Where to eat Biryani in Hyderabad?

How do I begin describing Paradise? Its a name that would pop-up at mere mention of word Biryani, specially when talking about Hyderabad. As known a name as it is, it mostly gets bad rep from almost everyone, at least on internet.
Infact if you have to prove you are a Biryani lover, your first start by slamming paradise. Your love for Biryani is directly proportional to how vociferous you are about your disapproval of what paradise serves for Biryani. If you are a bit mild you will still share how its no longer the same it used to be, but then don’t we hear this about almost every legend in any part of India? Few names that get regularly accused of not being the same or overrated – Bade Mian of Bombay, Tunday of Lucknow, Karim’s of Delhi, MTR of Bangalore  – but then I have personally visited them all in last year or two – and no, did not find them to be overrated at all. Food served by all these places has lot of merit (refraining from using the word ‘still’ here), at least in their home branches and in few cases, their other outlets as well.
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Before I went to the Paradise’s outlet on Paradise Circle (Yes! they do give name to a super busy junction in heart of Secunderabad), I did try their Biryani in Bangalore, which I ordered in using some random food delivery app, and I remember having no complains at that time as well.
Biryani, Salan and Khubani ka Meetha
Now coming to Paradise on Paradise circle. The outlet was just 10 minutes walk away from the hotel I was staying, making it a natural choice for my first meal in Land of Biryani. Stepping into the ground floor entrance, was greeted by a metal detector and a guard ready to frisk me, something akin to a big shopping mall. Was also told that ground floor was for takeaway only, and I need to climb up for dining area. Stepped into the first level, saw a few tables, none was empty, walked a little more and saw the dining area open up into space full of tables – all occupied. Thought would have to wait, however was guided to another level with a inconspicuous entrance and sitting area, however once I was inside I was surprised by the sheer size of the hall, number of tables and their occupancy.
Size of the place reminded me of ‘langars’ or public feasts in my native North India. Table after table full of families and groups feasting on their favorite dishes, with Biryani being the common factor on almost all tables. All of them overlooked and served by an army of attentive waiters, supervisors and support staff – all of them looked like they knew their jobs well, that said its not possible to run operations at this scale if the staff is not well trained and organised.
On conversing with a suited booted staffer, who seemed like a section supervisor – I was told that the place can seat 1400 souls at the same time – takeaways and deliveries excluded. It was lunch hour of a working Friday and the place was surprisingly full. But then I was the only one surprised, as the staffer told me that due to Navratras it was ‘only’ houseful, otherwise there usually is a huge waiting for tables. Just to remind you here, that 1400 is not the number of people they serve in a day or in a particular meal time – that is there seating capacity and tables keep moving with new diners occupying them as the previous occupants are done with their fill. More enterprising readers can do their maths now.
The way platter gets served
So far so good, but as someone intelligent said – the proof of pudding is in eating it. Since I was alone, I decided to skip all monkey business in the menu and jumped straight to Biryani – Mutton Dum Biryani to be precise. Did not take long for waiter to bring that to my table, mirchi ka salan and raita came as its partners in crime. Service was courteous enough to serve the same and it did not take more than a few seconds for me to dig my  eager fingers in the source of awesome fragrance on my table.
The moment fingers went in, a smile came out on my face – this was indeed a good biryani, something you can tell just by touching the same. A genuinely good biryani would not leave any traces of oil or fat on your fingers, spices or gravy of any kind should not stick to your fingers. After pleasing my sense of smell, another of my senses was made happy by the Biryani sitting on my table and I was yet to bite into the first morsel. Finally it was turn of my sense of taste, and was it pleased? Hell yeah! As it was experiencing one of the finest dishes it had experienced. Soft succulent pieces of mutton, which were coming apart by bare fingers adding to the aroma and flavor of high quality rice – all brilliantly accentuated by slightly higher than mild spices.
Soft and Succulent Mutton pieces inside fragrant rice.
Served along with it was Mirchi ka Salan and mix vegetable raita. Barely felt the need for salan but occasional bite mixed with raita worked as an excellent cleanser and soother for the palette. Initially the portion size seemed to be too big for one person, however did not feel heavy while eating it or after finishing it off. Infact found it to be so good that had no option but to finish it off.
Mirchi ka Salan
Though was full by end of it, however as they say – there always is a separate stomach for dessert and there was no way I was not ordering Khubani ka Meetha, a dessert made from Apricots, another specialty of Hyderabad.
After that tried Biryani from much legendary Shadab Hotel near Char Minaar and then Veg Biryani from Alpha in Secunderabad. Even though both were amazing in their own right specially the Alpha one and gave Paradise a serious run for its money, however there is no way that they could be termed finer or better that what I have had already eaten at paradise.
Khubani ka Meetha with Ice-cream
If you are a Hyderabadi then I am sure you have a much finer palette and also a local favorite for Biryani, however if you are a food lover looking for genuine Dum Biryani then ignore all naysayers and head straight to Paradise – you will not be disappointed. 

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MTR : Mavalli Tiffin Rooms : Sunday Lunch Experience

After hearing so many things about the Thali at MTR (Bangalore), finally landed at their old-school LalBagh outlet to have a first hand experience of the meal and today being Sunday, it was supposed to be something special.Rs.220 for a Thali for which we got a coupon in advance and the wait was about 30 minutes for our turn. What followed was a multi course meal which truly was an experience in itself.

First course was dosa along with a sweet puran poli type bread, then bisibele bhat, Sambhar rice, rasam rice and curd rice being the last course followed by a very nice dessert.

Grape Juice to start the proceedings.
Veg Kurma
Coconut Chutney
Salad, don’t know the name. Carrot and lentils.
Beetroot ki subzi.
That said I don’t think I would be going back for the same – the main reason being that the service staff lacked the intent to feed and seemed to be going through the motions. More concerned about completing the process rather than feeding you.

 

Dosa, only thing I was offered twice.
The Sweet Puran Poli like bread.
Mirchi Bhajji
Payasam
Raita with Bisibele Bhaat
Sambhar Rice
Curd Rice
The system of serving itself needs lot of improvement (some lessons from Gujrati / Rajasthani counter parts in serving Thalis maybe) which currently is designed to create queues of waiting customers rather than serving them well. The hygiene takes utmost importance for these guys as can be judged by the confidence with they have designed the customer’s exit path through their cooking area. giving customers a full view of proceedings and how clean the kitchen actually is.
But for someone like me everything goes for a toss if I do not enjoy the ‘love’ and warmth behind me meal and today unfortunately was one of those days.
Taste 7/10,
Value for money 9/10,
Service 5/10.
Ambiance 9/10 for the old School Charm
PS : Btw.. this is for their Thali only, the same service attitude might work perfect when they are serving their regular idlis and dosas which essentially is a fixed serving size. In that system diner does not expect anything nor he/she is at the mercy of server.

JAIPUR : Food Serendipity – By Anuradha Gupta

Sometimes in life you don’t plan and let the universe delight you – for me Jaipur had been one such experience – zero expectations and delighted to the core!

Before visiting Jaipur- I wasn’t too excited about the food, I had this strange baseless belief that Jaipur is neither traditional and rustic like Jodhpur & Ajmer for Rajasthani delicacies nor urban enough for any cool cafes serving international cuisines.

For me it was just a ‘Wannabe’ tourist place! Well Jaipur has been a real shocker to me- and what a pleasant shocker it has been. Not only I ate some the most brilliant authentic traditional food but also visited some cool cafés which can give the Big Chills of Delhi a run for their money.

I happened to visit thrice in last 2 months and what an awesome time I have had.
So here is a compilation of all the places I ate and this is list will be updated soon as I am going back for more food.
Spice Court

Keema Baati : Well this was something I had never eaten at any restaurant my only experience of this was at a friend’s house. I don’t think so any other place even serves these – an exquisite heritage dish from the Achrol Thikana.  These were served with a very spicy mutton curry with lots of Desi Ghee on top. and the two wheat batties were huge, so crisp and dunked in Desi Ghee with that perfect crumbly texture as you break the batti with your fingers – what a pleasure these were. Oh so delicious earthy burnt smell you get when desi ghee is simmered on them! The filling was of coarsely minced lamb meat spiced with the very famous Rajasthani chillies and nutmegs. It also had some finely chopped and fried Cashew nuts. Multi sensual experience this was.

Keema Baati : Check out the stuffing and the crust.

Laal Maas : No trip to Rajasthan is complete without a hearty dose of Laal Maas. I have eaten different versions of Laal Maas in the past at various places in Rajasthan, but most of the times you will end up having the fake one. This was hot but not very hot. The meat was so well cooked and tender. Simmered with dry Mathania Red Chilly which comes from Jodhpur and whole species in mustard oil it had fiery and sharp flavors. Laal Maas is much more than overly spiced connotation of onions and tomatoes; it is a royal beauty on a plate with beautiful deep red hue. And no it is not like Rogan Josh – these are two legends which cannot be compared.

Laal Maans

P.S: I am already salivating. I have no idea how I will finish jotting my thoughts!

Spice court is superb value for money and I am for sure going back to try their Jungli Maas, Safeed Maas and Govid Gatte.
Taruveda
 
Classy, surreal and mesmerizing!
There are places where you walk in and immediately fall in love with life! There is something so mesmerizing and fresh about this place. They have a bistro with a wall painted with trees and birds and they also have a Al Fresco seating. Besides that they have a store in the complex which sells exquisite artifacts and organic products from Omveda. Entire place is so cosy and feels you are walking from one room to another! Right from the menu to the music to the uniform of the service crew, nothing is ordinary and boring. Everything speaks volume about the classy taste and the passion with which it has been made. I don’t remember when was the last time a place had a similar effect on me. The menu has lots of Crepes, Pannis, Pizzazette, Burgers etc to choose from. I ordeded my cold coffee and decided to have a look around at the store to pick some cute little nothings. Because I was so engrossed in looking around the store, they brought my cold coffee at the store! And yes they got brownie points for that! It was straight from the heaven – the after taste of coffee was just so perfect. It is so easy to go wrong with the humble cold coffee and so easy to win my heart with a perfect cold coffee!!

Epinard Crepe – The whole wheat crepe was soft and velvety and the filling of creamed spinach and feta cheese with the zing of the fresh basil leaves. The extremely delicate flavours something you appreciate in a city that loves its chilli so much. The Herbed Mashed Potatoes for the side were silky, light but not overly buttery and were topped with homemade baked beans. The pungent taste of the Pink Pony Sauce on the side added nice oomph to the somber flavors of the crepe.

Epinard or Spinach Crepe

For me the the sides are the single most important factor that transforms a nice dish into an awesome dish! And the sides here did the trick brilliantly.

Grilled Chicken Steak in Pomegranate Sauce – The Chicken Breast was superbly juicy, moist and tender and had that perfect smoky character. Where do I begin from to describe the super magnificent Pomegranate Sauce, it was sweet, tangy and so fresh, spectacular amalgamation of the contrasting flavors. The sauce had a perfect texture, neither too runny nor too sticky and toffee like which happens if a sauce is loaded with too much sugar!

Chicken in Pomegranate Sauce

There is so much on their menu that I am dying to eat! Taruveda now features in my list of favorite places in the world. Oh and the staff is so nice and friendly- nothing blows me over the way hospitality does.

Going back to try everything on their menu 

Chole Kulche : Who goes to Jaipur and eats Chole Kulche which is the trademark Dilli SadakChaap food! This was not something I had planned to eat, but after couple of days in Jaipur, I could not be away from my eternal love interest! I had my dose from the guy who stands on the left side of the south block World Trade Park. Being somebody who eats Chole Kulche thrice a week atleast and at every place possible, I have no doubts in saying that this is one of the best I have ever had. The heavy use of the nutmeg and mace is the sole reason of the brilliant kick that you can feel in the back of your throat, like a slow death and the smokiness of the red chilles made it extra special. These were also sautéed on tawa with some onion and tomatoes which lend a beautiful creamy texture to the chole.

Chhole or Matra
Matra being done on the Tawa

Rawat

 
If you ask anybody where to eat in Jaipur, without battling an eyelid they would say Rawat – irrespective of the fact whether they have personally tried and tasted or not. I had their Pyaaz Kachoris and Mirchi Vada before but wasn’t too impressed. But this time, the pyaaz kachoris were crispy and so flavorful – carried more than 2 dozen for family and friends. I am pretty sure they have consistency issues.
Sodhani Sweets
This is another super popular shop in Jaipur and they do crazy business! Their Pyaaz Kachori was extremely crispy yet so soft on the outside with a riot of flavors of Hing and Nutmeg inside! The Dal Kachoris were the best I have ever tasted, such beautiful use of spices like clove and mace in the filling! They say frying kachoris an art and I am yet to come across anybody who does better then Shodani Sweets! The locals tell me there are better players but I am yet to try does yet! Also the quality is top class and the kachoris and mirchi vadas lasted 3 days!
The Mirchi Vada was huge with an extremely hot and spicy filling of mashed potatoes.  Superbly awesome and leave a fantastic spice sizzle in your ears- top it with hot chai and you are on ride to heaven!
Kulfi : It had a fantastic creamy texture with lots of Pistas and looked beautiful with those tiny strands of saffron – a sure shot delight in this age when everybody uses food color and essence. It was just perfectly sweet and my savior in the crazy heat! Oh and the smell of the Kevera was adding so much charm to it!
Going back to have their Ghewar, Lassi , Rasgulla and ofcourse lots of Mirchi Vadas!!
Tapri

This is a cool coffee shop type of place where you can sit back, surf internet and gobble lots of food! Loved the earthiness of the place that was prevalent in the ambiance, presentation of the dishes and music! The menu is very quirky and innovative! Servers are friendly and very helpful!Vada Pao : The whole wheat Poa were soft, squishy and fresh! The Vada was very nicely flavoured with corieander seed and  black pepper among other spieces!  For just Rs.30, this was killer!

Namkeen Shots : These were golgappas filled with Dahi, Onion, Tomatoes and topped with bundi, imli saunth and sev! I would say calling them tiny raj kachoris wont be a bad idea! Very beautiful flavour!

Dal Pakwaan : was very flavourful and the base was crispy. Very light and very fresh!

Dal Pakwan
Pushkar Chai

 

Vada Pao
Namkeen Shots
Garlic Khakra
Chutney
Mirchi with Vada Pao

Poha : Found it on the one of the thela’s in the lanes of Bapu Bazaar. Super delicious, light and fluffy – the things that make Poha so appetizing! This one had perfect sweet & sour punch to it! For sure one the nicest ones I have had.

Poha in the streets of Jaipur

Disclaimer: Be careful when they ask about Spice level!

Varanasi – From a food lover’s point of view

Varanasi has been one of the most gratifying destinations that I have landed up in recent times. I don’t think I can say anything that has not been said before. However despite whatever that has been written and said before I am sure travelers would find something of their own in this ancient city. For me this place has more character per square feet than any place else I have visited before. For the sake of sanity, I will try to keep this blog about food as much as I can, and  I am sure I can do a good job of it, not because I have confidence in my skills, however I have confidence on the food of the city that it would not allow me to wander much away from itself.
To understand food one needs to understand a bit of city itself, which attracts travelers and tourists from all over the country and world. Technically I would have considered it a North Indian city, however one visit and I can say that there is nothing North Indian about this place. The alleys are full of pilgrims from all over India and South Indian influence is very apparent. So is Bengali, Gujarati and Oriental as well and these are the ones that I could pick in 48 hours I spent there, more exploration would reveal lot more colors for sure.
Talking about local food, Benarsis just love their Milk and its products and description of the city’s food has to start with Milk. There was a time when I was looking for water bottle and all I could find was Lassi all around and more milk products. Coming to Lassi, I tried it at three different places and three different variants, and I was blown off by all three of them. From quality to taste everything was in order. You can see the love of milk in numerous places selling sweet curd, chaina sweets, thandai even they make the Bhalla out of Chhaina-paneer.
Lassi at Blue Lassi, a shop which looks local however is thronged by foreign tourists, so much so that I was the only non-white person in there amongst 20 others. That said, tried the Banana Lassi which in Benarsi tradition was super thick and something you eat instead of drink.
Lassi I had at a random shop, pure magic for Rs.20.
They also sell Malai in those sweet shots, yup.. pure unsweetened malai which they top with a very thin layer of rabri to add some contrast in the flavors.
Lassi I had from a shop that my Auto driver took me to in Mughal Sarai near Benares. Rs.35 odd for this awesomeness loaded with Rabri. Again something you eat with the spoon, still very refreshing.
Ras-malai
Sweetened Curd in kullahd sold for Rs.10. Simple, basic, tasty. Seems like the famous Bengali Mishti Doi is a richer cousin of this curd.
Thandai. They seem to do lot of flavors and variants for this super cooler.
Selling Thandai near Kashi Vishwanath Temple

It came as a surprise that the streets are full of small joint serving Dosas at very fast pace and cheap prices. There are hole in wall joints that would start serving Idli, vada, upma etc very early in the morning cratering to pilgrims and locals both with same fervor. The busy bazaar outside the main entrance of Kashi Vishwanath Mandir or Golden Temple converts into a breakfast hotspot at around 7-8 am in morning with carts all over the place selling delicious South Indian fare. I tried one of the busy ones one of the mornings and had amazing Dosa & Uthapam made in butter which just made them better.

 

Uthapam ready to be served
A Masala Dosa in the making.
A plain dosa being made, they still add some basic vegetables to it and leave them to sizzle in butter a bit, which in turn makes the vegetables taste better 😉
Uthapam being made.
Uthapam sizzling with Butter.
Idli with Coconut Chutney
The cart selling South Indian breakfast. You will find a bunch of them near Golden Temple in morning hours.

The city is also known for its chats, something that you will find in abundance out there and the taste and ingredients are much different from what we get in Delhi. I will not say if they are better or not, however very different for sure and to sample some of  the goodies I landed up at Kaashi Chaat Bhandaar which is like a destination in the city. The rates were reasonable, the quality good and taste awesome. What more can a food lover ask for? Google it up to find the exact location, or if in Benares, just ask around.

The way Gol Gappe are served. Atta Gol Gappa with matra mixed with other stuffed inside, with paani the side. And the Paani has to be the most delicious one I have tasted ever, with kaccha aam in it and other delicate spices in abundance.
Palak Patta Chaat – Something very unusual. Palak leaves batter fried in besan, made crips and then served like a chaat. Here lemme tell you that Chutneys and condiments are not as ‘rich’ as their Delhi counterparts, however the flavors go well together like magic.
Tamatar or Tomato Chaat
Tamatar ki chaat, after stirring it a bit.

 

Aloo Tikki – Tried one, loved it.
Gulab Jamun – Stuffed with mawa, not the best one out there, but can be tried.

Kachoris seem to be their staple breakfast food, atleast for local populace, and they come in all shapes, sizes and qualities. Its attachment to the city can be gauged from the fact that they have a street named after the dish, called the Kachori Gali. However I ventured in that lane early in the morning, around 7-8 am, and I found only one guy selling kachoris, it seems the Kachoris have gone from the Gali of Kachoris now. That said I tasted them at 3-4 places in the city, one thing that was common was that all of them serve it with kale chane ki subzi which again was something new for me. I have had kachoris with kadhi, aloo subzi, kabuli chane, chutney etc, however it was my first taste of it with Kale Chane and I guess I have had enough of it already. Another major difference for me that all of them were stuffed with potatoes in one form or the other, something I have experienced for the first time.

Found these small bite sized kachoris at one of the hawkers, they serve 4-5 of these in a serving, top them off with Kala Chane ki subzi and other condiments.
The shop serving at Kachori Gali.
And this is how it is served at most places.
A shop I was taken to in Thutheri Bazaar, selling stuff made in Desi ghee. The Sunday morning craze for their Bedmi-subzi was crazy, unfortunately was not able to try them.
Samose made in Desi Ghee, one of the best Samosa you will ever have. The potato filling in them was very very nice, full of spices blasting flavors in your mouth here, there and everywhere. At the  ‘Di Ram Bhandar’.
Kachoris at ‘Di Ram Bhandar’, were very nice, but by this time I had an overdose of Kala Chana.
Oh! and Benarsis eat Kala chana like this as well, made a chat out of the spouted ones. This portion was for Rs.7 and I must say made for an awesome snack.
Not sure what its called, but for convenience I will call it Tikona Mathi
And this is how they serve that mathi too, with Chane and other condiments.
Another thing that I gorged on while I was in Benares was Paan, from saada to meetha to zarda, everything that I had there was in a different league. No wonder its the land of paan. From quality of the leaves used, which literally melt in your mouth to other condiments which make you feel what chemicals they serve in Delhi, the Benarsi paan was next level for me. Lived upto its legend and how.
A saada paan in the making.
This is how they pack it up for you, in a leaf with some supari and chuna on the side.
And those streets are full of sweets, with a huge variety of Bengali and Chhaina sweets on display all around the winding network of alleys that is Benares. However I did not try many of  them, something that I have left for my next visits.
The plain old boondi – more juicy (syrupy) than usual, I ate them with sweet curd and man was it a bliss.
Aaah! jalebi, I don’t think I can write anything about this princess of sweets.
Laung lata – from outside just some maida fried and soaked in sugar, but the surprise lies inside. Oh how I loved this one.
Benares is also a major center for tourism in India, which attracts lot of foreign tourists, many of them chose to stay in the city to learn music, dance, arts, languages or simply to absorb the vibe and soak in the spirituality. To cater to them Benares has a huge selection of food options, which can be termed international in true sense. Did not try much of those options, however another thing that I would save for my future visits.
A dish in one of the Korean places run by a Bengali gentleman. Kimchi Egg Ramen. Simple top ramen cooked with lot of kimchi it and two eggs poured in it. If you like spices then this would be SUPER comforting and delicious for you.
Hummus at Shree Cafe, recipe of which has been shared and developed with by an Israeli visitor for them. can you get more authentic than that?
I was staying in an area called Bengali Tola, which I would assume roughly translate into the Area of Bengalis. One of the evenings while walking around I found this guy with a small kadhai by the street side frying stuff up. On checking it turned out to be chops and pakodas, done in Bengali style.
Aloo pakoda and Veg Chop, check the crisps around the chop.
Chop was stuffed with carrots and other vegetables, quite interesting for me atleast.
Mirchi pakodas being fried up.
A place of pakodi I pciked from a random shop for Rs. 5, served with subzi, mooli and chutney.
Phew! coming to the end of it, I realize that it was lot of food to eat for around 48 hours I spent there. Here I must share that most of the dishes served there are very cheap and served in very small portions. A portion good enough to give you a proper taste of it, however is not gonna fill you up for sure. Even the lassis are served in small kullahds unlike the gigantic glasses up north, and yeah its richer than any lassi that I have had before be it Delhi, Amritsar or Vrindavan – Benares beats all of them fair and square. Plus its the nature of the city, as a tourist you can keep walking in those alleys, be lost and everywhere you are lost you will run into a food outlet or the other which would invite you to try it out.
Its a city that for sure is inviting me for many more visits,  because I am sure in 48 hours I have only seen the tip of ice-berg, there is a lot more, a lot deeper to be discovered and more importantly to be eaten. Waiting for winters to come, when hopefully I can travel back to the City of Ganges, with an army of tummies with me for support hopefully.
In the meantime me and my family are enjoying this Incredible Mirchi ka Achar that I got from there. VERY spicey, but I ain’t complaining.

Ahmadabad’s Food Delights – By Dhawal Shah

MANEK CHOWK – “KHAU GALI”
This place is food hub for all bhukkads. This place starts the operations around 7 pm and go on till 1 am. The place where this kiosk is setup is actually a jewelers market in day time. It is one of the oldest market right in the middle of old Ahmadabad with lots and lots of  shor sharaba.
In this small area one can find 30-40 different food outlets where you can get varieties like different types of sandwiches, pizzas, dosas, panipuris, ice creams, kulfis, Punjabi & Chinese food, etc.
As a foodie this place is always in my “must visit places list” during my Ahmadabad visit.
During my last visit I had few delicacies like :
Chocolate Sandwich
Now this sandwich is made with the ingredients like Cadburys Dairy Milk, Chocolate Sauce, lots of cheese and butter. I don’t think I have had bread softer than the one used in this sandwich.
Chocolate Sandwich
Gwalior Dosa
I really don’t know why this type of dosa is called as Gwalior Instead of BUTTER Dosa. This simple butter dosa is very different from what we eat in Sagar Ratna, Dasaprakash etc. This is soft dosa loaded with loads of pure AMUL BUTTER.

Gwalior Dosa

Dryfuirt Dosa

Its Sin!!! Yes,this Dosa is purely made from cashews, badams, butter and cheese etc. Ghee roasted badams and cashews tastes amazingly delicious. It is served with Spl CRISPY MASALA Dosa. 

Pizza
Pizza made in oven. It is as crispy as biscuit or oven fresh cookies. Very simple tomato Sauce with Amul Cheese “JAB tak customer NA mat Bole”.

Pizza

Pineapple Sandwich

This is my all time favorite sandwich made from fresh pineapple with cheese and butter ofcourse :P.

Pineapple Sandwich

RIDHI SIDHI

This is recently opened roadside outlet but very popular and famous for its original mumbaiya taste. This is cart is run by trained Maharshtrian cook and his family members. One of the finds of Ahmedabad.
Missal Pav
Thanks to the Ridhi Sidhi where one can find authentic Misal Pav. Spicy, full of masalas and farsan, Misal Pav is served with Special Pav. Now this pav is not ordinary pav what we get in local markets. His pav is his USP.

Missal Pav

Masala Pav

On asking him and showing the interest in Maharshtrian food, this cook offered me masala pav on his recommendation. He prepared superb chutney of onion, garlic & tomato along with some traditional spices on tawa. Wowwww is the word for this meal.

Masala Pav

Vadapav

Ahmedabad has modified version of vadapav. But this is the orginal vadapav what we eat in Mumbai and Pune. Again aloo vada and chutney makes it so special.Place : Praladh Nagar

Vadapav

Random check outs:

Dabeli
All time favorite snack of Gujaratis made with aloo, mixture of several chatnis, roasted peanuts, etc.
Place: Kutch King Dabeli

Dabeli

 

Pav bhaji
Pav bhaji made just in front of you as per your instructions. It tastes as similar what we get in Mumbai with Fresh Vegetables topped with butter.
Place: Prince Pav Bhaji

Pav bhaji

Khada Bhaji

This is different version of pao bhaji with some twist. Spicy bhaji made with freshly choped vegetables.
Place: Prince Pav Bhaji
Khada Bhaji

Butter Pulav

Again Mumbaiya taste pulav, a rice delicacy with bhaji.
Place: Prince Pav Bhaji, Maninagar

Butter Pulav

Jai Bhawani Vada Pav

Modified version of vadapav made with lots of butter and garlic chutney. Some people even find it better than original vadapav. In my opinion one should not miss vadapao from this place during Ahmadabad Visit.
Place : Jai Bhawani Vadapao, CG Road

Vada pav

Dum Biryani @ 650

Biryani is not a part of Gujarat palette. But this is one of the better Dum Biryani one can have in Ahmedabad. As per chef, they have secret recipe of this delicacy.
Place :650 The Gloabal Kitchen, Ambawadi

Dum Biryani 

Ragda Pani Puri

We generally eat Suji panipuri in Delhi, but in Ahemdabad, we get panipuri made with aata. Here panipuri is served with ultra spicy pani along with hot ragda made of mattara (what we eat in chole kulche).
Slurpppppp!!!!
Place: Arvind pani puri wala, Paldi

Ragda Pani Puri

Sindhi Daal Pakwan

I was waiting to grab Daal pakwan as soon as I land up in Ahmedabad. This sindhi delicacy is only found  in Sindhi dominated area of Ahmedabad. Its made up with mixture of several Dals.
Place : Sindhi market, Maninagar

Sindhi Daal Pakwan

 

Maggie Pakora
How many of us had Maggie in pakora style? Yes in Ahmadabad you can find these Maggi Pakoras. It tastes amazing, made with daal and Maggie.On asking that guy how he invented this delicacy he simply said its totally accidental and purely a gods grace. He said I ordered painter to make board of Maggie and pakora but painter just made board with just “Maggie pakora”. And that’s how he become famous and started making Maggie pakoras.
Place:  SG highway Opp Karnavati Club

Maggie Pakora

Text & Images by Dhawal Shah

What to eat in Amritsar? – A comprehensive list.

Amritsar is a food lovers delight and the question keeps popping up on what to eat there. I though I will make a compilation of information we have on it and make this post a one stop resource for anyone looking to explore the food scene of the city.

Harmandir Saheb or Golden Temple

If you have something to share, please share that in comments, and if you are here to take info, then please do read comments too.

The following list is courtesy Rajeev Gulati, I picked it from one of his comments on Facebook.

■ GURDAS RAM JALEBI WALE IN OLD CITY

■ BHRAWAN DA DHABA AT HALL BAZAR FOR VEG THAALI

■ KESAR DA DHABA FOR SLOW COOKED DAAL AND CRISP PARANTHAS

■ AMRITSARI KULCHAS AT…..

1. KULCHA LAND OPP. MK INTERNATIONAL

2. KULWANT DE AMRITSARI KULCHEY NEAR DARBAR SAHEB

3. SUCHHA SINGH AT CHUNGI 

■ BAU DI PANEER BHURJI

■ KANHA SWEETS for PURI-CHOLEY, LASSI & JAGGERY (GUR) HALWA

■ AHUJA (HALL BAZAR) FOR LASSI 

■ NAGINA NUTREY PALAK KULCHA AT CLOTH MARKET NEAR HALL BAZAR 

■ BHIJJEY CHOLEY KULCHA & MATHHI AT CLOTH MARKET NEAR HALL BAZAR 

■ PAL DHABA AT HALL BAZAAR FOR KEEMA NAAN & KEEMA MUTTON

■ PARKASH MEAT AT MAQBOOL ROAD FOR TAWA MUTTON ITEMS

■ SURJIT FOOD PLAZA (TANDOORI CHICKEN) AT LAWRANCE ROAD

■ BEERAN DA DHAABA AT MAJHITHIA ROAD

■ FISH & CHICHEN AT MAKKHAN AT LAWRANCE ROAD

I guess the data shared above is sufficient to sort out any traveler and/or food lover looking for good in this Northern frontier city of India. Feel free to add and read comments.Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

Where to eat Poori Chhole in Amritsar? – Food Trippin’

Poori Chhole is something which is very close to my heart, for me they are food for my soul. Last year when we went to Amritsar for our food trip, we ate them at Kanha Sweets and couple of morsels inside me, I proclaimed them the best I have had till date. However life is not always about the best, and I am someone who would appreciate some of the lesser known mortals too and give them a fair chance to compete for my taste buds and very valuable appetite.

 
So when a dear friend and food lover Jaideep Riar from Amritsar suggested that we do a poori and kulcha shootout on our trip to Amritsar this year, I jumped on the offer. The idea of trying 3-4 prominent poori waalas in the famed lanes of Amritsar was way too exciting for me to say no to.


Lead by Aman Kahlon and Jaideep Riar, we started our expedition with New Munim Di Hatti on lawrence road. Which unfortunately was a disappointment as they were not even making them puris that morning. They offered to source them from a shop behind theirs but we decided to give it a pass. Apparently I have been told that these guys have opened up a shop in some mall and that is where they sell their stuff now. Not Interested. Seriously.



Poori, Chhole, Aloo ki Subzi at Kanha, Lawrence Road

 

Fresh Pooris at Kanha

 

Next up was Kanha, where the puris were as good as I remember them to be. Served with Chhole and Aloo ki khatti meethi subzi, he still remains the best that is out there. Besides that his Gur waala Halwa is quite divine. Here I also must mention something called Satpura (sat-pura or seven puras). Many of you would confuse it with ‘Japanese samosa’ from Old Delhi, which is a mystery in itself for me. Its something that would look similar to a Puff or patty, however is nothing like it. Well, I have had it only couple of times, and both times at Kanha itself.


Satpura
Gur (Jaggery) ka Halwa
Gur ka Hawla at New Munim di Hatti, Lawrence Road
Basanti Halwa at New Munim hi Hatti, the name is attributed to Color.

 

Then we went to Kanhaiya which is Kanha’s next door neighbour, and his stuff was quite good as well. And like their names, their Poori-Chhole were quite similar to each other too, but Kanha still manages to take an edge for me.


Chhole Poori and Aloo ki Subi at Kahaiya sweets, Lawrence Road
Satpuras in a stack

 

From there we took the long hop all the way to Old City, right in the heart of action at Telephone Exchange area. Now this is a very interesting area, you can find a number of rehris selling kulche, Bhature, Pooris and other vegetarian stuff in the morning and noon time and as they day progresses the place is taken over by vendors catering to carnivore audience.

This expedition of ours was to Shera Poori Waala who sells his stuff from a cart / rehri near the telephone exchange. There is nothing fancy about him like Kanha or kanhaiya, however fresh, thin and crispy pooris served with very decent Chhole and Aloo ki subzi. If you like your stuff with no frills and zero fanciness quotient, then this is the place to be. Plus I am assuming it is not too far from Golden Temple and hence would be most easy for people visiting the city to reach and savor.
Poori Chhole Aloo at Shera Poori Waala, Near Telephone Exchange
Lassi waala next to shera, serving hand churned Lassis.
Another style of eating it, just add bit of thick curd on your chhole
Giant Poori made specially for us by Shera on request of Aman Paaji
Our last stop was a poori waala next to Laungan Devi temple in Rani Da Bagh area. His pooris came with Kaddu (Pumpkin), alooo and chhole. We all felt that his stuff was quite bland, but then I am biased against Poori and Chhole and cannot really call anything bad.
 
Poori, Chhole, Kaddu and Aloo outside Laungan Devi Temple

Poori, Chhole, Kaddu and Aloo outside Laungan Devi Temple
Waiting to be served
Madhup bhai, getting in the fresh stock
So when it comes to eating Pooris in Amritsar – First choice is Kanha for sure, however if you are bored of him or want to try something other than Kanha or do not want to travel to Lawrence Road, then you should head to Shera Poori Waala in Telephone exchange area.