Street Food of Ahmedabad

Pani puri, Ragda patis, Bhel puri, chutney puri, sev puri, pav bhaji, vada pav, dabeli, Chinese (or chineez), and what not!! Yes – this time we are going to talk about street food. India is a land where unity blends in diversity, and food is a perfect example of it. At least, yours truly loves eating on the streets and consists it a fundamental right (just like you have to visit Lal Quila when you go to Delhi) J. A common misconception with street food is that there are limited varieties, and it is always cheap. Nowadays, at least in Ahmedabad, I can list out several joints where the cost is equal to restaurants and food even better.

If you talk of the west, Mumbai, Pune & Ahmedabad are hubs for street food. In fact, there are multiple “khau galis” in Ahmedabad, where there are hawkers and food wagons dedicated to street food. In the last 3 years of so, a modern “khau gali” has developed near Gujarat University, on the road where A.G High School & CEPT University are located. At least 10 food wagons are present here every evening serving Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Indian-punjabi food and what not! Here, you are likely to find creamy pasta, albeit cooked a little Indian style. The prices are not low, but not very expensive either. You can have your tummy stuffed with yummy pasta, enchiladas and a taco platter served on roadside at approx. Rs. 175-200 per person. On the opposite end, you have the H.L. college road with multiple vendors, including the famous Shambhu serving coffee and sandwiches.

Just like students of H.L. College and CEPT University, students of GLS College are well versed with “Lucky sandwich”. There are at least 10 hawkers / lorry walas on the GLS college road serving sandwiches, pizzas, dabelis with name “Lucky Sandwich”. You’d also find few corn hawkers in same area, they serve you boiled corn with various flavors like cheese, Garlic, and butter as well as Corn on the Cob.

Talking about street food, pani-puri, which is famous since ages, now has a twist in the place. There are many places in Ahmedabad that serve pani-puri with not one, but 5-7 flavors of water, including garlic flavor, hajma hajam, pudina & tomato, etc. There are many Pani-puri hawkers in the city, but there are few places which are all time favorite, like Agrawal Panipuri at Law-Garden is one them for the traditional Pani-puri, for the flavored Pani-Puri Devnarayan Pani-puri has more than one stall all around the city.

And how can we forget the old anda-gali (egg lane) near Paldi, with hawkers teeming with egg items. The most famous “anda ni lariwalla” although still remains the one outside NID. Egg curry, half-fry, omelette, bhurji, boiled egg, and more varieties served with combination of butter, cheese and bread are extremely popular.

Nowadays, tradition similar to North India / Delhi is visible in Ahmedabad, as there are many vendors serving chole – kulcha and pindi chana on the streets. On C.G. road, just before Swastik cross-roads there is a lorry that serves pindi chana Amritsari style with freshly baked kulchas.

 

If you are thinking that amdavadis are not aware of north-eastern street food then well, you are wrong. These days you can find Momo kiosk all around the city, mostly by the name “Momoman”, by a famous Momo shop in Vastrapu area. Apart from this, Paldi area has a nice, cozy café-like ‘place’ for momos, owned by a Tibetan family, named “Amdos kitchen”, but this place is open when Mr. Amdo is in town, that is from September to February or March.

For non-veggies, you can try the hawkers in the old city near Jamapur or Behrampur that serve variety of kebabs, mutton, chicken in tandoori and gravy flavors. However, non-veg street food is not that popular in Ahmedabad.

A relatively unexplored street food type option for traditional Amdavadis is the dhaba joints on S.G. highway, when you near Gandhinagar. Here, you can have the best of Kathiawadi food (ringan no olo, bajra rotla with makhan, sev tameta, khichdi), plus mouth watering dal bati. Rajasthan ki bhavna (Gota cross roads) & Shivshakti dhaba (Near Nirma University) are popular places.

Apart from these places, Manekchowk and Law Garden are age old food streets that people visit ‘religiously’. There are people around the world, originally from Ahmedabad, actually visiting their hometown just to visit their favorite Dosa place or Chaat Place of Manekchowk or Law Garden!

All in all, if you are a street food lover, and visiting Ahmedabad, then we advise you to keep at least 3 days or nights for trying most of these places! 😀

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Mexican Cuisine (About)

Mexican Cuisine brings up images of beans, tortilla chips and spices, predominantly chilies in our mind. However, there is more to the story.  Today, Mexican cuisine is not just limited to the Latin and North America, but has gained popularity across the globe, albeit in different flavors depending on the region. Staple ingredients of Mexican cuisine include corn and chili peppers, while significant ingredients are influenced by Spanish diet such as meat and cheese. A noticeable aspect with Mexican cuisine is that UNESCO has added it to the list of world’s intangible cultural heritage.

Street food is a major contribution from the Mexican cuisine, as across the world we see hawkers selling tacos, nachos and quesadillas these days. In fact, it is estimated that within Mexico, about 50-60% of the population consume street food at least once a month. It is common to find street food vendors in the morning and evening time, and also till late in the night, but not during afternoon hours as that is considered the time to have a normal meal in Mexico. Sauces, known as “Mole” are used commonplace in Mexican cuisine. Moles are available in multiple flavors, with chili pepper as the basic ingredient. As a matter of fact, many dishes in the traditional Mexican cuisine are named by their sauces.

Tacos are the simplest food items in the Mexican cuisine that has crossed borders globally. Taco refers to a folded tortilla (flatbread) with a fair amount of fillings. The tortillas can be made from wheat or corn flour, but corn flour tortillas are more popular. Different ingredients are used in a variety of combinations to fill up tacos, including beans, cheese, meat, vegetables, onions and salsas.

Day – 19 : Italian Cuisine

A couple of decades back, the only Italian most of us knew was macaroni or spaghetti baked with pineapple and cheese (at least in India). Italian cuisine has now gained popularity across the globe, and is a popular option for fusion dishes as well. We now have the pastas and the risottos that many of us prefer frequently for our main course (Personally, yours truly loves Italian food because the abundant usage of cheese… 😉 )

With Italian cuisine, the number of ingredients is not as important as the quality and original flavor, still the key ingredients of modern day Italian cuisine are maize, bell peppers, tomatoes, flour preparations (pastas) and cheese. Apart from cheese, wine and coffee are key bonding components of Italian cuisine.Olive oil is another key ingredient of Italian cuisine. The nutritional aspects and health benefits associated with olive oil are now known across the globe, and hence the increase in its usage. Pasta is the most popular of all Italian main courses. Commonly available pasta’s include fusilli (swirls), spaghetti (thin rod-like), penne (cylinders) and lasagna sheets. Pasta is generally served with red, white or mixed sauces. Although not popular in India, pasta made with eggs is also a delicious preparation. Ravioli is a popular option that consists of spinach stuffing within pasta sheets.

Risotto, a rice preparation is another fundamental component of Italian cuisine. With risotto, it is possible to introduce multiple variations based on the ingredients. Vegetables, fish, seafood, meat are used to prepare the broth with risotto. Wine, along with fruit flavors can also be used to prepare risotto. It is the rice preparation that forms the core of the risotto, irrespective of the remaining ingredients or flavors added for the taste.

Talks about Italian cuisine is incomplete without considering PIZZA. We will not delve into more details with pizza understandably 🙂 other than to mention that it is a gift to the world by Italian cuisine.

Italian cuisine is abundant in desserts as well. My personal favorite is the Tiramisu (Literally means, Pick me up! – well,who won’t!), a layered dessert consisting primarily of coffee!! Another popular dessert is the “gelato” or the Italian version of ice cream.

These days, Panna Cotta is also in the race with these two! Panna Cotta means Cooked Cream in Italian. This dessert is made by simmering together milk, sugar and cream (and also the flavor if you are adding any!), mixing this with gelatin and letting the mixture cool till it is set.

For coming few days, I will be posting various pictures as well as the recipes of various Italian recipes, hope you all will enjoy it!

Day -7 : Comfort Food – USA v/s. India

As per wikipedia,

Comfort food is traditionally eaten food (which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the person eating it), or simply provides the consumer a familiar meal, soft in consistency, and rich in calories, nutrients, or both. The nostalgic element most comfort food has, may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture.

For me, Comfort Food is the food you like to have when you are sick or tired or not in the mood of cooking some heavy stuff. Like some soup or one dish meal type of thing.

Chicken Soup is classic comfort food of American culture, so is Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. For Indians, traditional comfort food means Khichdi or Curd Rice, which you don’t love to have on your routine day, but works as a therapeutic food when you are sick (I can see some weird faces on hearing names of Khichdi and Curd Rice). Americans have  Ice-creams or pies to cure their blues, Indians have “Aaloo de Paranthe with lots of Makkhan” or “Garmagaram Pakode(Fritters)”. Americans have Mac-n-Cheese when every other dishes fails, Indians have Golgappa/ Panipuri/ Puchka (“Bhaiya ek extra puri dena” is something that gives us Royal Feels) and Maggie (All ready to eat noodles are called ‘Maggie’, Period.).

For any Indian, Jalebi, Gajar ka Halwa and Gulab Jamun is so much on top compare to Choco chip Cookies, but for Americans Choco Chip Cookie has the place of Gajar ka Halwa and Vice-verse, same goes for Hamburger and Bhelpuri (we love having Bhelpuri on Chawpaty, right?)

So you tell, what you like to have, Dumplings or Samosas? Lemme know your opinion, I’m having my Rajma Chawal 😀

Day-1 : South Indian Cuisine ( From My View)

For Most of people of Northern Hemisphere(????) of  India ( I meant Northern half of India), South Indian Cuisine usually means Idli, Dosa, Sambhar and Mendu Vada. For Southern states, the definition differs for all five states ( Yes, now Telangana is different state)  but for me it is a very large playground (yeah I play with food! *wink* *wink*)

For me South Indian Cuisine starts with a good Rasam, any Rasam would do if tangy and spicy at the same time! Followed by standard Vadai or any version of Idli (my new innovation is Manchurian Idli )

I used to love to have South Indian Thali whenever I visit a South Indian restaurant. It usually contains Poori, Rasam, Korma, Aviyal, Pachdi, Mor Kuzhambu, Poppadam, Rice, Pickle and of course Payassam. Payassam is dessert made of milk with a particular flavors, like Kheer.

I have checked out some of typically Keralian Cuisines thanks to my Roommate at hostel and my colleagues. I just love Pitt or Puttu, a typical Malayali breakfast item (For some reasons my colleagues think that I’m a specimen as very few people like this dish) .

My latest affair in this variety of food is Tomato Rice. I try out this dish at almost all south Indian restaurant these days. This is actually a leftover rice recipe, but people make it with fresh rice too! And I just love the combination of rice and tomato gravy mixed and cooked together. ( I’ll share my version of the recipe some of these days)

Andddd ofcourse, last but equally important, The Filter Kapi. This is an amazing thing of southern part of India. Everyone in every household of southern India has Filter Coffee, freshly brewed, like first thing in the morning. The smell itself is so amazing that even if you are not a coffee lover, I bet you’d fall in love with this one!!