Indian food as unity is wholesome, and at the same time, there are a lot of bifurcations for the same. The best thing about Indian food is that every state offers something different. Food tends to bind us; specifically, Uttar Pradesh dishes have a rich cultural heritage and great taste. Today, we are going to talk about the popular Uttar Pradesh cuisine. You will be surprised to learn that the cuisine has a long history and legacy. The local ingredients and the types of the cooking process are unique to each state.
You must rely on local options to have the best experience of Uttar Pradesh dishes. Also, Uttar Pradesh is a vast state. It shares the boundary with other states like Delhi, Haryana, and Uttarakhand. So, the resulting flavours are Awadhi, Mughlai, and Bhojpuri cuisine.
How Uttar Pradesh Cuisine Has Mughal, Awadhi, and British Influence
Uttar Pradesh is divided into three prominent regions: Western Uttar Pradesh, Oudh (Awadh), and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Awadhi cuisine, influenced by Muslims, primarily focuses on non-vegetarian dishes.
- The Predominance of Awadhi cuisine
The area specializes in Biryani, kebabs, and the popular dish called nihari, typically made with mutton Paya or bone marrow. Chicken Nihari is also popular. Shami kebab, a favourite in Uttar Pradesh, is made with minced meat and chana dal. Galawati kebab is another delicious dish. Awadhi Biryani, a must-mention for Oudh or Awadh, involves cooking the meat before adding it to the Biryani.
- The Popularity of Eastern Uttar Pradesh Cuisine
The food from eastern Uttar Pradesh accounts for the popular Murgh Musallam and Reshmi kebab. The Mathura and Agra region of the state tends to be popular for sweet dishes. It includes items like Peda, Mawa, or Gulab Jamun. Also, the Shahi Tukda of this region is extremely popular, and it is royal in all its senses. And the star of the show is the Banarasi pan, which is one of a kind.
- The British Influence on Uttar Pradesh Cuisine
Uttar Pradesh cuisine has a fascinating history shaped by various cultural influences, including the British. The British introduced several new ingredients and cooking techniques, during the colonial era. And it eventually became an integral part of the local cuisine. One of the most prominent British influences on Uttar Pradesh cuisine is baking and grilling techniques. This led to the creation of new dishes like kebabs, tikkas, and roasts.
Most Famous Uttar Pradesh Food
When it comes to famous Uttar Pradesh food, there are many unique dishes you need to try out. The best thing is that these dishes have a history behind them. Over the years, these have also changed and have consequently lent more character and depth to the dishes. Some dishes are imperative to mention. It will help you to understand this particular cuisine completely.
1. Awadhi Biryani:
The first dish we will discuss is the famous Awadhi Biryani. The Awadhi variant of Biryani originated from none other than the land of Oudh. It has been very different from the other variants of biriyani. The best thing about Awadhi Biryani is that it is less on spices and the focus is on whole spices. Another crucial element of the Awadhi Biryani is the deep-fried onion and cooking in dum style. Here one uses the earthen pot to cook the Biryani at low heat for an extended period. Awadhi Biryani does have some delicate flavours because of this.
2. Lucknowi Biryani:
Lucknowi Biryani is a flavorful rice dish that originated in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. They make it with long-grain basmati rice, marinated chicken pieces, and aromatic spices. The cooking process includes creating layers, with the rice and chicken alternating. And then, garnish it with fried onions, mint leaves, and saffron-infused milk. The slow cooking melds the flavours together, resulting in a fragrant and delicious Biryani.
Nihari is a very popular dish in Uttar Pradesh. It is a staple for people who love good food; however, it is primarily available in winter. Professional chefs cook Nihari and serve it with hot kulchas during this time. The best thing about Nihari is that when it mixes with the bone marrow from mutton or chicken, it offers a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Nihari is an exquisite dish of Uttar Pradesh and a little time-consuming.
4. Tunday Kebab:
Tunday Kebab is a popular street food snack from Lucknow. One makes it by finely mincing chicken meat and mixing it with spices like cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic. You can then shape the mixture into kebabs and grill or shallow-fry it until cooked. Tunday Kebabs are known for their tender texture and rich flavours.
5. Chicken Korma:
Chicken Korma is a creamy curry dish made with bone-in chicken pieces. You must marinate the chicken in a mixture of yoghurt, spices, and sometimes nuts like cashews. Then cook the marinated chicken in a rich and aromatic sauce made with onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. Adding cream or yoghurt gives the dish a creamy and smooth texture, making it a popular choice for special occasions.
6. Murgh Musallam:
Murgh Musallam is a regal dish that involves preparing whole chicken for cooking. One needs to marinate the chicken with spices, including turmeric, ginger, garlic, and yoghurt. It is then roasted or braised until it becomes tender and juicy. Murgh Musallam is often served as a centrepiece dish during festive occasions and is known for its grand presentation.
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