Thela serving South Indian Food outside Alipore Post Office, Kolkata

Meal for 2: Rs. 20 onwards

I was waiting in front of Alipore Post Office – noticed a roadside thela on the footpath. The guy was making dosas & talking to customers in Bangla & Hindi. Suddenly another guy came & they started talking in Tamil………..and that…….increased my interest manifold.

roadside genius

So I decided to check out what was on offer (assuming that if the Guy is Tamil, I can expect some authenticity). He was serving freshly made dosas, medu vada dipped in sambhar & idly stored in a jar.

I decided on the freshest & asked for a dosa & started a conversation – The Guy is a Tamilian who migrated to Kolkata fifteen years back & started a small stall. Slowly he started making little money & now he has a portable cart & stainless steel utensils to serve food in. A part of the food is cooked by him at his Dharmatolla home early in the morning & the rest (dosas) he makes & serves as per demand. He goes once in a blue moon to Chennai to attend what he termed as ’emergency’ like marriage, death, unwell relative etc. So he speaks Tamil, Bangla & Hindi with equal ease & has decide to make Kolkata his home.

I opted for a plain dosa which he made in front of me. It was too good (my expectations were low anyway) – thick dosa but soft inside & crispy outside. However the crispiness was just right – he did not end up browning the dosa.

The sambhar was hot & spicy but a little too watery texture.

The chutney was however excellent.

All this was served on a stainless steel plate that had compartments. Yes, I was given a spoon too & I got a shock of my life when he told me the price – Rs. 10!!!!!!

I wonder how people who open posh restaurants like Kaustubh Saket Delhi cannot get their basics right & how talent is wasting on the streets of India.

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