Food walk with Richa and amit sancheti – this foodie couple took us around town to the choicest of places (their most favourite places)
In a nutshell :
Two locations that are different yet similar, always crowded on the evenings, endless food stalls on both sides selling diverse & YUMM (predominantly vegetarian food and few non vegetarian) food.
Cuisine type : mostly vegetarian, few non vegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Chappan dukan means 56 shops. This is a street with 56 shops on both sides of the street. All the shops sell food. So this is a created food street.
We could not remember too many other streets similar to this other than gali kababiyan Jama Masjid old delhi or chatori gali Bhopal or dacres lane kolkata. However all of these are accidental food lanes – not designed that way.
There were Unbelievable number of people in the market.
Good that there were garbage bins in the area. Unlike anywhere else, the municipal garbage collection trucks were collecting extra trash in the evening Also. No wonder I was reading the other day that indore has been voted the cleanest city.
Chhappan dukaan. We started with johny hot dog. I don’t know if the owners name is johny or he named it after a similar sounding shop in say NY. When our hosts suggested that we go here, we were just not sure that we wanted some non indore food in indore!!!!
Our initial inhibition also came from the fact that 99% of hot dogs I have had in india are pathetic (tasteless flavourless bland chicken machine paste chicken sausages in between ridiculously low quality bread , topped with general ketchups and sauces) and they are a ‘gaali’ to the real American hot dog.
This hot dog was a very different version of the standard hot dog. The bread was like a super soft round bun which was been toasted on the rawa in generous amount of Amul butter. We asked for 1 mutton and 1 egg hot dog. The mutton was sold out by that time (9 pm only – the market is open till midnight)
The owner himself was making all the hot dogs and his employees were helping in playing and cash collection. The man was like a machine and took multi tasking to a different level. The swiftness and ease with which he was cracking the eggs, beating them, pouring on the pan, monitoring it so that it does not dry up and Doing the breads and garnishing, speaking to customers.
The great thing about this dish was that the eggs used were not the sad white yolk poultry eggs but good farm bred chicken eggs with YUMM yellow yolk. The egg patty turned out to be soft, creamy, juicy and super tasty. Fantastic dish overall.
This was served with pudina chutney – reminded me of French omelet shop in gurgaon.
Rate the dish 4.5/5
We moved on to the next shop in chhappan dukan – vijay chaat house which has been in business since 1969. Like The owner of johny hot dog, I saw the owner of this shop himself frying the pattice and Bhajia. He was wearing a spotless white crisp cotton kurta pajama. Looking at how he maintained his lean figure, we were guessing that he hardly eats what he sells:)
We tried kopra pattice. The term pattice is probably an interpretation of the engulfed word patties. However the two have nothing in common. This pattice is a deep fried round ball with the center having grated coconut and masalas and the outer layer being mashed boiled potato. The kopra was excellent and the lightness of the potato was unique. It was surely not a mean task. Outstanding is the description of this dish – it takes humongous skill, effort and imagination to convert a humble aloo to something as good as this.
It was very different than the version we have in mumbai. This was a lot more crisper, more aloo filling and more masalas than the mumbai version. This was more chatpata. Though both versions are different, we like the mumbai one better. Wud rate the prayas food indore version 4.25/5
The normal ones I Wud rate 3/5. Have better versions of the normal one.
We drove out of chhappan dukaan and headed towards sarafa bazaar. Onway we stopped at Sheetal kulfi, at MG road between regal square and Rajani bhawan.
As we entered we were told by our hosts that this shop is famous for rabdi falooda and gola. We decided to try both, thinking that calorie consumption in the evening was already beyond what we cud burn in the whole week.
The rabdi on the top was very very rich, creamy, a bit daanedaar, really intense and nice, full of flavours of cinnamon and other spices. The combination was really nice. Overall a very impressive dish which I Wud rate 4.75/5. One of the best we have had in a long while, most memorable so far being giani’s near fatehpuri masjid, Chandni Chowk, dilli 6.
In the gola section they had a ice crushing machine. The boy at the counter made the gola with a lot of passion and effort. There were lots of options. We tried the ‘khatta’ ones – kala khatta, lemon, kairee and orange. Really fab stuff. The mix came out well. Loved it a lot. Rate it 4.5/5
By the time we reached sarafa bazar, we had already eaten twice of our usual dinner, I guess. Do we decided to take it easy here and not try too many dishes but selective few.
Unlike chhappan dukan, This place was not a planned food street. It was an old lane which had mostly jewellery shops on both sides in the day. In the evening the jewellery shops Wud shut down and people Wud set up food stalls in front of the stores.
This food street also remains open beyond midnight. The sheer amount of people in the street in the night even at 1130 pm was unbelievable. At times it felt that we were not walking according to our wish but where the crowd was taking us.
We started with bhutte ki kees. This is a unique indore dish that is made by cooking Bhutta (corn) with milk and spices. Very different, very tasty – it has flavours of corn, spices. Has a hint of chilly, a touch of sweet ( from corn), a hint of sour from lemon that was squeezed on top), a super nice chatpata masala on top.
We then moved on to another stall where an elderly man was selling deep fried Garadu (yam). He had first round fried garadu. On placing orders he would do second fry, squeeze some lemon, garnish with some of his masala and serve in a Dona (conical packet made from old newspapers). The season for this is winters. Our hosts were surprised to see him in summer.
The last thing that we had that night was a drink called shikanji. Usually shikanji is nimbu pani , masalas and soda. But here the shikanji had nothing to do with soda or lemon. In fact it was a thick drink made with mixture of curd and milk. The texture was in fact so thick that it was somewhere between ‘edible and potable.’ Super duper to taste. A hint of sour from the curd, sweetness from added sweet, very very thick and creamy, full of dry fruits and just too good. Rate it 4.75/5.
To sum it up – this trip changed few of my perceptions about street food and exposed me to quite a few YUMM & unique dishes that r surprisingly limited to indore and has not spread out to the rest of the country. Needless to say that Richa and Amit helped us get to the best places at one go. Look forward to the next round of indore food in our next trip…….