Favorites List (9.14.12)

Favorites List (9.14.12)


Before we jump into this favorites list, a quick question for you all. I'm planning a trip to India(!), specifically New Delhi and Rajasthan. If you've been (or live there), and know of spots/shops/eats that we absolutely can't miss, please please give a shout in the comments. Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, Udaipur...so far, all are in the cards and I'm out-of-my-mind excited. A couple of my favorite experiences in Japan came from you all, so, thanks in advance. Enjoy the favorites list and I'll be back in a few days with a new recipe. xo -h

- Garden-Grown Cocktails

- The Oyler House | Outside Inside

- Maryam's Marrakesh

- My Friend Maia (via my friend Bonni)

- HomeMade Winter

- Reading this.

- Ruth Reichl's Fresh Apricot Jam

- Bonbons in Paris

- Essex (huge congrats guys!)

- A lifetime with Leica

- Readerly promiscuity

- This story

- Ten Questions for Sophie Dahl

- Grown-up pinatas

- Magic Measured in a Pile of Salt

- You've all seen this right?

- This site.

- Love Home Swap

- Blackberry Lillet Sangria

 
 
 
 
For new recipes & inspirations

Your Comments


chicu
September 14, 2012

firstly, welcome!
secondly, here's a partial list:
for pretty authentic and extremely good mughlai food: Kareem's in the shadow of the Jama Masjid, Old, Delhi. Try the Qoorma, kababs and roomali roti.
For food from Nagaland: Naga Kitchen, Defence Colony Market. Try the Pork Akhooni, steamed rice and boiled vegetables.
Saravana Bhavan for southIndian food..

 

Cait
September 14, 2012

Longtime lurker, first-time commenter -- I just got back from exactly that area, and it was amazing. Disconcerting and chaotic and magnificent. For food spots -- Pinch of Spice in Agra is an awesome restaurant with the BEST naan and saag paneer ever. Smoky and delicious and perfectly spiced. The Taj Mahal at dawn and Fatehpur Sikri were the two main can't-miss things for me. Humayun's Tomb was also very neat. The spice and silver markets in Old Delhi are an experience -- Sunder Nager for loose tea shops -- and afternoon tea at the Imperial Hotel if you want to splurge a little and experience some true Britishness in the midst of India (although it's a bit of a jolt after the rest of Delhi, and Old Delhi in particular)--

Have a wonderful time!!! (And thanks for all the recipes!!)

 

Al
September 14, 2012

I've been, but it was 25 years ago. Tipsy just got back! Her first India post is here.

 

Punky
September 14, 2012

Definitely spend time eating and shopping in Khan Market. Shop at Anokhi in Khan Market. Go to Fab India in Greater Kailash One (both clothes and housewares). And the Cottage Industry Emporium in Connaught Place for gifts.

 

Emily
September 14, 2012

If you can swing a trip out to Varanasi you should do it! It's a beautiful and moving city. You can take a boat ride on the Ganges. I also went to New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur on my trip but none of these cities had the same impact. It's a little out of the way but I think it is totally worth it.

 

lindsay
September 14, 2012

Before you go, I really recommend watching Michael Wood's 6 part series: The Story of India. He will make you swoon over every piece of history you encounter.

Bundi is a really special, sweet town in Rajasthan.

The Taj Mahal at sunrise! Fatehpur Sikri is a smaller and less touristy place to stay than Agra.

Lastly, home stays! Staying in people's homes made all the difference for my husband and me in India. So much more personal with lovely people and real food.

 

Leah
September 14, 2012

ah love this list

 

phi
September 14, 2012

Homemade winter looks like such a dream... I saw that over @sunday supper and really want to attend the event if it was not so far away.

 

rehana
September 14, 2012

If you haven't booked hotels yet, Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur was like nothing I've ever seen. Not that it was unusually fancy (but nice enough), more that it was full of things you don't expect to see in a hotel. I know that sounds like a carefully worded non-recommendaion, but I really liked it.

 

Elena
September 14, 2012

Saravana Bhavan for dosas is a MUST. Best dosas ever. Second best in Delhi is Sagar (also for dosas). And nothing beats Bukhara for North Indian food in Delhi. It's expensive, but the experience is truly worth while. All the street food is great! It's actually most memorable than any restaurant experience. Note: be careful when eating street food! Anything with or mixed with water could get you sick. (Happened to me two years in a row.) If you want to try "golgappas", don't ever eat them at the street vendors, go to a fast food chain like Halidrams -- another GREAT place to eat.

Shopping... any of the touristy street markets are good. (Talk them down to half of their asking price!) But, if you want beautiful (but expensive) home items, go to Good Earth. Head to Haus Kaus Village in Delhi. It's an indie kind of area with tons of boutique type stores, great restaurants. (Bought a couple of vintage handpainted Bollywood posters there.)

Just a couple of things that come to mind! I'll post more if I think of anything else. My husband's family is from New Delhi and Jaipur (best pickles ever), so we try to make it out there at least once a year.

 

Emma Galloway
September 14, 2012

Oh yay! You're gonna love it Heidi, but do expect to possibly hate is just as much ;-) That's just how it is in India. It will test you sure, but thankfully it's only the good bits you remember on your return home. Pushkar is a MUST. Sitting near the lake at sunset is one of the most magical things I've ever done. Jaisalmer is beautiful too, and I can already see all the wonderful photos you would take there. Can't wait to hear about your trip! Take care xxx

 

Kelsey
September 14, 2012

Heidi, try to take a train or grab a flight from New Delhi to Varanasi. Visiting the Ganges is an absolute must at both dawn and late into the night. Take a boat on the river before sunrise. Words cannot even describe the profundity in the experience. Try to get out of New Delhi or Agra as much as you can, the real India is outside the metropolitan areas. (ps) Take a probiotic morning and night!

 

la domestique
September 14, 2012

So many great things on this list! It's funny, I was just looking at the original HomeMade book for the zillionth time today in the library- can't wait for HomeMade Winter!

 

Sejal
September 14, 2012

When in Jaipur, go to the Anokhi store there.. it is the main one and the best one..and they have a really nice vegetarian cafe too..There is a Anokhi museum of textiles also in Jaipur on the road to the Amer fort..and if you have the time, outside of Jaipur there is a place called Chand Baori which is a truly amazing and beautiful stepwell..I have personally not seen stepwells outside of India..
In Delhi a must see for me is the Lotus Temple and the Akshardham Temple.
Hope that helps

 

sophie
September 14, 2012

Delhi is a tough city with a crazy, automobile-oriented urban geography, but it has many delights.

Elena hits on a couple of my favourites - especially Saravana Bhavan, whose sambar is unparalleled. Do visit Hauz Khas village, preferably toward dusk, when you can walk around the lake, visit the ruined madrasa, browse the boutiques (don't miss Yodakin bookshop!), and enjoy a meal at Gunpowder, a happening little restaurant that serves good, simple southern food (it's best to reserve a table).

Also, be sure to fit in a walk through Lodhi Gardens - New Delhi's most beautiful, serene public park.

And for truly authoritative Delhi restaurant/streetfood/monument recommendations, visit http://www.thedelhiwalla.com. Among other singular Delhi experiences, the Delhi Walla turned me on to Matthew's - a street-side Keralan cafe not far from Hauz Khas which serves arguably the best porotta in town (http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2011/09/20/city-food-%E2%80%93-masala-dosa-rk-puram/).

I don't know Rajasthan nearly as well, but I'll join in Lindsay's praise for Bundi. If you have time to visit (maybe as a two-day stop on the way from Agra to Jaipur?) absolutely do.

I love your recipes and prepare them often in my little Hauz Khas-area apartment. Hope you have a wonderful time!

 

Lily
September 14, 2012

I just got back from living in India for a couple of years--though in Orissa and the south. I've never lived in Delhi/Rajasthan, only traveled through those areas. That said, for food, you must visit the paratha street in Old Delhi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gali_Paranthe_Wali). Amazing.

Udaipur is also spectacular, as is Bundi.

Have a blast!

 

Laura
September 14, 2012

I lived in Delhi for a few months last year and adored every second. I definitely recommend Kareem's in Old Delhi! There is a smart restaurant called Gunpowder in Haus Kaus that specializes in South Indian food which would be great for you to experience in contrast to the North Indian food you will mainly be exposed to. In Jaipur, the Peacock rooftop restaurant is fantastic and the service is superb. Try and book for a room in their hotel also (Hotel Pearl Palace) as it is beautiful. Enjoy!

 

samantha
September 15, 2012

I traveled to all those places you mentioned as a mostly vegan for a wedding last year.
Granted I broke my veganism for some roasted paneer my favorite food in all of India was at peoples homes. The only restaurant I really enjoyed was a South Indian restaurant in New Dehli. I recommend just trying places. Definitly go to FAB INDIA, they have mainly clothing and home goods, its so awesome. Go to a spice market. Buy textiles, visit temples and drink Indian bear. Every thing is wonderful and special.
Bring colorful clothes!! And nice things. The woman there dress up! I didnt realize that when I went there and I brought a lot of black and white. But I immediately when to Fab India and bought outfits in orange turquoise and forest green.

 

Mike
September 15, 2012

It's great that you posted the NYT article on salt harvesting.
I've been to the Ile-de-Re during harvesting and it was one of the most fascinating things I ever saw.
I used to think that salt is salt, but then I tried fleur de sel while I was there and now it's so painful to use the industrial refined salt.
It's so different, so light, so incredibly tasty in its light texture. It makes to whole cooking experience completely different

 

Sharon O
September 15, 2012

Hi i travelled india 12 years ago and loved it. I chose to land in Katmandu, did some trekking and then made my way down the mountains into India and first stop was Varanassi. Then we headed over to Agra via train, Jaipur, Pushkar (a must) and the Jaisalmer then train into Old Delhi for a week and flew home to Australia.
I found this was a more gentle way into India that hitting the largest and most chaotic city first. A few travellers i met that were going the opposite way were a bit freaked out by the chaos. By the time i got to Delhi i was so used to it all that i just loved it.
I do highly recommend Varanassi as it has a big market feel and loved the city. I also recommend Pushkar for the peace that you don't tend to get in the bigger cities. The funniest book i've ever read called "Are you Experienced" by William Sutcliffe is well worth a read too. The Peacock Hotel at Pushkar, mentioned in the book, is lovely and even has a nice little swimming pool.
Bartering - asking price can be set by what country you say you are from (yes it is a loaded question) so say you are from a small country or make one up. When i was there the Aussie dollar wasn't as high as the US. Japanese were usually charged 3 times the price, US 2.5 times, Aussies double.
They love a good laugh and always loved it if i pretended to be hurt when told a price and then said "but its my birthday".
Keep some rice on you and if you feel the need to give to beggars than give them a handful. Giving money will just get you overrun by more beggars. Pencils are a great gift for the street kids too as a lot of them are trying to pay for school and need supplies.
I do recommend sticking to a vegetarian diet as you'll have less chance of Delhi belly. Goodluck and make sure you try some Thali.. YUM

 

Sharon O
September 15, 2012

Oops didn't need to mention to be vegetarian..
Bringing home a Tiffin is a must .

ENJOY

 

Jo Rose
September 15, 2012

First time commenter too

Try the whistling teal in udapuir for the best thali plate in north India and of you're looking for somewhere to stay the http://www.jagatniwaspalace.com/ has gorgeous and reasonable lake view rooms to make you feel all regal (their rooftop resturant is okay for cocktails and snacks but compensates for it by the spectacular view).

Have fun - India is awesome though I wouldn't plan too much time in Delhi other than seeing historic sites if that's your thing

Read some of the great Indian fiction that's around to get you in mood - god of small things, shantaram, midnights children, a fine balance are my picks of a great bunch

 

Aparna
September 15, 2012

Heidi, I have been an ardent near-worshipper of your blog, and am so excited about your India trip. Welcome, and have a great time here! Nathu's sweets (Bengali Market, New Delhi) is a must-visit, it's vegetarian to boot. Try the chhole bhature (spicy curried chickpeas served with deep fried puffy bread), and some of the sweets. Also a must try is the paneer tikka (grilled paneer: stores like Haldirams and Aggarwal's - both chains ensure you get fresh, hygienic food served to you).
Chokhi Dhani in Jaipur - seems like a very touristy place, but a lot of vegetarian Rajasthan specialities served under one roof - and maybe you can wrangle some recipes and share them with us. :-p
Have a fantastic trip, and post pictures!
Cheers,
Aparna

 

Avani
September 15, 2012

Hey Heidi! So excited that you are visiting Delhi. I live in Delhi and travelled in Rajasthan etc. And i have a ton of recommendations for you from places to eat to places to shop at. In Delhi, Hauz Khas Village is a must-visit. There is a himalayan food restaurant there called Yeti and kashmiri restaurant called Tarami. Both have brilliant vegetarian food. Many of the cafes in HKV over look the beautiful ruins of Hauz Khazi and the lake. Many up and coming fashion and jewelry designers have boutiques here. There are art galleries and places selling old movie posters and other kitsch as well. So from art to hand tooled and painted leather travelling valises, HKV is the place to go. The GoodEarth stores in Khan Mkt or Saket are lovely and you really cannot match the elegance of their crockery and glassware. Anokhi in Khan Market and Jaipur, have clothes and linen in with traditional indian motifs. Most of their designs are subtle and elegant. Fio in the garden of five senses is a great fine dining option. They have both indian and italian food. Indian Accent at The Manor hotel is another great option. The chef at the Indian Accent is trying to blend international and indian cuisine, like creating khandvi ravioli (khandvi is similar to a gujarati pasta) and so on. Kareems etc are a complete no-no for vegetarians. They are known for their rustic lamb and mutton roasts. I have a ton of other suggestions but maybe i should just email you? Or you can email me. If you want someone to take you around or help you explore Chandni Chowk (Paranthewali gali with parantha restaurants that have existed since Mughal times-they're around 150 or so years old- and old perfumeries, wholesale spice and cloth bazaars, Aloo-tikki at Natraj's, are some of the things on the must see/do list in CC), do give me a shout. :D Hope you have a fabulous visit to India!

 

Sharon O
September 15, 2012

Foods worth trying - masala dosa, Thali, mango lassi's and if you are game the salted lassi (not everyones taste but i loved it), Kulfi and Gulub Jamon and of course Chai esp the ones at the train stations.
One of the best foods i ate was Papdi Chaat from a street stall.
I never got sick in 6 weeks of being there. I took Homeopathic vaccinations and my medicine kit was a bottle of Grapefruit drops. Supposedly if you get sick it will help clean out your gut and help you get over it as quickly as possible. You can also put a drop in your water as a preventive.

 

Kelly
September 15, 2012

I second the saravana bhavan suggestion - their daily specials are great value!

In Jodhpur don't miss a lassi from the little shop below the clock tower. It used to be listed in lonely planet - the lassi was out of this world! I did a desert trip w Germar Singh - highly recommended, the man makes amazing vege meals out of nothing!!

Enjoy, I can't wait to read about your travels & see your photos!!!

 

Tracy A.
September 15, 2012

Oooo - I love it when you do your favorite's list! I saw the "My Friend Maia" awhile back, but enjoyed it just as much this time. I loved the dolphin clip, and no - I had not seen it before. Thanks for sharing!

 

Avani
September 15, 2012

Oooo also! For a splurge, try Varq - the modern indian cuisine restaurant at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi, its the one on Mansigh Road near Khan Market.. You may also want to connect with the Delhi Gourmet Club (they are on Facebook as well) and if you'd like it, I can put you in touch with one of Delhi's well known food critics. She's just the person to ask food-related questions to.

 

Lizzie
September 15, 2012

Wow---I'm so glad you posted this. I'm going to India this winter too, and am currently compiling lists of things to see/eat/do...and it's so overwhelming. I've been to Northern India before, and like two other commenters said: You've really gotta go to Varanasi!!! Unbelievably beautiful, fascinating, incredible, every adjective....

 

Jennifer
September 15, 2012

In Jaipur: Hot Pink Concept store is so chic, beautiful clothing and designer handmade Indian housewares. FabIndia is also good for cheaper Indian made objects and clothes (like of like a Cost Plus).

I would also recommend going to the Ramthambore Park to take a safari. I stayed at the Aman-i-khas tented camp there, a highlight of my trip! The drive from there to Jaipur (3 hours) is gorgeous, going through the Aravalli Hills and local villages.

In New Delhi, don't miss 'Wedding Street' in the old town. It's where all the local brides shops for their colorful attire and accessories. Amazing for photography. Also the local flower market is fun to visit, go early (6:00am).

In Jodphur, I stayed at the Raas Hotel which was great, you should eat at their rooftop restaurant with views of the fort. The local market in Jodhpur near the clock is amazing. Handmade embroidered shoes and saris. And CHEAP!

In Udaipur, try to get outside of the city. A nice day trip would be to see the templates out near the Devi Garh Fort Palace Hotel, and have lunch there looking out over the hills.

 

Marc in Taiwan
September 15, 2012

I recommend buying the Guide du Routard for India (you can read French, right?). Best advice in book form you can get. Told me about dealing with the nightmare of hustlers of Agra (that alone was worth the price of the book!). Are you going to Varana

 

suzanne curley
September 15, 2012

for all things fabric (clothing, totebags, bedspreads, napkins, etc.), the wonderful "fab-india" store in delhi....

 

Horace Bone
September 15, 2012

Take a bus ride into the countryside and purchase a coconut with a straw in the top from a roadside vendor. Drink the juice; then scrap the thin meat from the coconut itself. Better than any soft drink will ever purchase anywhere.

 

brynn
September 15, 2012

I loved Bundi and Udaipur. Take a cooking class-- I think there's a woman in Udaipur who teaches classes out of her home kitchen under the name Noble Indian. We visited the day before to sign up for the class and choose our menu, and she went to the market to get all the ingredients. Strangely, the Vintage and Classic Car Museum in Udaipur also serves a solid and inexpensive vegetarian thali. South of Rajasthan in Gujarat, Palitana is a bit of a haul, but the Jain temples there are incredible. Cardamom and saffron ice cream, too. Have an amazing trip!

 

CAMILLE STYLES
September 15, 2012

Thanks so much for the link - glad you loved the Garden Grown cocktails roundup! Love your site and hope your trip to India is amazing! xo

 

Jenn
September 15, 2012

Hi Heidi,
I started to write my post and came across a silmilar one on travel adviser summing it up beautifully. It is a day trip to Agra. The tour company was recommended to me via a co-worker who hails from New Delhi.

It was an AMAZING experience. Didn't have any problems at all with transportation or access to the attractions. I went with the "pick me up" option from my hotel rather than drive.
I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The best part is that the package includes a lot of the sites already listed by other posters. It is a lllllooooonnnnngggg day, but so worth it. It is excellent if you want to see the major sites in the area, but you don't want to devote "x" number of days out of your itinerary to do it.

Hint: Ask your tour guide/driver if they could share any family recipes with you. Mine was over-joyed that I would even think to ask. I came home with two that my co-worker hadn't heard of (we figured the family member had come from a different part of India) and both have now become her family's faves - and mine too! :-)

 

lasingh
September 15, 2012

Please, please go to Udaipur. And stay at Amit Haveli. It sits directly across from the Lake Palace and is absolutely magical. They also serve excellent food in the hotel, and the best Masala Chai (ginger and cardamom!) I've ever had. Udaipur is amazing.

 

Anonymous
September 15, 2012

Veda is in the heart of New Delhi. It has amazing cuisine. But more than anything, the decor is a must-see.

 

Debra
September 15, 2012

Oh I'm envious! I would love to go back to India. It is vegetarian food heaven so you will love it. The colours are amazing. I hope you're bringing the 180 because I would live to see the photos you and it would make. Jaipur is fantastic. Have to say that I didn't have much use for Agra, outside the Taj Mahal (which, no matter how many photos you've seen is pretty mindblowing in person). I've done the train to Varanassee & back to Delhi. While Varanassee was the hands down highlight of my two weeks in India, I think the train trip aged me by years! If you can get there, I recommend it but definitely fly! Enjoy your trip.

 

Ann
September 15, 2012

Long time reader and first time commenter... Quite envious of your upcoming trip. =) The highlights from our visit to Delhi and Rajasthan a few years ago was Humayun's tomb in Delhi, Emperor Akbar's tomb just outside of Agra and the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. Our favorite hotel was Hotel Arya Niwas in Jaipur, mostly for its excellent breakfast outside in their courtyard. The Moonlight Garden across the river from the Taj Mahal offers a different view of the famous sight too. Have a lovely time!

 

Heena
September 15, 2012

I'm so excited that you're going to be traveling to India. It's an experience you'll never forget. I'm from Mumbai, but love Delhi for its history and of course, the food. Places to try:
Bukhara at the ITC is a splurge, but serves incomparable northwestern food - the kaali dal and melt-in-your-mouth malai tikkas are fabulous. Bukhara, ITC Maurya, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi; +91 (0)11 2611 2233
Bengali Sweets at the Bengali Market is one of my favorites for vegetarian snacks and sweets. Bengali Sweets, G-19, South Extension Part 1, New Delhi; +91 (0)11 2462 1022
The north Indian food at the original Moti Mahal at Daryaganj is on most people's must-eat list. Moti Mahal, 3703, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj
The old city streets near Chandni Chowk have some of the best street food in Delhi - embrace the chaos, and you'll have a great time. The stuffed, fried breads at Paranthe-wali-galli, chaat and lassi are a must-try. And then there are the sweets:
Jalebis (a fried squiggly sugary sweet) at 'Old and Famous Jalebi-wala', Kheer (like an Indian rice pudding) at Bade Mia, and Daulat ki Chaat (an airy milky confection) at various stalls around Kinari Bazaar and Chandni Chowk.
Old and Famous Jalebi Wala, corner of Chandni Chowk and Dariba Kalan
Bade Mia, Lal Kuan, near Chawri Bazaar metro, Old Delhi
If you are interested, this is a blog post I wrote a while back on Delhi:
http://www.tiffintales.com/2010/04/21/delhi-6/
Link to article on restaurants in Delhi:
http://www.cnngo.com/mumbai/visit/ultimate-guide-best-of-new-delhi-741480?page=0,3
And here is a very good article I came across recently:
http://eatanddust.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/feast-feature3.pdf
Happy and safe travels!

 

Sherrie
September 15, 2012

I've just returned from traveling in the same area that you plan to visit. I agree with the suggestions that have been posted and want to share that Anokhi in Jaipur is a must; textiles are made with organic dyes and are beautiful. I purchased most of my souvenirs there...tableclothes and dinner napkins, shopping bags and robes! Taj Mahal at sunrise is an absolute must. At the last minute I decided to go to Varanasi for two days and purchased an airline ticket departing from Delhi and am thankful that I did because it was a profound experience. Have fun!

 

charles lang
September 15, 2012

get last month's issue of food and wine...they had quite a few places in India in cities that you are going to visit...

 

Kari
September 15, 2012

NAMASTE, Heidi! I've been a follower of yours for years, but this is my first time commenting. I just returned from most of the places you mentioned, and I am so excited that you are going to India! I agree with Emma...it's a love/hate experience, but when you return a part of your heart will be left there. Apparently, 75% of Indian spices come from Rajasthan (or at least that is what they told me :-). Please listen to the other posts about Pushkar! It is one of my favorite places. We found a little hostel there called White House. The owner has an ORGANIC GARDEN at his house and is one of the best cooks I've ever met! He gave us a cooking lesson in his humble kitchen, and we had the best MANGO TEA on the planet!! We did a camel safari there as well! So FUN! You must visit Amber Fort in Jaipur. There is a unique jewelry store in Jodhpur (it was good enough for Angelina Jolie to visit) called Gems and Art Plaza. In New Delhi I liked Delhi Haat, an open air food plaza and craft bazaar. I'm so excited for you! Please let us know every detail of your trip! Also, have you thought of heading up to Nepal? It's worth it and you can get there from Delhi by plane in a few hours. You can get a tourist visa in the airport for $25. Hmmm...what else? Remember, Rajasthan = semi-precious jewels, silver, spices, tie tied fabrics, miniature paintings, block printed textiles, hand made rugs, puppets, and peacocks...don't forget to drink lots of CHAI!

 

Rupal
September 15, 2012

Hi Heidi,

Please visit ' Anokhi ' shop in Jaipur. It has beautiful block printed dresses as well as linens, bags, etc. Also visit ' Anokhi ' museum.
There is a restaurant called 'chowkidani ' just outside of Jaipur. You must try the traditional food there.
Jodhpur's Umaid Bhavan Palace and the fort is a must see for the history. In Jodhpur

 

Debra Stevens
September 15, 2012

Hi Heidi,
Have been to india many times.
Favorite delhi places: Anokhi and Tulsi at
santushti shopping complex.
Lodi park for morning strolls.
Khan market more shopping.
Dining at the Dhaba in the claridges hotel, esp. good paneer tikka and dal
makhani!
Safe travels.

 

nina
September 15, 2012

hi heidi! i'm so excited you are finally going to india! you uploaded my images to your discussion board from india way back in 2005 when i had gone :). you are going to have an AMAZING time. sadly, i can't remember particular places and names, but i know you will absolutely fall in love with being there. safe travels to you when you go and can't wait to read about it here, best, nina

 

nina
September 15, 2012

hi heidi! i'm so excited you are finally going to india! you uploaded my images to your discussion board from india way back in 2005 when i had gone :). you are going to have an AMAZING time. sadly, i can't remember particular places and names, but i know you will absolutely fall in love with being there. safe travels to you when you go and can't wait to read about it here, best, nina

 

stacey
September 15, 2012

So happy to hear you are venturing to India! It will change perspective on things and word of advice just go with the flow and be prepared for all your senses to be assaulted at one. I love India and both have lived there and returned as a tourist. Be sure to visit the open air market which always have spice vendors you will be amazed by the color, variety of textures available. And I second the idea of going to the restaurant Bukhara in the hotel Bukhara ITC Maurya. Amazing dal and naan made in an open kitchen with an authentic tandoori oven.

 

Heidi
September 15, 2012

I traveled to India three years ago. If you can get to Bandhavgarh Park to see the tigers you should. Also, my son went last year and stayed here: http://www.villaloshegani.com/
He said it was one of the most beautiful places he has ever been.

 

Annie
September 15, 2012

Oh how wonderful. We spent five weeks in India last summer - mainly in Rajasthan, and then south near Kerala. It was incredible. Jodhpur and Jaipur were probably my favourite cities. We stayed at Shanti Home in Delhi - it is a really lovely boutique hotel. Jami Masjid a mosque on the road between Delhi and Jaipur was incredible. The Amber Fort in Jaipur is beautiful - well worth a visit, as is the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. Oh and in Udaipur is Ganesh Handicraft Emporium - it's tucked down a back alley, but is the most amazing Aladdin's cave of textiles. Likewise Maharani Art Exporters in Jodhpur - looks basic from the street, but get them to take you downstairs and it just keeps going and going - treasures everywhere. I hope you have a wonderful trip, and look forward to seeing your posts when you return. Annie x

 

neha
September 16, 2012

My cousin runs the Jaipur Kitchen, a cooking school in Jaipur. She is originally from New Dehli, and knows a lot of the best places to eat in the area. Check her out on http://www.facebook.com/jaipurkitchen and let me know if you want her contact info. Her name is Vasudha Sanghi.

 

amanda
September 16, 2012

go to pushkar! bundi too perhaps.

and yes like someone else wrote, if you have the time; varanasi! (Blue Lassi in old town, Varanasi - best lassis i've had.)
have fun and do enjoy the amazing country of india!

 

Kashish S
September 16, 2012

In Jaipur you must try Chowki Dhani..Its a fun experience and good food..Also try the food at Rambagh Palace Taj.
In Udaipur you must try the thali at Oberoi Uday villas or Taj hotel one.
Delhi is famous for its chaats so that is a must try and their tandoori kebabs too.
Have fun!! and great shopping in Delhi

 

Jillian
September 16, 2012

If you need a place to stay in Jaipur, you must check out the Royal Heritage Haveli. It's outstanding.

 

francesca
September 16, 2012

In JAIPUR stay at Hotel Diggi palace, lovely ,central, not expensive and heritage.
Try and visit Brigitte Singh in Amber fort (you probably know her textiles) her workshop is amazing. Phone 91 141 2530229
Have lassi at the lassiwalla at 312 M.I.Road and drink out of a lovely handmade disposable clay pot!
Check SATAYAM for textiles (expensive, bengali, the finest) ph 91 1412601432 ( Laxman Dwara,right outside the City palace)
In Jodphur stay at Karni Bawan.
If you decide to stop in Shakawati while in Rajasthan (the region of the painted Havelis) PLEASE try and stay at Apani Dhani in nawalgar www.apanidhani.com. You'll love it.
Many more suggestions, but I'll stop here..

 

ami
September 16, 2012

Hey Heidi
I noticed you already received a big list of to go places. So I will keep mine short and sweet. I am born and raised in India and went to college in Delhi but moved to USA in jan'12 with my husband.
So here we go :
1) KAREEMS in delhi for mughlai food
2)Must visit JANPATH in delhi for shopping Indian silks,artifacts and gift items.MUST MUST go.
3)HANDI in Jaipur.Amazing mughlai food. Try egg curry.
Happy and safe journey!

 

Siri
September 16, 2012

Hi Heidi- when i Rajastan you MUST also go to Jaisalmer, a fort city growing out of the desert dust. Simply Amazing.

 

FNB
September 16, 2012

Maybe not for your upcoming trip, but just to let you know for future trips: Bengali cuisine is amazing, and by far the best cuisine I've had in India. Many Indians would agree with me. There's a complexity to the spices and flavors that I've not experienced in other Indian cuisines. It's more about layers of flavors than heat. Also, try to find the book "Tasting India" by Christine Manfield. It's a new and beautiful coffee table book about travelling and eating in India. I saw it in Crosswords on my last trip to India. This book is an encyclopedia of Indian food experiences, and a good place to do research before departing.

 

Dawn
September 16, 2012

New Delhi drove me nuts, I'll never go back! However, I loved Rajasthan. If you're staying in Udaipur, you should choose this place. We stayed in one of the cheap standard rooms, and it was so charming. Gets you away from what feels like typical tourists. http://www.rangniwaspalace.com/index.htm

 

Maya
September 16, 2012

Get the Love Travel Guides for Delhi & Jaipur at www.lovetravelguides.com . . .
gorgeous & full of insider shops, restaurants, etc. They are perfection.

 

Maya
September 16, 2012

Also . . . . the shop Tulsi in Delhi in the Santushti shopping complex for the most gorgeous handwoven textiles, scarves, clothing, & bedding . . . . one of the best shops in the world.!

 

Scribina
September 16, 2012

Hi, great to hear about your upcoming trip. As a delhi'ite and foodie, I think you should absolutely do an old Delhi food walk.
As an introduction, please go through the archives of this blog. Www.eatanddust.com. It is written by a Scotswoman, now living in Delhi, who is absolutely passionate about the cuisine of Delhi, specifically old Delhi, which is also called walled city.
You could also join some of the foodie clubs on Facebook who occassionally organise food walks.
Hope you have a culinary adventure.

 

Ayesha
September 16, 2012

Hi, I'm from India and visited Rajasthan about 2 years back. Best places to visit there are Jaipur, Jaiselmere, Udaipur and Mount Abu. I didnt find Jodhpur that interesting, you can skip it if you like. Also be careful while you shop at Baapu bazaar in Jaipur, Jauhari bazzar is a better bet and you have this awesome restuarant there whose name slips my mind, but its pretty famous. Dont forget to drink the absolutely delicious Karahi Doodh{wok Milk] that you get in Jaipur during the evenings, Vasansi is a good place to shop, its on the main road there [Tank bund toad], Udaipur and Jaiselmere are absolutely enchanting. And yes do not shop at the places the taxi guy stops at, they will usually be insanely priced and not worth the time too.. Instead head for Jauhari bazaar at Jaipur, its so old worldly and such beautiful stuff. You get some very neat block printed pure cotton fabrics there, silver jewellery, whatnots. I hope you have fun. Write me if you need anymore info :)

 

Julie
September 16, 2012

Namaste Heidi,
I have just returned from all those places 3 weeks ago.
It was my second trip, and i must admit, I AM IN LOVE with INDIA!
India gets in your blood, and you just cant get enough of it. i cant wait to go back again.
It can be very confronting, daunting and challenging.
The best advise ever given to me was to SURRENDER to India. Leave behind all your judgements, prejudices and what you think is normal, and just embrace.
You'll experience an amazing country, culture and people.
Eg donkeys being herded along the freeway (traffic doing 100km/h) each carrying sacks of baby goats, heads poking out the top!
Not to mention the food! And OMG the markets, you will have an unbelievable time with your camera.
I am a passionate foodie so we tended to eat at a lot of little places we would stumble upon or as recommended by other travellers or locals we'd meet rather than larger established places catering for the tourist with safe bland palates.
Unfortunately, i cant remember any names.
Other then the Omelette stall just outside the entrance to the market square in Jodphur. He has newspaper clippings posted out the front. Sit on one of the stools and just absorb the passing parade whilst eating the most amazing omelette you'll ever eat. (dont go to any of the imitations)
Another great place we ate was just inside the entrance gate to the fort in Jaislamer, again cant remember the name. Its perched upstairs and you sit outside and watch the sun slowly dissppear below the horizon.
Did a couple of cooking classes too, which were great in Udaipur.
If you have time you must do a camel safari in the Thar Dessert from Jaislamer.
You really only need the 2 half days, one night trip to get a feel and not end up in pain from the saddle!. Book with Mr Safari, i think they are called. Just outside the same gates. Its in Lonely Planet.
some good reading before and during:
Holy Cow Sarah McDonald
The White Mughuls and The Last Mughul by William Dalrymple
A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry

Enjoy you'll have a wonderful time, the palaces, forts, markets are all amazing!
You will be blown away!
Cant wait to see your photos.
Agree, with another post, Pushkar is a must if you have time.

 

Carly
September 16, 2012

While traveling by jeep from Udaipur to Jodhpur, we stumbled on a Jain temple by the name of Ranakpur. It is absolutely *stunning*, and worth the hike off the beaten path!

 

A..
September 16, 2012

I recommend adding my birth place- Varanasi - to the list.
It has its own vibe- the craziness of Vishwanath Gali, the amazing calm of Sarnath, the beautiful old Vishwanath temple, Sankat Mochan and Durga Kund- not to forget the ghats, the Ganges, the people- it is all an experience I highly recommend!
Also, the street food in Varanasi is awesome. Here is a partial list-
1. Chaat ( spicy vegetarian Indian street food) at Kashi Chaat Bhandar.
2. Samosas just about anywhere.
3. Street Side Chai served in earthen ware cups (called Kulhads)
4. Kachauri with Kaddu/Aloo ki sabzi. Kachauri is a deep fried bread with a spicy lentil filling. Kaddu/Aloo is pumpkin/potato curry. It is delicious! Some of the best is sold close to Vishwanath temple.
5. Jalebis
6. Lassi
7. Bengali Sweets near durga kund

Also, you will find beautiful handwoven brocade sarees/fabric here. An area called Chowk has lots of those stores. Drop me a line if you'd like specific recommendations

 

Stacie
September 16, 2012

i loved, loved, loved the step wells in a small town called abhaneri (in rajasthan). it is a beautiful piece of architecture.

http://promarktravels.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/abhaneri-step-well-full-view-small.jpg

 

Anita
September 16, 2012

Hey Heidi

I'm in Delhi right now. Everything people are saying about Sharavam Bhavam (sp?) is absolutely correct - yummy and delicious. Rajidhani in Connaught place is a lovely traditional Indian eatery - delicious vegitarian thali. United Coffee House also in connaught is a wonderful old worldy art deco place. I hear the Imperial is great for lunch and the British feel.

Places to see - REd fort - great but go early, they get 20000 visitors/day. Old Delhi is wonderful, go by Rickshaw so you can soak up the streets with a birds eye view. The markets are fab - I don't think you can go wrong wherever you turn.

Lonely Planet guide book is useful, but don't get it on Kindle as it doesn't translate well. Older copies are also just as good.

Good luck - it's amazing!!!!

 

Kshitija
September 16, 2012

Hi Heidi,

Rajasthan and Delhi are absoultely the best places to see! And there is so much variety to eat. Rajasthan is so colourful and the people are really warm. Food wise, I really recommend
Dal baati choorma and Ker Sangri (a savoury dish made of two dessert vegetables) in Jaipur, Paneer ke Ghevar (dessert, best eaten at LMB-Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar in Jaipur),
Makhani Lassi (yougurt based beverage; Janta Sweet Home - Jodhpur) and Mawa Kachori (sweet deep fried dessert; Janta Sweet Home - Jodhpur). Also interesting is the Camel milk ice cream, coffee and tea at the Camel Farm in Bikaner!

In Rajasthan there's so much to see, that one trip can never be enough, but the sand dunes of Jaisalmer, Ranakpur Jain Temple (on the way to Udaipur), Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur) and The Sound & Light Show at the City Palace, Udaipur are really worth seeing.

Have a good trip and looking forward to see your photos!

 

Sonja
September 16, 2012

Oh Love India!
- Jodphur -The omelette shop by the clock tower. Try a Makhania lassi (think thats how is is spelt) - saffron, curd etc - a dessert in a glass. Get the recipe please!
- The Jain temple at Ranakpur - near Udaipur.
- Bikaner - hotel Bhanwar Niwas for dinner
- Taj Mahal 'backside' for sunset.
-Orchaa is you get the chance
The most photogenic country and people. Friendly, open people. Choose to see the beauty in it all.
Enjoy

 

Priyanka Sharma
September 16, 2012

So happy to see you are coming to India. I have tried to categorize a few authentic food experiences in Delhi.

Old Delhi

Form a lane named after food to the oldest food tradition in India, this is a place to get lost and discover things yourself. Start with the Parathewali Gali in Chandini Chowk (a lane names after parathas of all kind. Paratha is a stuffed Indian bread) and walk around to discover many local food stalls, vendors. Some areas to must visit are Kinari Bazaar, Meena Bazar, Jama Masjid. Try Indian Pan, a mouth freshner and digestive after a meal.


Central Delhi

Delhi has a variety of official state offices with their canteens which are open to public. They are the best place to eat local cuisines. Below is the list.

Andhra Bhavan ( Andhra Pradesh)
1, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi
T. 011 23382031

Goa Niwas (Goa)
14 Bir Tikendrajit Marg, Chanakyapuri , New Delhi
T. 011 26118370-3

Assam House (Assam)
1 Lok Priya Gopinath Bordoloi Marg (off Kautilya Marg), Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
T. 011-2301 5551

Tamil Nadu Bhawan
1, Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi
T. 011-24193470


South Delhi

Naivedyam - Traditional Tamil Food
1, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
T. 011 26960426, 011 26536045

Yeti, The Himalyan Kitchen. Tibetan and Nepali food
50 A, 2nd Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi
T. 011 43333618


Best Tea in Delhi

For the most amazing tea experience in Delhi , visit Mittal Tea store in Sunder Nagar Market . A Small boutique specialising in organic and hand processed tea. Must try selections includes the white peony tea from the Nilgiris, Darjeeling first, second and third flush, Assam gold and the Kashmiri kawah.


Have a great trip to India. Your blog has been such an inspiration. Please do a book signing in Delhi, meet your fans, other foodies, writers etc. Let me know if that is something you will be interested in. Would love to organize something like that!

 

steph
September 17, 2012

hi heidi and thanks for your creative approach to cooking.Just a few lines to tell you I have spent a wonderful time in Ranthambore at Kem Villas: great place and great people. I have also reshaped the new menu, so the Italian recipes are mine! Hope you enjoy it!
have a good trip! steph

 

gabriella
September 17, 2012

One of the most fascinating places a bit out of the way of the usual tourist route is Jaisalmer - an ancient desert trading town - with Aladdin like cave merchant shops. Don't miss it!!!! Have a most joyful time!

 

Emilie
September 17, 2012

Hi Heidi,
Okay, you are probably overwhelmed with suggestions. I travelled in India on my own and it was an incredible, if intense experience. Udaipur was probably my favourite stop in Rajasthan, with Pushkar a close second, but the best place I stayed was in Jodhpur, where I stayed in a homestay (http://www.mahindrahomestays.com/homestays/jodhpur/indrashan). They were amazing and, after travelling for a few weeks, I was exhausted, so they kind of took me in and spoiled me - I did cooking lessons with their cook, and their driver picked me up from the train station, and took me to the bus depot when I left. Also, they arrange entire itineraries. Jaipur is also extraordinary, and the thalis there were the best food I had.
You'll love it - and I look forward to the recipes!

 

Laura
September 17, 2012

I traveled around Rajasthan for 2 weeks in 2004 when my sister married in a small village near Ganganagar. I loved India, but more importantly, I fell in love with the people.

You have received lots of suggestions for places to eat which is good because I cannot remember the names of the restaurants we visited, ha!

Definitely visit Amber Fort, but I would skip the elephant ride to the top.

My favorite gifts to purchase were puppets and shoes! We came back with a suitcase of shoes and I don't even have a shoe fetish.

I would agree with the comment that pictures don't do the Taj Mahal justice. It brought tears to my eyes when I walked through the gates. Just stunning. If you make it out of Rajasthan and North into Punjab, go to the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), a Sikh Gudwara in Amritsar.

I would especially agree that you should make a stop in Pushkar. We were there during the Pushkar Camel Fair which was much fun. We stayed in tents at one of the camps, although I cannot remember which.

I only wish I would have taken a cooking class as suggested here. How amazing would that be?

Have a wonderful trip, can't wait to see the influence on your future recipes!

 

Rocky Mountain Woman
September 17, 2012

No comments on where to go to in India, but hoping you will post about your trip!

It's a dream of mine to go someday...

 

Maya
September 17, 2012

Get the Love Travel Guides for Delhi & Jaipur at www.lovetravelguides.com . . .
gorgeous & full of insider shops, restaurants, etc. They are perfection.

 

Alexis
September 17, 2012

Samode Palace is an old palace in Rajasthan converted into a hotel. It's a bit out of the way, but I stayed there while I was visiting Jaipur. Beautiful countryside.

And, take a train where you can; it's a fun experience.

 

Annie
September 17, 2012

Wonderful are the blue-corn chapatis in Jaipur, charred over an outdoor grill, and the lassi from the lassiwalla on M.I.Road in a disposable clay cornet that you throw away afterwards.

 

Liz
September 17, 2012

Do you know Lily Stockman's blog, Big Bang Studio? She and her husband lived in Rajasthan for a year. I bet you'll find some great tips on her site: http://bigbangstudio.blogspot.com

 

mango
September 17, 2012

I've never commented before, but must now!

Lassiwalla in Jaipur has 3 side-by-side. You want the one on the very left hand side when looking at all 3 head-on.

Anokhi in Jaipur was my favourite shopping spot for beautiful textiles, and their cafe served beautiful food that was a change from Indian fare everyday if you get tired of it.

The best-kept secret (which I'm now sharing in the comments!) is my favourite spot to stay in Jaipur - The Sunder Palace. I absolutely adore the place; it was the best on our trip, and one of my favourite hotels around the world for such an amazing price.

Also, in Udaipur, taking a cooking lesson with Shashi is pretty special. Above all else, her story is amazing :)

Have a great time, can't wait to see the blog posts!

 

Kate
September 17, 2012

Hi Heidi,
I've been reading your blog for years, and actually found it when I was living in India. I've lived in India for three years and bring students there over the summers. Do not miss in Delhi: Qawwali at Nizamuiddin (sufi shrine) on Thursday nights starts at 6 pm. Go to Humayan's tomb before (across the street) around sunset (5:30) and it will be cool, you'll hit call of prayer time and get sunset views. Favorite restaurant is Gunpowder in Hauz Khas village. Small boutique spot with amazing south indian food. Check out this food blog for street food spots, and do not worry about eating any of these recommended street food spots: http://eatanddust.com/. Make sure to get kebabs, persian food, and good biryani in old delhi. Get a tour of Mehrauli, old city outside of Qutb Minar. To check out something new and crazy, you can go to Akshadham. I have used this bed and breakfast for the last few years, and love it. The breakfasts (homemade jams and banana bread) are awesome: http://colonelsretreat.com/. I could keep going about the places you are going but I'll stop, one hint for Rajasthan, don't miss a side trip to Bhundi and to the northeastern region with tribal paintings. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions, I have a travel company for cars that I like to use as well that is quite reasonable. Have fun!

 

Paula
September 17, 2012

So many wonderful places to go in India! As others have mentioned, the Taj Mahal is more beautiful than all of the photos can express.
In Jaipur, agree that Anokhi is a wonderful shop and would also add Hot Pink to the list as a fun shopping stop. The latter's web site has excellent recommendations for things to see/do in the area. Outside of Jaipur, the Amber Fort is worth a little field trip.
Udaipur is gorgeous, and a calm respite from some of the more bustling cities. The Jaiwana Haveli was reasonably priced, comfortable and had a beautiful roof terrace overlooking the lake. The maharaja's palace in Udaipur was great & worth a stop.
Have a great time!

 

gluttonforlife
September 17, 2012

Heidi, someone else may have mentioned this already, but I highly recommend that you stay at Devi Garh when you're in Udaipur. It is truly spectacular and I ate there the most ethereal smoky tomato-pameer curry of all time. And in Jaipur don't miss the street of bangle sellers, and be sure to eat chat (in a restaurant, not the street) washed down with lassi. Have fun!

 

Charli
September 17, 2012

Long time reader but brand new commenter. I just had to because I spent three months in those same places two years ago. I've seen Karim's mentioned multiple times, and I ate there after a fantastic Old Delhi bike tour. You ride bright orange cruisers through the early morning streets. It's really amazing. Here is the link http://www.delhibycycle.com/shahjahantours.asp

Also really close to Hauz Kaus is a little village in the city called Shahpur Jat. Small winding allyways and lots of vendors and animals and children playing. We did most of our food shopping there. It is near Siri Fort.

One my favorite experiences overall was the Qawwali music in Nizamuddin on Thursday evenings (I think). Beautiful Sufi devotional music and very welcoming to everyone.

As far as food goes, I ate just about anything and everything and was only sick two days out of the three months I was there. That doesn't seem to be the norm though. But good luck! You are a traveller so I'm sure you are prepared.

I would go back in a second. Have a great time!

 

Heidi
September 17, 2012

I'm completely blown away buy all your suggestions. THANK YOU. I mean it, I know how busy you all are - thank you for taking the time to write up your experiences. I promise to take lots of photographs and can't wait to share them. xo -h

 

Jo
September 17, 2012

DO NOT miss Elma's Bakery in Delhi's Hauz Khas Village. The quaintest, loveliest tea-room, bakery, restaurant in the whole country. :)

 

Shaila
September 18, 2012

Recommend you to visit the Aksharadham at New Delhi. It is a marvel of India and worth to visit this place. You may want to visit their website www.akshardham.com

 

Rachel
September 18, 2012

definitely go to the red fort in jaipur - too beautiful!

 

Mimi
September 18, 2012

If you're looking for a place to stay in Jaipur, I recommend the Diggi Palace (http://www.hoteldiggipalace.com/index.htm). The restaurant there, Flow, had some of the best thai food I had in India, which is already really great! Make sure to try kesar pista ice cream anywhere you go (pistachio and saffron). The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant in Jaipur is cheap, has great views, and pretty good food (avoid the chinese food and you're fine).

 

Mimi
September 18, 2012

If you're looking for a place to stay in Jaipur, I recommend the Diggi Palace (http://www.hoteldiggipalace.com/index.htm). The restaurant there, Flow, had some of the best thai food I had in India, which is already really great! Make sure to try kesar pista ice cream anywhere you go (pistachio and saffron). The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant in Jaipur is cheap, has great views, and pretty good food (avoid the chinese food and you're fine).

 

Mimi
September 18, 2012

Check out the Diggi House in Jaipur (hotel/thai food) and the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant in Jaipur for good food and great view of the city!

 

Alanna
September 18, 2012

Hi Heidi! I've been a longtime lurker but never commented yet. Sorry for plugging my own site, but you might be interested in a post I did about my visit to Udaipur a few months ago -- it really is the most beautiful place in Rajastan and is much, much less hectic than New Delhi and some of the other cities, which are heavily populated with tourists. If you do go, you should absolutely stay at Nukkad guesthouse (gorgeous views, really affordable, and absolutely lovely terrace/common area to meet other travellers ) http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g297672-d1308018-Reviews-Nukkad_Guest_House-Udaipur_Rajasthan.html . You're going to find India full of incredible food, but it's definitely a struggle sometimes to find lighter, fresh dishes that you know are made with filtered water; the Millets of Mewar restaurant there is absolutely the best food I ate on the trip, the owners are lovely, and it'll hit all your salad cravings -- seriously, don't miss it: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g297672-d2339563-Reviews-Millets_of_Mewar_Restaurant-Udaipur_Rajasthan.html . Last, make sure you go to the Udaipur local food market, which is incredible, and take a day trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort and Ranakpur temple. Honestly, you could spend well over a week there without getting tired or bored -- the pace of life is perfect. You should see for yourself! http://canadaschmanada.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/wonderful-udaipur/

 

gul
September 18, 2012

You already have such wonderful suggestions! I'd reiterate, do visit Akshardham temple and Iskon temple in Delhi. Also, Delhi Haat is a great place to shop for the ethnic stuff. Khan market in Delhi is full of amazing restaurants! Try Punjabi by nature for yummy north Indian food, their golgappa vodka shots are worth trying plus you can not miss Indo-Chinese food in Delhi, its to die for!!

 

Amita
September 18, 2012

I went early this year for my honeymoon to Rajasthan and it was absolutely wonderful.

We stayed at the Khuri resort in jaisalmer for an overnight (They may not have an online website)The resort had well maintained tents with a bathroom attached. It was nice, clean and comfortable.

They had a night show of rajasthani folk dance while we had our typical rajasthani dinner daal baati, churma, and ker saangri. The resort was affordable which included dinner, breakfast, camel ride at a sunrise , stay and the night show.

If you are in Jodhpur make sure you try mawa kachori, mirchi vada, and pyaaz (onion) kachori. Also, make sure you try Rajasthani thali for at least one of your meal.

 

Helen
September 19, 2012

Two of the most memorable things about Rajasthan for me: A camel safari from Jaisalmer out into the desert, sleeping under the stars on the sand dunes for a night - magical. And the audio tour of the fort in Jodhpur, especially seeing the tiny hand prints of all the wives who did sati on their husband's death, and seeing the beautiful blue city stretch out below the fort...

Enjoy, it's wonderful. Looking forward to seeing your photos.

First time commenter - let me just say that I love your blog, thank you so much for all the effort you put into it.

 

Keri
September 19, 2012

In Delhi I loved the Delhi Haat for textiles, and the chai tea they served us while shopping was the only chair I've ever enjoyed. Minar Kutb first thing in the morning, with the sun rising and almost no other people, was spectacular.

 

oeufsmayonnaise
September 19, 2012

Hi Heidi, if you decide to come to Bombay (where I live), you must have the berry pulao at Brittania restaurant (in Ballard Estate), and you must try pav bhaaji, which is the definition of Bombay on a plate, at a "sagar" establishment. Oh, and you should try a veg-and-cheese frankie (a paratha filled with a mash of potatoes and onions, cheese, and a special "frankie masala" that's rolled up, grilled, and served hot as a to-go snack food) at any Tibbs Frankie location. Happy travels.

 

sv
September 19, 2012

Jaipur has a 'tradtional Rajasthani village' set up in the evenings called Chokhi Dhani. It is touristy, but honestly, it is not to miss! On 10acres of land, they have rides, dances, shows, music, and the highlight of the evening is the dinner that is served in the traditional Rajasthani way with lots of fun and great hospitality. I highly recommend this experience, you will probably not eat food like this (and this much food!) anywhere else. It is spicy though, so be prepared. :) Enjoy, you are going to one of the most incredible countries in the world.

 

Emily
September 19, 2012

Dear Heidi,

I'm currently living in Delhi - I moved here from the US in June. I've been reading everyone's comments and they seem pretty accurate. Take at least 4 or more days in Delhi - spend one or two in Old Delhi visiting the red fort, the Jama Masjid, and shopping for brasswares in the shops on the streets behind the mosque. Spend another day in Lutyen's Delhi, visiting the National Gallery of Art and picnicking in Lodhi Garden or on the lawn near India Gate, then visiting Khan Market (an upscale neighborhood with a lot of nice boutique shops and good nightlife). Make sure to also spend a day in South Delhi visiting Hauz Khas Village, the Qutub Minar, and the ruins at the archeological park around the corner. I work in HK village, so stop by and visit me! You should get lunch at Naivedyam, where you can eat beautiful rava doses for little over two dollars each, and then explore the ruins of the college that was built there centuries ago.

If you want more detailed recommendations for restaurants (I'm a foodie and my boyfriend and I love eating out) I can supply those. I can also ask around with my friends if there's anything in particular you need to know.

Have a beautiful time in India!
Best,
Emily

 

Mani
September 20, 2012

While I love FabIndia and Anokhi, a cheaper version of a lot of the same stuff can be bought at Sabhyata, which is located in several different markets.

I would suggest going to the one at the M-Block market in Greater Kailash One, though, because then you can hit up Prince Paan for some delicious chaat at the same time (it's mostly all veg, and is all clean and safe for western stomachs!) ... you should get the dahi papri chaat, the gol guppe, and the aloo tikki. All delicious. And for some Nepali street food, get some veg momos (Nepali dumplings) from the cart right next to Prince Paan. M-Block market is a great sort of 'entry' level shopping area ... not too huge and crowded, and a variety of levels of fanciness in the shopping.

Khan Market is fun too, much more westernized though, and posher. The restaurants there are fantastic, though. Mamagoto has some of the best Asian food I've had anywhere in the world (the Chiang Mai train station noodles are amazing), and you definitely have to try Indian Chinese food (so much better than American Chinese, even at crappy little joints anywhere in Delhi).

Good luck, and enjoy!

 

Situ
September 20, 2012

I just moved to Delhi from SF a few months ago, so I'm in the midst of getting to know Delhi myself. (by the way, your quinoa patties is a big favorite in our house! ) A lot of good suggestions have been made in terms of food, so won't repeat them, but will second the visit to Kinnari Bazaar (wedding street) in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. An absolute feast for the eyes. Also, don't know when you are going, but highly recommend the Jodhpur Folk Festival from the 26th-30th of October. It's during the October full moon so you have amazing singers dancers and musicians from Rajasthan and all over the world performing under the desert sky at Mehrangarh fort. . Magical! And if you ever want a home cooked meal or plan to do any local meetups, i'd love to meet you!

 

Lorna
September 20, 2012

I think a few others mentioned it, but if you can you should stay at Devi Garh in Udaipur (http://deviresorts.in/). It's probably my most favorite hotel I've ever stayed in. It was so, so beautiful there, and located in a quiet village. And a bike tour of Old Delhi is also fun.

 

Erica
September 21, 2012

Great list as always! Excited for your upcoming trip and to read the details when you get back. I just got back from a few months in India and loved Udaipur! I took a wonderful cooking class with the vibrant and fun Shashi, which I would highly recommend. The class is in her home and the stories she shares while you cook are wonderful! You can read more details here: http://is.gd/ZKGvZ6 In addition Ambrai restaurant right on the water in Udaipur is a real gem and one of the best meals we had in Rajasthan http://is.gd/PV5afg

 

Lorna
September 21, 2012

I think a few others mentioned it, but if you can you should stay at Devi Garh in Udaipur (http://deviresorts.in/). It's probably my most favorite hotel I've ever stayed in. It was so, so beautiful there, and located in a quiet village. And a bike tour of Old Delhi is also fun.

 

Peg
September 21, 2012

Heidi,have a wonderful trip.everyone I know who travels to India raves about it and can't wait to plan another trip.
Australia's Spice Queen is a fantastic chef Chrstine Manfield. She has written a terrific book that is very informative called "Tasting India". It is her story of India gathered across many visits and with terrific receipes gathered along the way.
She has many recommendations for each area covering accommodation , restaurants &cafes, and places to shop .
Definitely worth dipping into before you leave.
Bon Voyage

 

Amy
September 22, 2012

Some photos from our similar trip to India last year, for inspiration. You'll love it!

 

Rekha
September 22, 2012

If you plan to travel by train, you can purchase tickets online and have them delivered the next day! It's so much help because figuring out where to go at the Delhi train station(s) can be a nightmare if you don't know where to go. Pick up issues of Time Out Delhi to find out about free historical walking tours and other off the beaten path stuff (they have a lot of food recs). Try to eat at some of the state "bhavans", which usually have canteen type dining and feature cuisine from the various regions of India. Andhra Bhavan is a popular one and is really good, just avoid it on the weekends because it gets super packed. Dilli Haat in Delhi is an absolute must. Try the vegetarian momos and vegetarian thukpa soup from the Manipur stall...both dishes are simple, delicious, and healthy. The food from the Northeast and Tibet is fun to try and so much better than what you find in Berkeley and other parts of the East Bay. The pani puri from the Rajasthan stall is good and the water was ok for us to have, but always use caution. Also check out the Navdaniya stall at Dilli Haat where you can buy organic daal, spices, and other items. If you feel daring, there are street vendors in Delhi that sell "shakarkandi chaat", which is cooked and smoked yams with chaat masala and lemon juice. It's amazing, but try at your own risk! I Lodhi Gardens is also a must in Delhi. Skip Pandara Market, it's just some restaurants that cater to foreigners. I prefer other restaurants over Saravana Bhavan, which I find kinda greasy. I like Sagar in Defence Colony ("Def Col") the best. When you're in Rajasthan try to find a place where you can get lassis. Jodhpur has these really thick ones spiced with saffron and cardamom called "makhani lassi". The street vendors are the best, but I've seen them put ice in the lassis, which can make you sick. I never had a problem, but there's always a risk.

 

Rose
September 23, 2012

So many good comments here, but I have a few more to add:

Dehli has the most amazing birdsong and vibrant lush colors and video if you can.

"When in India, do as the indians do" was in my head, and I ordered a lentil pancake for breakfast the first day. It was spicy and fantastic. The rest of my table got bacon and eggs and scoffed at my choice. They were sick in bed for 3 days; I was not.

I loved the Indian Contemporary Art museum. It is an area feels like Washington DC's mall. Tekson's bookstore farther away but worth the trip. I was surprised by the golf course in a hindi cemetery. Bring tissues in your bag; you'll need them.

The whole place is full of extremes, wonderfully beautiful and shocking poverty all mixed together. I'd go back happily though.

Hope you have a great trip.

 

Matthew Green
September 23, 2012

Lovely list, I'm making a few Garden-Grown cocktails tonight! : )

 

Kerstin
September 25, 2012

Seconding recommendations to stay at Hotel Pearl Palace Heritage in Jaipur! AMAZING! And cooking classes with Sushma in Udaipur don't disappoint (http://www.cookingclassesinudaipur.com/), she's got a great style and covers a lot!

 

Ashley
September 26, 2012

It seems like every time I come to your site, there is something new, beautiful, and delicious. How do you choose favorites?!

 

CCP
September 26, 2012

I wrote a longer post, but it seems to have vanished. If it re-appears, apologies for the duplication.

Jaipur: seconding the recommendation of the Sunder Palace Hotel. Scrupulously clean, and extremely reasonably priced. Run by two brothers who are fluent in English. http://www.sunderpalace.com/

Jaisalmer: a beautiful city, possibly the favourite of my trip. Staying outside the fort walls is said to be better environmentally (due to water table issues). I enjoyed the Shahi Palace Hotel, which has a trio of three havelis as part of its comples. Again, very clean and reasonably priced, with lovely honeyed limestone rooms.

Udaipur: you could try the Kankarwa Haveli. (I didn't stay there, but an Indian friend recommended it.) Their all-veg rooftop restaurant, which I ate at twice, has wonderful views of the lake. http://www.kankarwahaveli.com/ (Most of my photos of Udaipur were taken from the restaurant.)

Have a wonderful trip!

 

Helen
October 1, 2012

Long-time reader, now first-time commenter:

Heidi you will have such an amazing time. So glad to see many of the places I would have recommended have already been suggested.

My recommendations: Castle Bijaipur is a wonderful family-run hotel in their historic home in the village of the same name.

Having been on holiday numerous times with Wild Frontiers, they know India - particularly Rajasthan - inside out and have details of many, many havelis and homestays. Recommending as a very satisfied customer. www.wildfrontiers.co.uk

Looking forward to hearing all about your trip.

 

Melissa
October 2, 2012

I spent a little over four months in India in 2007, but just a few weeks to do touristy things.
I would recommend skipping Goa, but flying to the Andaman Islands from Chennai or Kolkata if possible. It is unspoiled and peaceful.
Be sure to have a flashlight on you, the power goes out daily, even if it is just for a few minutes. Always check that your bottled water is sealed. Just use the ATM's, no need to exchange funds.
A few people have recommended going to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, as I am not a morning person, why not see it at sunset. I was there on December 24th, and it was a full moon that day. The only reason I went to New Dehli, was to be close enough to take the train to see the Taj Mahal, spending a scant 4-5 hours total, and took a late train back to my hotel.
Happy travels to you.

 

Jess
October 3, 2012

Heidi - I was just there in April, and did a similar route. It was a spectacular trip (although challenging at times, to be sure)! In Jaipur, I highly recommend a sweets shop downtown called LMB (Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar). One of my favorite memories from the trip is standing in that space, debating what to taste - we got a box of sweets to sample later and a few really unique things to taste on the spot. We hired a guide in Jaipur - Farooq Abdulla - and told him we wanted to taste and see as many food-centric things as possible, and he absolutely delivered. It will be an amazing trip!

 

Koren
October 3, 2012

The great thing about visiting Delhi is that between the state bhavans, emporiums and Dilli Haat you can experience amazing food and crafts from all over the country, not just the north. Definitely take advantage of this.

Read City of Djinns by William Dalrymple before you go. It will shed light on the city's history, particularly Old Delhi, and make you want to explore some less-visited sites like Mehrauli archeological park.

I also recommend visiting Nizammudin and experiencing qawwali music on Thursday or Friday evening. I did a tour of the basti with the Hope Project, which was a great way to explore the neighborhood while supporting a non-profit that works with local residents.

Check out what is happening at the Habitat Centre - they often have great music and dance performances. Triveni Art Heritage Gallery is another great cultural center.

To explore modern Indian cuisine try Varq or Indian Accent.

Definitely use the metro to get around - it's fast, clean, safe and very reliable!

Enjoy your trip! I can't wait to see pictures!

 

Arpita
October 4, 2012

Hi,

I will keep my comment simple... I lived in the Bay area for 3 years and now live in the oldest living city of the world -VARANASI.

I do not have words to describe this city, though quiet a few people have said wonderful things for this city.

Have a great trip to INDIA and I would be more than glad to help see the city.

 

SP
October 5, 2012

Wow--this comment reel is going to be my new guide to visiting Delhi/Agra/Jaipur! What incredible advice.

I can only underscore that the restaurant at Fatepuhr Sikri, at sunset, overlooking the lake, was one of the best culinary experiences we had while traveling through the north of India. The paneer kabobs, the red wine, all of it--just perfect. Looking forward to your post-trip, India-inspired recipes!

 

Lucas
October 5, 2012

The Grey Garden, in Hauz Khas Village (New Delhi)! It's not traditional, but it's a must if you're in Delhi. Also, you have to try the partatha at Gunpowder, in the building next door! Enjoy!!

http://www.facebook.com/TheGreyGarden
http://www.facebook.com/gunpowderkitchen

 

Pragni
October 8, 2012

From all the above comments, here's what I would summarize -
1. Avani is bang on with all her recommendations. Yeti and Indian accents and the Kashmir restaurant. Oh yes. I would agree whole-heartedly with her entire list.
2. Heena has a really good list too. Her reading list is actually something we (people living here) refer too.
3.Kshitija, Mani and Rekha too have great suggestions. I agree with the opinion that sarvana bhavan isn't the right place to go to. Its too touristy. Gunpowder on the other hand? Amazing. As is Moti Mahal. I think of it as a hidden gem.
In Rajasthan -
4. Homestays in Jaipur and Bikaner are amazing. You should try that.
5. Udaipur is more about royalty so people prefer being treated similarly. Hence mist of the palaces/resorts mentioned above will cater to that experience.
6. Jodhpur is the place to shop at. Clothes, artifacts etc. Even Jaipur.
7. In Jaipur, a stuffed green chilli is a popular street snack. Must try. And Masala goti soda. Its an ancient green glass soda bottle which has a round playing marble (goti) as the bottle cover. To drink it, you pop the marble into the bottle and glug. Its a lovely experience but even better is the taste. Lemony with fennel undertones.
8. Spices to buy in India - cardamom - green and black, dried red chillies, cloves, star anise, cinnamon barks, freshly ground garam Masala, black whole mustard seeds- big and small, shahi black jeera or cumin seeds, kasoori methi dried (don't know the western name for it), dried bay leaves, coriander seeds, methi seeds, cashews. All of this from Rajasthan. Delhi spice market is more of a tourist trap. Oh and if u can get kokum you should try to. Its more of a western India spice but its tangy flavour is amazing.

Although you are mostly visiting northern India you should try and sample a bit of southern, eastern (Bengali) and western (Gujarati/Mumbai) cuisine too. Although the taste will definitely not be accurate, it'll give you a slight idea of what you are missing out on. Then maybe you can plan more trips to those parts!

Good travels!

 

allison
October 11, 2012

India is such a remarkable place. I can't wait to hear about your trip.

Adding to the impressive list above:
- Jaisalmer was the highlight of our month-long trip, by far. Such stunning scenery and amazing people. I lucked into more personal encounters there just by strolling around within the fort than in any other city in Rajasthan. The woman who invited me to her home to do henna lived across from a woman who taught me how to make saag paneer, and she lived a few houses away from a man who showed me all about making naan in the tandoor, etc. The pace of life within the fort walls allows for these connections to take place. Couple this with the ability to sleep on the rooftop of a haveli under the stars... just amazing. The guys at the Desert Boys Guest House are incredibly kind and will take you on a decidedly non-touristy tour of the Thar desert.
- If you go to Varanasi, walk down to the ghats in the evening. There is just so much more to see (and to capture on film if you have a full moon on your side) at night along the river.
- We ate mostly at smaller restaurants and street vendors and quite literally everything was fantastic. The best food by far was what we purchased from vendors while on the train from Mumbai to Jodhpur. Snack food ftw!

 

Matt
October 16, 2012

Quite late on this, but as I just got back from travelling that area I thought I'd say my piece. Definitely agree with Allison above about Jaiselmer, by far the most impressive fort to pass a day IMO and some great food. Recommend Desert Boy Dhanis restaurant which offers some local specialities which I couldn't see at other places. All the other places are a must, Delhi didn't have the same affect on me but I did love the wholesale spice market in Old Delhi where I could happily spend a week with my camera catching the action. Here's some of my shots from there: http://mw-kitchen.com/2012/10/11/delhi-spice-market/

Have a good trip!