The temple town of Amritsar is also considered to be the food capital of Punjab. It has a number of street food eats and dhabas that locals swear by. Winter is the best season to go there to eat given the hearty butter-soaked fare on offer.
The perfect Amritsari breakfast would be the bhatoora-like huge puris at Kanha Sweets which are served with chhole and a sweet chutney-like potato curry. This is best washed down with a light and frothy lassi.
Close to Kanha is Sharma’s gulab jamuns which are made at this little hole in the wall shop and are very popular. You can also go to Libhaya Ram’s stall close by for the famous aam papad chaat.
There are quite a few lunch options in Amritsar. You could go to the Golden Temple for the langar. At the langar, food prepared by volunteers is served to all who come to the Temple free of cost.
Another vegetarian lunch option is Kesar da Dhaba located in the middle of the winding lanes of old Amritsar. Try the hearty ghee-soaked thali of ma ki daal (cooked over 6 hours), chhole and fresh rotis followed by gulab jamuns or phirni for dessert. The jalebis at Gurdas Ram at Jalebiwala Chowk make for a good dessert too.
You can also go to the All India Famous Kulchas at Maqbool Road or Kulcha Land at Ranjit Avenue and have the famous Amritsari kulchas for lunch. These are served fresh out of a tandoor.
Popular evening snack stops are Brijwasi for dahi bhalla papadi chaat and Gyanis for tea with samosas.
Dhaba-hopping for non-vegetarian food makes for a good dinner. Popular stops would be Makhan’s for the buttery fish fry, Beera’s for the succulent bhatti (grilled) chicken and Surjit’s for the ghee-soaked mutton tikka.
A fruit cream salad at the shops near Lohgar is the perfect Amritsari way to call it a night.
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.