Amritsar never ceases to surprise, be it with its culinary offerings or cultural flavours. Frankly, the greatest motivation behind any trip to Amritsar can be the crispy Kulchas straight out of the tandoor. The wide range of Punjabi delicacies available in every nook and corner are a stand out offering of the city. Punjabis are true gourmets and it would not be a misnomer to say that Amritsar is the gastronomic capital of India.
From crispy Kulchas to sinfully tasty Butter Chicken, piping hot Samosas to tangy Chaats, Amritsar will tantalise your taste buds like no other city. A glass of Lassi is the perfect foil to these classics. The ingredients used in Amritsari cuisine mostly consists of Ghee (Clarified Butter), Butter, Milk and Curd.
It is too tedious to write about all the eateries in Amritsar, so here are 5 places which will surely catch any food aficionado’s imagination.
VEER ji KULCHA CORNER
North Indian’s have a love affair with Amritsari Kulchas since ages. Piping hot, crisp, and drenched generously in Desi Ghee (Clarified Butter), starting your day in the temple town with the iconic Kulcha accompanied by spicy Chole (Chickpea Curry) for a sumptuous breakfast at Veer ji Kulcha Corner at Nimak Mandi Chowk is a great idea.
The secret of a good Kulcha is layering. The flour is rolled into thin layers, which are then coated in ghee and put together to create the kulcha. Veer ji has mastered this art. Stuffed with Potato, Cauliflower, Onions or Cottage Cheese with an assortment of whole spices to top it, the Kulchas are then baked till golden crisp in a tandoor and finally topped with a generous helping of Desi Ghee. The Chole and Coriander chutney perfectly complements the main fare. Simply blissful.
Where: Nimak Mandi Chowk, Amritsar
Price: 2 Kulchas for Rs 70
KADHA PRASAD AT HARMANDIR SAHIB
Tourists and locals making a beeline from the wee hours to visit the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Harmandir Sahib, or popularly known as the Golden Temple, the soul of Amritsar. The temple is known to have the largest community kitchen in the world. The whole setting and the experience of eating with scores of fellow devotees is surreal. The visit to the temple is incomplete without accepting Kadha Prasad, a holy offering of a delicious concoction of Semolina and Atta, laden with pure Ghee. Soul cleansing couldn’t be tastier.
Where: Katra Ahluwalia, Amritsar
BUTTER CHICKEN AT BABA CHICKEN
Loyalties are divided when it comes to Butter Chicken in Amritsar. Whichever people prefer, but the Butter Chicken served with a lot of love and care at Baba Chicken, Lawrence Road is simply outstanding. After eating at Baba’s for the past 5 years, one can safely say that no other eatery in Amritsar can consistently make Butter Chicken like they do. Though it is filled with cream and other cholesterol causing ingredients, it is devilishly delicious. The rest of the menu revolves around this dish.
The Butter Chicken here is succulent, creamy and flavourful. A connoisseur’s delight. Heavy is an understatement but extremely tasty and a meal that you just want to curl up and sleep after it’s over.
Where: Lawrence Road, Amritsar
Price: Rs 350 per plate APPROXIMATELY
BHUGGA AT GOENKA’S
A winter essential, available for only 2 months of the year, Bhugga is made with sweetened Khoya (Milk solids), Sesame seeds, Cashewnuts, Almonds, Pistachios and Raisins. The special “Bhugga” from the 100-year-old Goenka Sweets will surely satiate your sweet tooth like never before. While making Bhugga, Khoya is slow cooked with sugar, cooled down and mixed with a variety of dry fruits and nuts and finally flavoured with Cardamom and Rose water.
Prices are reasonable and the packing is really good for travel takeaways. Highly Recommended.
Where: Katra Ahluwalia Chowk, Town Hall, Amritsar
Price: Rs 720 per Kg
MUTTON CHAANP AT MOHAN SINGH MEAT SHOP
Finding Mohan Singh meat shop might be a bit difficult, but if you ask the locals, they will help you in locating this quaint eatery with all gusto. The Mutton Chaanps here are shallow fried in Desi Ghee on low flame, the tender succulent meat comes right off the rib with a spicy and tangy flavour. If you are a Mutton lover, straight away head to this small but popular non-vegetarian eatery. You won’t regret coming here.
Where: Nimak Mandi, Near Chintpurni Temple, Amritsar
Price: Rs 240 per plate (2 Pieces)