Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Delicious Uttar Pradesh

India’s most populous state is a heaven for trekkers, wildlifers, hill station enthusiasts, history lovers and foodies. It showcases a variety of cuisines including pure Hindu vegetarian, majestic Nawabi Muslim and rugged and simple hill fare. In Hindu homes, food is treated with ritual sanctity and the person who cooks must be higher up on the caste ladder. However the ordinary street food of Varanasi, Agra , Lucknow and Allahabad is finger-licking-delicious. Breakfast bought from a pushcart or a thela where you get hot kachories with delicious potatoes in a dal gravy and nukti ka raita which is a raita with droplets of fried gram flour. You can also find hot jalebis that you can crunch on to complete your meal. If you are in Varanasi, you can start your day by watching the sunrise over the Ganges and follow it up with a meal of the delectable vegetarian fare and its is sure to be a revelation as to how the simple food can be so tasty without even onion or garlic. For special dishes a touch of  khoya, malai or dried fruit is added. The humble potato is a perennial and a versatile favourite. Other vegetables include pumpkin, cauliflower, okra, brinjal, spinach and a variety of gourds.
A standard meal comprises of phulkas, dal, chawal, and a subzi made with seasonal vegetables. A wedding lunch would be more elaborate and would be served on a pattal, which is a leaf plate and would include two or three varieties of poori, three to four rasedaar subzi ( a potato-pumpkin subzi is a must) and a few dry subzis, and a paneer, pulao and raita, Fried papad, is followed up by several sweets and finally the meal ends with paan.
The people of this massive state have a soft spot for sweets and an abundance of milk and sugar caters to their cravings. The basic ingredient for sweets is khoya. There are myriad varieties of pedas and burfis. If Varanasi is the center of the Hindu culture then Lucknow is its Muslim counterpart. Kormas, kalias and the kebabs are known far and wide . Overall Uttar Pradesh offers a good selection and variety of gastronomic fare and along with its history and heritage the state serves as a great representation as to how the country eats !

Delicious Recipe :  Bhatti Ka Aloo


Potato                                        500 gms
Cumin Seeds                             05 gms
Cloves                                        05 nos
Ground Green Cardamom`        a tsp
Cinnamon Sticks                       02 nos. small
Bayleaves                                  02 nos
Asafoetida ( hing )                     a pinch
Tomatoes                                  100 gms chopped
Ginger paste                               01 tbsp
Turmeric powder                        01 tsp
Cumin powder                            01 tsp
Salt                                              to taste
Garam Masala  powder             01 tsp
Amchur powder                          02 tsp
Green chillies slit                       06 nos
Coriander leaves chopped         30 gms
Onion seeds ( kalonji)                a pinch
Desi Ghee                                  50 gms

Preparation :

Boil and peel the potatoes. Heat the ghee in a kadhai, add cumin, cloves, caradamom, cinnamon, bayleaves and asafoetida. When the spices release the aroma add the tomatoes and cook until they dissolve. Now add all the powdered masalas. Add the potatoes add little water and the salt. Add the green chillies, kalonji, a little desi ghee and the fresh coriander and serve hot.

By : Devraj Halder

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