Some people travel for the adventure, some for the solace and some to take a break from their usual routine. One of the reason people travel is food and if one is travelling to Uttar Pradesh, the reason is fulfilled.
Uttar Pradesh is the food heaven of India, a big mixture of several cultures which bring their own history and style of cuisines. Uttar Pradesh, the home of Taj has lot to boost when it comes to cuisines. The people of Uttar Pradesh are warm and welcoming and hospitability here means feeding the guest till the guest is full and then some more. The usual day to day food to exclusive festive dishes and exquisite banquets and buffets shows a diverse and long range of cuisines.
The two main types of cuisine styles are Mughlai and Awadhi. Mughlai, as the name suggests brought to India by Mughals. Awadhi cuisine is the one inspired by Punjabi and Kashmiri style of cooking. Famous for its Kebabs and Biryani, several mouth-watering dishes are waiting here for both the vegetarian and non-vegetarians.
For the lovers of vegetarian food, vast varieties of dishes are available. The famous “Puri Aloo” is reslished almost all over Uttar pradesh and neighbouring states. Cheela, pakodas, Dahi Bada, Samosa and Aaloo tikki, Shallow fried spicy potato patties are some of the famous street food of Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from these Spicy boiled potato curry of Varanasi, Urad dal prepared in Awadhi way, Paneer Bhurji, scrambled cottage cheese dish, Dum Aloo, potatoes cooked in yogurt and spices, Khasta kachori, stuffed deep fried puffs, Chooda matar, Beaten rice cooked with peas, and Bhapouri, Steamed lentil dumpling curry are other famous vegetarian dishes of Uttar Pradesh. Agriculture is the main occupation of Uttar Pradesh, hence lentils and cereal feature prominently in the dishes of Uttar Pradesh.
Desserts are also very popular and several different desserts are an integral part of food culture of Uttar Pradesh. Some of the famous desserts include Balushahi, Chhena, Gajar ka Halwa, Gond ke Laddu, Gulab Jamun, Halwa, Imarti and Jalebi. Rabdi, Phirni, kheer, rice pudding garnished with saffron and cardamom are also very famous and are an important part of festivals and ceremonies. Most of the dishes are very labour intensive which involve a lot of grinding, soaking and seething. It’s an art to prepare these dishes and only skilled hands can bring the real flavour and aroma in the dishes.
The city of alleys, Varanasi begs a special mention when it comes to street food. Puri sabzi being the famous breakfast along with jalebis and chaat stalls in every other corner. The Kesar and Badaam Lassi and Banarasi paan completes the canvas of food culture in Uttar Pradesh.
The cuisine of Uttar Pradesh has its own style of cooking with different spices for taste and aroma. A mixture of tomatoes, garlic, ginger, onion and several other spices are intrinsic to most of the dishes. The nawabi cuisines of UP uses cardamom and saffron and other rich spices with mutton and paneer dishes.
Dum pukth is a famous way of cooking in Lucknow in which food is slowly cooked in a sealed pot and in very low flame. Its origin dates to the times of nawab’s of Lucknow. It is an Awadhi way of cooking, also used now in mughlai and other cuisines. This way of cooking brings the most exotic aromas and delicious flavours in the food.
Uttar Pradesh is known for its curries and Kebabs also, especially Lucknow. The Galawati kebabs which melts in the mouth, Shami, seekh, tunde and kakori kebabs are the famous kebabs of the Lucknow region. The Kebabs are prepared by mincing the meat in rich spices, wrapped in spikes and then cooked on charcoal. These delicacies are being served here from generations and passed from one generation to other. Kanpur’s Kakori and boti kebabs are equally famous. For fish lovers, Rampur has some delicious surprise up its sleeves. The two famous dishes are the Rampuri Rohu and Zamindoz.
Uttar Pradesh has a rich culinary tradition, a holy grail for those who desire to titillate taste buds. As diverse as its geography, the multi-faced cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is an attraction and invitation for foodies all over.