Recipes, Reviews, Travelogues

Udaipur: A leisurely day spent amidst thunderstorms

Presenting the Bhunjma Chicken. The host and owner of Jaiwana Haveli very emphatically impressed this wonderful creation on us. I loved the tomato, chilly based masala with a predominant flavor of coriander ... but what tricked me multiple times were the taste changers - different slivers of punchy flavours delivered by that bite on the black peppercorns, the juiciness of the halfway browned onions, spikes from the raw green chillies and the tanginess of the lemon I used to slightly season the chicken. Highly recommended.

Udaipur – Rajasthan Road Trip – Day 5

So Udaipur had a lazy start on Day 5. Hence, I woke up leisurely at 8 AM. Finally, I drifted to the restaurant around 8.30 for breakfast and that was the kick start of the day. Shivendra was already there before me and halfway through the breakfast. Thereafter, he left for his planned meeting.

I lounged over the breakfast comprising of orange juice (Dabur Real), a masala omelette with onions, chillies and ginger, a bread basket and a pot of some excellently done coffee. It sure was instant coffee – no prizes given for that one. Having said that the proportions were just right for the morning cuppa.

Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India – snuggling beside tranquil Lake Pichola, with the purple ridges of the Aravalli Range stretching away in every direction.

Post breakfast, I strayed out on the unknown streets of Udaipur. I had a solemn aim, to find a professional who could give my shabby tresses a decent treatment. After walking for about 30 minutes and visiting one busy and two shuttered down barber shops, I found a certain Hemant Hair Dressers. I allowed them to give me a cut, shave and a head massage. All this came for a princely Rs. 80. Coming from Gurgaon, it was a financial shock on the pleasant side for me. Udaipur rocked.

The city has fantastical palaces, temples, Havelis (traditional, ornately decorated residences) and countless narrow, crooked, timeless streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms. I knew all this because of my previous visits. But this one was to be cut short since I was headed Shivendra’s way.

Soon after I picked up Shivendra and two of his companions from his meeting at Udaipur venue. We drove to a unit called Amla Utpadak Sahakari Samiti. Located at the village of Baghpura, this FPO or Food The Processing Organisation processes Indian Gooseberries or Amla. They churn out some really imaginative stuff like Churans, Murabaas, Pickles, Squashes, Just Juice and Mouth Fresheners. The best of these which I thoroughly enjoyed was the Amla candy. The production of all products combined is about 150 tonnes every year. Most of it is consumed within the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat & Delhi (though I have never seen this stuff in Delhi) I was told.

On the way back, we encountered one of the worst thunderstorms I have ever been in. Near blinding rain with heavy winds forced us to stop in our tracks. We trudged on the state highway rather slowly and carefully. As we crossed half of our distance towards Udaipur, the showers reduced in intensity. However, their message was loud and clear. The pre monsoons had arrived in Udaipur.

The gentlemen who escorted us to this brilliant place, Amla Utpadak Sahakari Samiti, were kind enough to offer us lunch. They took us to a popular restaurant in Udaipur called “Park View”. Park View Restaurant Udaipur turned out to be a super place. It is a must-visit when in Udaipur. It was brimming with people as we entered. Check out the pictures below for what we gorged upon. The food was quite nice I must point out.

There was no scope for a wholesome dinner. Though, the house speciality came on offer to us. This is only presented to discerning guests. Our gracious host and owner of Jaiwana Haveli very emotionally impressed this luscious dish upon us. It is a really succulent chicken called Bhunjma Chicken. It is made with tomatoes, chillies and has a distinct flavour of coriander. We were unable to say no to this one even though our stomachs were full after the Park View escapade.

Check out the photos from Day 5. Have fun!!

My Humble Breakfast at Jaiwana Haveli
The amla - Indian Gooseberry - Cooperative that we visited in Udaipur
Amla Candy in Making. Packets are being made as per orders.
Park View Restaurant, our lunch place on the Panchsheel Marg, Udaipur. Our hosts told us that the restaurant was one of the oldest. We could also estimate the same given the old time, minimal decor and grey haired stewards who in my opinion aged with the restaurant. It surely seemed popular with the locals and had a lots of families merrily munching on their food.
Chicken Handi. The thick masala gravy was nice but the chicken was overcooked so we had to go fishing for the quite disintegrated morsels of meat.
We were intrigued and already salivating by finding, Magaz, Gurde Kaupure on on the menu. Our excitement was shot down without remorse with a big - Not Available. Eventually, we ordered Keema Kaleji Masala which turned out to be great, with just the right amount of spices paired with finely cooked meat, it offered the perfect bite.
Mixed vegetables .. Was very nice as per feedback received by the solo vegetarian eating it. The Meatarians did not even look at the vegetables, let alone tasting it after this picture was taken.
Pickle, sirka pyaaz and house chutney at Park View Restaurant, Udaipur. The house chutney was a hit and was made with dhaniya, pudina, hari mirch and some sugar. Guess they adapted a bit of Gujarati touch too, given the amount of tourists from Gujarat making their way to Udaipur.
The mountains around the terrain we visited with a huge cloud overcast develpoing. We were unknowingly driving right into the thunderstorm.
The view of the valley through the trees. You can actually see the areas where the sunlight is still shining while the rest is covered with clouds.
Presenting the Bhunjma Chicken. The host and owner of Jaiwana Haveli very emphatically impressed this wonderful creation on us. I loved the tomato, chilly based masala with a predominant flavor of coriander ... but what tricked me multiple times were the taste changers - different slivers of punchy flavours delivered by that bite on the black peppercorns, the juiciness of the halfway browned onions, spikes from the raw green chillies and the tanginess of the lemon I used to slightly season the chicken. Highly recommended.
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