Agra is the home of Mughlai cooking, renowned for its rich cream- and curd-based sauces, accompanied by naan and tandoori breads roasted in earthen ovens, pulao rice dishes and milky sweets such as kheer. Taj Ganj has innumerable scruffy little travellers’ cafés, though standards of hygiene are often suspect and the food is generally uninspiring, with slow service the norm. Taj Ganj’s saving grace is the rooftop cafés, many with fine Taj views, which cap most of its buildings. Local specialities of Agra include petha (crystallized pumpkin) – the best is the Panchi brand, available at various outlets all over town, particularly in the row of petha shops in Kinari Bazaar along the northeast side of the Jama Masjid (past Chimman Lal Puri Wale). Look out too for ghazak, a rock-hard candy with nuts, and dalmoth, a crunchy mix made with black lentils. Agra’s restaurants – including even apparently reputable places – are not immune to the epidemic of credit-card fraud (see p.66). It’s best not to pay by credit card except in the city’s five-star establishments, or, if you do, to supervise the operation carefully.

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