Gone are the days when you had to request for a vegetarian meal to subsist on your travel journey. Sometimes you come across a destination where you don’t have to hunt for veg fare and can eat plenty of all that is in sight. The City of Nawabs takes vegetarian food very seriously, serving up a melee of lipsmacking options at every nook and corner to woo your palate. Lucknow has always been touted for its kebabs and biryani, but the mouthwatering vegetarian alternatives leave you lusting for more, making you want to take a food trip to the city of Awadh, again and again.
What makes access simpler is the arrival of delivery majors in Lucknow, who swish up the goods to your doorstep in minutes. Glug down bel ka sherbet, ganne ka juice, and shikanji that is easily available to stay hydrated, as you savour the specials.
Gupta ji ke thandey dahiwade
Fat and fluffy, these sweet dahi vadas are an absolute treat. Thickly coated with dahi, they come as a couple in a packet for Rs 110 only. The iconic fried dal dumplings used to be sold by the genial vendor, Gupta ji, outside the General Post Office in Hazratganj. This cool, delicious street food fills up your tummy in a jiffy. As Gupta ji grew toothless, his buggy trundled to his home, a stone’s throw away, outside the Prince of Wales Zoo. With your purchase, you get a small docket of special masala with roasted, pounded jeera, laal mirch and amchur to sprinkle on the dahi vadas, along with the tangy imli chutney. A must have!
Rattilal ke khasta kachori
If you haven’t tasted the khasta kachori at Rattilal’s in Aminabad, you haven’t done justice to the food in Lucknow. Serving up garam kachoris and meethi lassi for breakfast has been Rattilal’s forte since 1937. The crisp kachoris get sold out in a couple of hours, so make sure you net in a few before that. Half the magic lies in the accompanying spicy, deep fried aloo ki sabzi and sukha matar. Complete with sliced onions, chillies, and aam ka achar—this one sets the tang for your day
Netram ki sabzi puri
This is the typical UP ka nashta. The teeming Gadbadjhala area in Lucknow’s busiest shopping areas, Aminabad, brags of the yummiest aloo puri you can get in the city. Make the most of this feast for a Sunday brunch. The hot, fluffy puris come hissing with the spicy sabzi that makes the chillies simply hum on your lips. Glug the meethi lassi along with the feast, as you bite into the accompanying garam kachoris. The chutney dip needs a fire extinguisher though. Savour the crunchy, and beautiful cousin of the humble jalebi, in the orange imarti as it preens prettily on your plate, thick with syrupy goodness. Remember, getting a four-wheeler here is impossible in the crowded lanes.
Shilpi Madan for Zee Zest