Are you planning a trip to Jaipur aka pink city? Have you already been there a number of times and are not sure what to do? Well, I have something very interesting to suggest. Go for a foodcation and thank me later. Last week, I visited DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer, and this trip to Pink city was unlike any. I did not make a long list of things to do. There was no rushed itinerary. I simply indulged in good food, rested in between, read a book, did some photography, chilled with friends, and wrapped it up with a food walk. It was pure bliss.
I know this sounds like an unconventional holiday but tell me when was the last time when you planned a getaway, only and only around food. When did you actually take a break from the everyday mundane house-chores/business/job and decided to pamper yourself with a gastronomically epic trip? If you don’t remember, take one without feeling guilty about it. The foodie in you and other family members will be thoroughly delighted.
Day 1: Home to DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer
After attending Titli Tyar 2021 in Corbett, this was my second trip post second wave. I was still a little apprehensive but at the same time, I was absolutely excited to step out of the house, keeping in mind all the safety precautions. It was extremely refreshing to pack bags, start early, catch up with friends and look forward to this fun and (filling) foodie road trip. Jaipur is a next-door cousin for people in Delhi-NCR and always makes a nice getaway. It had been two years since my visit to Udaipurwati in 2019.
I left my home at around 7 a.m. from Faridabad and had checked in my room before 12 p.m, inclusive of the tea break of 30 minutes on the highway. If you cross the Gurgaon rush by 8 a.m, the drive towards Jaipur is hassle-free. In no time, I was in my room. The check- in was smooth. The standees alerting guests around maintaining social distance, wearing of masks hinted on the life post pandemic. It was good to see sanitizer bottles at the prime areas (lobby, restaurant, reception).
My room was true copy of the pictures on the website. It was neat and tidy with enough sunlight to keep it bright in the day. The artsy mirror, lamp and wall art added to the elegance. The décor was minimal and was themed around nude shades. The view of the Aravalli hillocks was soothing to the eyes. The USP of the hotel has to be its location. Away from the din of the city, (It is located a few kilometers before the Amer fort), there was hardly any commotion around. .
After relaxing for sometime, I was headed to their restaurant, ‘Amber Kitchen’. Creatively enticing and delicious lunch was awaiting us. I went for the vegetarian choices like freshly baked breads, palm heart salad, Parmesan Polento with BBQ Jackfruit, Faux pao and washed it all with berryfizz and lemonade. I was delighted to have palm heart salad after a long-long time. Mauritius is the country where I had picked a knack for Palm heart salad. To someone who loves fusion food, Faux pao and BBQ Jackfruit will appeal. I loved both.
After lunch, I chose to take a nap with a promise to join my gang for high tea at the terrace. The staff had already informed us about the local dance performance and the amazing sunset that one gets to see from the highest floor. By the time I woke up and made my way to the terrace, the chef and staff had already arranged tea, detox water, sandwiches, cakes and some more cool stuff to delight our taste buds. The after taste of the olive spinach cake is still fresh in my mind. The pictures of the setting sun will remain etched in my heart till I return to Rajasthan again. The local dancers were impressive as always.
When you are in the august company of travelers and foodies, the bantering goes on and that’s the best part about my work trips. You too must take these trips with your pals.
Our fun time did not end and in no time the clock struck nine. None of us returned to our room and it was already time for dinner. Though I was half full with all the amazing starters but I knew the chef would come up with something very interesting and he lived up to my expectations. We had nice and heavy laksa to start off, followed by noodles and fried rice, etc. I ate my heart full, took a walk around the property and called it a day.
Day 2 : Food Tour around Hawa Mahal and Rajasthani Lucheon
I am sure its obvious by now that food was the focus of the trip, and no getaway to Rajasthan can be called complete without a closer glimpse of the local culture, street food and regional cuisine. Day 2 was all about this. From puri sabzi to rajasthani pakodas to daal baati churma, we made the most of the local food.
I joined late at the breakfast table but I was all set to join the food tour arranged specially for us. We were driven to Hawa Mahal and from there we had Mr. Vijay Singh, food guide from Rajputana Holiday Makers and Mr. Sankalp from DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer to take us around and introduce us to some of the oldest and popular eateries of Tripolia Bazar.
Famous Eateries in Tripolia Bazar
Whenever you are there, don’t miss to visit ‘Jagannath Sharma Pakodi Wale’ for some amazing mirchi pakoda dipped in chutney, ‘Ramchandra Kulfi Bhandar’ for the kulfi faalooda, ‘Shri Radha Govind Puri Bhandar’ for poori sabzi and ‘Special Pickle Shop’ for exotic range of pickles. These joints are very-very old and are being run by fourth or fifth generations. Trying out different kind of food interests me a lot and food photography is like icing on the cake. It felt good to be back into my elements. (In my next blog, I will give details of this food tour).
By the time we wrapped up the walk, the sun was already over the head and making us uncomfortable. Some of us wanted to shop but I postponed it for next time. Remember, this trip was planned in the pursuit of good food. But in case you have not been to Amer fort ever, please don’t give it a miss.
Lavish Rajasthani Spread
Rajasthan resonates with Rajputs and this Rajwadi land is a paradise for foodies. Every food enthusiast is aware that Dal Bati Churma and Laal Maas are the most popular dishes of the state. Any trip to Jaipur is incomplete if you haven’t experienced the scrumptious dishes of the region. How could we return without having it all?
Batis dipped in ghee with Panchkuti dal with churma is bliss. At DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer, the chef had prepared two kinds of churma. Another typical desert vegetable that is a must on a Rajasthani table is, Ker Sangri. This, Gatte ki sabzi and papad ki sabzi were the best that I have eaten. My non-vegetarian friends swooned over laal maas and chicken delicacies.
Don’t miss gatta preparations and its variety in Rajasthan. The rich curries owe their colour and taste to red hot chillies, rich gravy of tomatoes, and sizzling spices. Malpuas are another very authentic food of the state. I do not have a sweet tooth but I did not miss the amazing Malpuas.
In the evening, we kept it light, followed by amazing dinner yet again. I must mention that chef Sujit and chef Robin did not leave any stone unturned in making this a delightful foodies trip.
Day 3 : Lazy Breakfast and Drive to Delhi
A good breakfast sorts the day and breakfast spreads are the best part of hotel stays. Personally, I love fruits, buttermilk, eggs, freshly toasted breads, croissant and some South Indian delicacies in the mornings. At ‘Amber Kitchen’, I found it all and more.
It was time to drive back home. Since Double Tree by Hilton Jaipur Amer is on the highway and before Jaipur, one escapes the traffic pangs of Jaipur. The return journey was as smooth as the onward, except that one must be aware of the route change due to the farmers protest. Ensure to drive on the wrong side for that small section of the road. Rest of the journey will be smooth.
Plan your foodcation soon!!
There is more to foodcation and it may not always be about eating. Some times it is more fun to learn how to cook the cuisine, visit the local market or farmers’ markets to procure the produce, understand the diet and connect it with the geography and culture of the place. Don’t wait, plan your foodcation soon.