I had always imagined that the streets of Amritsar would be filled with thela walas selling kakori kabab, galauti kababs, and several other kababs, tandoori chicken, Amritsari Fish, all served with the world famous Amritrsari Kulche. I was wrong. The street food around Golden Temple area did not have non-veg food and any of these Kebab shebabs at all. But that doesn’t mean it is a disappointment for food lovers, tad bit disappointing for the hard core non-vegetarians though.
Kulche or Naan, gol gappa, chaat, lassi, malai wali doodh accompanied by sewai are some of the most popular street food in Amritsar. Each of these items are to be savoured to the fullest instead of looking for familiar food. I found the kulches most delicious with a crunchy yet juicy feel and filled with generous amounts of fillings of potato, onion or paneer. These are not the same as the Kulche which you find in Delhi as part of Chole Kulche. Amritsari Kulche are not deep fried but baked in the traditional earthen Tandoor.
On my friend’s recommendation I specially went to Maqbool Road to have the Kulche, where I found a small kulche shop being crowded by a large number of tourists as well as locals with a fleet of cars parked nearby. The reputation of Maqbool Road ke Kulche is pretty universal it seemed, and it was worth its salt but I personally felt that the thelawala near the Golden Temple also had equally good ones.
Kulche at Maqbool Road
The small dhabas around Golden Temple serve delicious vegetarian thalis. Food lovers who are sweet tooth must try Amritsar’s very own Khajoor. Almost every other sweet shop in rows near the Golden Temple sell this particular sweet item served hot and crispy. It is a fried item but I am not very sure about the ingredients or recipe.
A sweet shop keeper making the famous Amritsari Khajoor, there are served hot
Besan ke matthi was the other incredibly tasty snacks I had, and it was quite unique because usually matthi, which is a common snack item across north India is made of maida (white flour).
If you absolutely want to savour the non-vegetarian items, you have to move away a bit from the Temple which is a bit of costly affair as the local autos and rickshaws charge exorbitantly high to go anywhere in the city.
Adarsh Meat Shop in Ranjit Avenue has the most amazing mutton items like, Mutton Bheja Fry, Mutton Tikka, Mutton Chaap. According It was a small outlet with a reasonable price tag but commuting to and from there cost me Rs. 300, a distance of mere 6kms.
Makhan Fish’s Fish Fry and Keema Naan are also must haves. Brothers Dhaba and its adjacent Bharwan Da Dhaba are both self-proclaimed world famous dhabas in Amritsar. Although called Dhabas they are actually restaurants famous for best Amritsari food, purely vegetarian. Read this India Times article for 11 best place to eat in Amritsar.
Shopping and other activities
I didn’t do any shopping in the journey but figured that the common things to shop in Amritsar are woollen clothes, Pagri, Punjabi jooti, swords, dry fruits, papar, wariyan etc.
Please also read