Ludhiana, one of Punjab’s most popular cities is known for its apparel industry, especially its winter wear, housing most of India’s popular woollen wear brands. Believed to have been founded by the Lodhi dynasty in the 1480s, it is often referred to as India’s Manchester. Industries manufacturing cycle parts, woollens, machine tools, sewing machines, generators, diesel engines, tyres & tubes and a host of other utilities and consumer goods dot the map of Ludhiana. A fast growing mini-metro, it is the largest city north of Delhi.
Like any destination in Punjab, food is an important aspect of culture in Ludhiana. From starters to mains to desserts, Ludhiana has its share of famous eateries that must be visited for an authentic local food experience. Here is a list of some of the more popular eateries in the city. (We know its a short list, we’ll be back with a longer one soon. :))
#1 Punnu de Pakode, Gill Road
Imagine the familiar: prepared pakodas being carefully slipped into a kadhai of hot oil, the oil foaming up into little bubbles to yield a timeless fried delight.
At Gill Road, near Cycle Market, indulge yourself with some giant pakodas and enjoy your ride to bliss. With foodies from near and far paying homage to this eatery, Punnu De Pakode opens in the morning and serves their famous pakodas only till the batter lasts.
Their signature pakoda- the paneer pakoda- consists of two large pieces of paneer sandwiching a generous portion of mint chutney, served with delicious apple chutney.
Chawla’s has always been a toasty haven for chicken lovers. Serving some of the best chicken dishes in town since 1960, there are many Chawla’s chicken outlets in India, but the one in Ludhiana is one of the best outlets and an absolute must visit.
The one item on the menu that one should not miss is the iconic “Cream Chicken”, as popular as the eatery itself. Creamy and rich gravy, embellished with pieces of tender and well-cooked chicken that evoke the most pleasant aroma of clove, cinnamon and love- Cream Chicken at Chawla’s is a must-try.
Vegetarians- do not fret; you can enjoy the delicious dishes of Cream Paneer and Cream Mushroom, apart from the delicious and spicy paneer tikka.
#3 Baba Chicken, Model Town
If you worship chicken and seek a live darshan of the universal deity- butter chicken, then Baba Chicken is your ultimate pilgrimage. The place is known to serve some of the best Butter Chicken and Fish Belle in town. Deviating from the mainstream red-orange-ish curry of gravy dishes, Baba’s serves a rich, creamy gravy in their dishes. Their most frequently ordered dishes are Butter Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Keema Naan, Fried Fish and Tawa Roti. However, anything one orders is bound to impress.
#4 Aman Chicken, Shastri Nagar, Railway Crossing
Another eatery very popular in the city is Aman Chicken. The eatery has a dhaba kid of appeal with generous portions and the food has the perfect balance of spices. Aman Chicken is also known for its mouth-watering butter chicken – tender meat infused with flavourful spices, soaked in a creamy gravy. It is also known for its Rara Chicken / Mutton, and for its Lemon Chicken and Tandoori Chicken. All the other meat dishes here are equally good too. The Mirchi ki Roti- a paratha loaded with red chilly powder and other spices is also very popular.
#5 Basant Ice-Cream at Fountain
A meal in Ludhiana is likely to be heavy and filling. However, it is not complete without a generous serving of kulfi. The famous Basant Ice Cream serves the best kulfi in town, along with an extensive variety of ice cream. A homegrown food chain today, it has evolved from being a humble street cart to a fully-fledged dessert parlour chain with multiple outlets spread over the city.