The state of Madhya Pradesh is known as the heart of India, not just because of its geographical location, but also because of its rich culture and history, as well as a vibrant cuisine. The food of Madhya Pradesh has been impacted from the cuisines of the neighboring states, particularly Rajasthan and that is reflected in some of its most popular dishes, like the flag-bearing dal bafla combo, inspired from dal bati and even chakki ki shaak.
The state has a good number of extremely delicious foods that were born here and have been bringing food lovers to this central Indian state for years together. But while the tribals of Gond have their own cuisine which is relatively unexplored, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians will definitely find enough to explore in some more popular food hubs of Madhya Pradesh like the capital city of Bhopal, Indore, Ratlam and even the city of temples Ujjain.
Given below are the top 10 foods of Madhya Pradesh that every foodie must try out:
1. Poha Jalebi
Poha Jalebi is the favored breakfast dish of Madhya Pradesh and is even famous in a lot of other North Indian states. Tangy poha topped with namkeen accompanied by crispy sweet jalebis are the perfect way to start your day. This along with Bhopali Sulaimani chai is what ideal mornings are made of, for true blue Bhopalis. Kalyan Singh’s Swaad Bhandar in Itwara Road and Raju Tea Stall in Peer Gate Area in Bhopal are two of the best places to get a steaming hot plate of poha and jalebis. Indore also have a mind blowing street food culture and none can compete with the jalebas (what they call king-sized jalebis in Indore) sold at Jai Bhole Jalebi Bhandar in Sarafa Market.
2. Dal Bafla
A close cousin of the daal baati of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh’s daal bafla is also equally famous and equally delicious. The two dishes taste very similar as well and are prepared on special occasions and at the time of social gatherings in Madhya Pradesh. Crispy wheat baked wheat balls are dunked in ghee and eaten with spicy daal, pickles or curry. The dal bafla of Vyas Dal Bhati in Ratlam is very famous. In Bhopal, you can get a delectable plate of dal bafla at Padharo Sa in Habib Ganj and in Indore, the dal bafla at Rajhans in Sarafa market is unmissable.
3. Bhuttey Ke Kees
This dish is only made in Madhya Pradesh and is a healthy and yummy food that is made with grated corn kernels cooked in spices, coconut and skimmed milk. Mustard seeds and green chilies are added to up the spice factor of the dish. It’s one of the most loved street food of Madhya Pradesh. Joshi Dahi Bada House in Sarafa Bazaar, Indore is one of the best places to taste the bhutte ki kees in Madhya Pradesh.
4. Bhopali Gosht Korma
Mughlai cuisine has had a deep impact on the food of Bhopal and one of the most prominent dishes that were born out of this is the Bhopali Gosht Korma. The dish is part of the something called the Nawabi cuisine and it’s made by slow cooking mutton chunks in a rich and spicy gravy. The result is a melt-in-the-mouth mutton dish that is fit of feasts of the very special kind. Bhopal’s narrow food market Chatori Gali is famous for its Nawabi delicacies and it’s where you should head, if you want a taste of this heavenly meat preparation.
5. Rogan Josh
Rogan josh is an aromatic lamb dish of Persian origin, which is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine, but Bhopalis also have quite the preference for it, so much so that, it has become one of the best places to get a plate of spicy rogan josh. Filfora restaurant in Bhopal is the place to go, if you want to experience the authentic taste of this dish. You also get some other excellent Nawabi dishes here, including kaccha kebab and Murgh Rezala.
6. Biryani Pilaf
Bhopal is one of the best places to have biryani at in India. In Bhopali biryani, mutton is the main meat, but chicken also makes an appearance in some places. It’s one of the most loved regional variants of a dish that India has had a long and very historical love affair with. In Bhopal, it’s called the biryan or biryani pilaf or mutton pulav. It’s served with zarda, which is a traditional South Asian sweet dish, made by boiling rice with food coloring, milk and sugar, and flavored with cardamoms, raisins, saffron, pistachios or almonds. You can get some excellent biryani pilaf at Chatori Gali (and it’s incredibly cheap too!). Taste of Hyderabad in Jishan Complex at Emami Gate is another place to scarf down biryani at.
7. Seekh Kebabs
Just like Hyderabad, Bhopal is also proud of their kebabs. These kebabs made from minced meats wrapped around a skewer and cooked on coals, have been attracting foodies to the Bhopal for decades now. Again, Chatori gali is the best places to get hold of some of the most delectable kebabs you’ll ever taste in the state.
8. Chakki Ki Shaak
This unique dish is nothing but steamed wheat dough and served with curries and curd, and is the second dish inspired from the Rajasthani cuisine. It’s one of the most popular dishes of Madhya Pradesh and is served as a side dish as a part of a special feast and on festive occasions and it’s supremely satisfying.
9. Indori Namkeen
Ratlami sev are one of the most known regional namkeen in India. But the namkeen from Indore is equally famous and some of these namkeens are sold for as high as Rs 200 per Kg! These fried snacks are made from gram flour and is fried in groundnut oil. Ganesh Namkeen in Sarafa Market in Indore, sells a whole range of yummy namkeens, including unique flavours like pineapple sev and pani puri sev. One particular variety that is extremely popular is the khatta meetha Indori namkeen. They also have phalahari namkeen.
10. Mawa Baati
Mawa baati is one sweet that you just can’t miss if you’re in Bhopal. These are sweet balls of fried mawa stuffed with chopped dry fruits, cardamom powder. They look like bigger gulab jamuns and are served on festive occasions. There are some street food stalls in Old Bhopal that serve these decadent desserts. You’ll also find mawa baati, chaat and other street foods at Hawker’s Corner at 6 No. Stop in Bhopal. Besides this, there are many other sweets that one must absolutely try in Madhya Pradesh, including Shrikhand (made from strained sweetened yogurt), Khopra Pak (made from coconut), Malpua and Imarti (a sweet like jalebi).