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In search of good food in Jaisalmer,Rajasthan,India

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April 24, 2014 / Indian / By
Bhavana Bhatia

Walking around in a desert is like a spiritual connect that you have with your inner self. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, these desert towns have many stories to tell. The stories of the past kings and queens, of battles, of lost love and not to forget, of FOOD. Such was my experience when I visited the desert town of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on the westernmost front of India. Jaisalmer is known as the "Golden City”, close to the Pakistan border in the middle of the Thar desert.

 

(Image:Fort at Jaisalmer)

Some of the famous places in the city include, the Jaisalmer Fort, also known as Sonar Qila (Golden Fort). Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort. There are shops, hotels and age-old havelis (homes) inside the fort area where families have lived for generations.

Jaisalmer is a very small city in comparison to other cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur or Udaipur, but make no mistake; you will enjoy this city more for its culture and food.


Walking in the narrow lanes of the city, you will find heritage buildings and local eateries. Jaisalmer attracts a lot of foreign tourists, so it is not surprising to find local eateries serving Italian, Spanish and American cuisine. However, what makes Jaisalmer shine is its local food and people. Whenever we visit a place, we talk to the locals to get insider tips on the food that locals eat. Locals in Jaisalmer prefer vegetarian food, so you will find many vegetarian restaurants.

A typical restaurant in Jaisalmer serves Thali, which is a regular Indian meal. It consists of Indian bread,2-3 vegetable curries, Dal and Rice. If you want to try a local dish, then it has to be Ker-Sangri. Ker-sangri is a combination of dried lentils, beans from indigenous plants. This is soaked in water and then made with oil and spices. In the past, when there was less water in the desert and very less vegetation, the locals were heavily dependent on dried vegetables.

Some of the places, which are on TOP in our list, include

1. Prabhu Tea Stall

 

(Image:Prabhu tea stall)

This tea and milk shop is right in the middle of the city at Hanuman Chowk, very easy to identify from the shops lined up on one side. You can get fresh tea all-round the day. The evening brings out the big milk pan, where they serve saffron milk with a dash of cream.

 

(Image:Boiling Milk)

You can also try 'Phirni' with hot milk, this is a local sweet delicacy and the texture is similar to thin noodles.

One of the local favorite restaurants is, Milap Restaurant at Hanuman chowk. This is a family run restaurant with very less options. However, if you want to enjoy a hearty meal with local taste, this is the place to be. A regular meal consists of Dal, 2-3 vegetables curries, Roti (Indian bread) and Rice.

 

 (Image: Meal at Milap Restaurant)

 Bishnoi hotel again at Hanuman chowk, opposite to Police station, serves hot meals, which has established a name for itself amongst locals. Similar to other local restaurants, there are not many options available, but will get a dal, 2-3 vegetable curries with Roti (different Indian breads made from Wheat/Millet).

 

  (Image: Meal at Bishnoi Hotel)

Jaisalmer is also known for its snacks such as Kachori, Samosa and sweets made from Milk. Walk around the city and you will find a no. of them lined up in the city. Enjoy them fresh and tinkle your taste buds.

 

The Recipe: Indian "Yellow dal Tadka" with tempering.

 

Ingredients


    1 cup tuvar or moong dal/ split pigeon pea lentils
    1 or 2 green chilies, chopped or slit lengthwise (optional)
    1 medium size tomato, chopped
    1 tsp. grated or chopped ginger (optional)
    1 tsp. turmeric powder/haldi
    a pinch of asafoetida/hing
    3 cups water
    salt as required

for the tempering/Tadka

    2 tbsp. oil
    1 tsp. cumin
    2-3 garlic cloves
    8-10 curry leaves
    
for garnish:

    1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
    
Instructions

    1. Clean the dal with water, 2-3 times and soak it in 2 cups of water for 15-20 minutes.
    2. Add salt, tomato, green chilies, ginger, asafoetida & turmeric powder along with the dal in a pressure cooker. Add salt and three cups water.
    3. Mix well and pressure-cook the dal for 4-5 whistles or until done.
    4. Mash the dal with a churner or wooden spoon.
    5. Depending on the required consistency of the dal, add more water and simmer for 5 minutes.
    

Tempering

    1. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
    2. Add the chopped garlic, curry leaves and let the garlic brown.
    3. Once the garlic is golden brown, pour the entire tempering along with the oil into the dal.
    4. Garnish coriander leaves.
    5. Serve hot with Rice

Serves: 4

Tips
1. Instead of oil, you can use ghee/clarified butter.
2. If you do not have a pressure cooker then cook the dal in a pot with enough water added to the dal. In this case, better to soak the dal so that the cooking is faster.

Prabhu tea stall

Country: India

Province/State: Rajasthan

City: Jaisalmer

Address: hanuman chouraha

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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