The chanting of mantras, millions of pilgrims taking a holy dip and the burning joss sticks is what the great Kumbh Mela is all about. No wonder there is a sacred vibe in the air. However, in the chilly winters of Allahabad, pilgrims often crave for some drool-worthy food. This time the Kumbh Mela is even bigger and better with 40 food stalls serving a wide array of Indian delicacies. All thanks to the Government.
If you are a foodie at heart, you cannot afford to miss the delicious food that will be served in the Kumbh Mela 2019. Here is a list of the 7 best dishes that we recommend you to have during your visit to the Prayagraj.
1. Tandoori Chai
A chilly winter morning in the Kumbh Mela is often incomplete without a hot cup of tea. There is a stall in the fair that serves tea with a twist. Here, you can have the piping hot tandoori chai served in a kulhad. Sounds interesting, isn't it? What makes this tea different, is the process of making it. Earthen pots or kulhads are roasted in a clay oven at an extreme temperature. Once done, the tea is poured in the pots with some tingling spices. The hot earthen pots add to the unique flavour of the tea and hence the name ‘tandoori chai’.
Allahabad takes pride in its mouth-watering street food and the chaat is just to die for. There are a number of food stalls in the Mela serving the best chaat dishes, perfect for a tangy indulgence. Some of the most celebrated chaat items in the Kumbh Mela are dahi bhalla, papri chaat, aloo tikki, to name a few. For a true gastronomic delight, indulging in Allahabadi chaat is a must.
Did you know when Lord Rama went to the exile with wife Sita and brother Laxmana, the royal family used to feed on a drum-shaped fruit known as kandmool? This fruit is one of the best-kept secrets of our country and is often considered the health food of Lord Rama when he was in the forest. The good news is that you can taste this unique fruit in the Kumbh Mela itself. Kandmool looks like a drum with brown coloured skin and its flesh tastes more like the coconut sap. You will find several vendors who sell these fruits in the Mela ground. Go and grab a bite!
Being in Allahabad and not trying their special kachori is an offence. There are a number of food stalls in Kumbh Mela that offers lip-smacking kachori with sabzi and tomato chutney. These kachoris with a delicious filling melt in your mouth and leave you with the desire to ask for more. In some of the stalls, you might also find kachoris fried in desi ghee. They are absolutely sensational and a treat to the taste buds.
5. Allahabadi Amrood
Allahabad is known for its variety of guavas, and the Allahabadi Amrood or red guava tops the chart. So, when you are in the Kumbh Mela, do not forget to grab red guava and eat it raw. They are a powerhouse of nutrients with a divine taste. Relish juicy red guavas and satiate your craving. This is something that you cannot really miss on your pilgrimage to the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
If you want to quench your thirst a tad bit differently, trying the lassi in the Kumbh Mela is a must. This fresh, creamy yoghurt based beverage is available in both sweet or savoury variants. For a more fulfilling experience, you can have some cream and nuts topped on the drink. A dollop of cream oozing out from the top might leave you salivating. The lassi is mostly served in handmade clay cups that are eco-friendly and instil an earthy taste to the beverage.
7. Communal Meals
When it comes to the food, the most special thing about the Kumbh Mela is the communal meals that are served to the countless devotees and the sadhus. There is a community area in the Mela ground where everyone can have the food free of cost. It is always a good idea to try this simple yet inviting food as you might not find it elsewhere.
A happy tummy will always make you happier. Heading to the Kumbh Mela this year? You can always share your culinary experiences with us. We would be happy to hear from you.