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13 Best Local Meals Of Urban India. 2 & 8 Are Truly Unique

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access_time June 22, 2016 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 4990 views

It is not uncommon to know about Bademiya in Mumbai, but how many of you know about a dosa-idli stall open till 4 in the morning at Dadar T.T. (which gets its occasional foreign visitors too)?

In this photo blog, we serve you some authentic dishes cooked up at places that probably wouldn’t come to mind when you think of eating out in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Srinagar, Lucknow, Goa, Kolhapur, and Calicut.

Dudh Puff (brandy flavoured on the right, rum flavoured on the left) at Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

Dudh Puff (brandy flavoured on the right, rum flavoured on the left) at Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

Photo credits: Mohit Khushalani

#1 Guru da Dhaba, Mumbai

Tucked away in Mumbai’s Lokhandwala, this place serves typical home cooked Punjabi food. The food is so good that there is a line of customers waiting even before the place opens, and after you are done eating, you are left wanting for more. Contrary to popular belief, Punjabis are traditionally vegetarians.

A traditional vegetarian Punjabi layout at Guru da Dhaba in Mumbai

A traditional vegetarian Punjabi layout at Guru da Dhaba in Mumbai

#2 Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

The owner of this place in Gujarat has named a food item after his father’s remarks. When his father used to eat the pattice filled with potatoes, he would exclaim out loud in a typical Parsi dialect, “arey dikra I am damn full!” Hence, the dish is called ‘Damfull’. This place is also unconventional for its twist on milk, ‘Dudh Puff’, which is kept overnight to create a puff. This puff is added to the milk in which brandy and rum are ingredients.

'Damfull' (a potato filled pattice the size of tennis balls) at Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

‘Damfull’ (a potato filled pattice the size of tennis balls) at Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

Patra ni Machhi at Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

Patra ni Machhi at Parsi da Dhaba, Udvada

#3 Fish Curry Rice, Pune

Even without the sea by its side, thanks to the dominant Maharashtrian folks, Pune does a fabulous job on the coastal food front. The Crab Thali and the Fish Thali at Fish Curry Rice are testaments to this.

Crab Thali in Fish Curry Rice

Crab Thali in Fish Curry Rice

Fish Thali in Fish Curry Rice

Fish Thali in Fish Curry Rice

#4 Mughal Darbar, Srinagar

With choices of meatballs served in red gravy and in yoghurt, Seekh Kebabs, Tabakh Maaz, and Yakh’n, among others in the Wazwan cuisine of Kashmir, don’t miss out on Mughal Darbar where Wazwan cuisine truly brings heaven down on earth.

Gushtaba (velvet textured meatballs prepared in yoghurt,  a specialty in Wazwan cuisine) at Mughal Darbar in Srinagar

Gushtaba (velvet textured meatballs prepared in yoghurt,
a specialty in Wazwan cuisine) at Mughal Darbar in Srinagar

Tabak Maaz at Mughal Darbar in Srinagar

Tabak Maaz at Mughal Darbar in Srinagar

#5 Fateh Kadal, Srinagar

Winters in Srinagar see the quick and efficient serving of harissa by the harissa wale. One such harissa wala serves harissa from his house in Fateh Kadal, Srinagar. The hot oil being poured on the harissa is a performance in itself.

Harissa in Srinagar (a specialty in winters)

Harissa in Srinagar (a specialty in winters)

#6 Bhojohori Manna, Kolkata

Who knew dal could be the star of this place? Luchi eaten with cholar dal is quite a hit at this place and in Kolkata in general. While Mumbai is known for its spicy food, Kolkata has the art of flavoured spicy food. Look out for the other authentic Bengali dishes when in Bhojohori Manna.

Luchi and Cholar dal at Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata

Luchi and Cholar dal at Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata

Ilish Bhappa (steamed fish) at Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata

Ilish Bhappa (steamed fish) at Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata

Chilly Crab at Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata

Chilly Crab at Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata

#7 Jain Temple Lane, Chandni Chowk, Delhi

A pre-breakfast for the food lovers before indulging into the parathas and chhole bhature! Sprinkled pepper on buttered bread complemented with mattha is a must try in Delhi. The mattha’s taste sits very well with tried and tested bread butter.

White butter on bread sprinkled with pepper

White butter on bread sprinkled with pepper

Mattha (a kind of chaas),  which is served with the buttered bread

Mattha (a kind of chaas),
which is served with the buttered bread

#8 Ashok & Ashok Meat Shop, Sadar Bazar, Delhi

The chicken korma here is served on a sigdi. The logic behind this is that during the winters in Delhi, the ghee in the korma won’t freeze after served because of the coal burning underneath. This works for other seasons as well because no one complains about hot food.

Chicken Korma served hot on a sigdi in Delhi

Chicken Korma served hot on a sigdi in Delhi

#9 Mubeens, Lucknow

The favoured destination for a flavoured breakfast in Lucknow. The nalli nahari with the sheermal and the naan is a perfect start for your palate. Here, you don’t just have to while away your time till food arrives. You can see the process unfolding in front of your eyes.

Sheernal with the nalli nahari at Mubeens makes for a hearty breakfast in Lucknow

Sheernal with the nalli nahari at Mubeens makes for a hearty breakfast in Lucknow

Preparation of the food around 7 am outside Mubeens

Preparation of the food around 7 am outside Mubeens

#10 Martin’s Corner, Goa

Goa is non-fussy, and so is the food. Sanas (they may look like it, but they are not a well-fed version of idlis) can be eaten with anything and everything. Tisrya clams and prawn curry is somewhere to start from. For the food lovers who especially love Goan food, a trip to Goa is incomplete without Martin’s Corner in Betalbatim.

Tisrya clams at Martin's Corner in Goa

Tisrya clams at Martin’s Corner in Goa

Prawn Curry at Martin's Corner in Goa

Prawn Curry at Martin’s Corner in Goa

#11 Hotel Opal, Kolhapur

Strike a balance between flavour and fear in this place. Keep the tissues in handy at Hotel Opal, one of the best non-veg restaurants in Maharashtra. The pandhra rassa is a show-stealer here. Sukha mutton, tambda rassa, and chicken kolhapuri are some of the other reasons to stop by this place in Kolhapur.

Pandhra rassa and Tambda rassa,  stars of this table in Kolhapur

Pandhra rassa and Tambda rassa,
stars of this table in Kolhapur

#12 Hotel Paragon Restaurant, Calicut

When in Nepal, Tibetan bread doesn’t leave your side till the end. Same way, when in Calicut, Malabari paratha is always by your side. It can be eaten with just about anything. Even by itself. Then there is appam. It is made of rice flower and is delicious here. Don’t miss the beef chilly.

Malabari parathas

Malabari parathas

Beef Chilly at Hotel Paragon in Calicut

Beef Chilly at Hotel Paragon in Calicut

#13 Zain’s Hotel, Calicut

The mutton stew (pronounced ‘isstu’ in Calicut) is highly recommended. Pair it up with malabari parathas or with rice chappatis (not bhaakri, which is quite thick).

The Mutton 'Isstu' (mutton stew) at Zain's Hotel in Calicut

The Mutton ‘Isstu’ (mutton stew) at Zain’s Hotel in Calicut

Nanari, a herbal drink found in Calicut (made with either water or with milk)

Nanari, a herbal drink found in Calicut
(made with either water or with milk)

 

There is always a consequence to discovering new things. When it comes to food, discovery leads to memories. Memories of the place and memories of the tastes, of the flavours, of the moment. The moment when your palate meets what it was meant to relish. The spicy, the sweet, the sour. Go on there and make some memories for yourself. We just helped you get there halfway.

Just in case you’ve not had enough of ‘foodgasm’, we highly recommend you click here.

 

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Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings is the longest established tours and travels company in the world. Established in 1758, we are headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in over 13 countries worldwide. Our services include destination management, domestic and international holiday packages, luxury travel, business and MICE, NRI and foreign exchange solutions, as well as insurance.

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