SMT: Hey dude, tera ye #HauryaBikers ka funda kya hai, kuch club-wub hai kya? (What is this #HauryaBikers thing you do man, is it some kind of club?)
Me: Nothing major, no club scenes yet. Very simple for now – Food hai toh Ride hai, Ride hai to Food Hai… (‘Have Food, will Ride’ waala scenes).
SMT: So, you ride for food.
Me: Yes. Look for some place, old & new, that serves yummy khaana and, boom! Ride out, gorge to the stomach-full, have a jolly-good time and all.
SMT: So you have some kind of type in terms of food joints? How do you decide upon a place?
ME: Nothing as such. As long as it serves delicious and fresh food, we’re good. From chai-tapris to dhaabas, dhokla-samosa joints, street vendors, tandoori-biryaani houses, everyone’s welcome. And the more wallet-friendly, the better (more fuel in the tank for our trips, you see).
SMT: That’s awesome man. We’ve got this property called the Great Indian Food Trip (GIFT). Under this, we conduct exploratory drives on a pan-India basis, rediscovering iconic food dishes through road-trips. We want to explore hidden cuisines and occasionally, unearth our lost culinary treasures.
Me: Oh wow! That is so cool. I’d love to team up for the next edition of the Great Indian Food Trip.
Me: Hey guys, was thinking of the GIFT and here are a few things that we can do for the upcoming editions (bounces off a few destinations/themes).
SMT: Sounds good man. Let’s close out the financial year with a bang.
Me: Me (dreaming: long weekend hai, kuch karte hai, chalo Indore chalte hai). Wakes up and declares, haan chalo, let’s do Indore – the land of legendary Poha-Jalebi Breakfasts, Chaat and Hot-Dogs, not to mention the Nightly Food Bazaar.
SMT: Done hai dude. Indore chalte hai.
Join us us as we pray to the Gods of Indori Food,
“Lay out that spread of yummy food,
Welcome us with open doors,
As we set out,
On Two Wheels & Four,
Bless us thee and,
Protect us from the heat
Keep the breeze flowing and
Our thirst quenched
As we make our way towards you”
Indore – the land of Culinary Diversity.
A legendary place, blessed by the Food Gods themselves.
Let me explain why, using ‘Poha’ as an example.
Poha – the breakfast staple in most Mumbai households. Something that’s made on a weekly basis at home. It is also sold, daily, out of a dabba, in paper-plates and foil-containers, to rushed office-goers, outside train-stations, at bus-stops and near most work-places.
Indore, on the other hand, takes the humble Poha and gives it a dazzling make-over, that’s bound to make every hungry soul drool. You see, the fine people of Indore, serve up Poha with sliced onions, usal and sev on top. Ho-hum you say? Well, how about some piping hot Jalebi’s on the side. Yes, that’s right, they serve Jalebi’s as an accompaniment with their Poha in Indore. Giving it a taste, a flavour signature that is considered to be uniquely Indore. How awesome is that!
The awesome thing is that this is just the beginning. You get a mind-boggling array of chaat and other street-food. Indore has their legendary chaat-waalas where people get in line, just to dig their fingers into a culinary bomb. Some say, that once someone has sampled their chaat – they become a fan for life.
Whetting the appetite further, there’s a visit to Sarafa that’s definitely on the mind. Sarafa Bazaar happens to live a life of dual-identities. It happens to be a bustling jewellery market by day; that transforms magically into this paradise for all things food, every night. In-fact, Sarafa Bazaar holds the distinction of being the only Night Food Market in India.
Of-course, no trip to Indore would be complete, without soaking in a bit of its illustrious history. The glorious Holkar Dynasty that was part of the independent Maratha Empire, has its roots in Indore. Established in the late 1600’s, their exalted reign, that also saw the legendary Warrior Queen, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar, continued well into the early 1800’s.
Speaking of the Holkar Dynasty, it’ll also be an honour to visit the Rajwada and the Lal Baag Palace. A good excuse to get a glimpse of the grandeur that made Indore the crown jewel of the Maratha Empire, back in the day.
– Tanmay Pangam aka TheAngrySaint
Road-tripping before the feet could reach the floor, as a half-ticket pillion on my Dad’s Lamby and later, in my Grandfather’s van. An equal opportunist on wheels, life, for me, is all about yummy food and great company. Both, on the road and off it.