Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted your plan to take that long trip? Is the ongoing lockdown making you crave going off-road? Fret not. If you can’t go to the highway, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant, and Abhinandan — the team behind shows like Highway On My Plate, Vital Stats of India, Jai Hind, and Rocky and Mayur's Food Xpress — will bring the highway to you!
So, here goes the newest offering from Newslaundry: Highway On My Podcast. The creators of the much loved TV travel show revisit their travels across India, sharing stories, anecdotes, trivia, and — for when the roads are open and inviting again — recommendations on food, culture, people, and much more.
In this episode, Rocky, Mayur, Abhinandan and Prashant visit the wild wild west of India: Uttar Pradesh. As the gang wonders where to begin, Rocky decides to go someplace that’s “done to death” and talks about why it still stands ground: Tunday Kababi in Lucknow.
While Rocky, Abhinandan and Prashant cannot stop gushing over the delicious food, Mayur enlightens listeners about how the famous kebab place came to be. Rocky says Tunday has a taste that’s unmatched anywhere else in the world, which is what makes it the legend it is today.
From Tunday Kababi, which was born at the behest of a king’s farmaaish, the group heads towards a present-day king, Nawab Jaafar Mir Abdullah’s royal kitchen. Here, apart from being fed some exquisite Raan Ke Kabab Musallam and Parche Kebab, the team learns, from the king himself, some important lessons on the respect that must be bestowed on food in verbal discourse.
Lucknow is also home to Gyaan Vaishno Dhaba, which is famous for its home-style food, and Pandit Raja Thandai, credited with having served thandai to none other than Atal Bihari Vajpayee. They also attend a dangal, stuff themselves with sweets at Ram Asrey Sweets, and go on a quest to find the much-recommended Rahim Ki Nihari.
Prashant steers the conversation towards Allahabad, where they eat a unique Matar ki Tikki at a dungeon of a place called Shukla Chaat. They remember the Besan ke Laddoo and chaat at the Lok Nath bazaar, and discuss why one must not miss the boat ride in the Sangam in Allahabad.
Prashant talks about the mysticism and dichotomy of Banaras, and the group discuss how one needs to see through the dirt enveloping the city to discover the beauty beneath. Rocky and Mayur talk about their dip in the Ganga, which was filled with what they hoped was river mud (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). Rocky waxes eloquent on the magic of the indelible Babulal Kachori and how Swiss, Italian and Israeli food made its way to Banaras. They then head to Agra, the home of Panchhi Petha, a sweet made of dried pumpkin.
Hurrying to cover as much conversational ground as they can, the team talks about Meerut and how the city with an extraordinary military presence is infamously lawless. The journey shifts gears and cuts across many more anecdotes from Mathura, Meerut, Agra, Benaras, and Bareilly. Rocky reminisces about the time he tried the original Banarasi paan and why he’ll never eat it again in his life.
All this and more, only on Highway On My Podcast.
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