Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Rajasthani food treat

I returned to Jaipur after many years. It has grown into a much better and bigger city. In fact it has retained all its pristine beauty and draws foreigners like a magnet. Even in the April heat there were so many of them who had descended here and were milling around at small curio shops in Johari Bazaar, eating Indian savouries at local food stalls, and looking curiously at the historical Hawa Mahal . A walk through the Secretariat to the Sawai Mansingh bus station was pleasent one, to see a riot of color and air of festivity . The statue at the round about at Ashok Nagar was majestic and so were the nicely maintained gardens. Walking a little further, I came across an exhibition on Indian Tourism Expo in full swing at the BM Birla Planetarium.

The sun was setting and most of the people were scurrying back home. I had decided to try out the authentic Rajasthani Food which is spicy and wholesome. On my earlier visits I had tried various sweets but this time I wanted to have a full meal at LMB( abbreviation for Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar) . LMB is a signature three star hotel located in Johari bazaar. The hotel serves only vegetarian food. The outer part of this restaurant is a sweet cum bakery shop where one can see literally more than a hundred varieties of food and a little further inside is the restaurant. A smartly attired guard greeted me and ushered me inside. The crowd was building up, but I managed to find a place which was perfectly located and I could see what most of the other people were having. I have often wondered why everyone is more keen to see what the other person is eating including myself. I ordered a thali . The sofa was ornately lined and the small chandeliers above the round table lit the place softly. A soft music played which soothed the nerves. The waiter brought the hot soup of Vadi( a local delicacy) and after a few minutes the huge platter ( a thali) arrived with more than a dozen dishes excluding four types of bread/ stuffed roti. Dal, Bati ,Churma is the traditional meal cooked in earthen pot over a slow fire, which is not to be missed.The dahi vada, mirchi salan and khadi and gatta subzi were out of the world. Every thing was perfect. The courteous waiter came back again and again asking for a refill. Though the taste buds wanted more, the stomach groaned and protested. I was done and after having one of the best meal waited for the bill to arrive. A measly Rs 300/- was what I paid for the luxury I had enjoyed. It would not even fetch a decent pizza back in Delhi.
I returned to my hotel fully satiated.

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