The many flavours of Agra ka petha

Agra is synonymous with two things one is the Taj Mahal and the other is the petha. Being a foodie, the latter was the main reason, for my visit to this historic city. On our way back to Delhi, we thought of stopping in this city to pay homage to eternal love symbol, which is represented by the iconic Taj Mahal. However, the petha too represents Agra in many ways, and since there are more than 50 varieties of this sweet, I was spoilt for choice. Agra without the petha, is like burger without fries, samosa without chutney and cold drink without ice!

The preparation of this sweet involves ash gourd or white pumpkin mixed with kitchen lime, alum powder, screw pine essence and sugar. All these ingredients are mixed in different quantities to create the sweet dish which represents the most divine dessert. There are many kinds of preparation of this sweet, which involves added flavours and different methods of cooking, but this recipe remains the basic one, which is experimented with.

Since my endeavour to devour the maximum number pethas was on the top of my priority list, I visited a number of confectionary stores and sweet shops, to taste the many renditions of this amazing piece of dessert. Some of the flavours which I tried were the angoori petha, the plain one, the chocolate flavoured one but the deal maker was the Panchhi petha. There are many stores of this name, but the one at Dholpur, opposite to the State Bank of India, is the best of the lot, rather I would say the original one. The place was jam packed and it took me sometime to reach the counter to place my order, but the wait and all that pushing was totally worth it! I savoured every bit of the sweet; it was a taste of heaven and that was the time we realised why there was such a huge crowd at the shop. I knew what souvenirs we were taking back to Delhi, it was boxes full of panchhi petha for everyone to relish!

Wish if petha could also become one of the wonders in the food industry.


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