Agra, one of my mad escapades with my parents. I have been once to Agra before as a child (don't remember much of that trip). It is surprising to most people when I say I love traveling with my parents. But believe me, it is super fun. My mom loves to eat and my dad loves art and architecture. Can you get a better combination when you are traveling? We planned to travel Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura, Delhi ( to see our old house in defense colony), Nand Gaon, Vridavan, Jammu and Vaishno devi @ Khatra. Today's travelogue is only about Agra, the Mughal Capital.
We started by settling down on our respective berths in GT express on 07/10/08 at 8.00 PM (I was too lazy to travelogue before). My mom made sure that she had the green snack bag packed with loads of Haldiram's bhujiya sev (spicy snack) and Bisleri water bottles right next to her. My dad ensured all the other bags were chained and locked below the lower berths. Each of us sat down with our respective novels and got busy reading. To take a break from reading, we would play few games of rummy with a pack of cards we had brought along.
We loved the Taj Mahal. I am not sure if it is the most romantic place on earth as many people put it, but it is the most beautiful edifice I have seen. The architecture is flawless and the sight of it makes one speechless. The embossed persian calligraphy that are excerpts from the Qur'an looked so beautiful and elegant. The incised painting and engraved plants/flowers are the main motif for the wall and pillar decoration. Apart from the calligraphy, the tessellation patterns on the floor makes one gaze as one walks around. The beauty is such that your feet, however clean and beautiful, seems lowly as you walk on the beautiful floor.
How much ever I describe the Taj, it doesn't do any justice to its breathtaking architecture and enthralling tessellations and wall decorations. Here is a view of the Taj from the Agra fort. The travelogue about Agra fort is coming soon.
We saw the Taj at 8 AM in the morning and headed straight to a dhaba to have breakfast. I loved the freshly prepared aloo paratha with aam ka achar (Raw mango pickle) and dahi (curds). So here is the aloo paratha from RR kitchen; I am reminiscing the dhaba aloo paratha and the trip as I devour the coveted Indian stuffed bread.
For the dough:-
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour/atta
1/2 cup of APF/maida (if you are confident of your kneading, you may substitute this to atta)
warm water to knead in to a pliable dough
1/2 tsp of salt (optional)
1 tsp of oil to collect the crumbles at the end.
extra flour for dusting
For the stuffing:-
2 large potaotes cooked and mashed well.
1/2 medium sized onion chopped very finely
2 tble spnd of chopped coriander leaves
2 green chillies chopped finely
1.5 tsp of ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp of roasted cumin powder
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1/2 tsp of amchur/dry mango powder
1 tsp of garam masala
salt to taste.
1-2 tsp of Butter/ghee for cooking each paratha.
Knead the flour into pliable dough.
Mix the ingredients for stuffing. The potatoes should be well mashed and the rest of the ingredients chopped very fine. The stuffing should be smooth without lumps.
The stuffing shouldn't be visible and should be completely covered by the dough.
Dust the surface and roll this ball into a 4-5 inch diameter circle. Dust the surface to ensure the the dough doesn't stick and tear while rolling it out.
Heat a tava/pan at medium-high heat and add 1 tsp of butter/ghee and roast the paratha till you get golden brown spots on both sides. you may add extra 1 tsp of butter/ghee when you flip the paratha.
Serve hot with pickle and curds/plain yogurt.