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Welcome to Haridwar, a popular pilgrimage destination in Uttarakhand where devotees throng to seek divine blessings by taking a dip in the holy Ganges. This sacred city has some great street food that keeps the masses active and going. We were there to explore the street food scene in these busy lanes. Our host for the day was Mr. Jain who is the owner of the famous Jain Chat Bhandar. We are highly grateful for his support. An avid foodie and a genial gentleman, Mr. Jain took us on an immersive walk down the streets guiding us about the popular eats.
We started with the famous Surya Ki Dal. It’s morning time and a crowd had gathered to buy a plate of this nutritious snacks. This boiled moong dal dish mixed with some simple elements was truly delicious. Eating it out of leaf plate added to the taste.
Next was the turn of a very old sweet shop that specializes in traditional sweets like milk cake, lauki ka lauj, khoya burfi, rabri etc. We were impressed by the quality and taste of these popular fares.
From there we went to Bhagwati Chole bhandar for tasting the Adda and chole ka paani. Adda is bun soaked in Chole ki sabzi. They serve it with chutney, ginger julienne, fresh coriander. The snack was followed by the channe ka pani which is a spicy yet hearty broth made from the leftover water from the boiled chickpeas.
We crossed over to the opposite side for Paan in order to cleanse our palette and prime them for more food.
Then we went to Thakur Raghubir sigh ji kachoriwala for khasta kachori and sabji. Served in leaf bowl, it was a treat. But their kheer mohan was too sweet for us.
We then took a Nimbu shikanji break at Shiv Soda before arriving at Mathura wale ki prachin dukan for their delicious puri sabzi platter. The desi ghee fare consisting urad dal puri, pumpkin and potato sabzi was quite gratifying. We followed it with tiny potli samosas and chandrakala.
Our next shop was the famous eatery of our host. Jain sir is loved not only for his playful treats but also for his genial personality. We were touched by the endearing manner in which he introduced us to his bestselling. people are crazy about their kanji vada, magic chaat and dahi patashe and so are we. The best part of the eating experience here was the Malu leaf bowls in which these were served.
Our next target was Mathura wale ki Malai Samosa, rabri and chocolate burfi. The khoya stuffed Malai samosa and the rabri were simply toothsome. And the chocolate burfi had the taste of real chocolate.
While walking towards our next stop is the Har Ki pauri ghat for Ganga Arti we stopped by a cart selling star fruits and couldn’t resist ourselves from taking a bite of this nutritious fruit. The sour ones are rich in vitamins.
Soon it was time to witness the marvellous aarti or prayer ritual where the holy Ganges river is worshipped with mantras and huge lamps. The vibe of the collective faith of the devotees thronging the ghat was a surreal experience.
After this divine encounter we went to Guru Vaisnav bhojnalaya for a proper traditional meal consisting of roti, rice, dal, seasonal vegetable preparation, papad and raita. We enjoyed every morsel of this homestyled desi ghee meal that was prepared over wood fire stove.
After filling our stomachs with all the goodness of the wholesome meal, it was time to grab a glass of hot milk and call it a day. Haridwar surprised us with its delightful treats and its friendly locals. Do make time for visit to this city and soak in its spiritual and culinary atmosphere. Till the next time keep walking keep exploring.
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak