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In our journey to discover some of the tastiest street foods that India has to offer we found ourselves lost amongst the captivating aromas of kebabs, chat, samosa etc. and the royal glory of Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow. Join us on this veg food tour as we take you through the irresistible options out here.
First Stop- Shukla Tea Stall
We began our day with some kadak chai, pakodi and samosa. The tea is thick and strong is truly what they call “malai maar ke”chai. The pakodi is served here only in the mornings, perfectly crispy and super fresh, these fritters are made with chickpea flour, onions and spinach. But we are living for the samosas served here. Honestly the slight sourness in the stuffing that comes from dried mango powder is truly unique to U.P. Even the shape of the samosa is not you run-of-the-mill triangle but a little more round which allows it to have just a little more stuffing.
Second Stop- Bajpayee Kachori Bhandar
The ultimate Khasta is served at this small shop along with chickpea and potato sabzi. The Khasta is stuffed with dals and is super crisp. We also tried the Kachori and Sabzi and a dry potato sabzi which was topped with mint. Each and every dish we tried was delicious!
Third Stop- Ram Asrey
Here we tasted the Malai Gilori or Malai Paan. It’s just a layer of thick cream filled with khoya and dry fruits. It is sweet and very decadent.
Fourth Stop- Ram Asrey
This one was established in 1805 serving an amazing array of sweets. Their speciality is the Malai ki Gilori which is made from slow cooking buffalo milk. Another speciality is the Kaali Gajar ka halwa. The process of cooking this halwa is very long but there is another sweet dish which takes about two says to make. Dudhiya is one of the dishes that seems simple but has complex and time consuming method of cooking. Made with milk, clarified butter, sprouted wheat and dry fruits, this sweet was a super nutritious.
Fifth Stop- Netram Ajay Kumar
Serving classics like Kachori, jalebi and gulgule, this place has been in Aminabad since 1854. We got the Kachori Thali here which includes kachori, dry potato sabzi, pumpkin sabzi, raita, tamarind chutney, potato and pea sabzi, jalebi and gulgule. Everything on that plate was supremely delicious.
Sixth Stop- Jagdish Makhan Malai
Known as daulat ki chaat in Delhi, Malaiyo in Banaras and Makhan Malai in Lucknow. This is made from milk and cream and here they add some cardamom, pistachios and saffron. We also tried the Kesariya Doodh which is below the foamy layer of the Makhan Malai.
Seventh Stop- Royal Cafe
Here we ate a number of things. First was the Palak patta chaat which is a spinach leaf dipped in chickpea flour batter and fried then topped with yogurt, tamarind chutney green chilli chutney and chaat masala, it is super crispy and very flavourful. Then qe tried the nimbu matar, tikki and the famous basket chaat. The basket is made from fried potatoes and the chaat on the whole consists of 25 things in it. There’s a different flavour in every bite.
Eighth Stop- Shukla Chaat House
Another name for the humble gol gappa, Batashe, is what we tried here. Here they are filled with matar and mint- imli water. Another dish here is Matara which are crisp and soft tikiya topped with coriander, lemon and crushed batashe for crunch.
Ninth Stop- Pandit Raja Ki Mashur Thandai
This shop has been there since 1936. Thandai is basically cold spiced milk. Here the milk is flavoured at least 18 spices which are put in keeping the weather in mind along with dry fruits too.
Tenth Stop- Chaurasiya Paan Bhandar
Final stop had to be for paan but not just any paan, Maghai Paan. This is made from a special leaf which is available only during the winter season. The speciality of this particular leaf is its texture, it just melts in the mouth.
About the host – Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid culinary explorer who loves to travel and explore different cuisine primarily the street food, not just for the sake of gustatory pleasure but also for quenching his deep thirst for nurturing new cultural connections through the kaleidoscopic canvas of food. He believes that the vibrant and delectable street food tradition across the globe has the power to bring communities together and foster harmonious human existence.
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak