Food in Madhya Pradesh

The cuisine in Madhya Pradesh varies from region to region. The north and west are mainly wheat-and-meat based, while the wetter south and east are rice and fish dominated. Gwalior and Indore abound in milk and milk-based preparations. Bhopal produces exquisite meat and fish dishes, of which the spicy rogan josh, delicious korma, luscious keema, all-season favourite biryani pilaf and succulent kababs such as shami and seekh are almost legendary. But heavens dont even think of trying all of these together unless you want to get the stomach upset of the century. They are extremely rich, spicy and creamy dishes.

An interesting dish is the bafla (wheat cakes) dunked in rich ghee which are eaten with daal (a pungent lentil broth). The tongue-tingling sharpness of this combo is moderated by the sweet ladoos that follow it.

In summers the meals tend to end with fruit luscious mangoes (dusseharis which you must try and take home), juicy melons and watermelons, custard apples, bananas, papayas, guavas. To drink, there is lassi (buttermilk), sugarcane juice, an excellent beer and a fine rum which is produced from the cane. For stronger (and more adventurous) heads there is the local liquor which is distilled from the flowers of the mahua tree called sulfi and date palm toddy.

In between these diametrically opposite cuisines lies an entire range of snack foods and sweetmeats typical to Indian cooking. Indore, one of the big commercial centres of Madhya Pradesh has a street with more than 56 eating places encompassing the entire gamut of Indian cuisine. But for those who like to stay with the tried and tested, Madhya Pradesh has plenty of restaurants that serve continental European dishes, Chinese food and American style fast food like pizzas, burgers and grilled sandwiches.

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