There were endless days when I would travel for hours just to savor the best bites. I still jump at the idea of traveling somewhere far to eat. And, the first thing I research about while planning a trip is food!
A trip to Udaipur last year introduced me to some mouthwatering specialties from the region.
The interesting medley of spices in Rajasthan adds a wonderful magic to every dish, and there are few delicacies which you wouldn’t find anywhere else in India (You might, but it wouldn’t be as delicious). This is the only place where I merrily order pure vegetarian dishes as well!
I am compiling a list of food items that are a must try.
Laal Maas: In my opinion as well as popular opinion, this has to be the most famous delicacy from the state of Rajasthan. Laal Maas or Red Meat, a goat curry simmered for hours with a multitude of whole spices & red chilly, was savored by the royals of many generations in the past.
You can have this with naan or jeera rice and the best place to try this would be Ambrai Restaurant in Amet Haveli. Because nobody minds delicious food with a view of the lake!
Image Courtsey: Life is a vacation
This curry has a red tinge and can be very spicy, so make sure you keep tons of lemonade and water with you. Nonetheless, this is a must try!
Gatte ki Sabzi: This is a dish made with gram flour, which is first kneaded into a dough, then rolled & boiled and finally cut into small pieces before being dipped into a curry made with onion & yogurt. I had this sabzi at The Little Prince restaurant which is right by the people’s bridge near Chandpole gate. At this restaurant, I only ordered the sabzi and rotis which were made to perfection so would highly recommend trying this particular dish here.
To enjoy this dish best, you need to take bites with hot tawa rotis. And this is purely vegetarian so everyone can relish this.
Dal-Bati-Churma: Another dish which is highly popular throughout Rajasthan. Though my experience with this dish wasn’t great at Anna restaurant where I frantically decided to have dinner because I was famished. Maybe, this particular restaurant doesn’t specialize in Dal-Baati-Churma.
This delicacy has three components i.e Dal, Baati & Churma. Dal is made from a mix of lentils, Baati is balls of wheat dough fried in a traditional oven and churma is made by crushing the fried baati.
Image Courtsey: NDTV Food
I have read that Natraj Dining Hall and Restaurant makes this dish pretty well so you may head that way! And, it’s purely vegetarian.
Kadhi Pakoda: I didn’t order this dish separately in Udaipur but whenever you order a Thali, you would get kadhi.
Kadhi has multiple variations across different parts of India. The one in Rajasthan is white in color and served as a plain curry made from gram flour & yogurt. In other parts of India, pakoras or fritters are added to the curry (as you can see in the picture above).
Rajasthani Thali: All delicacies in one platter. This is more of an experience than taste, although I can assure you that you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself and demand more as most restaurants offer unlimited servings!
In this thali, you can taste a bit of every specialty from the region. So, in case you missed something, you can grab a thali which is served at most of the restaurants. I tried thali at two places in Udaipur and can’t seem to remember the name of either!
One was near the City Palace and had just Rajasthani Thali written all over the place that intrigued me to try a thali. Their platter size was gigantic so I asked them to give me a limited thali, which again was way-too-much!
A thali typically has kadhi, panchmela dal, ker sangri, gatte ki sabzi, papad ki sabzi, raita, breads and a sweet dish. You can ask your server what all would be there in the thali and they would explain the dishes, ingredients & preparation method very patiently. For me, Udaipur stands out because of its hospitality.
Coffee: This isn’t specific to Udaipur. But, I was surprised to find such amazing cafes at every corner of Udaipur. My favorite was Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery which not only serves amazing Cappucino’s but offers a small sit-out area right in front of the lake.
Some other cafes worth trying are Cafe Edelweiss, Cafe Namaste, Grasswood Cafe, Maxim’s Cafe and Millets of Mewar.
Note: Most of the restaurants and cafes are close to the Chandpole area so you may not need to go far-off in search of food, unless you want to.
Trivia: Since Rajasthan is a desert state, scarcity of vegetables was common in the past. Owing to this, their cuisine revolves around meat, gram flour, whole spices and red chilly, things which were readily available. Even today, you will not find a lot of vegetables in the traditional dishes.
Shout-out: To O’Zen Restaurant Cafe for sending the check to our hotel as we didn’t have enough cash to pay and they weren’t accepting credit/debit cards. Their server asked us to enjoy our meal without thinking about how to pay!
You may refer to this post from Trippy Passports for more places to eat in Udaipur.
If you want to read about what to see in Udaipur, you may check this post.