Since religion and spirituality run deep and wide in the city of Haridwar, most of their street food is pure vegetarian and Sattvik in nature.
It is pretty easy to go to Haridwar from Delhi, take a holy dip in the Ganges, and return the same evening. However, the only challenge is to kill time after you are done with your Pujas; it has been so for my family and me. Since we usually have a train to catch in the evening, we cannot go too far away in the city, and because the main centre of the town ‘Har Ki Pauri’ is so vivid and bustling, it feels like a crime to keep sitting on the benches along the banks of river Ganga. Thankfully, Haridwar has an array of street foods that are simple, satiating and fairly unique, enough to keep you hooked for a whole day (or more, if you intend to spend more time here.)
Haridwar is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage sites. The ancient city is located in Uttarakhand, at the foothills of the Shivalik range. Hindus believe that was in Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar, where a drop of Amrit or elixir of immortality spilt over from Kumbha, a vessel carried by mythical bird Garuda. People throng the banks of the Ganges every day, and the crowd multiplies on occasions like Kumbh Mela. Since religion and spirituality run deep and wide in the city of Haridwar, most of their street food is pure vegetarian and Sattvik in nature.
Here are some of our top picks.
Kachoris of both kinds, soft and crispy (khasta), can be found across Haridwar. While the former is a variant of puri, mostly stuffed with potatoes, Khasta Kachori is a fried, puffed pastry filled with a spicy lentil filling. Kachoris are usually served with a fiery potato sabzi flavoured with hing.
A breakfast favourite, deep-fried puris made in gigantic cauldrons are served with a mixed aloo ki sabzi, with the side of achaar and chutney. Filling, wholesome and Satvik.
Surja Ki Dal
This special chaat can be found in Jwalapur, Chowk Bazar. In this dish, boiled moong dal is mashed and mixed with tamarind water, lime juice, mild spices, roasted cumin powder, salt, roasted dry chillies and served in Maljhan leaves. Fascinating, right?
Ghia Or Lauki Ki Lauj
Almost every big market in Haridwar has at least one sweet shop as iconic as the market itself. Haridwar takes immense pride in its sweetmeats that are so rich and varied; from rabri to multiple types of khoya brafis, you would find a range of sweets here. However, one special dessert you must try is the Lauki ki Lauj. It looks like a halwa made with bottle gourd and milk cooked together until the mixture is thick; it is further flavoured with kewra essence.
Puffy Bhaturas made with maida, served with hot and spicy chickpea curry, chutney, sliced onions and carrot and chilli pickle. This ubiquitous street food will make sure you are satiated to the core.
How many of these street foods have you tried? Do let us know.