There was one hotel on our India trip that we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave: Fateh Garh is the most beautiful spot I’ve ever visited. Hands down.
Fateh Garh sits on the top of a hill in the Araveli range near the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan. The hotel “belongs to the Heritage Renaissance School of building Heritage Renaissance – a term used to describe the laborious transplanting of the stone by stone, pillar by pillar of a heritage structure from a place not very far away to a new context.” (Source).
And it looks like this. Seriously, I don’t think it could be any more beautiful.
Wanna see my favourite spot?
We were so warmly welcomed to this breathtaking site, and proceeded to enjoy two days of Rajasthani (specifically Mewari) food. Tough life, right?
Imagine breakfast at sunrise:
Where you start out with a typically North Indian food: Paratha. These are gorgeously flaky whole wheat breads stuffed with all sorts of Indian veggies – my favourite options being aloo (potato) or even better – gobi (cauliflower)! And where there’s paratha, there must be curries and chutneys. This tomato chutney was just-the-right-sweet for breakfast, and just-the-right-savoury. Mmm.
And onto something I’d never encountered as a breakfast food: Semiya Upma. This dish is an upma made with short vermicelli noodles (instead of the rava (cream of wheat) that I’m used to), fresh veggies, and mustard seeds. Yum.
And Rajasthani feasts for dinner:
The candlelit tables were gorgeous, but of course made food photography look a wee bit blurry, as you’ll see in the shots below — so you’ll have to forgive me. But I make up for it by showing you my favourite desserts: one of them being gulab jamun (balls of sugar & milk in a simple syrup). Try not to call them “Timbits”.
And my all-time favourite dessert: Jalebi. Jalebi are like a funnel cake where the batter is fried, and then soaked in simple syrup. How could it not be amazing? And they presented at the restaurant as “Jalebi (live)” — because the chef was out there making freshfresh jalebi right in front of our eyes. And bellies. Don’t ask how many I had.
And so now you get the experience of “Jalebi (live)”:
And jalebi to eat, by candlelight.
Hint: If you’re looking for Jalebi in Toronto, you usually find them at Indian grocers and sweet shops — and they’re highlighter-orange in colour. We got them au naturel in Udaipur, but saw the bright orange ones heaped in piles by the street vendors.
I’d rather have a beige jalebi, and a bright orange sunset:
Then sit by the pool and digest while contemplating buddha.
And if you decided to actually leave the hotel and go visit Udaipur?
You can go see some traditional Rajasthani dancing:
And best of all, the Summer Palace — known around these parts as the Lake Palace, for obvious reasons.
If you feel like you recognize it, it’s because it was in a little Roger Moore Bond movie, “Octopussy”.
But really, I’m here for the food. Can you bring me another jalebi? I’ll be at the pool.