Gwalior’s cuisine is like its architecture- steeped in a rich cultural heritage. Gwalior is known for its vegetarian food and one can find various options here. This city is renowned for its elaborate breakfast consisting of kachoris, Samosas, Poha and bedai among the local Madhya Pradesh cuisine.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the interesting dishes of Gwalior.
1. KHASTA KACHORI
It is deep-fried pastry stuffed with sweet and spicy moong dal. It is topped with chutneys, onion, tomato, yogurt and sev to make the khasta kachori chaat. ‘Khasta‘ is a Hindi word that means flaky.
2. Patti Samosas
It is a deep-fried snack prepared with homemade pastry sheets and onion stuffing. These are perfect for kitty parties and even for an evening snack. The stuffing can vary from vegetables to cheese and even to simple chicken and paneer.
3. Indori poha
Indori Poha is a type of flattened rice dish that is likely to have originated in the Indian metropolis of Indore. It contains cooked poha and is usually served with a unique combination of Jalebi, Sev, Usal, sliced onions and fennel seeds.
Crisp fried pooris stuffed with roasted husked split black lentils (urad dhuli dal) accompanied with coriander, green chili, spice and potato curry which is famous for its north Indian taste. The pooris are fried until they are golden.
5. Soya chaap
Soya chaap is a north Indian dish filled with proteins and is pleasing and tempting to eat. This delight is a typical vegetarian dish but is considered at par with non-vegetarian dishes. It is prepared by rolling the soya granules and then mixing with various spices and frying. After it is fried, the chaap is garnished with cheese or cream.
6. Butte ka kees
Bhutta means “corn” and kees is “grated.” This savoury dish is basically prepared using grated corn and is served with sweet chutney and coriander on top.
7. Dal bafla
Similar to Dal Bati, these ghee laden dough balls are very popular in Gwalior. They are first boiled and then baked before being crumbled and topped with dal. It is served with chutney and mashed potatoes with black pepper mixed with it.
Prepared with a batter made with grounded urad dal, imarti is a flower-like sweet dish that is deep-fried in refined oil and further soaked in thick sugar syrup.
9. Rogan josh
It is an aromatic curried meat dish of Persian or Kashmiri origin. It is made with red meat, mostly cooked with freshly cut lamb or goat. It is colored and flavored on the ground by alkanet flower or root and Kashmiri chilies.
10. Meva batti
Meva Bati is a rich North Indian mithai made by stuffing a mava based dough with a rich mixture of nuts and mava, and deep-frying the delicate, stuffed balls till blackish. These Meva Batis are then soaked in sugar syrup for a while and served warm.
This dish is made at every home in Gwalior. It is made with lots of khoya and milk powder. Then it is served hot with sugar syrup on it.
Gajak is a well-known dessert or confection originating in Morena, India. It is a dry sweet made of white sesame seeds (til), peanuts as well as jaggery. The til is cooked in the raw sugar syrup and set in thin layers, which can be stored for months.
The parathas are cooked with generous proportions of pure ghee for ten minutes and are served to you hot and crispy. One paratha weighs an ounce- it is very heavy and so huge that it can satisfy two people at a time. Choose from fillings like peas, paneer, potatoes, cauliflower, etc and dip every bite into creamy curd or spicy pickle or even eat it alone and you’ll still enjoy it!
14. Aam ki laungi
This is a quick and easy chutney that tickles your palate! Aam ki Launji is also known as Mango Chutney and goes very well in Gwalior with every meal. However, this sweet and sour chutney made with raw mango, spices and little bit of sugar is majorly consumed in the households during summers.
15. Karela chaat
Another novelty is the oddly-named karela chaat, which has nothing to do with the bitter gourd. It’s more like a cousin to papri chaat, substituting the papri here with the eponymous karela, which is a deep-fried mass of flaky dough sheets. The karela does add a lot more texture to the chaat and is also served with warm matra curry, akin to ragda in Bombay.