Gatte ki sabzi, Dal baati-churma, Mangodi, Pakoda kadhi… think of authentic Rajasthani cuisine and this is what immediately pops up in one’s mind!
Royally rich and truly exotic, the cuisine of this land is a magical mix of exquisite flavors, multi-colored spices skillfully blended with a tint of desert air and lovingly cooked with ladlefuls of ghee. Equally alluring are its wide variety of street food fare that is available throughout the state. Be it the hot jalebis or the crispy kachoris – the flavors are absolutely mouth watering and simply irresistible! Till I was in Rajasthan, I sure was not counting the calories. No one does, actually!!
So, all you food lovers across the globe, come along and experience the culinary delights of Rajasthan… As I set out to savor some of the unique flavors of the region (which I will be posting from time to time). The appearance itself, I am sure, will be reason enough, to set your taste buds rolling!
Chirawa, a Shekhawati village around 25 km from Jhunjhunu is well known for its Pedas. Famous as the ‘Chirawa Peda’, these are available at most of the sweetmeat shops in the state. But, it’s best to buy them from the town it comes from, Chirawa since the taste definitely will differ at the other places. Thus, though out of our way, we still make it a point to travel all the way here just to get a taste of these! Do not miss these especially if you have a sweet tooth or even if you don’t!!
[ Very Famous Lal Chand’s Peda shop of Chirawa ]
[ A box full of delicious Chirawa Peda with a
generous sprinkling of cardamom and pistachio ]
Absolutely recommended...We always buy them from Lal Chand’s Pedas, situated on the station road, one of the most famous shops in Chirawa (they now have a branch in Jhunjhunu too!). You can even take a couple of boxes for your loved ones back home as they last for as long as 1 month.
Flavors of Jhunjhunu (Where, What to eat in Jhunjhunu)
Rajasthan being an arid state, there’s scarcity of water and lack of vegetation. Thus, gram flour, dried lentils, beans like kair (a camel's favorite, a small, round desert fruit which grows on a prickly shrub), sangri (dried wild leaves), etc are liberally used and sold here.
[ A shop outside selling a variety of things to take back home,
Did you notice the Pedas…I told you they are everywhere! ]
My mom takes quite a lot of stuff like kair sangri, mustard seeds, etc from this shop just outside the Rani Sati Temple complex to stack up her kitchen shelves.
As I have already mentioned that when in Jhunjhunu, it’s best to have one’s lunch and dinner in the temple premises itself. But if you are feeling hungry besides these meal times, then all you need to do is just step out of the temple complex… There are a number of pushcarts selling a variety of snacks waiting just for you!
There is an array of chaats like Pani puris, Aloo tikiyas, Matka kulfis and also The Bombay bhel!
[ A push cart selling a variety of street chaats ]
I tasted some of these… was okay but the best was reserved for the last…
As I was about to leave Jhunjhunu for my next destination, my eyes fell on this pushcart crowded with a lot of tourists. The delectable sight of Pakodi chaats, Kanji vadas and Dahi vadas was inviting enough to get me in!
[ Crisp and spicy Pakodis being fried ]
Kanji vadas… fabulous and a very popular appetizer…very tasty, melt-in-the-mouth light and fluffy…
[ Kanji Vadas... light and fluffy ]
What I totally adore is the pungent fermented kanji…ummm…actually better tasted than described… leaves a lovely after taste!
[ Dahi Vadas... dipped in sweet yoghurt ]
Dahi vadas... Another famous starter…served soaked in sweet yoghurt topped with tangy spices and colorful chutneys giving it a very distinct taste! I gorged on quite a few of them!
A perfect morning meal in Jhunjhunu set me up for the road to Salasar ahead!