Bhopal’s great love for non-vegetarian food stems from the era of the nawabs and begums. The city’s cuisine borrows heavily from the kitchens of the Awadhi and Hyderabadi nizams. Sample these local specialities on a food crawl. 

Poha-Jalebi 

No Bhopali breakfast can be complete without the light and flavourful poha accompanied by a sinful mawa-jalebi and a cup of piping hot chai. All of these things can be found at Raju Tea Stall, an always busy street-side tea joint that has become a Bhopali institution. Get there early, they often run out of poha by 9am. 

Chicken Rizala

Tuck into Murgh Rizala – a delicate chicken curry in a silken, mildly spiced coriander gravy. The Bhopali speciality is surprisingly hard to come by in the city. Sample it at the Noor-Us-Sabah Palace hotel’s Awadhi restaurant Za-aiqa, where the cuisine of the Bhopali begums is preserved in traditional recipes including this one. 

Abhinav Kakkar
Delicate, melt-in-the-mouth kebabs in Bhopal are nothing like the standard starters you are used to
Delicate, melt-in-the-mouth kebabs in Bhopal are nothing like the standard starters you are used to

Keema Kaleji

An indulgent dish of mutton keema with large chunks of liver in a rich, spicy gravy, Keema Kaleji is a Bhopal speciality best eaten at the iconic Hakeem Hotel. Every meat-loving Bhopali will recommend heading to New Market to sample the mince dish, slow-cooked with whole spices, and scooped up with soft Roomali Rotis. 

Shammi Kebab

Delicate, melt-in-the-mouth roundels with a perfectly fried crispy exterior, kebabs in Bhopal are nothing like the standard starters you are used to. At Hakeem Hotel, four gigantic Shammi Kebabs arrive on a platter, each one the size of my face. Packed with the flavour of spices, they go perfectly with the fresh green chutney served on the side.

Another place to head to to relish the cuisine in Bhopal is MP Tourism-run Minto Hall’s rooftop restaurant called ‘1909 – The Crown of Bhopal’. The ambiance and the food will surely leave you content.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Raju Tea Stall

Timings: 6am to Midnight

Address: 123, Anapuran Building, Ground Floor, Sultania Road, Bhopal

Hakeem Hotel

Timings: 11am to 11.30pm

Address: 5A, New Market, TT Nagar, Bhopal

Telephone: 07554252181

 

Za-aiqa

Timings: 7.30pm to 11pm

Address: Noor-Us-Sabah Palace, VIP Road, Koh-E-Fiza, Bhopal

Tel: 07554223333

Minto Hall

1909 – The Crown of Bhopal

Timings: 12 noon to 11pm

Address: Jahangirabad, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462008

Tel: 0755-255-0588