Till a few months back all I knew about Indore was that a) It is the business capital of Madhya Pradesh b) IIM Indore is one great campus and c) It’s the city equidistant from Delhi & Mumbai….. 2 short trips and 4 days spent, here my perspective has completely changed! There is no place better than Indore to be named the culinary heart of India, not only do the Indori’s (people of Indore) love their food but they are damn proud of it, & boy –  Do they innovate…..
So here’s the account of my journey enjoying Indori khana… my first trip to Indore was for the wedding of Pari and Pinks… Thank you guys for all the fun, I am dedicating this blog to this amazing couple…. Well like proper corporate robots we had decided to milk our 2.5 day holiday for the most. So here was our hired cab and four of us stepped out to explore Indore… And like all hungry forever people our first agenda was food!!!! So  here we were trying a few places and returning from the doors, aghast, with a horrified look, wondering were these supposed to be the best places in town.?? Thankfully god was kind and our taxi driver intelligent, he totally trashed all the places we went to, on the advise of our guide aka Rashi and drove straight, no arguments to Guru Kripa, shady name and shady locale, we hesitantly entered the restaurant only to find a udipi style place, the waiter on seeing our faces escorted us to an inner sanctum and whoaaa were we blown away.……
Quickly we found a place and started ordering and order did we J, while most of what we ordered was the regular north Indian fare, the  local specialty was veg kothewadi, it was essentially a starter somewhere between veg pakodas and dry Manchurian with large pieces of capsicum or carrot or cauliflower as the filling. Tasty, different and interesting was the verdict! The nimbu panni and chaas also deserve a mention here as they were awesome. So 4 full or prolly overfull tummies later and that too at a mere Rs. 1000/- approx ,we happily decided to finally start our sightseeing… But before we got onto our way the maitre d at Gurukripa decided to give us a tour of his own, so we climbed from one floor to another seeing 3 fantastic floors of the restaurant, one more plush than the other. If you ever want to feel like royalty this is the place to be, they get the water basins right to the table to wash post a meal.
Aloo Tikki @ Chaat Gaali
As we recounted Gurukripa narration with gusto  to Rashi that evening, our guide finally realized the error of her ways and offered to sneak us out of the engagement for a late night street food adventure. So close to midnight arrived our carriage and the now in love with Indore gang sneaked past our bride and groom to head to Sarafa, for the uninitiated this is the jewellery market of Indore but in the night as the diamonds and gold go to sleep the street comes to life once more, making your stomach groan with awe and food… So here’s the long list of all that we sampled, aloo tikki (more on this later), melt in your mouth dahi balla (soft round balls of dough dipped in cold curd covered with a sticky sweet sauce and the spicy mint chutney) and then the Indori Bhutte ke kiss, no we were’nt made to pucker up to corn, but this was a snack made of steamed and grated corn spiced with a nice mixture that only Indori’s can decipher, lending a sweet sour taste and the lightness of cotton from the steamed corn. Yep sweet is there almost everywhere in Indore.
The Melt in Mouth Dahi Bhalla
So as we moved on the next delight that greeted us was the large round soft filled with sweet sugary syrup jalebis… mmmm…  it took sheer will power for us to resist this  treat but the kulfi guy beckoned and we trooped down for falooda kulfi and happily ordered some, frankly this was the only gastronomic low point coz the kulfi was average and the faluda below average, for all other I would recommend satiate your sweet tooth on the jalebi we missed. But no worries, suddenly we were treated to another delight Saboot Dane ke Khicdi, yep you hear right Khicdi me says, but this again was Indore and the taste and style of cooking- Indori, so we had a steamed Khicdi with soft delightful sabot Dana’s steamed over a long period and cooked with a little sugar and a lot of magic to give Indore another snack staple. Again a must try on your visit to Indore.
So a little wiser and a kilo or so heavier I left Indore a happy foodie, to later again have an opportunity to revisit this haven on an official day trip. I boarded the flight from Delhi with my mind made up to utilize every spare minute on the trip and boy did I, the morning started with the center counselor offering me Indori Poha and Jalebi for breakfast, again I skipped the Jalebi (a whole day of work was still to come) and eagerly awaited the Poha – sweet and spicy were the flavors here and satisfying, the poha was topped with sev, which I later learnt is what Indore is famous for.  Worked wrapped up by 5 and 2 hours of extra time I found a foodie in my client and co traveler Senthil. The photographs here are courtesy him, the food guide here was Mr. Madhur Narnia. 
Madhuram and Karnavat
We started with Madhuram at Chappan Dukan, yep the name is madhur and it is a sweet shop, we were to sample here the indore version of a sweet lassi… or chaas.. and my god it was well a decoy… what we ate was the most wonderful kheer (almost close to the sheer rafat treats us to on id) the nicest thickest sweetest  glass of milk with floating pieces of well selected dry fruits… ummm… From Madhuram we went to Om ke Namkeen to pick up goodies for home… they were truly more than 200 varieties on display and hold your breath for this one, you could actually sample each and every one!!! I took home the most amazing khatta meetha mixture, and a nice puff in pani puri flavor (this one disappeared in a day at home.), however the best buy at Om ke Namkeen was the pyaaz ka kachori’s, Spicy, full of onions and perfectly cooked this quarter plate sized fried sinful goody led to another food grabbing match at home (yes we are a family of foodies). From here we went to Chaat Gali near the Court.  Here we sampled once more the Indori expertise in aloo tikki (served with or without chole) as you like it, both versions were awesome, dahi Bhalla, and pani puri!! Stomach bursting we decided to finally head to the airport with our driver thinking that we were crazy with just one detour Karnavat, the famous paan chain, did you know paan is the best digestive ever? The Indian betel leaf with the mystery mix of katha, supari, gulukand and god knows what else is a digestive equal to no other. And karanvat again lived upto its legacy. 
 
As I left Indore a true blue South Indian aka Senthil recommended a believe it or not – South Indian Sizzler, yup he reckons the Idli and Vada he had atop the sizzler were out of this world.  This can be tried out at Udipi King at Indore, so my suggestion keep atleast 4 days to eat and savor all that the city has.. Best of Luck and Happy travelling and ofcourse happy eating!!!
Categories: Indore

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Indore the culinary heart of India……..

  1. hi,
    thank you
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