It’s a myth that idli, dosa and filter coffee is the staple street food of South India. It’s not! Latika Payak explores the streets of Bengaluru to prove it
Bangalore might not be a street food giant like Amritsar, Kolkata or Mumbai. Yet, it has its street savories firmly in place. Street food in Bangalore has a character. It’s not loud. It’s subtle, leaning ever so slightly to the sweeter side (thanks to holige and honey jalebi!).
People are pouring in from all over India to this metropolitan city. And the pressure to match with cosmopolitan expectations is immense. But fret not, foodies, because we have VV Puram’s Thindi Beedi aka khau galli and Indira Nagar’s the go-to place for vegetarian foodies and Shivaji Nagar and Fraser Town for the non-vegetarian ones.
Located close to Lalbaugh, VV Puram is similar to the Sarafa Bazaar in Indore;a busy market place by day and a glittering khaugalli by night. As soon as the sun sets, carts of vegetables make way for tawas and kadhaais that dish out some of the yummiest local delicacies of South India. The likes of Ishai Golan (famous for Street Food Around The World) would absolutely adore this street. Really.
Street food in VV Puram ranges from Akki Roti to Holige. Of course, idli-dosa counters are present, but steer clear and make a beeline for baji, bonda and soda pop instead.
This Khau Galli aka Thindi Beedi of Bangalore has been around for more than two decades. It was once a place to huddle in for Chindian dishes.But in the past decades years it has grown, and how! This street now is buzzing with a street-foodie’s passion to experiment.
INNOVATIVE STREET FOOD
“VV Puram’stheendibeedi is more than 25 years old,” says Hemant Singh, who runs The Chaat Shop in on the same street. Singh’s stall prides itself in bringing out innovative food on the street. The latest being Potato Twist.
“I discovered it on the streets of China,” Singh says, “and thought why not introduce it here!”
Potato twists are spirally diced potatoes on a wooden stick, garnished with peri-peri or mayonnaise. “We dip it in a sauce and then fry it,” Singh reveals, that sauce being the secret trick to its twisty taste.
THE SHORT GUIDE
For vegetarians: Holige, Akki Roti, MirchiBhaji with pudina chutney, Mini idlies, Honey Jalebi, PavBhaaji, Thattaiidli, paddu, Rumaali Roti with gravy all these from VV Puram. Benne Dosa from Central Tiffin Room aka Shiv Sagar, Chips masala from Malleshwaram.
For non vegetarians: Chicken samosas, kebabs especially beef and mutton and Sulaimani chai from Shivaji Nagar, rolls from Khan Sahib Grills and Rolls in Indira Nagar and Al Amanah Café in Kamanahalli, patherghosht and haleem from Mosque Road in Frazer Town.
But while these traditional giants are doing their job well, cosmopolitan street food has made in-roads in areas like JP Nagar, Indira Nagar and Kalyan Nagar. Here you will find pockets with stalls famous for pao bhajies, pani puris, bhel, even vada pav.
So those who are craving a Mumbaiya touch or the feel of Kolkata needn’t despair. You have perfectly respectable stalls like DadarVadaPav and ChakumChakum Calcutta on Roll in Indira Nagar. Those addicted to eggs should land up straight at Eggstacy on New BEL Road.
It sure looks like the street food culture is catching up in Bengaluru. Bengaluru is a city that’s now spreading far and wide.And street food in the outer reaches might still fail to impress. Yes, of course you will find the omnipresent idli-vada and dosa-saagu with filter coffee wherever you go. But what about the lip-smacking paddus and bajibondas? Should they be restricted to a few street of this cosmopolitan city? We think not!