Dining like a Maharajah


We have dined like Maharajahs tonight.Not only did we happen to find ourselves in Jodhpur on the day of the Australian election; but we also happened to find ourselves atop the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort just in time for dinner.

jod-illuminated-fort.jpg Dispensing with our usual bargain dhaba specials at the local eateries, we instead headed for the lavish surrounds of the Fort for a spectacular Rajasthani feast. Entering the illuminated fort at night and then being escorted up to the candle-lit terrace by a turban-clad gentleman, was a far-cry from our usual dining establishments, with their steaming, blackened cauldrons fizzing and bubbling with unidentifiable delights and flies buzzing at the corners of peeling, grease-filmed menus. (Mind you – despite the rustic decor the food’s usually good!)

Anyway, it was an incredibly civilised experience and we relished the food as much as the sunset views, which drifted into a twinkling raft of lights over Jodhpur as night fell. It is wedding season in India at the moment. In such auspicious times, the streets at night are filled with garlanded grooms on horseback and their entourage of trumpeting musicians and dancing relatives. The skies, of course, are filled with fireworks.

And so it was that our Rajasthani thali – spicy desert beans, creamy mughlai chicken, sweetened cardoman carrots and all other manner of delights (including, of course, the ever-faithful daal) – was accompanied by colourful, cart-wheeling sprays from the marriage firecrackers in the city below – a fitting end to the celebrations of the day.