Whether you have got samosa or chaat in mind or a full-fledged royal lakhnavi spread, Uttar Pradesh serves its dishes hot and spicy. UP might have culinary resemblances to the rest of North India but it’s own signature is the Awadhi and Nawabi food that you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere. If Uttar Pradesh in on your itinerary or a buffer to your journey, we suggest you take a day or two to treat yourself to the feast that this state offers everyday to everyone. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Kakori Kebab
Without wasting any time, let’s dive straight into our main course, absolute signature UP style. The finest meat of lamb and a selection of spices go into making this delicious, melt-in-the-mouth kebab, which derives its name from its originating place of Kakori, on the outskirts of Lucknow. Paired with green chutney, these kebabs may taste a little like a slice of heaven.
2. Batti Chokha
The oven-baked wheat battis with the chokhas made of mashed potatoes, brinjal, and tomatoes, are one of those dishes that are synonymous with eastern UP. The smell of authentic desi ghee and the signature green chutney make it taste like home, no matter where you are.
3. Tokri Chaat
Literally translating to Basket Chaat, Lucknow has a number of places, which serve this absolutely sumptuous chaat, justifying North India’s love for crispy, deep-fried snacks. The crispy basket is filled with a delectable potato mash prepared with spices, chili and coriander. Basically, all the good stuff that make life more worth it.
A sweet tandoor-baked naan? Some things you can only find in UP. This one’s made with warm milk, sweetened with sugar and flavoured with saffron. It goes with anything spicy like Paya ki Nihari or even the Galouti Kebab for a taste that contrasts but also complements!
You might get pedha throughout the country but we’re willing to bet that no other state can master it like UP has. When in the city of Mathura and Vrindavan, don’t forget to try this mawa-cardamom-saffron decorated with chandi vark or dry fruits; this can make any sweet-lover go weak on their knees.
6. Galouti Kebab
You thought we’re gonna leave you with just one kebab suggestion from UP, without including the king of dishes from the land of the Nawabs? That can’t be! Either way the aroma of the spices of the Galauti kebab being cooked on tavas all over Lucknow and UP would not have let you go without giving this heavenly meat preparation a try.
7. Lakhnavi Paan
How can a North Indian meal end without paan, right? This paan is more than just a quick pick-me-up after a meal and its preparation is as elaborate as it is a treat for the senses at the end of a meal.