Madhya Pradesh Recipes: Madhya Pradesh's love for poha is widely known, but that's not all the central state of India has to offer. Make a trip to the region and you will soon learn that it is a food haven for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, and the passion for food runs deep in the veins of its people. It is not at all surprising to walk down a narrow lane and find yourself losing all inhibitions and indulging in crisp jalebis, piping hot samosas with tangy chutney, Khasta Kachori, or the most-loved local street food - Bhutte Ka Kees (corn kernels cooked with milk and spices).
If you are a street food lover then Indore is bound to lure you into its spell. Here, there is a street called Sarafa which is dedicated to serving lip-smacking snacks, namkeen, chaats and decadent sweets like Khopra Pak, Peda, Lavang Lata, Kusli, Malpua, Rabdi and Imarti till 2 at night! These local delicacies can also be savoured in nooks and corners of other cities such as Bhopal, Ujjain, Khandwa, Gwalior, etc.
The region of the Malwa Plateau was once a trade hub during 16th century India, connecting Deccan and Delhi. Perhaps this is the reason why the cuisine is heavily influenced by neighbouring states and also the Mughals. In the northern and western areas, wheat and meat commonly feature in the regional meal, and some of the dishes draw close resemblance to dishes particularly from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The vegetarian fare includes popular dishes like Dal Bafla (resembling Rajasthan's Dal Bati) which is commonly served with desi ghee and ladoo (instead of churma), Kaju Curry, Papad ki Sabji, Mattar Pulao, Sabudana Khichdi and Palak Poori with Aloo Sabji, to name a few.
Travel to the eastern and southern parts and you will realise that rice and fish take over the local fare, perhaps an influence from Bengal and Andhra. And then of course there is the Mughlai fare with all-time favourite dishes like Korma, Haleem, Biryani, Kofta, Kebabs, Rogan Josh and Murg Chaap that you can savour to your heart's content. For meat lovers, the Chatori Gali in old Bhopal is a must-visit to sample traditional Muslim fare such as Paaya and Nali Nihari, and desserts like Shirkhand and Phirni.
But any visit to the heart of India is incomplete without sampling a plate of poha along with jalebi. It is a breakfast favourite and can never be replaced.
If by now you are itching to try your hands at cooking some local dishes from Madhya Pradesh, we present out 11 best recipes from the state to help you get started -
1. Bhutte Ka Kees
Corn cooked with spices and simmered in milk makes for an unusual vegetarian dish. Bhutte ka Kees is a specialty from Indore, and a much loved street food. If you have a special liking for corn, then this one's for you.
Corn cooked with spices and simmered in milk makes for an unusual vegetarian dish. Image credit: www.talkingstreet.in
A popular breakfast option across the country, in MP, it is savoured much more. Made with flattened rice, onions, potatoes and seasonings like chillies, lemon and curry leaves, it makes for a light yet satisfying treat.
3. Papad Ki Sabzi
The crisp snack is crumbled and tossed with a handful of spices and curd to make this lip-smacking treat. Not only is it appealing to the palate, but to the eyes as well. Try it at home and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills.
4. Sabudana Khichdi
Another breakfast favourite, in this recipe, sabudana or tapioca pearls are tossed with spices and nuts. You can add in potato and peanuts to enhance the flavour and texture of the dish.
The sabudana or tapioca pearls are tossed with spices and nuts
5. Dal Bafla
Similar to Dal Bati, these ghee laden dough balls are first boiled and then baked before being crumbled and topped with dal. This delight tastes the best when paired with desi ghee.
This delight tastes the best when paired with desi ghee
6. Palak Puri
A popular, deep-fried bread eaten mainly for breakfast, it is served with aloo sabji and pickle. In the Khandwa region of Madhya Pradesh, it is found commonly. They are loaded with the goodness of palak or spinach.
Palak puri is a popular, deep-fried bread eaten mainly for breakfast
7. Bhopali Gosht Korma
A great recipe that belongs to Bhopal's Nawabi cuisine. Mutton chunks are doused in a rich and spicy gravy seasoned with whole spices. This one's for all the mutton lovers out there.
A great recipe that belongs to Bhopal's Nawabi cuisine
8. Seekh Kebab
Jabalpur's seekh kebabs are very popular. They are succulent, made of minced lamb, and skewered till crisp on the outside. Serve it with mint chutney.
Jabalpur's seekh kebabs are very popular and immensely appetising
Malpua is a pancake like dessert, fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup. It is usually pared with rabdi for a sinful treat. This recipe is sure to be loved by kids and adults alike.
This dessert is fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup
10. Khasta Kachori
Khasta Kachoris are immensely popular in Indore. The dough is made of wheat flour and ghee, and stuffed with a spicy lentil mixture before being fried till crisp in bubbling oil.
11. Kesari Jalebi
In Indore, this melt-in-mouth dessert is best paired with poha. The sweet and savoury combination of jalebi and poha is loved by many people across Madhya Pradesh. Pair it with a piping hot cup of tea and you're done for the day
So bring the above-mentioned recipes to your rescue and get going! Happy Eating!