A tour of legendary food markets in India
During the last few months, we have spent more time at home than ever before, and this has led many to explore regional cuisines. India is known for its diversity of culinary traditions with each region having its own legendary markets offering gastronomic experiences.
The Godrej Food Trends Report – 2020 predicted that an evolving sense of social, financial, and cultural independence amongst the youth, will drive greater demand for aspirational, exotic travel and dining experiences. And what better way to understand the diversity than exploring the local food markets? In the current scenario, it may not be possible to visit these iconic markets, but we surely can take you on an armchair tour. Here’s a look at some legendary ones:
Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Chandni Chowk is one of the country’s oldest markets, dating back to the 17th century. Apart from its endless streets selling spices, it is also known for its Mughlai and street food. Some of the iconic dishes include butter chicken, mutton nihari and kebabs, which are best served with a side dish of mint or sweet chutneys.
New Market, Kolkata
This historic shopping destination was initially known as the Sir Stuart Hogg Market and was exclusively meant for the city’s British residents. The 145-year old New Market captures the inclusive, warm soul of Kolkata. A trip to the New Market can never be complete without having the iconic kathi rolls to phuchka, ghugni chaat and jhaal muri. For the people of Kolkata, New Market is not just an emotion but a food lovers’ paradise.
Hazratbal in Srinagar a popular tourist attraction is known for monji gaade, a traditional snack made out of fish. The fish is dipped in a rice flour and besan (gram flour) batter before being deep-fried. Halwa-paratha is another popular and must-try street food. Fried dough (paratha) is paired with a sweet made from semolina (sooji) and saffron.
Sarafa Bazaar, Indore
By day, it functions as a jewellery market. But at night, it transforms into a street food court. It a popular spot for locals and tourists from all around the world. One of the most popular cuisines you can find here is the bhutte ka kees. Boiled and mashed corn is fried in butter or ghee and then mixed with gram flour (besan), asafoetida (hing), chopped coriander leaves, cumin seeds, lime juice and a unique blend of spices. Sweet dishes such as the kulfi, and malai rabdi are a must to complete your culinary experience.
Police Bazaar Road, Shillong
While Shillong’s natural attractions are one of the main reasons why tourists come here, but the local cuisines are an equal draw. You will always find a blend of local, North Indian, Chinese, Bengali and Assamese flavours in most of the cuisines here. Jadoh (red rice cooked with meat) and jhur kleh, a dish made out of mixed vegetables, seasoned with ginger or garlic, chilli and little oil or pork fat are the two most popular dishes.
Which food market would you love to travel to and which dish would you try out first? Let us know in the comments below!