The Lotus city of Rajasthan- Pushkar

Pushkar is the greatest destination located in the royal state Rajasthan, and the land that is filled with alluring beauty along with a great spirituality, it is also a sacred town that amazes people with its unique charm. People  who are interested to spend a holiday visiting a religious destination along with the place that curls around a great water body must step in to the holy land Pushkar. The word ‘Pushkar’ means lotus flower, which is said to be the seat of Brahma, one of the Hindu holy trinity, who is worshiped as the creator of this world. The legend has it that the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma’s children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where it gave birth to a lake. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima (the full moon day of the Kartik month [which generally falls in November]), hallowing the place. This enchanting place in the desert state is much nearby to Ajmer and 140 km away from Jaipur is the home of several picturesque locations, ancient temples, lovely water bodies and finally the most impressive Pushkar Fair. Due to its immense holiness and great importance this excellent region is known to be the Tirth-Raj.

 

Ghats of Pushkar

Pushkar is the land of culture, spirituality and heritage offers a great time to food loving people as one can taste various varieties of vegetarian food. Sampling all the delicious Rajasthani dishes along with the traditional Indian street food will stimulate the taste buds of every individual. It is a very famous Hindu pilgrimage destination and drinking alcohol and eating non-veg food is strictly prohibited, but one can taste all other delicacies.  Another interesting fact about Pushkar is that one gets a chance to taste innumerable dishes made in traditional style using all local ingredients during the time of the fairs and festivals. The stalls around the fairgrounds offer the chat food, snacks and many more interesting items. Foodies can enjoy the attractive charm of the bustling city and the lakeside by tasting the excellent local and street food.

The majority of the travelers visiting this town are foreigners and they live here for long periods of time. This town is really small and for all practical purposes just one long winding road, but the number of eating options in terms of places and variety is just mind-boggling. And all this is available at dirt cheap prices.

So it’s no wonder that when a foodie like me landed in this town what happened – well I literally ate my way through the streets. My friends, Rohit and Faisal had been to Pushkar a couple of months before us and they had spent about 4 days exploring this place and its hidden food gems. We tried their recommendations and found some of our own too. We were literally eating every 30 minutes here. And we observed that really the food  and the roadside snacks which we had was very delicious and tasty.

Since I loved the food in Pushkar so much, I am now listing the same below for everyone who is visiting this amazing town to try out and enjoy. Hence take this as a teaser and visit Pushkar for your own experience and If you are thinking that Pushkar is all about the touristy camel fair, you are wrong. A town popular among Hindu devotees can be a revelation when it comes to food. I suggest you to take a walk around the busy markets of this hippy town, you will be greeted by little surprises – although vegetarian. If you are looking for a non vegetarian restaurant in Pushkar. Sorry! You will not find meat and alcohol in Pushkar since it is dotted with as many as 500 temples! Life typically revolves around them and the ghats that surround the serene lake. In the evenings, these come alive with aartis and temple bells ringing at a distance. Rooftop restaurants catering to foreign tourists, and serving pancakes and pizzas are hard to miss once the sun goes down.

A food guide to Pushkar (Snacks and Street food)

Poha –

Poha

Every morning all along the roads people come with carts and set up street side poha stalls. Poha is a kind of flat rice which is cooked with vegetable likes potato and peas and served with a garnish of fresh tomatoes, coriander etc. This simple dish served in a newspaper for just Rs 5 is the most amazing poha that I have ever eaten anywhere in India or at home.  In Pushkar, a popular street stall serves poha cooked with an aromatic mix of cumin, chili, coriander seed, mustard seeds and curcuma that give the yellow color! Then, over this rice mix, is added fresh tomato, onion, cilantro and a big spoon of a creamy and delicious dal (lentil soup). The Aloo bhujia  on top gives a crunchy texture to this tasty and healthy meal. This is a must try for at least one day breakfast.

Address: “Pushkar Breakfast Corner” at main market square (a small where every morning fruit and vegetables hawker gather). Every morning until the food finish usually before 10 a.m.

Sonu Juice Centre

Sona juice center

In the centre of the main street of Pushkar, you have a really small stall called the Sonu Juice Centre. Here for just Rs 40 – 60 you can try the most awesome fresh fruit juices in some pretty unusual combinations. From my own experience I tried a pineapple and lemon and also a melon mint lemon and  I loved both of them. They also have some combinations like kiwi banana, chickoo pineapple banana etc. All the juices are made right in front of you, are chilled and super fresh and refreshing. A must during every break from the shopping and temple visiting in this town.

 

 

 

Lala ji ke Parathe… best paratha ever!

 


Lala ji ke Parathe

The Parathas which is served is thick, rich in vegetables, spicy and not too oily and yes,it was the best paratha that I ever tried. This treat can be found after 5 p.m. in the Lala Ji stall that only make parathas  from the classic aloo (potato) to cheese, onion, vegetable and paneer  but the one that wins is the cheese-vegetables! All are served with a green mint Chutney (sauce made with mint leaves )and raita (a yogurt made sauce). Everything is made at the moment so you may need to wait a bit, and you can eat just there on the street or ask for parcel.

Address: Lala Ji stays along Main Street of Pokhara (Main Market Road) not far from Nagar Palika Ghat.

Sarvadia Sweet House


Malpua’s

 I tried our first malpua atIn the middle of the main street in Pushkar, there is a sweet house called the Sarvadia Sweet house which makes a signature dessert called the rabdi malpua and fell into a food coma. Now don’t go by the looks of this place, it may look really down trodden but their radbi malpua (fried condensed milk) is the just mind-blowing beacuse they were soft and crisp with the right amount of sweetness each time. You only get this desert here in Pushkar and it’s a must must eat for everyone who has a sweet tooth like mine.

 

Lassi


Lassi

If you going to visit Pushkar, you must try the lassi!!! Is a drink made from yogurt, thick, fresh and nutritious. unfortunately with quite some sugar! The lassi has the origin in Punjab state, but is spread all over the north of India as also in Nepal and can also be salted and seasoned with cumin. There are many lassi places in Pushkar who serves lassi but one of my favorites is at L.M.B…. is creamy, topped with pistachio and served in clay pots!

Address: Hotel L.M.B. is not a hotel in the way that id doesn’t have a place to sleep, but in same parts of India, “hotel” means a restaurant. This place has the same name as a famous one in Jaipur but I think that has nothing to do with each other, as this one in Pushkar is a bit dodgy. Near Main Gau Ghat.

Coffee and Tea

 

Tea  Vendor

 All over Pushkar you find the most authentic European coffee. So if you are a coffee fan then don’t forget to try some out here. Chai, a tea mix with milk… and sugar, is everywhere in India, but in Pushkar you can find hawkers that walk along the street with their movable stalls. These stalls are something!!! In a fragile metal structure, a kind of tripod, there’s a shinny metal pan that is kept warm with burning coal, and around lays the clay pots. The chai is served in the traditional clay pots, disposed after used.

Address: Main Market Square, in a small stall, mix between grocery and chai shop, with some stool outside… when you pass by the owner will tell you to try the “best chai in Pushkar!”.

If you are too full from eating all the above mentioned food, then there is a small hand cart vendor near the Brahma temple who sells churan (spice mixtures for digestion). His entire cart is full of all kinds tasty churan combinations and again you can take your pick. While I tried to eat everything possible in Pushkar – I missed a few things like Israeli food, trying out some local cafes and trying the local french cuisine. But doesn’t matter as it’s all in the pending list for my next visit.

I hope everyone finds this post useful for their own trip to Pushkar. Happy Eating ?

 

Pushkar is any vegetarian and budget traveler’s food paradise.

 

 

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