Attention foodies! Whether you are a lover of street food and are looking for some delicious chaat, kachori, bhel or are into royal cuisine including rich kabab varieties or tasty curries, there is one place that has it all. We are talking about the beautiful state of Madhya Pradesh, located in the heart of India. This lush green state is known not only for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant wildlife and tranquil cities but also for its mouth-watering cuisine. Due to its cultural and historical heritage, the cuisine has various influences from the Mughals and neighbouring states. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, the state has something delicious for everyone. From the bustling streets of Indore to the royal kitchens of Bhopal, let’s explore the must-try dishes that define Madhya Pradesh’s culinary tapestry. (Also read: Exploring Pachmarhi: Your complete guide to Madhya Pradesh’s stunning hill station )
Must-Try Famous Food and Dishes of Madhya Pradesh
Poha is the most popular breakfast dish in Madhya Pradesh. Poha is made with flattened rice along with well-cooked onions, and tomatoes and is best savoured with green chillies, curry leaves and a bit of lemon. Don’t forget to add some sav (namkeen), chopped onion and a pinch of chaat masala for the best flavour. You can also complement it with crispy sweet jalabis. To taste the best poha, head out onto the streets of Indore and Ujjain. So next time you visit Madhya Pradesh, make sure that poha is on the menu at the restaurant where you eat.
2. Daal Bafla
In Madhya Pradesh, dal bafla is a popular dish inspired by the daal bati speciality of Rajasthan. Bafla are balls of wheat dough that are shaped, cooked to a crisp and then coated in ghee. The bafla comes with a bowl of hot daal and hari chutney (coriander sauce). This lunch option is a fantastic and healthy choice as it has the right amount of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats. You should also get a pickle for a tart twist. Though known throughout the state, the best daal bafla can be found in Bhopal.
3. Bhopali Gosht Korma
The Mughlai cuisine has had a significant influence on the cuisine of Bhopal, and one of the most famous dishes to have resulted from this influence is the Bhopali Gosht Korma. The recipe calls for chunks of mutton to be slow-cooked in a savoury, spicy stew. It is a staple of what is known as Nawabi cuisine. The end result is a mutton dish that melts in your mouth and is perfect for an extravagant feast. You should go to Chatori Gali, a small food market in Bhopal if you want to try this divine meat recipe. It is famous for its Nawabi delicacies.
4. Bhutte Ka Kees
As the name suggests, bhutta (maize) is the main ingredient in this common street snack in Madhya Pradesh. If you prefer your food to be moderately spicy, bhutte ka kees is the perfect dish. The dish calls for grated corn to be simmered in milk after being cooked with all the essential Indian spices to give it a slightly sweet taste. Green chillies and mustard seeds are also added to give it a unique flavour. It’s one of the most loved street foods in Madhya Pradesh. One of the best places to try it in Madhya Pradesh is the Sarafa Bazaar in Indore.
5. Seekh Kabab
Bhopal is as proud of its kebabs as Hyderabad. Some of the best Mughlai dishes, heavily influenced by Mughal cuisine, can be found in every region of the state. One of the most popular dishes in Madhya Pradesh is seekh kebab. Foodies have been drawn to Bhopal for many years by these kebabs, which consist of minced meat wrapped around a skewer and roasted over a fire. Vegetarian seekh kabab is also available. The best place in the state to find some of the most delicious kebabs you’ll ever eat is at Chatori Gali.
6. Chakki Ki Shaak
Rajasthani cuisine is the source of inspiration for Chakki Ki Shak. The recipe starts with steamed flatbread, which is then cooked in a sauce made with various Indian spices. The entire state of Madhya Pradesh enjoys this dish, which is best eaten with a bowl of curd. Indore is famous for its chakki ki shak.
7. Ratlami Sev (Namkeen)
Ratlami sev, made with gram flour, cloves, pepper and other spices, is a popular fried and crunchy snack in Madhya Pradesh. The inclusion of the particular blend of spices gives it a pungent and distinctive flavour. Carom seeds are also added to the sev for flavour. The texture of this sev is also incredibly tasty, offering a bite that is both crunchy and soft. There is also a wide variety of namkeen available in both Indore and Ujjain. The khatta meetha and phalahari namkeen are a particular favourite.
8. Mawa Baati
If you’re in Bhopal, there is one dessert that you simply must try: mawa baati. These are delicious fried mawa balls filled with cardamom powder and chopped dry fruits. They are served on festive occasions and resemble larger gulab jamuns. These rich sweet treats can be found at some street stalls in old Bhopal. In addition, mawa baati, chaat and other street delicacies are available at Bhopal’s Hawker’s Corner at the No. 6 bus stop.