Bhopal Cuisine

Bhopal is the land of fusion where the old and the new, the Muslim and Hindu Cultures all co- exist quite comfortably. This fusion is reflected in every aspect of the life in Bhopal. The same element of fusion can be noticed in Bhopal Cuisine. Bhopal Cuisine includes some delicious Vegetarian dishes but the best aspect of Bhopal Cuisine are its exquisite meat delicacies. Thanks to the long Muslim rule in the region, Bhopal Cuisine has been gifted with a plethora of spicy meat dishes.

The most authentic form of Bhopal Cuisine can be best tasted at the inner Chowks of the city which are lined with shops offering the best curries and kebabs. The most popular dishes in Bhopal Cuisine includes

  • Spicy achar gost
  • Keemas
  • Rogan josh
  • Korma
  • Biryani pilaf
  • Succulent kababs
  • Pulaos

    Besides these popular dishes, Bhopal cuisine also has some of the most interesting preparations. The Bafla is a wheat cake which is dunked in ghee is an ideal accompaniment with a thick bowl of Dal(pulses). Bhopal cuisine is incomplete without a sweet dish which is often a seasonal fruit.

    There are also a number of drinks which are special in the Bhopal Cuisine. The Buttermilk and the Sugarcane juice are two of favorite drinks in Bhopal. Bhopal also has its own local form of liquor called the Sulfi which is made from the flowers of the mahua tree.

    The most important and famous item of Bhopal Cuisine is served at the very end. The Bhopali Paan or the betel leaf is a complete culinary delight. It not only tastes good but also has digestive quality.

    Bhopali Paan

    Betel leaf or Paan, as it is known in India, is an integral part of Indian culture and society. It is believed that the practice of chewing Paan originated in South East Asian Islands. The preparation of the Betel leaf or Paan acquired different forms and methods in India and besides the Banarasi Paan, it was the Bhopali Paan that conquered the heart of people. The Betel leaf or the Paan over time became very popular in the Indian Sub Continent. Noorjahan, the mother of the Mughal Emperor Shah jahan is said to have popularized the habit of chewing Betel leaf.

    Bhopali Paan is an integral part of the Culture of Bhopal and a Bhopali Paan shop can be found at every nook and corner of the city of Bhopal. The preparation of Bhopali Paan is quite different from the Paans found in other parts of India. The Bhopali Paan is topped with various kinds of toppings which includes chuna, kattha and supari. There are different varieties of Bhopali Paan and one can even get an order made Bhopali Paan. The people of Bhopal consider Paan making as a form of Art and therefore it is a part of their culture and heritage which has been passed down from one generation to the other.

    Bhopali Paan is a part of the tradition of the place and therefore everything related to it is very traditional which has been continuing for ages. The Beetel leaves are wrapped in a moist red cloth which is called 'Shaal baaf' and is kept in a metal casket called Paan- daan. The Paan Daan has several other compartments in which the other fillings of the Paan are stored. The Betel leaf or the Paan is said to be the most popular natural mouth refresher. Besides having refreshment value, Bhopali Paan also has digestive value and is often offered to guests after a hearty meal.

    Sheek Kabab

    The period of Muslim rule has contributed a lot to the Culture of Bhopal and their culinary traditions are no exception. The Royal nature of Bhopal had always encouraged the creation of innovative dishes to satisfy the appetite of the kings. With the coming of the Muslim rule there was special emphasis on meat. The recipes of a number of Korma. Kebabs and Keemas thus became very popular and the Sheek Kebab was one among them.

    The Sheek Kebab is not a complicated dish and is pretty simple to make. The total preparation time of Sheek Kebabs for serving four people are about 30 minutes. The ingredients needed for preparing Sheek Kebab are:

  • 600 grams Lean beef or Lamb mince
  • 1 Table Spoon Chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Table Spoons Mild curry paste
  • 2 Fresh green chillies
  • 2Table Spoons Chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Table Spoon Garam Masala
  • 1 Table Spoon Salt
  • 2 Table Spoon dried onion flakes

  • The garlic, mint leaves, Coriander leaves are to be chopped very finely and kept aside. The meat is to be put into a food processor and mashed into a smooth paste. Next, all the other ingredients are also to be put into the food processor and mixed well. Now the ready mixture of the meat and the masalas is to be divided into two parts, preferably in the shape of sausages. The frying pan is to be brushed well with cooking oil and put the Sheek Kebab Sausages under a pre-heated grill, under a medium flame. Keep turning the meat frequently until it is uniformly cooked.

    Last Updated on 07/31/2013