By-Hema K V
On the Platter
On hearing street food, one is reminded of spicy, mouth-watering, north Indian, south Indian, Chinese delicacies ranging from varied chats, Golgappa, hot jalebis and the list goes on. Down south, it includes varieties of Dosas ranging from Chinese to pav bhaji dosa!! Indianised Manchurians, chur-muri, flavoured milkshakes with a twist and what not.
The Set Up
There are dedicated streets in almost all localities, with an array of stalls serving varieties of food that get buzzing as it starts getting dark and go on till wee hours in the morning. Vendors lay their stalls at their dedicated places, setup everything in order to serve up eager, queuing up customers. Whatever on the menu, everything is prepared right in front of the crowd, making it more interesting. All the ingredients that bring in the taste, be it oil, butter, ghee is poured generously. Cooks have their own cultivated unique style of preparing, making it more interesting to watch the preparation. So, when out on such an experience, all the diet consciousness, weight gain, eating right has to be left back at home!
The entire stretch of the street will be full of life and colourful, with small vendors carrying huge mobile stall selling balloons, plastic toys, soapy bubble blowers; eateries spreading the aroma of food all over; buyers looking at long list of menu displayed on each stall and discussing upon what to be bought; a huge crowd near the billing counter with endless orders and changes to ones that are already made. The ones managing billing must be appreciated for the sole reason of taking the right orders, being quick at the same time serving everyone in a jiffy. Then comes taking ordered food, which is organised very well. No directions as such to let know which food item has to be collected from where. Just follow the crowd and you will get educated!! The food is served in use throw plates and spoons, making it convenient for buyers to grab the order, move to a small comfortable corner or a place where there is less crowd and relish.
Breaking Food rules- The (Un) Structure!
There is no norm of starter, main course and desert, as in a typical restaurant menu card. Yummy Pakodas, Chilli Bhajjis, chats make up the starters. Dosas, parathas, flavoured rice making up the main course. Jalebis, badam milk, desi sweets like holige, halwas making up for deserts. Every delicacy will have a unique, yummy taste, making buyers wanting more! Serving food will not be anything special or decorated as in restaurants. It will be just how it’s served at home. This adds a homely feeling to the setup and the food.
One will get spoilt with choices and delicacies. There would be season’s special as well, with a range of mango delicacies during summers.
Pricing will not be on the higher side, with no compromise on taste. This, makes these street foods popular and pulls the crowd, serving the expectations without a hole in the pocket.
Perfect for hanging out with friends, relishing and sharing the eats with added laughter, gossips, chit chats. The whole atmosphere will be bustling with aroma of food, confused buyers with umpteen options to choose from, looking around on what others have bought and relishing on! Upon having tried most of the dishes and when time to leave, there will still be a feeling that we should have tried this from the other stall or we missed tasting this item!!! Such is the charm.
It’s an experience by itself, where at the end, one ends up with eating more than what he/she is used to, satisfied of having had a great time and a feel good factor.
About author –
Hema KV had been in the field of IT for 14 years, donning varied roles and responsibilities. An adept food blogs reader, who likes surfing the net, even though the recipe in mind to be prepared is very simple and known, trying to incorporate the best way of preparing tasty food. Such reads have inspired her to give her creative abilities a try and hence this journey has started.