6 Regional Micro Cuisines Of Uttar Pradesh You Must Explore

Uttar Pradesh is among the largest states in India. Surrounded by Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan in the West, Bihar and Jharkhand in the East, Madhya Pradesh in the South, and Nepal in the North, the state brings a variety of micro cuisines for foodies to explore. Its culinary heritage has evolved over time as new communities settled in various parts.

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Just like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh also doesn’t have a single cuisine that can define its culinary past and present. This only means that the state has a variety of delicacies to offer for a single spread. As the regions change in Uttar Pradesh so do the taste, use of ingredients, and cooking methods. Below are six regional micro cuisines that gastronomes can explore for an enriching experience.

Awadhi Cuisine

Awadhi cuisine got its name from the Awadh region, near Lucknow and surrounding areas. Visit the bustling lanes of the capital city and you will find cooks using a unique blend of spices to infuse royal taste to the dish, after all, it’s a city of nawabs. One can notice that Awadhi's cooking techniques mirror how experts of Mughlai cuisine put together their dishes. Some of the signature dishes from this region include succulent kebabs, delicate nihari in which meat is slowly cooked, delicately layered Awadhi biryani, handkerchief thin roomali roti, and melt-in-the-mouth shahi tukda.

Bundelkhand Cuisine

If you move towards Jhansi and Banda, the micro cuisine there is referred to as Bundelkhand cuisine. The local dishes there have rustic flavour and are prepared using traditional techniques. Jwar roti, bhutte ke kees (grated corn cooked with spices and milk), petha (made from ash gourd, and the best variety is found in Agra), and more dishes like these are more common in this region. Curries here don’t have a thick and creamy texture like in Awadhi dishes.

Rohilkhand Cuisine

Visit Rampur or Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, and you will witness an influence of Persian and Mughlai cooking styles in the regional micro cuisine, also called Rohilkhan cuisine. The ingredients here are cooked in aromatic spices and boast rich flavour and texture. Rampuri korma, a creamy meat-based curry, is one of the most popular dishes from this region. Other delights that are a must-try for foodies include kadhi chawal, yakhni pulao, and sweet sevai kheer. 

Braj Cuisine

Braj cuisine refers to regional delicacies prepared in Mathura and surrounding areas. Also referred to as Braj bhumi by many devotees and considered sacred because Lord Krishna was born here and spent his childhood in the region, the local cuisine largely comprises vegetarian dishes. You will observe a lot of fried food items like bedai, aloo-puri, deep-fried kachori, peda prepared using condensed milk, and makhan mishri, which is also believed to be among the favourites of Lord Krishna.

Bhojpuri Cuisine

The eastern part of Uttar Pradesh shares borders with Bihar and Jharkhand, therefore, the local cuisine is highly influenced by the cuisines of the states. Foodies will witness simple yet flavourful recipes here. One of the primary ingredients used in a variety of delicacies is sattu. You can find chaat joints and eateries serving lip-smacking litti chokha. Thekua, a sweet snack, and chana ghugni, a spicy curry of chickpeas, are among other common delights in this region.

Purvanchal Cuisine

The areas near Varanasi and Azamgarh use a variety of spices to infuse distinct flavours into vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. People here love spicy food, and if you can tolerate the heat, you will be able to enjoy mouth-watering dishes like tamatar chaat, baati chokha (a close cousin of Bihar’s litti chokha), and Banarasi paan. Sweet dishes in this region are mostly made from milk or milk-based products.