I lost a bet related to writing. The bet was to treat a friend if I didn’t complete writing an article in the stipulated time. What was the treat? Food. Since I had never been to the famed Food Street of V V Puram in Bengaluru, I told my friend that he will be fed there. I had always seen this lane in pictures of others, but had never seen it live in action.
When I neared this lane, it looked like every other lane at its business, glowing in the lights announcing every shop. I realised I was wrong only when I entered the lane. The whole lane was flanked with street food shops on both the sides. People stood carefree and sumptuously ate. Ee Janumave Ahaa Dorakide Ruchi Saviyalu (This life is given to enjoy the taste), a song from a Kannada movie Oggarane (means seasoning or tempering) started playing in the background, well in my mind. It was a difficult choice for us to decide from where we would start to eat. After looking around perplexed, we decided to eat the food that is not made at home or easily available everywhere, and not to eat more than one kind of food at the same shop. Most of the shops offered the same dosa, idli, vada and potato twister/twisted chips. So, we started hunting for the kind of food we wanted.
We ordered a plate of curd kodbale. The usual kodbale are the deep fried rings made of rice flour and spices. As the name suggests, curd kodbale have curd mixed while kneading the dough to give softness to the otherwise crispy junk. They were served with chickpea chutney. Hot, mouth watering curd kodbale gave us a good start.
While eating kodbale, I saw pav buns stuffed with red coloured curry and stacked in the shop on the opposite side of the lane. I thought that must be spicy. They are called Dhabeli. I don’t know their origin, but they turned out to be sweet. A plate of Dhabeli has one set of pav i.e. four buns with the red sweetish curry stuffed between the top and the bottom buns, garnished with bhujia, and served with green chillies and chopped onions. It was so filling that we feared we might not be able to eat more.
We went zigzag looking for the next stop. At a tiny outlet, we ordered Kurkure Masala, but we received Piknik Masala! Same spicy and crunchy rice crispies but in different shapes. Piknik crispies already have a good flavour, but with all the chaat masala and chopped tomato and onions, the little finger sized cowboys turned lip smacking delicious.
From there we went to have paddu. You might argue that paddu are easily available and can be made at home too. But let me tell you something. You need a different mould for paddu to be made at home, we don’t have them with us and they are not made at my home. So, you get my point. I had seen the paddu mould. I had even seen its batter. But I had never seen their making. It was a blissful moment to watch them being made, especially how they were turned upside down. Paddu look so cute! They are like chubby babies, but served with chickpea chutney.
Our last stop was at a juice and ice cream shop. Apparently, my friend had already tried something there long back, so he asked for one ice cream with gulkand. Gulkand is almost a paste of rose petals soaked in sugar syrup and stored for weeks. We ate a scoop of butterscotch ice cream with pieces of apple and banana, and of course gulkand. Dessert ends the day. Sorry, I forgot to take the pictures of Piknik Masala and ice cream. We were busy eating. Why don’t you go and check out the Food Street for yourself? It has food for everyone’s taste. You get varieties of street food to choose from. You eat from a shop at one end of the lane, walk to the other end, eat there again and walk back. Repeat. This way you shall move around with an idea of sweating it out and not feel guilty of eating more.