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Historically known as Ratnapiri which translates to ‘the city of gems’, Ratlam is a city situated in the northwestern part of the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. It is known to be the city of three S i.e Sev, Sari and Sona(gold). Moreover, it is also a significant railway junction of the Indian Railway. The place has a foodie populace as well hence in this episode we are at Ratlam to explore its street food scene that is a matter of joy and pride to the locals. In this gastronomic journey we are joined our host Ratlam Wale and Chirag Rai.
We started with central India’s traditional breakfast dish Poha from a popular Poha joint Saklecha Nashta point. It was fluffy and light on spice. But the toppings of sev, fresh coriander, pomegranate seeds and chopped onions made it a tasty affair.
With the rains making a sudden appearance, we rushed to this busy tea stall named Bajrangi Tea stall to satiate our tea craving. Furthermore, just like Bhopal and most other cities of central India, Ratlam too is a tea loving city. The crowd there was a testimony of its amazing service. The tea was indeed very energising but their saffron coffee was just decent enough.
Our next destination was Gordhalal Sev Wala, a fifty year old shop that specializes in the famous Ratlami sev. These gram flour based, tiny deep fried spicy snacks were truly appetising and fun. Here in Ratlam it is eaten anytime and with most of the dishes. According to the owner, the climate and the water of Ratlam gives the sev its distinct character.
Next was the turn of a wholesome Dal Bati and Bafla Thali from the popular Vyas Dal bati. There was crushed Bati and Bafla along with sweet and sour dal, papad and chutney. The platter was delicious and value for money.
After that we tasted the simple and light Sabudana khichdi from Sabudana Bhandar. Like the Poha this too is a preferred breakfast dish across central India. We liked it sweet and sour taste that was quite satisfying.
From there we reached Kalu Mama Samosa shop. Their highlights were the corn samosa, raw banana samosa and mirchi vadas. All of them were distinctly flavoursome. This place is a hot favorite so don’t miss it if you are visiting Ratlam.
While ambling down the street we came to a very interesting shop with the name Madhya Bharat Bar. On inquiring we realised that it used to be a thriving place long back and its origin dates back to Independence. Now it isn’t functional. Here we tasted their fruit beer which okay but not much impressive.
Our next stop was Satish chaat wala whose chaats are a craze among the locals. Here we tried their three popular dishes- one was the aloo tikki chaat, the other was raw banana chaat and finally aloo tikki biscuit. Everything was delectable. It’s another must try place in Ratlam.
From there we went to their relative’s pani puri shop for some delightful panipuris. The owner was such a generous host that he made us taste all the different flavours of pani puris that was available in his shop with such pride and honour. They were just brilliant. We also had the palak chaat at this place. We highly recommend this place to all the Pani puri lovers.
After binge eating the pani puris we went to taste another famous hot beverage here in Ratlam i.e the kesariya doodh. The thick and luscious milk is was quite pleasing. The locals love to have it after dinner.
We ended our food tour in Ratlam with a tasty paan from Govind paan shop. The day super gratifying and we could cover most of the popular eateries in the city. We are extremely grateful to chirag and ratnam wale for taking us around and helping us in our exploration.
About the host – Anubhav Sapra:
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food. To know more, visit www.anubhavsapra.com
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak