UTTAR PRADESH, the land of Lord Rama and homestead of Nawabs, has a rich cultural heritage signifying the Golden Era of historic India. A state that is so diverse that you find a different cuisine, dialect, language and culture with just a journey of a few km. A state where people are extremely fond of eating and no celebration begins or ends without an extravagant food menu.
From "Satvik Bhojan" to the exquisite Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine, the state's menu offers palatable and nutritive culinary loved by all age groups.
The famous Bedhai or Puri-Aloo is a favourite delight of all the age groups. The steaming hot crispy fried poori, made from wheat flour and stuffed with spicy Urad dal masala, paired with hot peppery boiled potato curry and sweet-sour pumpkin tantalize the taste buds. Often eaten with sweet Jalebi and Curd, Bedhai is a sumptuous anytime meal.
Galaouti Kebab is a "melt in a mouth" delicacy especially made by the royal chefs to please the aging Nawab of Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shah. The finely ground meat is marinated with unripe papaya and a whole lot of exotic spices, giving it a charismatic aroma and flavorsome taste. A trip to the state's capital is incomplete without tasting these hot peppery soft bites.
Chaat, a finger-licking savory snack, is the most famous street food in Uttar Pradesh. There is nothing like U.P ki Chaat! Think of any ingredient that's sweet, spicy, sour, and full of taste and you will definitely find it in Chaat. Papri-chaat (crispy fried wafers) loaded with boiled potatoes and chickpeas, curd, chutneys, and a truckload of spices has a profound taste to be remembered for a long time.
The sizzling Aloo Tikki chaat, mouth-watering Golgappa or panipuri, and creamy Dahi -Bhalla spruce up the taste buds when seasoned with spicy chaat masala. Shopping in the state's market and then satisfying your lingua with chaat gives you a memorable experience.
Bhindi ka Salan
Bhindi Ka Salan is a popular dish in the state during summers. With simmering heat and soaring temperatures this spicy, tangy dish adds to the flavor of the hot season. Crispy fried Bhindi (Lady's finger) and onions are amalgamated into a thick gravy seasoned with yogurt and spices. It's a perfect lunch option when served with whole wheat chapati.
Nargisi kofta, named after the "Nargis flower", is a delectable delight true to its name. Koftas basically comprises hard-boiled eggs encased in a meatball-type mixture of lamb, coated with flour and deep-fried. The crispy koftas are served in a tomato gravy flavored with condiments and yogurt. Nargisi Kofta forms an important part of the dinner card in the state.
Awadhi or Lucknowi biryani is a delicious rice preparation inspired by the royal kitchen of Nawabs. The special basmati rice and chicken or mutton pieces are slow-cooked in handi in a "Dum Phukt style". Seasoned with all the spices, traditional herbs, and caramelized onions, Biryani has a nostalgic aroma.
Garnishing with saffron soaked in rose water and milk further adds to the delectable taste of the dish. Awadhi biryani is a must-try food for all biryani lovers. Even the vegetarian version of Awadhi biryani will not disappoint its devourers.
Chaulai ka Saag
Chaulai or Amaranth leaves are considered to be Heart-healthy food. Although a lesser-known delicacy but yet it's a storehouse of essential vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Freshly cleaned Amaranth leaves are boiled along with ginger, garlic, and green chilies. The saag is flavored with caramelized onions, salt, and a few spices. A simple dish yet loaded with health benefits and a must include in every menu.
Gujiya is the most sort out sweet delicacy in the eastern part of the state during the festival of vibrant colors, Holi. Shaped like a half-moon Gujiya is a sweet deep-fried dumpling made from all-purpose flour and stuffed with khoya or mawa. The fillings are enriched with cardamom, grated coconut, and dry fruits. Especially made and consumed during Holi and Chhath puja in the state, Gujiya is a must-try sweet delicacy.
Peda or Pera
Peda, a sugary delight, hails from the land of Lord Krishna's birthplace, Mathura. Small spheres made mainly from khoa (condensed milk) and sugar, flavored with saffron, cardamom, nuts, and pistachios constitute the sweet offerings made in the temples of Mathura and Vrindavan. People of all age groups love this sweetened delight.
Agra city is famous worldwide for The Taj Mahal is also known to be the originator of a candied delight Petha. Petha is a translucent sugar-coated sweet made from Ash gourd or white pumpkin. The candy delight is loaded with the health benefits of the gourd and its sugared version is preferred over many other desserts for a string of reasons.
Petha has many variants like Paan Petha, Angoori Petha, Kesar petha, and the list goes on with a plethora of sweets. Visting the symbol of love, The Taj, accompanied by the sweetness of Petha, is sure to have a mesmerizing effect.
The Science and Art of preparing a rich sumptuous meal has been perfected in Uttar Pradesh's cuisine. From the epitome of love, The Taj Mahal, to the Dum phukt style of cooking the state's cuisine continues to enthrall the culinary world with its aromatic and appetizing cookery.
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