If you are even remotely interested in food - one trip to Saraafa will turn you into a foodie, if you are a foodie - this is one place you must visit before you die :-).
I have been meaning to write a detailed post about all the amazing food I ate in Indore - specifically in Sarafa and Chhappan Dukan areas.. - so I am going to add pictures and comments for now - detailed descriptions on the way...
Indori Namkeen - Countless varieties of shev, chanas, batalas etc - pudina shev, sichuan shev, potatoe shev, tomatoe shev - just to name a few..
Indori Mithayee - from Apna Sweets:
Indore style 'Aagraha' or Manuhaar in hindi -
Aagraha in marathi refers to the act of forcing people to eat more after you have figured that they are quite full - Indorees are especially good at it - Jayant kaka is a champion - He wanted to make us eat daal baati after we had sampled every sweet in Apna Sweets and had a ras malai and tasted a few namkeen items at 10.00 am.. :P - you get the picture
Mr. Apna Sweets: - the owner
I was completely impressed by the creative shapes of mithayis and the colorful display etc.. it was so artistic that it reminded me of several patisseries we saw in a crowded no-name alley in Paris. So I said to Shank - my hubby - wow this is so beautiful - it reminds me of the shop we saw in Paris. Shashank immedietly turns to Mr. Apna Sweets from the picture and says " Ye keh rahi hai ki aap ki dukan to bilkul Paris ki dukan jaisi hai.." Mr. Apna Sweets was of course delighted to hear that. After offerring free Paan and few other things to Shank, he called one of the Ramu's working in his shop and in a typical Indori accent says " Bhiya sun rahe ho - Apni dukaan ki tulna 'Peris' ki dukaan se ho rahi hai..!!" I am sure Indore being the land of exaggeration - by now he must have used this line with added mirch masala on numerous occasions.. :-D
Saraafaa - sirf naam hi kaafi hai:
'Saraf' in marathi means a jewller, the name Saraafaa must have come from the Maratha rulers - Holkar and Shindes.. Anyway it is an area with goldsmith and jewllery shops open during the day time and after a busy day, during the night, this area turns into a one stop shop for all sorts of delicacies..
Fariyali Sabudana Khichadi, Bhutte ka kees, Hot chips, Burf ka gola, Dahi Bada, Kachori, Samosa, Chaat, Garadu, Kulfi, Mawa Jalebi, Shikanjee, MaalPua, Mawa Baati.. just a few names.. If you have visited Sarafa even once - to naam hi kaafi hai..
We recently visited Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy that has a similar feel in terms of the jewllery shops - but the Italians don't have the food stalls there - just the gold smiths :-)
Let's begin with the pictures:
Mawaa Baati: A large gulaab jamun stuffed with dry fruits, saffron and ilayachi at the center
The joy of eating Maawaa Bati - just look at Shashank's expression:
Garadu: Calling Garadu similar to French fries would be a total injustice - It is basically deep fried pieces of a root called Garadu.. tastes like Aaloo or more like Arvi. So far it's similar to french fries - but the killer masala along with a ton of lemon juice and fresh dhaniya makes all the difference.. I bought some masala from the dude in this picture.. added it to grilled potatoes, even fried fish - yummy chatpataa starter.
Mr. Garaduwala - see Bhutte ka kees in the background:
Garadu in the making:
Joshiji ke famous Dahi Bade:
Amitaabh said - Muchhe ho to Natthulaal jaisi ho ya to naa ho..
I would say - Dahi badaa ho to Joshi ji jaisa ho ya to naa ho!
Apart from having totally 'swadisht' daahi and Badaa (vadaa) that can soak all the goodness from the dahi.. Joshi ji has turned the act of serving dahi badaa into an art! He will take a pinch of different masaalas (cumin powder, black pepper powder, salt, chilli powder) in the space between two consecutive fingre-tips and then swirl his hand around the katori of dahi badaa 4 times - opening one pinch at a time. By the end of the act you see 4 concentric circles of masalas on the dahi badaa! - but wait - there's more - Joshi ji also throws the katori in air in between the rounds of masalaas.. just a fabulous performance to watch!
Joshi ji working the magic - one more time:
Mawa or Khoya Jalebi: One Jalebi is about 1/2 pound in weight.. and don't even try to count the calories.. regular jalebi has maida in it - just won't work for Indorees - this one is made of mostly Maawa/Khuva/Khoya. See the Malpua in the other kadhai.
Johny HotDog and Vijay chat house in Chhappan -
I wanted to taste the hot dog eversince I heard the name.. it is so catchy.. It is this really small thela in chhappan that serves 3 tasty delights - mutton hot dog, veggie hot dog and Banjo (Paav with Egg stuffing). We had all three that day.. i'd say all three items are totally worth the hype!
here are some pics with Johny himself!
Vijay chat House for Patties
This place is famous for the Khopra Patties. It is basically deep fried potato patties with a coconut stuffing. Enjoy with all the chutneys etc. Their Batalaa Patties with mutter or peas is also quite tasty..
Oh and did I mention that we ate all this in just one day?? :-)