Jaipur, being the capital of Rajasthan, is home to numerous restaurants that offer interesting dishes from all around this desert state. The Mirza Ismail Road, popularly referred to as MI Road, is popular for the many jewellery stores lining up the road, but the real jewels here are the traditional Rajasthani dishes served up at its restaurants. Niro’s, one of the oldest establishments in town, is frequented by foreign tourists for its delectable food and neat and tidy setting. The gatte ki sabzi served here is an absolute must-have. Natraj is immensely popular for its relatively inexpensive vegetarian Rajasthani thali. Handi serves tender mutton cooked in traditional handis (pots) and smoked with burning charcoal, along with wafer-thin roomali rotis. Next door is the equally pocket-friendly Surya Mahal. MI Road also has several small joints serving samosas, jalebis, creamy lassi and kachoris. If you want some excellent dal baati choorma at a reasonable rate, you can go to Thali House near Sindhi Camp.
Spice Court, which is located on Jacob Road, truly lives up to its name and serves some of the spiciest dishes in Rajasthani cuisine’s repertoire. Try the junglee maas or the keema baati here.
Chokhi Dhani, about 22km outside Jaipur, serves a smashing thali. This place comes to life every evening with a village-fair-like atmosphere. Sri Thal Village Restaurant, in Vaishali Nagar, is Chokhi Dhani on a lesser scale. Its dal baati choorma thali is popular, as is the bajre ki khichdi.
The Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar in Johari Bazaar is as famous as the ancient bazaar it’s located in. Popularly known as LMB, it is famous for its snacks, sweets and vegetarian thalis. Try the kachoris and traditional Indian sweets like paneer ghevar.
The Rawat Mishthan Bhandar on Station Road dishes out about 10,000 kachoris on a daily basis! You must try their yummy onion and dal kachoris. Opposite Rawat is Kanji, another great place to try traditional snacks or sweets, especially laddoos. Finally, wash it all down with a lassi at the famous Lassiwala Pan Shop at Ajmer Gate.
Suvarna Mahal at Rambagh Palace serves one of the best thali spreads of its type. The appetisers include vegetable kebabs and barbequed lamb, and amongst the main courses is the restaurant’s signature dish, lal maas, and gatte among others. For dessert, you can have malpuas and rasmalai.
At 1135AD in Amber Fort, you’ll be served your lunch on pure silverware and matching cutlery, and you’ll eat it under a recast roof with gold inlay and leaf work. You could start the meal with stuffed roasted paneer and follow it with a thali of 10 items, including lal maas, served with flavoured rice and naan.
Read more in the Outlook Traveller Getaways India’s Culinary Heritage