Every place has its own distinct taste for the foodie. Just like every state of India has its own taste. Uttar Pradesh is a North Indian state and hence most of its food is similar to that of North Indian states, but as I mentioned, every state has its own special food, so does Uttar Pradesh.
If we are going to make a list of famous food and dishes of Uttar Pradesh, then it will be a long list, so here we are going to prepare a list of special food of entire Uttar Pradesh for food lovers. This meal will consist of a starter, main course and dessert. This article will definitely help those who are visiting Uttar Pradesh for a short time to know that “must have food” in Uttar Pradesh.
1. Langra Aam
As the summer is at its peak, the craze of mango also increases. Uttar Pradesh is very famous for its Langra Aam (Mango). It is one of the most juicy varieties of mango. “Langra” is a Hindi language word which means “lame”. There is a special story behind this ‘Zara Hut Ke’ name.
It is believed that there lived a man in Banaras (Varanasi) who was lame and everyone addressed him as Langra. Once he ate a mango and sowed its seed in his garden. When the tree grew, its mangoes were really sweet, juicy and fleshy. With the passage of time this variety of mango became famous as Langra Aam.
It is best to eat Langra Aam as a fruit salad or smoothie or “my favorite milkshake” half an hour before the main course because of course it is a bit heavy but the pleasure it gives to our taste buds is well worth it.
Snacks are something that even food lovers like to eat occasionally. It is believed that long before samosas took the top spot, Kachori was the famous snack in Uttar Pradesh. The love for kachoris still prevails in most of the North Indian states. So they don’t have a clear idea of what Kachori is. Kachori is a crispy small poori stuffed with spices, which is usually eaten with chutney and potato or pumpkin curry. Kachori fillings range from onions (pyaz) to aloo (potatoes), chickpeas and paneer.
It is well known that one must visit Mathura and Vrindavan to get an authentic taste of the Kachoris of Uttar Pradesh. As a snack, as a tea time snack or as a starter, Kachori is one of the best. After these delicious starters, let’s first take a look at their vegetarian main course options.
3. Kadhi Chawal
Well we have a theory that Kadhi Chawal is a dish that is cooked at least once a week in every household in Uttar Pradesh. Be it summer, winter or monsoon, Kadhi Chawal is the emotion of every season.
Kadhi is a beautiful creamy yellow gravy which is basically made from curd and chickpea flour. There are delicious pakoras floating in this gravy. Kadhi can be eaten in many combinations but it is better with rice, I mean it can be called a heavenly experience.
Taheri is the most common and easy to cook dish in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Many call it “peele chawal (yellow rice)”. To make it more simple we can call it yellow colored veg biryani. This yellow color is due to haldi (turmeric) which enhances the color as well as its taste.
Lucknow is the famous “Nawabon ka Shahar” and is also the capital of Uttar Pradesh. The Nawabs of the city have their own Nawabi food and the taste of every Nawabi food is very good. But for our main course I have included two food items from my Lucknow.
5. Tunday Kebab
Tunday kebabs are a treat for the tongue for all the non-vegetarians. These are buffalo meat kebabs, also known as “galouti kebabs”. And the name “Tunday” Kebab is because the special recipe behind these kebabs ‘Haji Murad Ali’ was a man who was called “Tunday” because he only had one arm and one arm broken in his childhood.
What is special about these kebabs? Okay, so it is well known that a mixture of around 160 spices in a specific ratio gives Tunday Kebab its mouth-watering taste. In Lucknow, “Tunday Kebab ” is the place where one can enjoy the finest of Tunday Kebabs. A little surprising fact is that this place is about 115 years old. I am sure food lovers will like it more after reading this.
Ok one more! A real tip from my heart (and stomach too), if you eat these Tunday Kebabs with Lucknowi Biryani you will surely be speechless about the delicious combo.
6. Kakori Kebabs
Another delicious food of Lucknow is Kakori Kebab. This kebab can be said to be the “tender” version of the “seekh/silai kebabs”. And the good thing is that this dish also has its own story. So the story goes: A Nawab of Lucknow named Syed Mohammad Haider Kazmi once threw the best Nawabi dishes for his British friends in Kakori district. It is worth noting here that he had given that feast during the mango season. So during the feast one of the British criticized the slightly rough texture of the seekh kebabs.
The Nawab ordered the cooks to soften these kebabs and the cooks found a way after much experimentation. The cook used ‘Maliabali’ mango and some spices, making the kebabs more tender and flavourful. These kebabs are known today as Kakori Kebabs. There is no reason not to try these kakori kebabs in Uttar Pradesh.
Now as the main course looks like fulfilling our hearts and tummy too, we have to move on to the desserts.
7. Agra ka Petha
Petha is a sweet dish and you cannot guess that it is made from gourds. By the way, it does not even seem that it is made of gourd nor does it taste like gourd. There is a famous saying that if one is going to Agra one has to return with Petha for the whole family and friends.
When we hear Agra everyone thinks of the Taj Mahal and in fact the Taj Mahal is the inspiration behind the Pethas. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan once ordered his cooks to make something white and pure like the Taj Mahal and the then chefs came up with petha and it is true, petha is an utterly satisfying dessert.
8. Shahi Tukda
The meaning of the name of the dish is very simple, ‘shahi’ meaning royal and ‘tukda’ meaning piece, hence the name literally means royal piece. For those who love the cuisine, a slice of dessert feels like nothing less than royalty.
As the name suggests it is a shahi (royal) sweet. This rabdi (sweetened condensed milk) coated bread garnished with dry fruits is truly a royal delight. Just put it in your mouth and it will melt in your mouth and make you feel heaven. This is a must try dessert in Uttar Pradesh.
9. Mathura peda
Mathura is considered the brand name for Peda sweets. It is prepared as bhog (offering) for Lord Krishna.
Mathura is a famous city in Uttar Pradesh and Pede is a famous sweet originating in Mathura. Peda is a sweet dish made from mawa (dried evaporated milk). Mathura ke pede is the most authentic flavour of peda that one can ever taste.
10. Banarasi paan
Paan is made from the leaves of the betel nut (Maghai) plant. These leaves are folded and stuffed with several ingredients that combine to make an amazing taste. Everyone likes paan after a meal. But what is special in Banarasi paan is not found anywhere else. Banaras or Varanasi is a famous city of Uttar Pradesh. Although the Maghai leaf used in betel leaves is native to Bihar.
Many people think that the filling of paan contains tobacco but the specialty of Banarasi paan is that it is tobacco free. Banarasi paan is a delightful filling of betel nut, catechu, slaked lime, rose petals (gulkand), silver foil (varakh) etc. If anyone wants tobacco, it can also be included as per demand.
So with all these delicacies representing Uttar Pradesh the state can definitely get a taste of Uttar Pradesh.
Along with this you also see Benefits of Peanut Butter for healthy life.