Updated: Jun 12, 2022
Mathura, The land of folk tales and magical stories, is a small town bustling with colorful markets and narrow lanes lit with delectable street food. Mathura is a small city in Uttar Pradesh and is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It witnesses one of the most popular events in the country, "Lath maar Holi" This unique form of Holi celebration gets a lot of local and foreign tourist influx every year. This historic town is a famous tourist place as the jail where Lord Krishna was born is still intact and open to the public.
Vrindavan is the place where Lord Krishna spent most of his teen years. The lanes of Vrindavan still echo Lord Krishna's stories of mischiefs, valor, and romantic encounters with Radhaji. The city got its first international chain of temples Iskcon, which soon propagated to the rest of the world. Isckon works effectively towards popularizing Krishna Consciousness and has gained an immense following around the globe. The Temple offers Khichdi as Prasad and has a Canteen "Govinda" serving simple and Satvik Bhojan (food). Other popular attractions are Bake Bihari Mandir, Prem Mandir, Nidhi Van, Govardhan Parvat, etc., which see Lakhs of tourists every day.
Must-try Street Food in Mathura-Vrindavan
These towns offer some of the most lip-smacking street foods in the state and what makes the food unique here is the complete Satvik nature (no onion or garlic) of the food. As the city is dedicated to Lord Krishna, you are most likely to find the streets filled with some of the best milk and milk products having a distinct sweet taste. The town of "Makhan chor" is going to fill your appetite with palatable and mouth-watering street food.
Let's have a look at some of the snack items that are a must-have when in Mathura-Vrindavan.
An indispensable sweet during festivals and celebrations, Peda is one of the most authentic and famous desserts in the city and is known as Mathura Peda. Tourists and residents offer this Peda as a Prasad to Lord Krishna and take it back home as the main Prasad beside other sweets. This milk sweet is rich in ghee and jaggery or sugar and is extremely sweet and soft. Mathura Pedas are so palatable that you cannot just stop at one.
A blend of yogurt, milk, and sugar syrup, this natural coolant is a much-loved North Indian drink and is a must-have in Mathura-Vrindavan. The curd here has a distinct sweetness and freshness to it. The lassi is served in Kulad (clay pot glass), adding this earthy essence and aroma. The lassi is kept chilled with the help of ice blocks and rose petals are added which imparts a naturally sweet and aromatic taste.
The Folk Flores and tales speak a lot about Handi Makhan when it comes to Lord Krishna and the people of Vrindavan. Several stories involve of Krishna and his friends stealing the Makhan from Mathani (Butter Churner). Makhan is a frothy and freshly prepared butter stored in Handi and is a regional specialty. This Makhan is a traditional breakfast item of the residents and tastes just delicious enough to stop eating.
You might be wondering why this combination? Kachori, which is savory, and Jalebi, which is sweet on a single plate? People here love this unlikely combination and often have Dal Kachori with aloo sabzi and jalebi. There is a unique pleasure and taste in having these two together. When in Mathura- Vrindavan do try this traditional breakfast with chilled lassi or kulad chai.
Though being a Rajasthani delicacy, this dessert is loved by the people of Mathura. Owing to the proximity of the town to the Princely state, Ghewar is a quite popular sweet in the town. Ghewar in U.P is a festive dessert and is often consumed or prepared during festivals and Pooja like Holi, Raksha Bandhan, and Karva Chauth. This disc-shaped crunchy dessert is layered on the top with special malai and dry fruits.
The king of all the chaats and the master of street food, Raj Kachori is a wholesome and rich street snack. The deep-fried kachori is burst from the top and filled with aloo, chole, sev, Hari chutney, coriander, green chili, Papdi, meethi chutney, and raita in generous amounts. This snack is enough to fill your appetite with just one plate and deliver a flavourful meal.
DAHI PAPDI CHAAT
A popular form of chaat is deep-fried flat matri or papri laid on a plate and topped with boiled potatoes, chickpeas, green and tamarind chutney, some chaat masala, and coriander, yogurt, and pomegranate. This quick and savory snack is popular in Nothern India and is a relished street food. Mathura is famous for its chaat, and Dahi papri is one item you cannot miss out on.
These tiny balls of pleasure, taste, and flavor are India's most loved street food having more than ten names and adaptations. Every state has its unique way of making these fried ball fillings, and Mathura is no exception! What makes it special is the varied type of flavored water used to fill in the Golgappe like nimbu paani, hajma paani, pudina paani, jaljeera paani, heeng paani, etc. Golgappe in Mathura of U.P is popular by the name of "Paani K Batashe" and is unbelievably cheaper than anywhere else.
The rich creamy malai rabri is cooked in a flat bottom Kadai and is made from milk, sugar, and dry fruits. Rabri is quite common in Northern India but what makes Vrindavan-Mathura Rabri extremely delicious is the milk. Mathura has one of the best cows in the region and the milk extracted has a distinct taste. Due to the fresh and pure milk, all the milk-made items in Mathura have a delectable taste which makes them superior to the rest.
Samosa is a Persian snack, but its veg counterpart Aloo samosa is still an invention of Uttar Pradesh. Nothing can beat the taste of potato-filled, deep-fried, and piping hot samosas of the region. Samosa is one of the most consumed snacks in the region, served with green and tamarind chutney. A street and household snack, Mathura Samosa is served with Satvik Chutney i.e., without garlic or onion. It is recommended to at least try one samosa with Chai when you are in Mathura.
ALOO TIKKI- CHAAT
The beauty of small towns in Uttar Pradesh is that you get the best and most authentic chaat on the streets. There is nothing like U.P chaat, and Mathura is famous for its chaat. Aloo-Tikki is the queen of chaat and is a delight that is extremely filling in nature. Aloo-Tikki Chaat is a crispy Tawa fried Aloo discs topped with green chutney, tamarind chutney, chili powder, chaat masala, yogurt, chickpeas, coriander, and shreds of beetroot and reddish. Served on leafy Patta and consumed with eco-friendly spoons, this item is unbeatable and a must-try from the streets of Mathura.
The beautiful small towns of India's largest State U.P, Mathura-Vrindavan are of historic and religious value. They have a peculiar aura and the food is certainly appetizing. These towns tell us that even without any fancy ingredients or cuisine you can find impeccable taste in simple Satvik food. This is the beauty of Indian snacks and street food that Kaamik tries to capture and assimilate in one box. Do try our Great Indian Snackbox if you too love local artisanal food.