For the ones who love the road, every season is a perfect season to travel. But if the agenda of the travel is to satiate the taste buds, then I believe choosing the right weather is prudent. Why? Because, in all honesty, Indian summers (and monsoon also for that matter) are not the best times to be experimental with your appetite. That is why, despite being a food blogger I pick winters and spring to take the high road and set out on an aimless drive, stopping by at interesting places for a chow down.
Recently, I discovered a few interesting places between Delhi and Jaipur. Both these capital cities are eclectic in their gastronomic offerings to every visitor and resident which I have experienced myself. Ask and you can find any kind of food that you are craving for in various nooks and corners of these two prominent tourist destinations. However, the eateries that fall en route from one city to the other are more inclined towards north Indian cuisine but each with its unique flavors.
Delhi to Jaipur Highway
On a chilly December morning, I left from Delhi towards Jaipur. It was a good five to six-hour drive, giving me ample opportunity to make multiple food stops. Thankfully I had booked a safe and reliable taxi from Delhi to Jaipur and the driver knew quite a bit about the route.
As soon as we got onto NH 48 and felt the city air fading away, I could see how this famous highway was dotted with local eateries, food courts, chain restaurants, and themed places. Every day, these humble, unassuming roadside dhabas would serve an endless number of travelers, commuters, or ever-hungry souls like me.
The first meal
About 68 Km from Delhi, I made my first stop. Rao Dhaba, or what the regular travelers call it the Old Rao Restaurant is known for their thalis. But it was not the right time for a full-spread meal. So I helped myself with their freshly made aloo parathas, slathered with the most generous serving of butter that I had ever had! I had to wash it down with two cups of spiced tea and also to beat the cold.
Like many, I also believe that food can work as great therapy. But more than that, food works like fuel, giving me the right mental and physical boost, especially when I am traveling. And thanks to the chilly weather, the drive made me hungrier than ever. So, for a quick in-between snack, I made the car stop at Haldiram’s at Rewari, Haryana. This name needs no introduction or description. They had all possible kinds of savories, snacks, and munchies that one can imagine. And did I say they had a fancy collection of sweets? Much needed for the morning sugar rush, I packed myself a goodie-bag to go. But before I left, I managed to have a glass of lassi, very unique things to have in winter. Trust me, it feels wonderful.
A lunch to remember
I spent the lunchtime at Just Desi. This place was more than a diner. It was a preview of one could expect in Rajasthan. The huge premise was designed in a rustic theme with mud-laden walls and decorated with colorful paintings. They had both indoor and alfresco seating, flanked by a well-tended garden. The food fare also matched up to the ambiance. It looked like a popular family place and I could attribute it to the extravagant thalis they offered. But I stuck to their house special daal-baati-churma. After all, when in Rajasthan, eat what they make the best. That, with their seasonal-special lassi (lassi with the fruit of the season).
The environment, the food, and the place made for a memorable experience.
The last few miles
After a hearty lunch, I was back on the road. As the afternoon sun turned mellower and it turned chilly again, I started craving for yet another cup of steaming hot tea. The cabbie suggested a local chaiwala in Kotputli itself, which was not a Google-worthy name. I agreed nevertheless. The obscure little tea shop sitting off the highway used his special concoction of spices and milk to make frothy masala chai served in an earthen cup. I always look for these kinds of places which offer more experience than fancy names.
The rest of the drive was relatively less adventurous than the first half of the day but nevertheless, extremely comfortable. If you are travelling from Jaipur then make sure to book an affordable Jaipur taxi service with an experienced driver.
High on food and on the drive, I resorted to a quick nap while the car radio hummed to old Bollywood tracks. As they say, a happy stomach is a happy heart. And yes, it was fulfilling, in all ways, making me dream of more adventures that awaited when I reached Jaipur.