Rishikesh is famous as the Yoga Capital of the World and a Hindu Pilgrimage town. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, apart from the Yoga the only other thing I knew about it before we arrived was that the Beatles came here back in the late 1960’s. I was expecting it to be full of hippies coming to find themselves and self righteous folks telling me the errors of my ways. I was going to be wrong, ok so it is strictly vegetarian and it is a dry town where there is no alcohol allowed, but I fell in love with the place the moment I stepped across the bridge and took a stroll amongst the people.
Our base in Rishikesh was the Ell Bee Ganga View Hotel which is located on the Haridwar Road right next to the Ganges. It has a Rooftop restaurant called the Sitting Elephant where we found ourselves eating dinner on a couple of occasions. It turned out to be one of the few hotels worth mentioning on the trip for its food.
Paneer Stuffed Potatoes
One of the most notable dishes that we tried was a Potato stuffed with Paneer, I was not sure of the name but I think it was a variation of the Dum Aalu. Basically it is a scooped out potato stuffed with a mix of paneer, chilli, and coriander. I am sure that there is plenty of other stuff in there, but I didn’t get the recipe and kind of forgot to take a picture of the menu when we were choosing
We ate this mixed with a simple potato and pea curry, some plain white rice and a very lovely garlic butter naan bread. It was simple but great. These are the sort of meals that made the holiday. Packed full of flavour, spice, and well cooked vegetables, I began to wonder if I really did need all of that meat.
More things we ate
Another evening we ate equally simply with a dish I had never tried before ‘Nizami Tarkalli Gul-Bahar’ which is basically vegetable koftas in spinach
I could be unkind and describe this as it eats which is basically ‘soft balls filled with random veg in a green creamy green spinach gravy’ but I won’t as it was very tasty and really something different to my palate and something that I possibly would try again.
Potatoes and spring onions – Hing Hara Pyaz Ke Chapate Aloo
We ate this with another fantastic potato dish called “Hing Hara Pyaz Ke Chapate Aloo”, the menu described it as ‘potatoes and spring onions cooked together in spicy thick masala gravy’.
I googled it to find out a recipe as this is another one of the fantastic potato dishes I ate in India that I really want to try again. The best recipe that I found described it as ‘Potatoes stir fried with aromatic masalas, lemon juice, ginger, chillies, and the pungent taste of heeng’.
The best description of the place was from their own site as was as follows (the photos are mine);
“The Sitting Elephant” – A Rooftop Restaurant Overlooking River Ganga
Surrounded by hills on three sides with holy Ganga ﬂowing through it, the open rooftop restaurant – ‘The Sitting Elephant’ is one of a kind theme based restaurant of Rishikesh. The entire décor of the restaurant has been designed keeping in mind the attributes and traits of elephants.
The multi-cuisine rooftop restaurant overlooks the 5km stretch of River Ganga, and if you look outside the roof-top restaurant into the mountains across River Ganga, you witness an illusion which depicts an elephant sitting in the midst of nature.
Located at 355 Haridwar Road | EllBee Ganga View, Rishikesh 249201