Monday, April 6, 2015

The best of Traditional Rajasthani Thalis in Jaipur

Rajasthan is a traveller's delight. Every city you go to  has something really unique to offer be it the history, the geography, the experiences along with the one common thing loved by all - Traditional Rajasthani food!

Jaipur is a part of India’s Golden Triangle and is one of the top five destinations in India in terms of tourism. It is a must go on anyone's bucket list. I have been to Jaipur twice in the last couple of years and food is the first thing on my mind when I land there. After trying and testing a couple of places for various kinds of dishes, I have zeroed down on my favourites though of course I am always open to trying out new places and dishes when I visit next. 

The traditional thali in Jaipur is a must have if you are visiting and here are my favourite places which you must try out!

Chokhi Dhani
Chokhi Dhani is the perfect place for a rustic Rajasthani experience. It is set up like a village and you can experience folk dances, street shows, palmistry, shopping for handmade jewellery and artifacts before you settle for the best part of your visit which is their unlimited thali. When I had visited, I actually sat on a swing hung from the tree, spent sometime with the palmist, shopped for cute handmade jewellery, saw a folkdance and a rope walk, all before heading for my dinner which was something that I had not imagined would be so fabulous. The servers are really friendly and forever smiling and once they start feeding you, they do not stop putting food onto your plate. They urge you to eat more and top every serving with a spoon ful of desi ghee or white butter! The variety is so huge, that you don't know what to eat and what not to eat and everything is so tasty that 'Pet bhar jaaye par man na bhare' which means 'Your stomach gets full the heart doesn't agree'. The main course consists of traditional Rajasthani starters and main course dishes and once that is done, the variety of sweets too is unending. I couldn't get up after my meal because I was so full and it took me a good 10 minutes before I could finally think of making a move back to the car. It costs you INR 600 for an adult and is worth every penny. 
Address: Chokhi Dhani - 5 Star Ethnic Village Resort, 12 Miles Tonk Road, Jaipur

Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar
One of the oldest in Jaipur, this place is known for its sweet shop and restaurant. It is also known as LMB. The thali menu is extensive and the varieties of dal baati churma that they serve is really good. The kadhi pakodi was delicious. My other favourites were the pyaz kachori which is fried in pure ghee and the paneer ghewar which is a speciality. The dahi wadas melt in your mouth and the chaat dishes are tasty too. The lassi is so thick that you have to suck the straw multiple times to get a sip but it is brilliant - one of the best lassis I have ever had! Located in the heart of Johari Bazaar, it is the perfect place to head to after all the wonderful shopping in the market. It costs about INR 450 inclusive of taxes for a thali.
Address: 100, Johari Bazaar, Pink City, Jaipur

Handi Restaurant
This place is a must for non-veg lovers and has an awesome non-veg thali. They serve you 3 authentic non-veg dishes in your thali along with other veg dishes. The Jaisalmeri Lal Maas is to die for and the butter chicken is really tasty. The handi meat is their specialty which is served with smoked charcoal and the Jungli chicken is another to die for dish. You must try the Afghani chicken for starters and the roomali rotis that are paper thin and just melt in your mouth. The Mutton Handi Biryani is another must have from their menu. We had ordered a thali and some a la carte dishes too and so I landed up trying quite a few dishes. Some of the non veg dishes were very spicy but really mouthwatering. I guess its the spice that makes the dish even more flavoursome. The non-veg thali costs INR 550.
Address: Maya Mansion, Opposite GPO, MI Road, Jaipur

I feel like going back to Jaipur just for this yummy food after having described it to you in such detail! Whenever you travel to Jaipur, do try out the authentic Rajasthani food in Jaipur at these places. Most people think that Rajasthani thalis are only veg, but Rajasthani non-veg thalis are quite easily available across the state which I highly recommend. If you also find a restaurant to recommend to me, do let me know so that I can check it out on my next trip to Jaipur.

Bon Appétit! :)

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