This article is purely dedicated to those who have their tongue busier than brain. The title is suggesting the same. Right?
The festive season is now almost over with Christmas and New Year yet to come. For the guys with fond-of-food personalities, these festivals are simply a bonanza. A holiday, Kgs of sweets in refrigerator, chocolates, and sometimes a get-together for family, what else can anybody demand for? For me all these festival bonuses became true overnight when a sudden plan to go to Indore, on Diwali, was made.
Indore is the city known for some of its unique food combinations which can win anybody’s ‘heart’ or looking at the dedication better call it ‘tongue’. Talking about flavors that make this city stand apart from others, the best is to start with is Poha. Almost every student in Indore opens his food account of the day with Poha-jalebi. This tastes great and those who haven’t had this combination yet, need to have it once.
What truly makes this city a ‘Mecca of Foodies’ is a market that changes its color. Here, I am talking about Sarafa Baazar. With the name it sounds like a jewelry market. Yes, it is, but the thing which is interesting here is the other face of this market. During the day this street is a jewelry market but during night when the shopkeepers get their shop’s shutters down, it opens the way for the real chaat street of India. Welcome to the night’s version of Sarafa Bazaar. This market is among the most crowded ones in Indore and the best way to get every bit of it is to choose to walk. You will somehow get a parking space in Rajwada, another iconic place of interest in Indore. A walk of barely 5 minutes will land you in the streets of astonishing scent of chaat food. We started walking randomly in one of the street of Bazar. In the corner of street, was standing a chaat wala offering Paani puri with eight flavors. After walking another few yards we noticed another one offering seven flavors and after few more distance the offering reduced to mere 3 flavors. With no intentions to settle for unexciting single flavor we turned our backs and had Paani puri with eight flavors. It was here only that I came to know that all regions of my tongue are fully functional.
‘Vijay Chaat Center’ became our next halt-spot, famous for its Baadla and Khopra Patties. With what I ate in Jaipur on the name of patties, I was expecting a monotonous rectangular shaped crunch with Aaloo stuff inside. Instead, I got this patty in a round shape. It was Khopra (coconut) patties. It was literally a plate licking stuff. Indore offers a decent way to settle one’s thirst. You don’t even need to carry along a bottle of Bisleri as a simple 1 rupee water pouches are pretty famous here. Three pouches were sufficient enough to quench our thirst.
After there we started heading to Joshi Dahi Bada house, which is among the most famous shop in Sarafa Bazaar and I don’t think I need to tell you for what. Once my friend told me that, a merchant never opens his business stats but when I asked the owner of the shop about how many plates did he make in a day he said, “around 2000”. Great figures right , and after enjoying some Bada myself, I got the reason behind these numbers. Other food-of-interest in Sarafa Bazaar can be Sabudaana ki khichdi, Chole tikki, hot dog etc. Here you can grab bites of hot dog in just Rs. 15. So why to go to ‘Subway’, when you are in Indore. Sabudaana ki khicchdi is a kind of food you can’t find anywhere in other chaat streets across India. It is again worth a try. Sarafa Bazaar has also been featured many times in discovery channel, travel related documentaries, and in many other national and international media channels. Chappan Dukaan, another chaat joint, can be an option too but not before Sarafa Bazaar.
After having such a fantastic tongue treat we headed back to Rajwada, picked up our car and steered back to our home along with 3 plates of packed Dahi badas.
Contributed by Ashish Singh