There are some of us who lose no time to say "will travel for food". If only travel came so easily. Add to that the desire (and hunger) to try as many traditional dishes as possible...what can a foodie do, right? Well, if you are a foodie and in Delhi, there are some ways you can satisfy your craving for something traditional. We lovingly call it--A Visit to the State Bhawans. While some State Bhawans are not open to public, there are some that are open to all and they serve great food. Try these twelve:
If You Are Craving For Something South Indian...
Andhra Bhawan: Ashoka Road, Connaught Place
A personal favourite this one. Andhra Bhawan is a happy place, ask anyone who has had a meal there. Delicious idlis, vadas and dosas for breakfast and their famous Thali for lunch--these two should be on your food agenda. When at Andhra Bhawan, go for the all-you-can-eat veg thali and if you are a non-vegetarian, ask for the thali anyway and get a side dish of spicy chicken and mutton fry. Be there before 1:30 pm because the place gets packed.
Karnataka Sangha: Rao Tula Ram Road, RK Puram
Three words: Mysore Masala Dosa. That's all you need to know for now. You know your dosa is good when you hear that crispy crunch of the crust. That's what you are going to get at Karnataka Sangha.
Kerala House: 3 Jantar Mantar Road
Malabar parotta with buff fry or curry...what else were you planning to eat at Kerala House? Just make sure you reach the place by 1 if you plan on eating lunch here. It's a mad rush and we blame the good food.
Tamil Nadu House: Opposite Chanakya Theatre in Chanakyapuri
We are thinking Chettinad cuisine. What about you? Spicy Chicken Chettinad is a must-try dish. You won't regret the decision.
Goa Niwas: Chanakyapuri
You may be nowhere near a beach but that shouldn't stop you from eating the Goan special pork and crab xacuti. The prawn items, especially the butter garlic prawn, are must-try.
From The Land Far West...
Go for their thali and you will not regret. They say their thali is simple; it is anything but. The thali consists of traditional Gujarati dal, rice, roti, thepla, seasonal vegetables, and Gujarati delicacies like Bhakadwadi, Farsaan and Kathod (a side of cooked mung beans). If you are thinking to "eat light" at Gujarat Bhawan, that's not going to happen. Their thali is delicious and big. Embrace yourself for a hearty meal.
They have a wide range of thalis at Maharashtra Sadan. We like Vidharbha Thali and Parsi Thali the most. Won't you let us know your favourite?
Banga Bhawan: 3 Hailey Road, Barakhamba Road
You don't have to wait for Durga Puja to enjoy Bengali food in Delhi. Steer yourself away from Chittaranjan Park (CR Park) and head to Barakhamba Road for a delicious Bangla treat at Banga Bhawan. Eat rice when you are here. What goes best with rice is the Bangali special Kosha Mangsho, Sorse Hilsa, Bhapa Hilsa and Fish Paturi. Hungry already?
Assam Bhawan: 1 Sardar Patel Marg
This is probably one of the best places in Delhi to eat traditional Assamese food. Cooked and served by Assamese staff, the food here is authentic. Try their Parampara Thali if you are a first-timer. A little bit of everything Assamese in one plate: alu pitika (mashed potato with raw mustard oil, green chillies, onions and coriander, dal, and a choice of duck/chicken curry, fish cooked in traditional Assamese style (wrapped in banana leaf and steamed).
Mizoram House: Pandit Uma Shankar Dixit Marg, Chanakyapuri
If you havn't been to the lovely state of Mizoram, this can be your starting point. Lunch hour sounds lovely to us for there will be the traditional Mizo meal of bai (boiled vegetables cooked with fermented fish) and pork and fish items.
Meghalaya House: 9 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road
Here you can get a mix of traditional Khasi cuisine and Chinese. But we suggest you go for the traditional Khasi. Ask for Jadoh and Doh Khlei, these two items are popular dishes all over Meghalaya so it is only apt to try them while you are here.
And Then Came The North...
Jammu and Kashmir House: Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri
You eat what you see written on a blackboard. That's how it is at Jammu and Kashmir House. You may get mutton rogan josh if you are lucky enough. The lack of a menu should not deter you from trying this place. We all know that food from Jammu and Kashmir is always good.