Agra - Ram Babu Paranthas, Panchi Petha and more
While we were in Delhi this time during our crazy and epic drive, me and sister thought we should also may be drive out with the family for a day, someone mentioned the new yamuna expressway and the plan was made :)
We entered the famous Taj at around noon and came to know that no food is allowed to be taken inside, and hence with a hungry child and tired parents exited the glorious monument as soon as we could to get down to what we do the best, yes we are talking about food.
None of us were in the mood of eating at the 5-Stars since we can get that kind of food almost everywhere in my opinion. I tweeted asking for local eating options and apart from the many suggestions for the famous UP style kachori, a couple of people suggested Ram Babu Paranthas. Someone even mentioned that the paranthas are better than ones we get in Paranthe Walli Galli, Chandni Chowk and the decision was sealed pronto :D.
The place is located in Belanganj, Agra and is neatly marked on Google Maps , we didn't have any problem finding it apart from the fact that we had to traverse through narrow lanes of old Agra to reach it. Its a very basic looking place just like most old and famous places are but I found the place very clean and the hygiene levels reasonably high and yes that's an AC you see in the picture, I doubt it was working though.
We ordered a mix of gobhi and aloo paranthas and to start we were served with pickle and the standard methi chatni aka saunth of the north. I love saunth, if you get the balance of sweetness, spiciness and sourness right its just magical and it turns out that the little one has inherited that taste from me, he sat and licked that chutney till the paranthas came.
Served along with this was the super spicy and yummy kadhi, one of the best I have had outside. When it comes to kadhi I am a mom loyalist, hardly like anything apart from what mum makes and specially dislike the ones you get outside. But this one I actually quite liked.
Along with kadhi, also came the trademark of UP - tari walli aloo ki sabji and a dry brinjal sabzi, both of them were pretty yumm and pretty spicy too.
The paranthas that you get here are different from the normal paranthas we are used too, they are actually deep fried in desi ghee in a shallow pan. If you have eaten paranthas at paranthe walli galli you know what I am talking about. The cast iron shallow pans are left on low flame chullah or on top of a tandoor for a very long time so that they are remain always hot and when people ask for paranthas, they add ghee to it and deep roast the paranthas.
Though the paranthas like that are yumm, we are all weak hearted specially when it comes to eating ghee ;) mum dad anyways have been told not to eat too much ghee by the doctor and hence we asked them to get us mix of ghee and some dry paranthas, the dry ones were actually like the ones we make at all, with a little ghee that can be had. Strangely enough all of us preferred the dry ones.
The full thali.
and ofcourse we washed it done with a chacch.
All in all an excellent meal that we all came out smiling from, a bit spicy for mom dad and the only thing that we missed in the thali was some raita/curd which we ordered separately.
After we finished lunch, off we went to Panchi Petha, after all how can one exit Agra without the legendary Petha from Panchi. The shop had amazing varities of pethas - right from the standard angoori petha to experimental sandwich, chocolate and paan petha. Between mom and me we took small packages of Kesari Angoori Petha, Raspberry petha, Dodha petha and gulab petha.
The most popular, kesari angoori petha I found it a little too sweet for my taste though.
Raspberry - this was the child's favorite... a little burst of coconut added a nice touch.
dhodha petha, this is by far my fav - the petha hit is much lesser than usual and the flavour pronounced is dhodha, may be thats why I like it more. I am a die hard dhodha fan ;)
The gulab petha was so interesting. It had a mawa filling inside and a clear rose flavour.
Apart from that we also picked up some agra famous dal moth and the packet is long gone. I preferred it anytime over the petha.