We end our meal here, with Raggi mani which happens to be a traditional dessert using finger millets, jaggery and coconut milk and Nai appa, another sweet dish made up of rice jaggery and coconut. Not to forget, try the famous Kalthappam, a pan cake using rice, jaggery, and coconut and cardamom powder. However, the true Mangalorean breakfast only gets completed when you fill yourself up with Payasam also known as rice pudding.
Well, we aren’t yet done! But, the variety of dishes that the city presents to you is incomparable and amazing. It soothes your food pallet and makes you only want more. No wonder why it’s truly a food-lover’s heaven!
Places visited: The New Tajmahal Café : Hotel Panchmahal building, KS Rao Road, Kodailbail, Mangaluru, Karnataka 575003
The Ayodhya Hotel: Kodailbail, Mangaluru, Karnataka 575003
A wise man once said “Street food is the ultimate salvation for the human race” which indeed is very true, why to spend on fancy restaurants when you can perfectly satiate your taste buds with the wonders on the street? One such wonder exists in a street in Kamla Nagar which goes by the name Ved Dhabha , which offers a wide variety of north Indian food cooked with pure love and dedication. Well, what makes this place so special? This Dhaba is almost 30 years old as well as it offers the best north Indian food at prices as low as possible. This place has a vast menu which includes numerous varieties of sweets. This isn’t only my opinion but every person in that area, from fellow university students to even the rickshaw drivers do not leave a stone upturned when it comes to praising this place for its legendary and authentic taste.
My visit to this place was very unplanned which was the result of the usual ‘not so good hostel food’ day. It turned out to be a life saver weapon against hunger that day and surprisingly it is still the best weapon I can use to save myself from such days. At first this place appeared like a sweet shop which slowly transformed into a very retro vibe dhaba with wooden seating as I walked into it. To my surprise, each and every table was occupied majorly by the university students , families etc. But due to the quick service of the very welcoming staff members of that place, we were offered our seat as soon as possible. Further , the universal truth of college students always being broke was what bothered us next, which turned into a sigh of relief as we looked at the prices on the menu. We ordered a smoking hot plate of butter paneer and couple of butter tandoorirotis , which hardly took a while to arrive.
‘You first eat with your eyes’ turned out be the just right saying at the first glance. The butter paneer was perfectly topped with some extra butter and the tandoorirotis were so glazed as if they were dipped in rivers of butter . And lastly, as I took a bite of the buttery roti wrapped around the piping hot curry the ‘title’ of this article was justified. It was such a heavenly and toothsome experience to have such delicious food at such a legendary place in this walled city. I left that place with nothing but a satisfactory grin and a great experience regarding the food, hospitality and service and of course the low bill.
So, if you are a hungry individual with a lot of north Indian cuisine fandom, make sure you visit this place without fail and have a heavenly experience from the very first bite till the end.
Pushkar is an ideal place for a street food walk. The whole city can be covered in a couple of hours on foot. Infact, if you walk closely observe your surroundings, there is a chance that you will start recognising the faces of the locals. This is what happened with me when I visited Pushkar last week. After one round of the city, I can recall and recognise most of the places and people. That’t the beauty of this small city.
While most of the blogs talk about the cafes in Pushkar, I was quite sure there is going to be some unexplored street food of Pushkar to be unearthed. Like most of the temple cities in India, Pushkar too has amazing street food. I walked and walked and walked from morning till evening, all the while talking to locals and trying a delicious array of street food.
The journey started with Pushkar Breakfast Corner near varaha ghat. A street food cart that sells Pizza Pakwan i.e., poha with mathri and dal – this was a perfect example street fusion food. Dal Pakwan is an authentic sindhi breakfast dish where big sized mathri, made up of maida is served with dal. And poha – flattened rice, cooked with mustard seeds is a famous breakfast of north India. Pushkar breakfast corner shop simply combined both of them – dal pakwan and poha, and named it Pizza Pakwan. The base is of mathri, over it he evenly spreads poha, then adds dal, and tops it with sew, namkeen, onion, chutney, chaat masala and fresh coriander. It was a simple twist given to the dishes, which made it taste great. The crunchiness of the mathri blended perfectly with the light and fluffy poha. The crispy additions on the top like fried peanuts and sew added a spicy twist to it. The shop opens at 6 am and everything gets finished by 12 noon. The pizza pakwan is priced at Rs 30.
Just on a walking distance is another shop that opens up only in the morning time– Pushkar chaat bhandar- mohan ji bhujia wale famous for pakodi, which is also known as bhujia here. The shop is run by father son duo mohan ji and kamal. It is sold by kilograms at 200 per kg. Normal small size pakodis (fritters) of spinach and besan are topped with kadi (not to be confused with curry). The way kadi is prepared in this part of Rajasthan is completely different from other parts. There is no use of yoghurt or buttermilk in it. It is simply made up of besan and water. The combination of kadi with pakodi is quite unique to Ajmer district of Rajasthan. In Bihar, I had tried kadi with samosa. This was a really fulfilling meal. The fresh crisp pakodis with plain kadi were a perfect breakfast.
After having kadi pakodi, we tried kachori with mango chutney at Ugma ji shop. The dough of refined flour is stuffed with dal ki pitthi to be deep fried in oil. What made it special is the thick mango chutney served with kachori. The kachoris were crisp and flaky.
Pushkar can be named as the city of Malpua. You can spot a malpua shop in every nook and corner of the city. There is a dedicated lane for sweet sellers in Pushkar near Gau ghat- Halwai gali or the street of sweet makers.
To make delicious malpuas, first the batter of white flour is prepared; Second, it is poured and deep fried in oil; third, the cooked malpuas are soaked in sugar syrup. What makes Pushkar malpua special is the rabri malpua. Instead of adding water to the batter, condensed milk is added to give it an amazing nutty taste. The most popular shop in Pushkar is Sarvadia mishthan bhandar in Halwai gali.
After having malpua at Sarvadia misthan bhandar, we went on to try Laffa at Ganga restaurant. The whole city of Pushkar is known for religious tourism and leisure tourism. There are cafes and restaurants catering to people from all over the world. Most of the foreign tourists are from Middle East and they have somewhat influenced the street food as well. There are 3 shops next to each other selling falafel, hummus and other middle eastern food. The most famous dish is the laffa- a wrap stuffed with hummus, falafel, garlic sauce, mushroom, onion, tomatoes, potato wedges, pepper, salt. Cooked in Olive oil, it was a delight to watch the preparation. And the taste was simply amazing. The other dish we tried at laffa wala was the pizza roll. It was the same filling with loads of cheese except falafel, hummus and potato wedges.
Next, we went on to try the golgappa at a street cart with 6 different flavours- regular (mint and jeera), garlic, cumin, mint, hajmola and lemon. My favourite was lemon- a truly refreshing water with the right spices.
The next stop was Lala ji ke parantha cart. It can be spotted anywhere in the lanes of Pushkar after 7 pm till 12 midnight till the stock lasts. This was the best parantha I’ve ever had. I tried the mix vegetable cheese parantha. The stuffing of the parantha consists of mashed potatoes, sew ( namkeen), onion, paneer,cheese, spices. The paranthas are first pan fried in butter then in ghee. There are cooked properly and cut into small pieces with the help of a pizza cutter. The paranthas are served with a dip made up of yoghurt and garlic. The cost of one parantha was Rs 120.
The last food stop was Makhaniya gulkand lassi at Kumawat lassi cart. At kumawat lassi cart, the thick lassi is topped with cream, rabri and gulkand (a blend of rose petals, sugar and spices ). Priced at INR 30 and served in a clay cup, it tasted divine.
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Cuttack Street Food Tour YouTube Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX53yAbir7c&t=43s
Cuttack – a city of 52 markets and 53 streets is one of the twin cities of Odisha (the other being Bhubaneshwar). Cuttack is also the second largest city in eastern Odisha. Recently, I went on a food exploration in eastern Odisha covering 4 cities – Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Berhampur and Puri.
Cuttack should be known as the land of aloo dum dahi bara. A plethora of dahi bara stalls can be spotted everywhere. Dahi (yoghurt) and Bara (lentil dumplings) are served with a thick potato curry, a startlingly unique combination if we compare it to the northern style dahi bhallas. The baras are served soaked in a thin runny chaas (buttermilk) kind of dahi, tempered with spices. 4-6 pieces are put in a dona and topped with aloo dum. The exact preparation varies from stall to stall. The timings of the stall also change from one vendor to vendor.
The most popular dahi bara stall is Raghu’s Stall- a 45 years old shop in bidanasi. The baras are served with aloo dum, sprinkled with red chillies and salt. Even though slightly spicy for some, they also sell cuttack peda at the next counter in case the spices get you in a hustle. Raghu comes every day and sits at the corner to oversee the preparation. It is so popular that they are sold out within one hour from 5 pm to 6 pm.
Next, we went to Trinath Dai Bara shop. The baras here were topped with thick and super spicy aloo dum, ghugni, sew, onion, sweet and spicy chutney. It was delectable, with the pinch of spice. This was the only place in the whole of Odisha where I had hiccups after having his dona of dahi baras.
We also tried the dahi bara at Puniya, available only in the mornings– served Raghu style but comparatively less spicy, and Eshwar dahi bara at Biju Patnaik Chowk. My personal favourite was Eshwar dahi bara because of two reasons. First, Eshwar was the most humble person whom I met in Odisha. He started selling dahi bara at the age of 13 on a cycle and now owns a cart. Second, the dahi bara was spiced perfectly. He also adds a sweet bara with the salty one and tops it with aloo dum, ghugni, sew, onion, chutney. I loved the preparation and the love and warmth with which he serves his customers.
Dahi sharbat and rabdi sharbat are the two most popular beverages of Cuttack. The process of making them is quite simple, but the preparation is exquisite when finished.
At Sen and Sen shop (near chandi mandir), which is 50 years old- sugar syrup, yogurt, grated coconut and rabri are layered and the essence of pineapple and jamun is added as a finishing touch. They are not mixed together. Small pieces of ice can be tasted in between while you drink the sherbet.
At Dil Bahar sherbet shop in Baxi bazar, they blend the mixture with ice completely and top it with essence of pineapple, jamun and small pieces of cashew. I like the one at Dil Bahar because everything was blended together with the shaved ice.
The preparation style of chai and taste changes from one region in India to another. In Odisha, the chai is pre-made at most of the street side chai stalls. On one big giant pot, the tea is brought to a boil, with all the spices and some thick omfed milk. Then, in a smaller pot the chai is strained and served. The chai is thick and delicious. At Monu tea stall in baliyatra padia, the warm hearted owner adds ghee in the tea. Known as gua ghee tea, it tastes good. The tea shop is very popular during baliyatra.
Mausi chakuli shop in Nandi Shahi is a hot spot for breakfast in Cuttack. 76 years old, Annapurna Devi runs a morning breakfast dish- chakuli with red hot spicy chutney. She wakes up at 4:30 am, does all the preparation and sets up her shop at the narrow entrance of her house. The steamed fresh chakulis are cooked in a traditional way with the batter spread over a piece of cloth on a boiling pot. The batter of the chakuli is made with rice and white lentils (biri). It’s a close cousin of dosa and idli. At Mausi chakuli shop, the chakulis are served with spicy red garlic chutney. This was one of my best experiences in Cuttack. It was again more of the warmth and affection of Annapurna Devi that made the dish and the whole experience special for me.
Naya Sadak is a hotspot for breakfast in Cuttack. The food carts sell chakuli with ghugni (chickpeas), coconut chutney and red chilly chutney. One can top it with pyaazi- onion fritters. The interesting part is that the plates have to be washed on your own.
For evening snacks, Kalia chops and babu bhai chops shop in Professor Pada are widely known. Kalia and Babu bhai, both are bothers and run the chop shops adjacent to each other. Both of them sell prawn, liver, mutton, and chicken chops. At babu bhai’s junction, the devilled egg was excellent. The boiled eggs were filled with minced meat, wrapped in mashed potatoes and covered with powdered biscuits. The chops are deep fried in oil and served crisp with chilly and tomoto chutney.
The last stop in Cuttack was biryani at Girija Hotel. The biryani is served with runny onion and tomato raita. Cuttack style biryani is a mix of Awadhi and hyderabadi style. It is light on the spices with a hint of kewra, layered, and cooked on dum.
The other landmarks on Cuttack-Bhubneshwar highway are Nana hotel, Phulnakhra and Pahala. Nana means elder brother in Odisha. Famous for their mutton curry with rice, the typical dhaba style set up is enticing at nana hotel. The food is served on an eco friendly dried leaf. A plate of mutton curry and rice costs INR 120. This was my next favourite meal in Odisha. I loved the spice level, soft and succulent pieces of mutton, and not so thick mutton gravy.
There are two variants or rice available here- Usna and Arwa. Based on the taste preference, one can opt for any of them.
We also tried mutton at Nanda hotel. Nanda Hotel’s mutton curry is full of fat and a layer of fatty oil can be seen floating on the top. Even though tasty, Nana Hotel wins this round for their delicious mutton!
Not far from cuttack is a landmark in Indian sweets history- Pahala, known for rosgullas. I am sure everyone in North India would have grown up eating thande thande rasgulle. But here the rasgullas were warm and fresh, straight coming out of the boiling chashni. I loved it to the core.
The step by step preparation of rosgullas was interesting to observe. To prepare the dough, chhena (cottage cheese) is mixed with suji (semolina) in the ratio of 1 kg of chhena to 50 gms of suji. After the dough is kneaded, it is filled with khoya or dry nuts and boiled in sugar syrup on a wooden fire. The piping hot rosgulla has different colours based on the hours of boiling. The ones that are boiled for longer duration are brown in colour and the others are white. The rasgullas were super soft and not extravagantly sweet. The syrup was thin.
There is another variant of rasgulla in Odisha of Salepur. Half an hour journey from Cuttack is a town called Salepur famous for Bikalananda Kar’s rosgulla. Kar’s rasgulla were brown in colour, and sugar syrup was thick. I met the second generation owner, Mr Pramod kar who showed me the processing unit of the rosgulla. They are quite mechanised and use the standard assembly line of production. Electric boilers are used for making the rosgullas of different sizes. Based on the size, the price is fixed, ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 25. Rosgulla’s costing Rs 25 are quite big in size and have cashews in them. At the entrance itself, pots of rosgullas are lined up with each having a different size of the sweet delicacy.
A taste of this ‘hatke’ style of rosgulla was indeed the experience of a lifetime!
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.