Famous Foods of Bikaner

Bikaner, the city obsessed with food! Where half of the population is busy in making food and other half is in eating. Where food is like a religious ritual. In Bikaner, the roadside food has made its presence overriding the Bhujia cyclone.  From Masala Chai to Panipuri, from Samosa to Chow Mein, the street food of Bikaner has a wide variety, which has its own intrinsic flavour. The history of roadside food, in the narrow lanes of the walled city, is closely linked to the growth of the city from a deserted village to a semi modern city. In Bikaner, people love eating! Such is the love for roadside food that you will not be able to find a single street in Bikaner without a dynamic roadside seller or hawker, where all the dishes are served with love and affection.

1. Kachauri-Samosa

The Bikaneri kachauri-samosa served with chutney is famous worldwide, which is available on almost every street in the morning hours. The B.K. School Kachauri-Samosa is treated like an international brand in the city, which are sold in front of the school. Even people are ready to travel 4-5kms to taste its authentic flavour. I wonder how many times the students get distracted by the smell of it while sitting in the class.

2. Tea and Namkins

The morning of Bikaneri people starts with tea and namkins and Chai Patti is a famous place for morning eating ventures. Cruising through labyrinth streets of old city, people flock the area early morning and Chai Patti shopkeepers are all ready to tingle their sensory taste buds. The hot steaming tea is sipped with various namkin snacks by the people sitting in a yogic posture and intense discussions go on all the social and political issues. I think veterans in national politics should occasionally attend these Chai Patti classes.

3. Golgappa

Golgappa is to us what Pizza is to Italy. We just love Golgappa’s! It is famous worldwide that Golgappa’s are favourite of girls but in Bikaner, you can find a group of young boys around the any Golgappa stall very easily. The most famous Galgappa joint of Bikaner is that of Dharmendra Agarwal whose name is registered in the Limca Book of records for his record 143 “Golgappa” flavours.

4. Deserts and Drinks

Matka Kulfi, Faluda and Gola are popular desserts, no matter what is the season and Daulat Chhatte wala, near Fort School, is famous for Faluda and Gola. Shikanji (Neembu Pani) and Thandai is used by the citizens to keep them cool in the sizzling summer of Bikaner. Vendors offering chilled soft drinks through nondescript kiosks can be seen in Public Park area near Toy Train and just inside Public Park Gate. Many vendors also offer chilled fruit juices, both canned and freshly prepared ones, found mainly on KEM Road.

5. Jalebi and Rabdi

Jalebi-the golden spiral of juicy heaven and Malai Dudh are in demand throughout the year, although the demand increases during winters. People of all ages can be seen thronging Halwai shops mouthing delicious Jalebies with hot steaming milk on Dau Ji Road. Craving for smoke flavored Rabdi is very strong in Bikaneries and Mohta Chowk is a right place for Rabdi hunting. You can never miss the hustle bustle of the city at this corner while your Rabdi is being prepared with dollops of cream and dry fruits.

6. Omelette and Peanuts

Omelette is a hot selling item during winters and vendors near Choutina Kuaa (well) do a roaring business. Roasted peanuts are sold almost in every nook and corner of the city and delicacies made with peanut kernels mixed with jaggery (Gur) is in great demand throughout the winters.

7. Paan

Paan, is eaten, as a mouth freshener, post meals in India is also sold at Bikaner’s roadside stalls. Bikaneri people are fond of eating Paan, evidence of which is presented on every wall & corners in offices of the city. A leader is the famous Moolsa-Phoolsa Paanwal’s paan which melt in your mouth.

People of Bikaner who have skilled the big appetite, contentment is the key for them; they can compromise in anything but never in taste. It is not possible to sell food in Bikaner unless it is very-very tasty. The addiction in the taste buds of Bikaner lies for namkins and other delicacies are so strong that it is a very strong motivating factor for the visits of those settled outside of Bikaner.

Contributor: Shahina Saleem

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