Exploring The Delicious Side Of The City Of Lakes
Udaipur is the cultural oasis of the royal state of Rajasthan. The art and culture, the gaiety and beauty of this city is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the other cities of the largely desert state. The cooling waters of the Lake Pichola and the stately palaces belie the feud filled history of the region. There is much more to the Rajputana, however, than tales of bravery and bloodshed. The amazing element of Udaipur that attracts tourists from India and abroad is the scrumptious cuisine. While much has been done in the name of development and Udaipur continues to take large strides towards becoming a cosmopolitan and modern city, the food culture remains largely traditional and that is certainly what adds to the city’s charm.
The cuisine of Rajasthan is unique and known for the use of full-bodied flavours and local ingredients. Traditional Rajasthani dinners at the wonderful restaurants in Udaipur will include traditional delights such as the scrumptious daal – baati – churma and dishes such as laal maas, gatte ki subzi, papad ki shaak, kadhi, and wonderful sweet dishes including sheera, ghewar, halwa, and kheer. The beauty of these dishes is that most of them are made up of ingredients that are indigenous to the desert region. The use of chickpea flour, meat, milk, curd, ghee, jowar and bajra, and dry fruits supersede the use of traditional ingredients that are available across the rest of the country. These were the dishes cooked by the royal chefs for the kings and their families. It is in Udaipur that you can experience the tradition of eating these gourmet delights.
Some of the restaurants that you must visit to enjoy the rich ambience and age old culinary heritage include Padmini at The Lalit Udaipur and 1559 AD. If it is dining in the candle light and under the stars experience that you have in mind, Udaipur has some of the best waterfront restaurants to pick from. In fact, the banks of the Lake Pichola are best known for havelis and palaces converted into restaurants with great views. The Ambrai – Amet Haveli, the Udai Kothi Restaurant, and Royal Cuisine are among the best, both in terms of the views and the delectable dishes served here.
If all this gives you the impression that Udaipur is a place for heavy and formal meals, there is much you may miss out on. As much as the city retains its historic legacy, it is also vibrant with a young, hip population and a steady inflow of both domestic and foreign tourists. The Lake Palace Udaipur and the other popular tourist places are dotted with cafes serving international cuisines, coffee, and a variety of other beverages. The Oladar Village Restaurant and Cafe, Social Diaries Cafe, and the Chocolate Room are favourites with regulars.
Much has been written about the ambience and food of restaurants in Udaipur but the best kept secret of the City of Lakes is its street food. The variety and the flavours are simply mindboggling. It will, however, require a bit of exploration and friendly conversations with the locals to spot the best street-side eateries. While exploring the regular daal-baati and sweet shops you may want to try the kesar chai or camel milk tea that is brewed in the city. If you’re here during winters, look for sweet shops that serve steaming hot besan ka halwa or malpua and rabri. Other winter sweets that you should sample here are gaund ke laddu and ghewar. Do also take a long walk around the Sukhadia Circle to sample some the most amazing chaats and decadent faloodas served up by small shops and street vendors.