Gujarat is known for being a vibrant state, it is rich in history, has beautiful architecture, heritage buildings, enriching culture, a bunch of colourful festivals, folk dances and the warmest people! While you do get a chance to explore all of the above, there is one thing you should not absolutely miss while you're in the land of vibrancy, the delicious food which is widely popular all around the world.
We were in Ahmedabad and Vadodara recently on a Fam trip with Gujarat Tourism and we ensured to try the street food and the famous Gujarati thali which has been on our mind for a long time! This time we weren't going to leave until we got this off our pending-from-a-long-time-list. I am going to list down all the things we tried and you must too ????
1. Gujarati Thali at House of MG, Ahmedabad
Just writing about this is making me smile just like the time when we were in complete awe when all of saw this gigantic thali with over 25 items. There are apparently 4 different types of Gujarati thali and We tried the Kansa thali at Agashiye restaurant in House of MG, Ahmedabad. The interiors of the restaurant are traditionally done, giving you a close peek into the heritage and culture of the city. The food is served in a Kansa thali, Kansa is an alloy that has many wellness benefits.
We were served all the courses i.e a refresher drink (lime water), starters (Methi na Gota and khaman). A variety of salads and chutneys. They had had buttermilk, raita and papad for accompaniments. 4 types of veggies in the main course and 1 type of dal & kadhi each. For bread, we were served Bhakri and masala paratha. We also had rice (bhaat) and masala khichdi. For the final and always the best course, sweet dishes - we had Ladu, kheer and Anjeer icecream. The meal was absolutely heavenly and I believe not a single person from a group of 20 didn't have a wide smile on their faces! Our favourite part and not to miss items were definitely - Khaman, they were the softest and the most delicious ones I've had till date.The Methi masala paratha and Jodhpur bataki were a great combo. The desserts were absolutely lip-smacking, the ladu just melts in your mouth, the kheer is thick and flavoursome, has just the right consistency. Both the dishes had the right amount of sweet and richness to it.
Location: Bhadra Rd, Opposite Sidi, Saiyad Mosque
Cost: Rs. 1195 plus taxes
The thali type is unlimited and you can take as my servings as you would like.
2. Snacks And Fritters At Shree Jagdish Snacks, Vadodara
We visited Shree Jagdish snacks and farsan store in Vadodara to try some popular street food of the city. We ordered khaman, khandvi, Methi gota, aloo pakoda and of course tea to go with it.
From everything we tried, khandvi made to our reorder list. It was soft and light had a nice balance of sweet and savoury and leaves you wanting for more.
Location: Galav Chamber, Basement, Station Road
Cost: Rs. 20/30 per plate.
3. Jalebi and Fafda in Gujarat
It is a complete NO-NO to be in Gujarat and miss their favourite delicacy. Jalebi and Fafda are one of the most common breakfast items in every household. It is also widely popular on special occasions and festivals. Jalebi is a sweet dish made of maida flour and dipped in sugar syrup. Fafda is a fried and crunchy savoury item made of gram flour and a tinge of added Indian spices. The combination of Jalebi and Fafda we managed to find near Vadodara station after a bit of hunting. The best way to consume is when both the items are piping hot.
Location: Alkapuri, Maharaja Sayajirao University
Cost: Rs 20-30 for 100 gms each
4. Sev Usal at Jay Mahakali, Vadodara
We also found out about this little restaurant called Jay Mahakali Sev Usal Center popular for their sev usal. We requested for a lesser spicy version. They also gave us a plate of farsan to add on top. It was tasty and we ate to our heart's content.
Location: Prathmesh Plaza, Palace Rd, Kirti Stambh
Cost: Rs. 40 for a plate of sev usal Pav: Rs. 2 per piece
5. Chana Jor Garam, Vadodara
A popular snack item in Vadodara, we saw a bunch of vendors with their carts selling Chana Jor garam chaat. It's a fried snack item made of chick pea, mixed with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, lemon juice and a few spices. It carries an explosive combination of spiciness and sourness making it one heck of a dish to be paired with tea or for road trips.
Location: In and around Jubilee Baug, Raopura
Cost: Rs 20 per plate
6. Rajasthan Ice-cream, Vadodara
This was a matter of chance, it was not originally on our list but we're so glad we visited this place. Rajasthan ice cream parlours are widely popular and they have a bunch of stores around the city. They avoid usage of any artificial preservatives and believe in retaining the authenticity of the taste and flavours. We tried a bunch of options like Guava, Litchi, Cinnamon, Modak, Pani Puri, Tulsi, Coconut, Ginger-Honey, and Mawa. Stating the obvious, we were thrilled and had no idea they serve so many different never heard of flavours. We were blown away by their Modak and Pani Puri ice-cream.
Location: Aram Complex, Kirti Stambh Near Nehru Bhavan
Cost: Rs 30 for a regular serving and Rs. 60 for a bigger serving.
7. Duliram Pendawala, Vadodara
This famous sweet shop was on our shopping list to carry some goodness back home. There was a fair amount of queue lined up despite the quick service, that's when we knew we had reached the right place. They are popular for the Malai Barfi which was out of stock due to high demand at 11 AM in the morning. They had so many options and they were nice enough to let us try a few. We got a box of Raskadam Peda which is made of kheer and khoya has a small Rasgulla stuffed inside it. It was heavenly and we instantly knew we had to get this!
They also serve fruit custard and Shrikhand, but sadly they were not prepared yet.
Location: Soha Complex, Old Padra Road
Cost: Rs. 480/kg
8. Farsan at Original Jagdish Mart, Vadodara
If you ask the localities on where to purchase popular Gujarati Farsan and snacks, you would pretty much unanimously hear the same name. We wasted no time and visited this store before we headed to the airport to get back home. Needless to say, they probably have more than 100 varieties of Farsan. We got our hands on some bhakhadwadi, khakras and farali chivda.
Location: Magan Cottage, Opposite Jubilee Baug
Cost: Rs. 200-300/kg
9. Tea at Lucky Tea, Ahmedabad
A simple yet interesting tea centre, Lucky tea, a quick-service restaurant in the heart of Ahmedabad will capture your attention. The place is popularly known for some things, obviously its tea as the name suggests, but the fascinating part here is that it is the world's only tea stall actually built on and around a graveyard! Another fact that caught our eye was the original M.F Husain painting hanging on the wall which was created while he was having chai and maska bun here, the popular go-to here.
Location: Opposite City College, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad
Cost: Rs.30-40 for Chai and Maska Bun
10. Dabeli and Street Snacks in Ahmedabad
Yet another one of the favourite things about these food excursions are the street snacks. Dabeli, a stuffed bun preparation containing aromatic chutneys, boiled potatoes, special dabeli masala topped with pomegranates, roasted peanuts, and sev is a definite must-have when in Gujarat. We picked a bite at Law Garden market, where we also spotted people enjoying a rendition of Masala Puff.
Some of the other must-have street snacks include a chocolate sandwich, double cheese pizza, gotala dosa at Manek Chowk, a street food paradise.
Location: Law Garden, Maharashtra Society, Ellisbridge & Manek Chowk Rd, Old City, Danapidth, Khadia
Cost: Average Rs. 30 per item
We are glad we got a chance to try and experience Gujarati food. We were absolutely amazed at the variety of different snacks, Thalis and desserts this state has to offer. The cherry on the cake was the warmth with locals were serving us. They were kind and generous throughout, in fact, they patiently answered all our questions and gave us a bunch of memories to take back from this joyous land.
P.S: If you're pressed for time then a Gujarati Thali experience, a go-to Jalebi Fafda, and the Rajasthan Ice-cream would be our top three recommendations. we'd love for you to check out our blog and Instagram page for fun updates!
While you read on and we plan our next excursion to bring you the best experiences, until next time, #StayCurious :)