Madhya Pradesh Cuisine
Theres an old Indian adage, atithi devo bhava a guest is as God. Over
the centuries this has been drilled so deep into succeeding
generations of Indians that hospitality is almost next to godliness
¤ The Hospitality of People
The people of Madhya Pradesh are very warm and hospitable a lot.
People invite you for lunch and dinner at the drop of a hat. In the
villages, especially, the hospitality can be quite overwhelming.
Appetizers, piping hot food, second helpings and desserts are offered
to the visitor as if there is no tomorrow.
Refusing any course or helping is out of the question as it is taken
as an insult to the host and his kitchen.
Madhya Pradesh Food
Indian meals are large, leisurely affairs with tables groaning under
food and lots of heady (and heated!) conversation. Nobody believes in
eating less of more here. If you like a dish you are expected to eat
more of it; more often than not the hostess will serve you a generous
second helping herself.
It is good manners to praise a dish; if you churlishly refuse to,
your considerate host will take offence. Refusal to eat even a single
course can lead to a crowd of people fussing all over you, pressing
alternative dishes. At the end of a heavy meal if you burp dont be
surprised to see an approving, indulgent smile playing on the hosts
face. Burping is a sort of Indian equivalent of my compliments to the
chef; I liked the food so much Ive stuffed myself silly.
¤ Diversity In Madhya Pradesh Cuisine
The cuisine in Madhya Pradesh varies from region to region. The north
and west are mainly wheat-and-meat based, while the wetter south and
east are rice and fish dominated.
Gwalior and Indore abound in milk and milk-based preparations. Bhopal
produces exquisite meat and fish dishes, of which the spicy rogan
josh, delicious korma, luscious keema, all-season favourite biryani
pilaf and succulent kababs such as shami and seekh are almost
legendary. But heavens dont even think of trying all of these together
unless you want to get the stomach upset of the century. They are
extremely rich, spicy and creamy dishes.
An interesting dish is the bafla (wheat cakes) dunked in rich ghee
which are eaten with daal (a pungent lentil broth). The
tongue-tingling sharpness of this combo is moderated by the sweet
ladoos that follow it.
In summers the meals tend to end with fruit luscious mangoes
(dusseharis which you must try and take home), juicy melons and
watermelons, custard apples, bananas, papayas, guavas.
To drink, there is lassi (buttermilk), sugarcane juice, an excellent
beer and a fine rum which is produced from the cane. For stronger (and
more adventurous) heads there is the local liquor which is distilled
from the flowers of the mahua tree called sulfi and date palm toddy.