Welcome to the wonderful city of Allahabad or as it is known today, Prayagraj. This time of the year Allahabad is flooded with people from all over the world who are here to witness the famous Kumbh Mela.
First stop- the famous, Jagram Sweets.
This place is known for two things- milk cake and motichoor ladoo. We got our hands on both these sweets and for a minute we forgot that we were in front of a camera. These sweets are not just mouth-watering, they’re melt-in-the-knees delicious. The milk cake is simply made by cooking milk and sugar over a slow fire for a very long time, which is what makes the milkcake so brown and so yummy. The motichoor ladoos literally disintegrate in your mouth, I mean if this is the kind of prasad people in Allahabad get, we are shifting right this moment!
Second stop- Netaram Moolchand & Sweet Shop
The tiny jalebis are fried in desi ghee and then dunked in sugar syrup. We tried all that they had to offer which was- Poori/ Kachori stuffed with moong dal and some spices, along with dum aloo sabzi, aloo baigan sabzi/ potato and eggplant, imly chutney, raita, gobhi matar sabzi/ cauliflower and peas, and some plain yoghurt.
Third stop- Hira Halwai
Here we had something sweet as well as something savoury. We tried the lovely Gujiya, which is, to our delight, available all year round at this shop. Gujiya is a sweet dumpling made from flour pockets stuffed with khoya and dry fruits, and is then deep fried. The gujiya here is super flaky and crisp. We then ate the samosas that are unique to Allahabad. The stuffing of these is quite unique. They are stuffed with a mixture of boiled potatoes cooked with panch phoran/ five spices- this consists of cumin, fennel, black mustard, fenugreek and nigella seeds. The mixture is topped with some dried mango powder and mint. These samosas have a very unique flavour and are absolutely delicious.
Fourth stop - Sri Sainik Sweets
Have you ever heard of a sweet made of spinach!? Well we hadn’t either until we learnt about the Palak halwa at Sri Sainik Sweets. Out of the weirdest flavours of halwa, we tried the palak/spinach halwa, kaala gajar/black carrot halwa and papita/papaya halwa.
Fifth stop - Bhunja
If ever you are just roaming around on the streets of Allahabad and wish to snack on tid-bits, this is what you are looking for. Bhunja is a mixture of puffed rice, peanuts, chana, onion, amla chutney and a few spices.
Sixth stop - Baati Chokha Cart
If you are in U.P., Baati chokha is one of the most common dishes you will find on the streets apart from kachori and jalebi. Baati is dough balls made of whole wheat flour and stuffed with sattu (roasted gram flour) and mixed with herbs and spices. These dough balls our roasted over cow dung cakes, cleaned and then given a generous coating of ghee. They are served with a side of chokha which is made from roasted eggplants, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, mustard oil and spices.
Seventh stop- Yadav Sakoda
Sakoda is basically a pakora or a fritter. Here it is made of Urad dal, Palak, besan and a couple of spices. It is then soaked in a rassa/soup which is super hot. The amount of chilli in this dish is insane, but people are nicely slurping away and gouging down the sakoda like it is nothing. Even though the dish is super hot it is very flavourful and keeps you craving for more.
Eighth stop- Allahabad Famous Churmrura Corner
The concept of churmura is supposed to have been originated from here. Churmura is a mixture of puffed rice, peanuts, roasted peas, onions, a lot of spices- (here) 24 to be exact, and a spritz of lemon juice to liven things up.
Ninth stop- Lalloo Pan Bhandar
As they say “U.P. aaye aur Paan nahi khaaye, toh kya khaak U.P. aaye!” so we had to get our hands on some paan but before that for all the cold drink fanatics Lalloo Pan Bhandar has it covered. They serve masala cold drink which is usually a coke or pepsi mixed with a couple of spices and lemon. The drink is super refreshing and is quite the digestive as well.