Uttar Pradesh (UP), is a state located in northern India. Lucknow is the capital and, Kanpur is the commercial capital and the largest city of Uttar Pradesh. On 9 November 2000, a new state, Uttarakhand, was carved from the mountainous Himalayan region of Uttar Pradesh. It is the fourth largest Indian state by area and is the most populous state in the country. Hindi is the official and most widely spoken language in its 75 districts.
Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India. The two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and then flow as the Ganga further east. The state has several historical, natural, and religious tourist destinations, such as the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Piprahwa, Kaushambi, Kanpur, Ballia, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Lucknow, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Allahabad, Budaun, Meerut and Mathura. Its also the area of some of the oldest existing cities of Budaun and Varanasi.
A typical day-to-day traditional vegetarian meal of Uttar Pradesh, like any other North Indian thali, consists of roti (flatbread), chawal, dal, sabji, raita and papad. Many people still drink the traditional drink chaach with meals. On festive occasions, usually ‘tava’ (flat pan for roti) is considered inauspicious, and instead fried foods are consumed. A typical festive thali consists of Puri, Kachauri, sabji, pulav, papad, raita, salad and desserts (such as sewai or kheer). Awadhi cuisine is world famous for dishes such as kebab, biryani, keema and nihari. People make distinctive sweetmeats from milk products, including khurchan, peda, gulabjamun, petha, makkhan malai, and chamcham. The chaat in Lucknow and Banarasi Paan is known across India for its flavour and ingredients.
Awadhi cuisine is from the city of Lucknow and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern India as well. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Persia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad; and the city is known for Nawabi foods. The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices including cardamom and saffron.
Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed in the Indian subcontinent by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles used in North India, especially Uttar Pradesh. The cuisine is strongly influenced by the Persian cuisine of Iran, and has in turn strongly similarities to the regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region. The tastes of Mughlai cuisine vary from extremely mild to spicy, and is often associated with a distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices. (Source: Wiki)
I made few recipes for this state but could not decide what to post. I initially made kaliya but the recipe I followed said it is from North India and was not sure if it is an Uttar Pradesh recipe. Then I made jalebi but this can be used for any state; Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan. So I thought of making something with paneer. Since pakora are a common in UP and paneer curries are very common in UP cuisine. I thought of paneer pokara and when I started making it, I changed the plan and made a platter of pakoras. Husband thought the pakoras were good but I usually make them lot better and were not up to the par. I was back to square one, not happy with any of the dishes I made for the states.
As I mentioned in my older posts, I was traveling and just got back this evening. Kalia was pretty good but did not have time to write the recipe. Although I followed the recipe as given, my instructions are little longer. I followed the jalebi recipe as given and did not make any changes to it. Hence decided to post the jalebi for the state. I do not know if it authentic to the state but have no choice. Here is a virtual treat UP food.
When I made the kalia, Mr. U wanted vegetable bagara (rice) & I got a little adventures and made tehri. It is a preparation from UP and waned to make it a UP dinner. I was skeptical of the recipe I followed and was glad I made small portion. We did not like it at all. I won’t be sharing the tehri recipe, but will share the kalia recipe later. We loved kalia although my gravy was thicker than it was suppose to be. Since I followed the Jalebi recipe as given, I decided to post it for this state.
I initially picked jalebis for Chhattisgarh as it is a popular sweet in every household. The first time I made the jalebis, I used yeast. I think my batter was too thick and no matter how hard I squeezed, it would not pass through the pastry bag. For the second try, I followed an instant jalebi recipe and used the squeeze bottle. This time jalebis turned out good but my squeeze bottle hole was so narrow that I had very think circles of jalebi. Since that recipe was good, the third time I made them mainly for the sake of pictures, I wanted to try it from scratch, ferment it and make it the authentic way and not an instant version. In case this failed, I always had the instant recipe as a backup. This time I made a few jalebis using a pasty bag and a round nozzle. Jalebis came out good but I found it difficult squeezing the batter from the pastry bag. For the rest of the batter, I used a squeeze bottle with a wider hole. This time the jalebis were not as thin as the second time (the instant version) but I felt I could have used a squeeze bottle with a wider opening. Since I followed the recipe as given and do not have time to write the recipe again, for now I am just going to link back to the original recipe. The jalebis from the below pictures were squeezed using a pastry bag.