Bhopal food is characterized by the fusion of Hindu and Muslim culinary cultures and is best known for its rich spectrum of spicy meat dishes. Kebabs (skewered and barbecued or roasted foods) and curries make up the most well known recipes from the cuisine of this city in Madhya Pradesh, India. In summers, meals in the city generally end with fruit servings of dussehari mangoes, melons, bananas, custard apples, guavas and papayas. Some of the specialties of this regional cuisine bear a strong influence of the historical Nawabi cuisine from the Mughal era which includes dishes like Biriyani pilaf, Rogan Josh, Keema, Korma, Seekh kebab and Shami kebab.
Food in Bhopal: Historical and Cultural Influences
Bhopal food is largely influenced by Mughal cooking being ruled by the Mughal emperors once. It has also adaptations of Marwari culinary traditions being the neighbor of Rajasthan state.
Food in Bhopal: Popular Recipes
Bafla– This is sweet tasting, wheat dough ball with a filling of clarified butter, which is prepared by baking and served with a savory lentil based side dish.
Poha– This is a dish made with beaten rice flakes called Poha, which is first washed and coated with turmeric and salt and then, sautéed in oil with tomatoes, potatoes, onions, chilies, urad dal, mustard seeds, chana dal, curry leaves, peanuts and coriander.
Bhutte ki Kees– This is a mushy dish from Bhopal made by cooking grated corn in ginger, green and red chilies, milk, coriander leaves, mustard seeds, ghee, cloves and turmeric and served with a grated coconut garnish.
Sulfi– This is the traditional liquor of Bhopal prepared with Date Palm Toddy and the flowers of Mahua tree.
Bhopali Paan– One of the integral most parts of Bhopal cuisine is the famous Bhopali Paan, which is served at the end of a meal. Bhopali Paan, which is basically a betel leaf pastry filled with different sweet and chewy ingredients and serves as a mouth freshener and a digestive aid.
Sheek kabab– Sheek Kabab or skewered meat is the best known Bhopal food, generally made by grilling lean beef or minced lamb marinated in a spice mix of green chillies, curry paste, fresh mint, garlic, coriander, onion flakes, salt and garam masala.