Now I feel like being in Vrindavan. Welcome to Vrindavan, ‘Braj Ki Bhoomi’ and the city of Lord Krishna. We are starting our food journey… with the popular breakfast spread i.e. Poori Sabzi and khaman. Come with us. Give a plate of Khaman. You have mentioned both the names here, Khaman and Dhokla. But this is actually Khaman. -In Gujarat they call it Khaman and Dhokla. That is why. This is quite popular in Vrindavan, I have seen stall everywhere. Why so? -Because Dhokla is preferred here. Why have you put the bell over here? -To ring it while coming out. So if you like the food you ring it. This is a famous breakfast dish from Gujarat. Which is known as Khaman. They have mentioned Khaman and Dhokla both as many people know it by the name Dhokla. But actually they are known as Khaman And along with this it has green chilies. Its the taste of Gujarat in the streets of Vrindavan. Whichever holy city do you visit in Northern Uttar Pradesh For breakfast you will always get Poori, Khachori and Sabzi. Currently we are at Vrindavan. And here we have ordered the popular Poori and Sabzi This is Urad dal stuffed Pooris Along with it we have Kashiphal( Pumpkin) or Sitaphal that is also known as Kaddu at many places. Along with these we have potato curry, curd and also Khaman. Here everything is prepared in Desi Ghee. In none of the dishes have they used onion and garlic. Super amazing. And traditional. And very delicious. Okay brother Radhe Radhe.
-Radhe Radhe. If you like the food then ring the bell. This is one of the oldest place.
-Yes. What all sweets do you have? -There is rabri, ghewar, malai burfi, bottlegourd burfi and moong ki dal ki burfi… What all sweets are prepared during Janmashthami? -During Janmashthami, most of the sweets are prepared for the fasting. -Like there is Mingi Pak, Doodh ki burfi, Doodh ka Kalakand, Milk cake… -Rabri and Khurchan. What is this Mingi Pak? -Mingi Pak is a sweet made of musk melon seeds. -This is something that has been there since ages. -Lord Krishna had eaten the butter out if a earthen pot so we have served it like this. Khurchan Malai.
-Yes. Khurchan Malai is mostly available during the winters. -This is available both during winters and summers. -Makhan Mishri is available in the winters. -In summers the cream can’t be used in sweets. -So now we have the Khurchan Malai. This is called Khurchan malai So it is made of milk only.
-Yes. You simmer the milk.
-Yes. And then you have added sugar and milk.
-Yes. The texture is totally that of the Kalakand. Its just like the Kalakand?
-Yes it is made of pure milk. The most interesting thing is that it is so pretty. It is served in this small earthenware. What are these shreds in it? -It is that of Malai from the milk. As you can see it is full of these tiny shreds. See. What other sweets will you give us? This is moong dal burfi. This is just like a ladoo. It is made like that. Wow! The taste is same as the moong dal halwa that we eat.
-Yes. And on the top you have put dried rose petals, almond slivers and pistachios. Very nice. What is is this?
-Pedas. Give us a fresh Peda. ‘siren goes off in the background’ What is this siren for?
-It is to inform about the closing of the temple for prayers. -Now there will be prayers. -Then it will reopen in the evening. At what time does it reopens?
-At 5.30 pm. We need to finish this sweet quickly. Because it is time for the closure of the temple and in that case we have to wait till the evening. Mathura or Vrindavan, where ever you go, the Pedas over there are very popular. And Radhe Radhe Pedas are quite well known. Very nice. The milk is cooked thoroughly. It has a nice flavour from the cardamom. Is the ghewar prepared in the month of Shavan(monsoon)only?
-Yes. This is rabri. what is that over there?
-Khurchan malai. Khurchan Malai that you are serving in these tiny earthen pots.
-Right. If you come to Vrindavan, one thing that you should definitely try here is this Kulia(Khurchan Malai) -This is the Kulia. -Now he picked it? These monkeys are very naughty, they just tore it. -Quickly give one more mango drink. It is tearing the purse. The incident that you saw…in front of us. The monkey had taken away the her purse. When the monkey was given a mango drink, then only he returned the purse. Brother it is Kanji Vada. One glass please. What is it made of? -There is mustard powder(rye) in it. And. -It has moong dal dumplings. Its very refreshing especially during summers. You have added hing(asafoetida). It won’t work without hing. Very nice. The first that comes through is that of the hing. Even though it is a Marwari dish, but it is quite popular in Vrindavan. Is it butter?
-Desi ghee. And then butter will go into it.
-It will be added from the top. I am feeling afraid to stand here because the monkeys can attack any time. It might come here too. Shall I hold my spectacles tightly. Shall I remove it. If you want to come here you should put contact lens. You wont realise when any monkey might come and take your spectacles away. Bhuji in Cheela. I haven’t tasted it before. This is different here. And what is this? Carrots. Here goes the butter. How amazing! This is Vrindavan’s special Cheela. The process of making it is quite different. The batter is made up of Moong dal. The stuffing is made of potatoes. Then they have added carrots, capsicum, peas, paneer and butter. The unique thing in this is the Bhujia I have never seen Bhujia being added to the cheela. -For crispiness. It is added so that you get all the textures while eating. This is sweet chutney and is made of dried mango powder. Along with it you have coriander chutney. Very delicious. Come let’s take you to one of Vrindavan’s popular eatery. Where we would taste a Satvik spread. How old is this Dharamshala(community lodge). -Its nearly fifty years old. How long have you been working here? -I am here for the past 15-16 years. Here you work in the kitchen only?
-Yes. Tell us something about the food that is available here. -There is sabzi, dal, Kulcha, Missi ki roti… -Rice, chutney, pickle and papad… -Curd, paneer, raita… Does the vegetable dishes keeps changing or they are the same.
-It changes. Here the roti is prepared in the wood fire oven. And its said that the wood fire baked rotis are easy to digest. -It doesn’t form any gas(in the stomach). -Here everything is prepared on the wood fire oven. Everything from dal to sabzi?
– ‘Nods in affirmation’ Currently we are at the Jaipuria Dharamshala. And here at the second floor there is a small kitchen service. Where you can come and relish a Satvik spread. The Thali in front is for Rs.150. It is an unlimited Thali. The food here is prepared over wood fire. And its also prepared without onion and garlic. In our Thali we have two kinds of Roti, one is of gram flour and the other is of whole wheat. One dry potato sabzi. There is Kadhi, dal, bottle gourd sabzi, curd… rice, papad, chutney… cucumber and pickle. At many places it is known as Missi ki roti. This is actually gram flour roti. I personally like gram flour roti along with buttermilk. In the kitchen, Diwedi Ji told us that after the food is prepared, it is first offered to Lord Angi, the God of Fire. Then it is offered to Thakur Ji. Then some of it is taken out for the cow. After that it is served to the visitors. This is mixed dal. It has Urad, Moong and Channa. It is prepared by mixing all the yellow dals. This is whole wheat flour Roti and it is prepared on the wood fire oven. Let us try it with dry potatoes. If you want to summarize this Thali You can do it in one word and that is pure. It’s pure vegetarian and Satvik. It is something that is made at homes with less spices and masalas. It’s that kind of food. This is really trouble some in Vrindavan and Mathura. They(monkeys) can emerge from anywhere and snatch away purses, spectacles and clothes. Also shoes. “laughter” And then you will have to give them mango drink or some food. It is very trouble some here in Mathura and Vrindavan We have to roam without spectacles. Where ever you go the monkeys snatches away your spectacles. -Spectacles, mobiles and purses… One should be careful about these three things. Here can I put it back? Will it come here? -Here you can wear it. No problem. -It might come in from above. Oh! Then how will I have tikkis. They won’t be visible. -Nothing like that. I won’t be able to figure out whether I am having tikki or bhalle. Plate a tikki for us. What is the name of the shop? -‘Kar Bhala To Ho Bhala.’ That’s the name of the shop. It is right in front of the Banke Bihari Temple’s lane. This is Vrindavan style tikki and chole. These are plain boiled potato patties with no stuffings. These are flattened and then deep fried. So that they are fried thoroughly. Then it is crushed. On top they add this gravy made with chickpeas and dried yellow peas. Then sweet chutney made of jaggery and sugar. Along with it coriander and mint chutney and some masala is sprinkled on the top. The taste of the chat available in UP is very different from the ones available in the rest of India. The masalas used here is very different from the rest of the country. The most problematic thing here is the spectacles.
-Absolutely. Where ever you go people ask you to remove the spectacles.
-Yes. I came to know about your shop near the Banke Bihari temple. There people said that if you want to eat paan in Vrindavan, then go to Ashoke ji. So I have come from far away to have your paan. I am very fond of paan And I have eaten it at many places. You have used sweet betel leaves with chutney and fragrance. On putting this paan inside the mouth itself you can figure out that its a nicely done paan. How many years have you been here? -It has been thirty years. Its a different delicacy altogether. First the ice is crushed, then its topped with rabri Then sugar syrup and little rose syrup. Its is very enjoyable. Its nice and thick rabri on crushed ice. The damp aroma from the earthen pot is just amazing. -The real taste comes from the earthen ware.
Yes. One thing is for sure that its fun to eat in Mathura and Vrindavan. Different tastes. -Isn’t it tasty? Very tasty. What’s your name?
-Ravi. From what time and till what time, do you come here? -I come at this time only. At what time? -I come at 3 pm. From 3 pm till…
-Till 9 pm. Give us other varieties as well like curd and dry ginger chutney one. Will you give us only the water ones?
-Take this. Which one is this?
-Its ‘saunth dahi’ one. -Its ‘saunth dahi chutney’. Green chutney. What is the green chutney made of? -It is made of coriander, chilies and spinach. -The water is made with ‘harad’ and all. It is one flavoursome water. Its sour and full of masalas. It has ‘hing’, ‘harad’, mint and also tamarind. Everyone suggested that if you want to have Lassi then you should come to your shop. It is right at the corner in the entrance of the Banke Bihari temple. How old is your shop?
-55 years. The ‘kesar gulab’ flavour is the speciality of your shop. It has saffron as well as rose. This is Vrindavan famous Lassi in an earthen glass. There is a layer of malai on the top. And then saffron and rose water. Come let’s taste it. Wow! It is a thick, creamy and refreshing lassi. So we end our food tour with this lassi. Janmashtami greetings to all.