Sunday, February 17, 2008

Have you been here ?...

A couple of days back, BD had chronicled his experience of having dosa with his family at a classy restaurant in Lucknow. (This part is a bit off-track from the post and I learnt about this from a recent read, 'Umrao Jan Ada' by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. Asaf-ud Daula, the successor to Shuja-ud Daula had moved the capital to a site on the river Gomti which according to some was known as Lakshman Tila meaning 'The Mound of Lakshman', the younger brother of Lord Rama. With time, the Sanskrit name Lakshman developed into Lakhnau, spelt in English as Lucknow. So that's the genesis of the name of a colorful city, Lucknow.)

Smallsquirrel posted a comment on BD's yummylicous post:

I must say, though, that I prefer my dosas from the itty bitty darshini down the street, eaten standing next to my neighbors and assorted rickshaw wallahs, and washing it all down with a cup of steaming filter coffee (which only tastes good when made from packet milk and not that hyper-pasteurized stuff in tetrapacks found at five star joints).

I say this not because I scoff at 5 star hotels (who does not love a bit of luxury) but because the dosas at these places are always a lot nicer somehow... the potato palya is spicier, the chutney is more flavorful, the dosa more crisp...

don't you think?

Yes, I do. One needs to be in a place commonly known as V.V. Puram, Food Street or V.B. Bakery Road to Bangaloreans, a street that has its own tenuities, and its own history. In a city, which is today witnessing a growth rate of close to 10% and is home to almost all global brands even in the food segment, this street still offers something that sets one salivating.

The Full list

Come twilight, the air is charged with the scent of jasmine, unnoticeably blended with the fragrance of jalebis, pav bhaji, akki roti, masala dosa, gulab jamoon, potato bonda, American baby corn and a host of other mouth watery eatables.

Rabadi

The akki roti served with a spoonful of butter on top along with different types of chutneys such as coconut, onion, and chilli is a must eat for any visitor. There are a number of dosa joints that dot this 150 meter long street and the variety of dosas range from the simple plain dosa to the foot-long paper masala dosa served with fresh coconut and onion chutneys. The most striking feature is there is no sitting arrangement and in most places, paper cones, paper plates or plantain leaves are used to serve food. There is never any wastage and invariably every bit is literally licked till the last morsel. Also, the food stall owner makes food right in front of you, typifying the 'WYSIWYG' format (what-you-see-is-what-you-get). I found that these chaps do not compromise on quality as most of the stall owners of dosa were using 'Nandini' ghee, (the brand/make that is used in most households in Bangalore) to embrocate the dosa.

Yummy Dosa

How can you be here and miss the bondas, which are generally made of potato, chilli, capsicum, and banana. One can see, hear, and smell whatever was happening in the kitchen, wherefrom a constant traffic of trays loaded with garam garam jalebis passed on to the front counter.

Jalebis

As long as there is frying, serving, and sizzling noise in the kitchen, with trays and plates leaping across counters and various hands, it means the the action is on. The street starts welcoming the clientele at around 6:30 P.M and the process continues till 10:30 P.M.

Concentration

The taste of each of these edibles is difficult to reproduce at home. The reason for this is simple, for ages, the deft and magical fingers of these vendors have mastered the art of deciding the quantity of salt, or ghee or for that matter any ingredient that must be added to satisfy their customers, the simplest way. The skill and precision with which the Puran Poli, a sweetened stuffed chapatti is fried on a hot tawa (frying pan), then taking the Poli out from the pan at the right moment, and serving with a dollop of ghee is not only a spectacle to watch but also a teaser to taste buds.

Pooli

But places like these are slowly fading and evanescing. Maybe this is because the present young generation’s tastes are changing and everyone wants to identify oneself with the mall culture that is dispersing at a fast pace. But trust me, if you want something simple and want to see the colors of life, places like Food Street at V.V.Puram are a must to visit. Parking becomes a bit painstaking during the rush hours of business, but it's manageable. Also make sure that you have lot of denomination of Rs.5 and Rs.10 in your wallet when you visit this place. Why do I say so? Be there and you can know it yourself.

Price List

This place is very near to Lal Bagh West Gate.

Keep reading and remain connected.

(Note: That the gentleman who prepared the foot-long dosa that you see in the pic, didn't charge me a single penny because he liked the pic that I took for him. I requested him and told him that this was not fair as he deserved his due, but he smiled and asked if he could meddle with my camera for a while. So this post is for that humble soul.)

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5 Comments:

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Ajeeta said...

way to VV Puram please? :-)
a wonderful post for a foodie like me! :D

 
At 10:41 AM, Blogger B.Sunil said...

I want a treat from you at this place.

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger Sur said...

Wonderful post Tanay! Street food always is such a delight, and its very true that it is difficult to recreate the magic in a big hotel or even at ur home.

Its sad that these eat outs are fast dying owning to the mall culture, the same is the case with movie theaters which are been sacrificed at the cost of multiplexes, I've seen this happen even in a relatively small city like Raipur.

But I believe that though these eat outs face fierce competition, hopefully they would survive because there is always a strata of society for which these are the principal food providers.

P.S.-VV Puram has been recommended to me so many times its high time I make a trip. :)

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Anupama Kondayya said...

A very nice post with even nicer pictures...they really recreate the magic of VV Puram food street...and sooooooo make you want to be there immediately!

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger kallu said...

Mouthwatering pics and great write up.

 

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