Amritsar – one of the most important cities of Punjab, often termed as the Culinary Capital of India when it comes to food or cuisine. The city is a beautiful blend of food, tradition, and culture. Apart from being the Holy City of Golden Temple which is revered around the world, it has also got everything to satisfy your taste buds with all the rich treats it provides. From piping hot stuffed kulchas to buttery lassis, Amritsar is a paradise for food lovers. It may be due to the fertile soil of Punjab, the fact of being the “Pond of Amrit” – (As it is usually called – ‘Amrit’ means ‘Nectar’ and ‘Sar’ means ‘Sarovar’ which means ‘Pond’), or the way the food is prepared with lots of love for the people around that adds to the taste and make it much more delicious. Besides being a city that offers you some amazing mouth-watering delicacies at some elite places, there’s no denying the fact that the quality of street food that you get in Amritsar is also beyond any comparison. Often during our Morning Tour we take our guests and travelers to various such places and give them a glimpse of such street food, starting from Morning Breakfast
Usually, we start our day with a portion of healthy and tummy-filling food that keeps us going for the entire day apart from keeping us in shape, but when on a tour, especially to Amritsar, it is advisable to forget about the fitness for few days and enjoy the zesty and scrumptious food of the city. Amritsaris is pretty dramatic with their street food breakfast options as Punjabi street breakfast is heavy, rich and often quite oily. Starting from tempting Kulchas to mouth-melting kachoris, let’s take a ride to iconic food joints of the city famous for their first-meal stop for locals as well as travelers.
The famous Amritsari Kulcha – as it is famous World-wide, is a traditional Punjabi breakfast considered as perfect to kick-start your day. Made up of maida or refined flour, the traditional filling of Kulchas are either spiced mashed potatoes with a dash of green-chilies or the crumbled paneer – Indian cottage cheese. Served with chana – spicy chickpea curry and a generous dollop of butter on top of it, a good kulcha is crisp outside while the stuffing inside is soft, moist and flavor-packed, leading to a multi-textural and multi-sensorial culinary experience. To complete it with a drink, usually Lassi – yogurt smoothie, is preferred along or a simple Cold drink can help to digest.
Generations old shops like Kulcha Land and Ashok Kulcha at Ranjit Avenue, Harbans Kulcha at Green Avenue, Monu Kulcha at Loharka Road are some of the famous shops of the city besides the small ones at every nook and corner of the city. It is believed that once you have Kulcha, you are done with food for the most part of the day. So don’t forget to keep an appetite for kulcha the next time you visit here.
Another such appetizing wholesome dish is “Poori Chana” served at “Kanha Sweets” or “Novelty Sweets” on Lawrence Road. An Indian, unfermented, wheat flour, deep-fried bread, served with moderately spiced chane – chickpeas gravy, and a sweet and sour potato gravy called Launji. Prepared with Desi Ghee, they are teamed with raw onions and pickle – peculiar to the season. To give a finishing touch to this luscious meal with a glass of buttery lassi or cold dring or a shake of your choice, this will surely be going to give you an experience of a lifetime. So next time in Amritsar, forget the normal bread-butter of any hotel rather come and enjoy the street-delicacies of the place.
A spicy dish that combines mashed potatoes, spring onions and a bit bitter spiced chutney, it is a fermented form of Poori. Again accompanied by a glass of Lassi or your favorite drink, Chhole – (Chane) Bhathure is often eaten as a breakfast dish. These fried Bhathuras work better with Tadkewaale Chane which gives it a more desi turn. The dish is best served at Sabri Bhathura Shop at Queens Road and a generations-old vendor is near BBK DAV College at Lawrence Road. Both of them have a unique way of preparing and serving them.
The dish is world-famous and is served almost in every city of the world. But what makes it more endearing in Amritsar is the way it is made in a desi Punjabi style and the way it accompanies the steaming brew of most of the Indians – Chai. The best place to have this flavorsome meal is the very famous Giani Tea Stall. The place is best known as “Tea Room of Amritsar”, where we can see a lot of people gathering, talking and relishing the exquisite taste of this generations-old shop where variety of Omelettes are served with bread and a special tea that is made with a variety of spices to bring out the flavor in the leaf and then combined with steamed milk. Another savory of the shop is the Famous Kachoris – which are well stuffed and flavored with different varieties of spices. The place is highly recommended by its regular customers and is also famous among celebrities and politicians.
One who has a love for Soya Nuggets will be going to relish this dish. Made up of soaked Soya Nuggets, mixed with herbs and spices, accompanied by tomato sauce and raw onions, this dish is going to give you a tangy and spicy taste. Often eaten with bread kulchas roasted on the Tawa pan, this is a yummy tummy-filling breakfast as liked by many locals as well as many travelers.
So with a variety of street food for its world tourists, we can unofficially announce Amritsar as the “Street-Food Capital of India”. Most of these food items are covered in our Morning Walking and Bicycle tours to the city.