India is full of wonders and, without a doubt, one of those is its food. As Tyler previously mentioned, it took us 18 days before we repeated a dish. Not surprising when you see the number of vegetables, meats, & spices Indians like to cook with. We kept a detailed list of everything we tried so we could share with you a few of our favorites meals & those I actually took pictures of...sometimes the food just looked too delicious and I completely forgot. We even showed this list to our fellow train-mate during our trip from Agra to Delhi and he was very impressed with the variety and number of dishes we managed to fit in our short three & a half week trip.
In order to help you with names and such, below are some of the most used ingredients in Hindi & English.
Mutter Green peas
Paneer Cottage Cheese
Lamb marinated in yogurt and spices then cooked in a gravy made of onions, tomatoes and more spices. From Karim's (Jama Masjid) in Delhi: a must visit for the traditional Indian eatery alone. The delicious food doesn't hurt.
South Indian Food
I realize this isn't a dish but we tried a multitude of different foods from Southern India one night thanks to Bani, a friend of my mom's so I lumped them all together. From Sagar Ratna in Delhi, we tried dosas, vadas & idlis (pictured here) as well as coffee and gulab jamun.
Cottage cheese with khoya (dairy product made from dried milk or heated milk), onion, garlic, ginger, tomato and spices. From Rhada Govind in Jaipur (recommended by Ricky!).
Vegetable / chicken momos (dumplings)
Aloo pyaz (potato with onion curry), kadi (spiced yogurt soup), gatta curry (flour dumplings cooked in a yogurt sauce), dal fry (fried lentils), jeera rice (rice with cumin seeds), lasun chutney (garlic chutney), boondi raita (yogurt dip), missi roti (flat bread), papad (thin, crisp cracker), ghewar (sweet made with flour and soaked in sugar syrup) and rajbhog (sweet made with paneer and stuffed with almonds & pistachios). All from Surya Mahal in Jaipur.
Green pepper stuffed with potato and deep fried. From Shahi Samosa in Jodhpur. You might recall the following picture from a couple posts ago...
Royal Shahi Paneer
Fresh cottage cheese made of rich gravy with cashew nuts. From Jhankar Choti Haveli in Jodhpur.
Black lentils and red beans simmered overnight. From Jhankar Choti Haveli in Jodhpur.
Potatoes spiced with cumin. From Dagley in Jodhpur.
We were recommended to try keema bati by Bani and, boy, was it the best decision we ever made! Even the staff at the restaurant, Spice Court, were excited for our first try of these delicious fried flour balls stuffed with mutton then covered in ghee (clarified butter). It's worth a visit to Jaipur just to try this dish.
You can't go to India without having at least one lassi, the famous Indian yoghurt drink. Our favorite came from Shri Mishrilal Hotel in Jodhpur with their Makhaniya lassi (pictured right) made with cardamom and lemon. A close second? The lassi from Lassiwala in Jaipur which served them in terra cotta cups (pictured left).
Coffee & chai
Along with lassis, India offers delicious coffee and tea, which we enjoyed as often as possible. For a great cold coffee, try out Indian Coffee House in Jaipur.
If in Udaipur, please, please go to Natraj (the one near Surajpole, not the other one) where an all-you-can-eat gujarati thali costs 140 rupees per person ($2.25). It differs daily (as you can see on our pictures) but is always delicious. Best part? You can sit there for hours & eat as much as your stomach can take. You might get weird looks but when the food is this good, who cares, right?
Dal (cooked spiced lentils) poured over crumbled baati (unleavened whole wheat baked bread rolls brushed with ghee). It's messy but oh-so-good. From Santosh Restaurant in Udaipur.
Potato & onion pakora with coriander chutney & mango chutney
We took a cooking class in Udaipur and these potato/onion pakoras along with the chutneys were some of the dishes we learned how to make. The potato parantha and naan with cheese/tomato (below) were two more of our creations.
We definitely took advantage of our time in India to try as much as the food as we could & we are so happy with what we ate. If only, we'd had more days to try even more ;)