Monday, April 30, 2012

Flavors of Mathura: Lal Peda, Kachori, Samosa, etc (Where to Eat in Mathura)

Apart from all the history and the exquisite tales of the past, there was one more aspect of Mathura that we took delight in – Food!

Mathura has a lot to offer when it comes to eating out. But let me warn you beforehand, if you are one of those who prefer the luxury and ambiance of high end hotels, then the city will disappoint you big time. The only way to enjoy this small town, when talking of food, is by hanging out at those small roadside eating joints, very often with no names to swank of and at other times referred to as mishthan bhandars or bhojnalayas. A day here and you will realize that the true taste of Mathura lies out there – on the streets and in the lanes.


Let’s see what Mathura had for us in their Flavors Menu for the time that we spent in the city.

Morning Tea

Just cannot be missed. Tucked in some corner with no nameplates, these small kiosks attract the biggest crowds, mostly localiites and some tourists as well. A fresh brew of ginger, cardamom and some other spices thrown in and served in either kulhads (earthen mugs) or glasses, a tea stall is not simply a tea stall here but one of the many ‘sights’ of Mathura.


A Tea shack or Chaiwala in Mathura
A Tea Stall in Mathura

It is a place of social gathering for the locals and a great way to get a local feel for travelers like us. Of all the flavors of Mathura, this is definitely my pick of the lot and should not be missed for anything.

Where: Anywhere in the middle/corner of lanes, it will be very easy to spot them.

Breakfast Snacks

1. Kachori /Samosa

And tea, of course doesn’t stop there. It has to be continued with a host of snacks and nibbles and Mathura has them aplenty. Close to the tea stalls, there is a huge probability that you will find some snack being fried. Some popular ones include crispy kachoris, deep fried samosas and melt-in-the-mouth jalebis and they are usually delicious.


Kachori snack stall, Mathura
A Jalebis (left in the pic) and kachoris (next plate to the right)
stall near the tea shack

Tip: Gorge on them but don’t forget to wash all of it down with a hot cup of tea!

What and Where: Kachori at any one of the small hole-in-the-wall shops.

                           Samosas at Shankar Mithaiwala, Holi gate.

2. Besides the Regional/Local Flavors --> Khaman Dhokla, Pohe

Mathura being the land of a Lord who enjoys a large follower base especially from the Gujarati sect of Hinduism, one can see a dominance of Gujarati flavors on its food. Thus, don’t be surprised if you bump in stalls selling the light-on-the-stomach khamans and dhoklas in the very same lanes selling north Indian specialties like kachoris and samosas.

A Juice and Khaman shop in Mathura
Annapurna Khaman Dhokla House, Chatta Bazaar

Juice glasses in Mathura
Fresh Mosambi Juice at Annapurna House

We found one such shop in the lane leading upto the Vishram Ghat from the Holi Gate (Chatta Bazaar) and took delight in their soft and spongy khamans - freshly cooked and served hot in the mornings. What’s more, they also had my home food - Mumbai delicacy pohe (rice flakes)! So what if it was minus the onion, still it made me feel close to home! 

What: Pohe and Khaman. Their fresh fruit juices are also very good.

Where: Annapurna Khaman Dhokla House, Chatta Bazaar. 

Mobile No.: +91 - 9760242967

Lunch and Dinner --> Gujarati Hindu Lodge

Street food sure does gratify the taste buds but nothing can beat the aroma of authentic cuisine. This is where Gujarati Hindu Lodge came in picture for us.


Gujarati Hindu Lodge, Mathura Eating joint
Gujarati Hindu Lodge in a lane near the Vishram Ghat

Situated in a humble setting, this was our lunch and dinner jaunt in Mathura. The food is fresh, home-like with the usual thali platter -- 2 veggies, dal, rice and chappatis, served unlimited; everything is worth all the money spent!

Owner of Gujarati Hindu Lodge, Mathura
Owner of the Gujarati Hindu Lodge posing for me!

Address: In an adjacent lane leading upto the Vishram Ghat.

Thali Price: Rs. 50/head for adults. Rs. 30/head for children below 10 yrs.

Timings : 10 – 3 Morning; 6 – 9.30 Evening

Other Recommendations: Dalmiya Bhojanalya, near the Vishram Ghat for full Indian Thali. We have had food here the last time we visited the town and this one is pretty good too for authentic fare.

Mid Day Snacks

1. Pani Puri / Tikiya Chaats

Another popular street snack food of the northern region is Pani Puri. There are three good things with pani puris in general, one that it is easily available in almost every town in India, second that hardly anyone goes wrong with its taste and third and most important that you don’t really need any appetite for it. And for me personally, there is one more addition to the list - It’s my favorite! Hence I make it a point to find some good joints and have these sprout and mint flavored water dumplings whenever I can, wherever I can... in abundance!


Street food in Mathura
On the Vishram Ghat
Pani Puri vendor in Mathura
A Pani Puriwala in the lanes of Chatta Bazaar,
Opposite Kanhaiya Cloth Market

Where: Vishram Ghat, Chatta Bazaar.

2. Milk and Milk products/ Mithai shops

Living to its image of the town of a very mischievous Makhan chor (butter thief) Krishna, every other lane you enter in Mathura, you will find these sweet shops selling a variety of milk and milk based dairy products. Pure fat dairy delights like lassi (yoghurt based coolant), mava, khurchan, lal pedas, etc are just some of the regulars served in each of these shops. They do tempt your taste buds and it’s really hard not to get wooed by their aroma and scent.


Peda Mishthan shops, Mathura
Sweetmeat shop, Mathura
Sweatmeat or Mithai shops and a glimpse of the variety of sweets they stack

The famed Lal Peda of Mathura
Lal Peda, A famous specialty of Mathura - Just cannot be missed!

Sweet Milk/Chaas and Lassi shop in Mathura
The coolant, lassi being whipped from fresh curd and water

Tip: Eat and enjoy but remember to do everything in moderation as many synthetic ingredients are increasingly on a rampage in many cities today. Pick out a shop that has some crowd and is not completely empty. 

What: Lal Peda, Lassi

Where: Shankar Mithaiwala - Holi Gate; Almost every lane you step in Mathura.

Brijwasi Royal Mithaiwala

A famous shop at the Holi Gate, Brijwasi Royal Mithaiwala is probably the biggest food shop that you will come across in Mathura. It has an array of items to pick out from ranging from sweets and snacks to beverages and flavored cold slush’s. Overall, it is a one stop shop for everything if you are too lazy to wander aimlessly on the roads searching for these!


Brijwasi Mithai shop, Mathura
Brijwasi sweet shop near Holi Gate in Mathura
 Brijwasi shop, Mathura
A Sweet called ghevar in Brijwasi shop in Mathura
A Peak into the Brijwasi Royal Mithaiwala, Holi Gate

Address: Holi Gate.

So while in Mathura, its best that you leave your calorific meter behind and get your feet moving because that is certainly the best way to indulge in the authentic flavors of the town!

69 comments:

  1. Just delicious! I love chai tea!

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  2. What a good overview you have showed us of the food stalls. I think this is such a good idea, because the person and their family can get the money rather than a large corporation that runs a huge store. so the profits go directly to the people who need it. And it all does look good and fresh.

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  3. Lots of delicious looking food, Arti! I'd love to be able to sample some!! Terrific, colorful shots for the day! Thanks for sharing the fun!!

    Sylvia

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  4. Oh, Arti, you're making me hungry! I love indian food - the flavours and spices and textures - so yummy! Must cook an aryuvedic meak soon. Have a lovely start to your week!

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  5. Hi Arti,
    Lovely post on all the tasty food...street food is also my favorite cuisine...I always make it a point to eat street food in a new place...there is nothing more tasty...off course as you mentioned w have to forget the calorie meter behind !! ;)
    Super Yummy Recipes

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  6. Very interesting and helpful. Thanks

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  7. To me this food seems like a bit of heaven.

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  8. A lovely round up of what Mathura is best known for besides being the birth place of Lord Krishna,EATING!!

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  9. Food, glorious food!
    Yes, our human do agree totally that some best food and drinks are roadside eating joints with no names and some with no tables.
    Oh, samosa with chickpea curry, the best ever eaten was in Rishikesh.
    Both Lassi and Barfi are unforgettable.

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  10. @Arti Another beautiful post from Mathura.Great description, Nice photos.Thanks a lot.

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  11. hey...what an elaborate description....
    one of my friend is from mathura...
    she brings lal peda and ghevar whenever she go to her parents place(mathura.)

    very nice information.

    thanks.
    anu

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  12. All look delicious and yummy Arti, i miss india now :(

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  13. All foods look delicious and unique for me. It must be fun to eat them together.

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  14. All food you introduced sound delicious. I want to try some morning tea and samosas. I can't eat too hot foods but I may be able to eat samosas.
    Thank you for the feast.

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  15. Getting away from the mainstream, touristy areas to eat has always been a big part of our holiday. A fascinating post, full of wonderful flavours, thank you.

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  16. This post tells me to surely plan a trip when I am in India. It's a place for foodies like me...:)

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  17. I'm drooling seeing all these :)

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  18. nice snaps... the food items look so delicious... will provide a good idea to new explorers...

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  19. Interesting! The food looks delicious, Arti.

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  20. The food looks amazing - not exactly low calorie though. I don't eat nearly enough Indian food and I love it. A delicious post!

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  21. Very well presented. Even otherwise Mathura is renowned for the eateries of the kind you have encountered.

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  22. Hungry Kya ? , then this right post to drive away the hunger . Well covered .

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  23. I love samosas, I just had it today for my afternoon snacks, would like to try other Indian foods too, I love Indian foods, but of course, we do not have a wide variety here in the US

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  24. I love this place ,I want to settle there and eat all the samosas ,kachoris ,pedas all my life ....mmmm !Those pani puris are gorgeous .
    A delightful post Arti :)

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  25. All looks delicious.. Want to travel to those places...

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  26. Interesting and useful info

    thanks

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  27. Who needs big hotels when you can have delicious street food? The jalebis, the samosas, ah! The good life. A yummy post, Arti! :)

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  28. A virtual feast at every turn!

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  29. Just sipping my coffee now and wishing I had some of those wonderful street teas along with the dumplings. Arti your blogs are just amazing for a traveler to know how to take in the finer simple things that are in the country. You always make me feel like I am right there enjoying the sights, sounds and wonderful food. Your references are just amazing. Thank you so much for your visits to my place during my absence. I am soo busy again settling in and getting the garden and flower beds ready back at the ranch. Just got back a week ago. The first bulbs are only now blooming and buds just coming out of the tree. The energy is rising for the new growing season. Haven't had time to blog yet. Still much I need to share from my time at the Salton Sea, but first need to get caught up with all I missed with my blogging friends. Happy Spring to you. Hugs Carrie

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  30. I love Indian food and now your making my mouth water. I feel hungry again and I just bad breakfast! Everything looks delicious.
    I also noticed, Arti, that all the food is being prepared by men. Interesting.

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  31. this is a YUMMY post!loved it...

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  32. Mmmmm, I can smell the aromas. Really! Indian food is one of my all time favorites, and all this is making my mouth water!

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  33. Love it! You wont find 'that' taste in high end hotels which you would find in those small kiosks.

    Such a mouth watering post. :)

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  34. so interesting. thank you for this information and tour!

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  35. My favourites are the Lal peda and the Ghevar. Had first tasted the Ghevar in Udaipur, the autorickshaw driver had taken us to the "best sweets shop" and we had eaten up all the half-kilo dabbas of sweets we had bought in that one evening!

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  36. All these when I am stuck in Southern part of the country...

    I can't even find good samosas!

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  37. Hi I would like to nominate you for the Sunshine Award, please do the needful and link to the blog mentioned below if you wish to collect the image for the award.

    Thanks,
    Nidhi
    http://pennlifenids.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/a-surprise-to-remember-the-sunshine-award/

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  38. What a life, Arti! Awesome! Simply awesome!

    Mouth watering food items, new places (explored and unexplored), new people... a whiff of fresh air...

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  39. Where was I when I went there.
    Now I feel I let down my self, didn't had a single nice meal there.
    How I wish you had written this post before :)

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  40. This is a comprehensive information about foods of Mathura. When it comes to travel, I become adventurous about eating. Sometimes foods from a street vendor can be more delicious than the ones at a fancy restaurant. Oh, you’ve made me hungry..., I’ll have pani puri and lal peda, please. Thanks for this painstaking report, arti, though it would be a piece of cake for you. Have nice and delicious days ahead.

    Yoko

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  41. कमाल है आरती जी... आपका.
    आपके खाना वर्णन करने की शैली
    बाप रे बाप
    कोई खाए या न खाए
    पर मुहँ में पानी भर भर आए.

    साथ में जीवंत फोटोज,यह तो हद हो गयी जी.

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  42. awesome writeup ...love your lipsmacking cliks & explanation Art..great job..;)
    Tasty Appetite

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  43. Though we have Indian food in Malaysia, I have yet to eat such a variety of them.

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  44. Hi Arti,

    Indian food is delicious and all the little street food stalls you have shared, look so good.
    Thanks for sharing and hope you have a lovely weekend

    Carolyn

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  45. I'd need to get my feet moving after I ate all that wonderful food Arti! (To work off some of the calories.) Oh, everything looks so good. So delicious. Two of our grandsons (and one granddaughter-in-law) have been to India and they raved about the street foods and some of what you show is what they've told us about. We all love Indian restaurants here (but of course I'm never sure how really authentic they are, but better than nothing!)

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  46. I'm craving for this kind of food right now. The last authentic Indian food I ate was in Little India (in Singapore) where we stayed for 4 days at the hotel serving Indian food eat-all-you-can for breakfast.

    I miss the smell and taste of these food. Happy weekend, my dear friend. :)

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  47. Wow, everything looks so good. This post reminds me how I need to return to India some day.

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  48. Too much yumminess in there! Makes me want to hop and skip to mathura to eat!

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  49. yaar samosa kachori ...aapne yeh sab title mein aur fir blog mein likh diya...that's my weakness....i can kill someone for samosas....

    loved the post !

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  50. Loved this post Arti. I would love to have a cup of tea at that tea stand, then eat breakfast while listening to the street noise.

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  51. shall take a printout of this post when I visit!

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  52. As for Indian food, I tried only nan bread and medium-hot Indian curry. I love those but I don't know anything else.
    I am curious about what the sweets you mentioned here taste like.
    I know street food is really good if only you are lucky enough to hit the right one.
    Thank you for your sweet tour, Arti!

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  53. I am yet to visit Mathura. Shall make it one day. I loved all the snacks and descriptions. will now go thru' your post on Mathura temples.
    Tc

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  54. Arti, the best place to go and savor the real thing is sample all local flavors.

    Your photos are making me real hungry! (We go once a month for Indian food near our office.

    Thanks for this informative post.

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  55. hello dear Arti
    these sights are so beautiful, it makes me believe I can smell the aromas - the tea, the sprout and mint flavored water dumplings. the fried foods I would have a problem with though. I love it, but it no longer loves me. I know I would really really like Gujarati Hindu Lodge - the building alone is fabulous. your photos are very expressive. thanks for sharing. happy day to you Arti.

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  56. A mouth watering post. Lovely pictures and narration on the delicacies of Mathura. It's been quite sometime since I had Mathura ke pethe. This post just increased my craving.

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  57. If you wanted to torture me you'd ask me to pick one over the rest.

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  58. Looking at these katchoris, and chaats just makes me drool on that food...I want to go to India!!!

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  59. Food is very unique there. Very tempting.

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  60. Nothing like street food, right :-) Loved this post, made my mouth water..

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  61. Enticing.. I missed this post earlier..!

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  62. i love the smell when i go for morning walk everyday! in Mathura!

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  63. JAI SHRI KRISHNA. RADHEY RADHEY. KANHA JI HAMEIN BHI MATHURA BULAYEIN PARIWAR SAHIT.

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