When in Jodhpur, get ready to taste the spiciest and most delicious foods in the planet. This may be an exaggeration and taste does differ from person to person. But without a doubt, eating and drinking in Jodhpur is quite a treat.
Jodhpur is the second most important city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Not far from the India-Pakistan border, Rajasthan is known for its many peaks, lakes and the Great Indian Desert, also known as Thar Desert. Jodhpur is found at the mouth of the desert which is why it is often referred to as the Gateway to Thar Desert.
The sun always shines on this desert city and it is for this reason that Jodhpur is called the “Sun City” of India. It is also called Blue City since most of the Brahmpur homes are colored blue. The city is as hot as its local dishes.
Indians love their spicy curries, and one of the most common Rajasthani curries is called “kadhi”, which is also a typical Pakistani dish. Kadhi is a meal comprising of “pakoras” (vegetable fritters) with boiled rice and chickpea flour gravy and sour yogurt. A variety enjoyed elsewhere in India is much sweeter but in Rajasthan and other northern states, the spicier it is prepared, the better.
Another well-loved food is the “papad”, which could easily be considered the Indian version of the taco shell. Just like the kadhi, papad comes in different varieties around the South Asian subcontinent, and the most popular type in Rajasthan is the one that uses lentil. Papad is not a meal but simply a snack or something that is taken along with the usual meal.
And then there’s the delicious “gatta Masala” curry. Every Rajasthani meal should have this, served with bread or rice. A popular variety is the Rajasthani gatta curry dumpling or “besan ke gatta”.
Other than their extreme liking for curries and spices, locals of Jodhpur also love sweets. The most common sweet dishes, to name a few, are “churma” (crushed wheat with sugar), “guija” (sweet dumpling) and “imarti” (flour pretzel dipped in sugar syrup). Technically, sweets are not considered deserts because they are eaten with the main course and not after.
Meanwhile, a really popular local drink is the “makhaniya lassi”. Every local restaurant and street food stall serves this, and your Jodhpur host or friend will definitely offer you a glass every now and then. “Lassi” means yogurt, and makhaniya lassi is cold creamy yogurt with mixed nuts and butter.
You cannot miss makhaniya lassi since it is everywhere. What you will miss, though, are your common American snacks and international dishes since there are very few. There is an abundance of vegetarian restaurants, local eateries and sidewalk restaurants, which are known to not care much about hygiene.
You hotel should serve a few international recipes but eating just inside your hotel is not the best way to enjoy vacationing in a foreign land. Get out and sample the dishes in Chilly and Garlic garden restaurant, Cafe Mehran (near Mehrangarh Fort) and Shahi Samosas (near the local market). When eating and drinking in Jodhpur, however, always be sensitive with what you eat and make sure your stomach can handle the spices.