My husband Shravan put it correctly, when he said Amritsar is actually a food pilgrimage.
It really is the pathway to food heaven. Its food that makes your soul dance and heart sing.
And nowhere did we feel a need to nap after a meal. No sir, it’s not doused in ghee and butter.
Of course those are the key ingredients but the flavor is not lost to them. Some say it’s the water of Punjab rivers that makes the food taste so fresh & gratifying.
That Punjabi food is all about meat, is the biggest myth busted in Amritsar. The vegetarian food here is legendary.
Most of the dhabas have a cult status. Do not expect a fancy sit down place.
These are bare, no frill places where food is the hero :-).
Below are my top picks from Amritsar:
Kulchaland: The menu here has total 4 items: Amritsari kulcha, Masala kulcha, Paneer kulcha & Sweet lassi. The tandoori kulcha is served with chole & sour onion chutney. First bite, Shravan n I were in food heaven. DO NOT MISS THE SWEET LASSI. It’s the real deal. We could go back to Amritsar, just to eat here.
Kesar Da Dhaba: A pure vegetarian restaurant which originated in Pakistan & moved to Punjab. Parantha Thali was our pick. It comprises of plain parantha, dal fry, channa & raita. The dal is finger licking good. Paranthas melt in your mouth.
Brothers Da Dhaba: Pure vegetarian, authentic Punjabi food. The paneer makhni here is lip smacking. The butter garlic naan was crispy & flavorful.
Kanha Sweet: Famous for aloo poori. Served with chole & sliced onions. This is the perfect breakfast jaunt. Very old & highly recommended.
Charming Chicken: Pure non vegetarian restaurant. Completely owner driven. His enthusiasm was contagious. The popular Amritsari Fish Tikka was devoured by us in seconds. Next was Malai Chicken Tikka. Succulent pieces of chicken cooked to perfection. Butter Chicken was our main course here. Don’t expect the sweet red gravy some of us are used to. This is the authentic version. A brown color gravy with dollops of cream on it.
Ahuja Milk Bhandaar: Phirni, the almond flavored pudding served in traditional terracotta bowls. The right amount of sweet, goodness of milk, makes this a must have dessert while in Amritsar.
All the dhabas have impeccable service. They are happy to dish out simpler things if you have children with you. Anahita was gorging on plain lacha paranthas everywhere. I was a mom at peace.
We still dream about the food we had on our trip. Hence, a pact is in place to visit Amritsar every year.
Already looking forward to our next trip with a growling tummy :-).