Pursuit

If you live in India or have ever traveled to India in the second decade of 21st century, you would have found a lot of places having fancy street foods, specially, in the metropolitan cities like, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

If you exclude the posh areas of New Delhi and NCR(National Capital Region), and then walk on a very normal street/roads which connects welfare housing societies, you are likely to easily spot the following roadside options like, Ice-Cream tricycles, Open roof stalls of Sugarcane Juice, roasted corn and maybe the push-truck(thela) tickiwala(also called, Chaatwala).

An addition to this group is the roadside “Gol-Gappe”(also called PaniPuri). Now, what’s PaniPuri? It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavored water (known as imli pani), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas. The complete setup on which Gol-Gappe, Pani and other spices are placed is very easy to carry and move, and also can be quickly placed anywhere and can start selling it back. Now you are thinking, why I am writing about all this stuff? Here’s why.

Every evening when I am traveling back home from work, in the last part of the transit I have to make a 20 minutes walk to get to my apartment. In these 20 minutes, starting from getting down from the auto, finding the Panwari(guy who sells Paan, which is made up of betel leaf with areca nut) and cigarettes(which is sold more than the paan these days), interestingly, his wife also sits during late hours to keep the business up. Some 200 steps ahead, I find the Ice-Cream tricycles from Vadilal, Kwality Walls, Creambell and newly famous Havmor, which is expensive to my pocket. 😛

After 5 minutes, I find a little boy selling Gol-Gappe at the corner of the right turn of the road. I walk towards him, and ask for the rates. He replies, “4 pieces for 10 bucks”. I said, “Can I have it?”, he offers me a dona(which is a paper bowl). The Panipuri tasted amazing!! 😀

Yesterday evening, I left early from work and while getting back home, I met the boy again. He is 3/4 of my height, considering I am not tall, so he looks short. He should be around 10-12 years of age. I asked him, “What’s your name?”. He replies with a smile, “Vansh Gupta”. I asked him if he goes to school, he replies “Yes, I go to school”. With a thought on how he gets time to study, I asked “When you study or do your homework?”, he says “during night, after having dinner”.

I asked him if I can take his picture which I will share on internet with my writing. He shakes his head with a smile. 🙂 I said “Okay, can I take picture of your setup?” And he says “Yes” this time. I also checked with him, “So, where are you from and who else are you in your family?”, to which he replies, “I am Mirzapur(in Uttar Pradesh), and here I have my father and brother who also sell Gol-Gappe, whereas my mother lives in hometown(Mirzapur)”.

He has friends of same age. They also sell Gol-Gappe. One is Rajkumar and another is Komal. I have ate Panipuri from them too. 🙂 Komal is the smart one, like a leader among these boys. I think he likes momos because I have found him eating momos a couple of times. Whereas, Vansh is the good-looking one. But they all are very simple and happy going boys. 🙂

At the age of 12, helping family to earn enough so as to get one time meal is really unbelievably appreciable. Just think about the sacrifices they have been making, like missing their mother, not playing outside in evening so that they help their father and surely not able to spend enough time to learn and study so that in future they don’t need to sell Panipuri.

The least you can offer is a Smile 🙂 to them, do not see them as someone lesser than you and just be good and motivate everyone around you. Life is not easy for everyone.

Tweeting: @thebrokenspecss

Sigh

I feel so relaxed by typing few words on the paper,
I am able to scream without making a noise. 🙂

Twitter: @thebrokenspecss

Gaza ~ An open air prison

“The Rocket may be above us,
but they have forgotten that
Allah is above them” 😥

~ A Palestinian Child.

We don’t need to be a Muslim to stand up for Gaza, we just need to be Human. #BeKind #Dua #PrayforGaza

Tweeting: @thebrokenspecss

A Indian Snack – Jhaal Muri/Bhel Puri

Welcome to India,

Here we are on the streets of Mumbai in search of a Indian snack, and also a type of Chaat. It’s called Bhelpuri, often identified with the beaches of Juhu in Mumbai.  It is made out of puffed rice, vegetables and a tangy sauce. The recipe has spread to most parts of India where it has been modified to suit local food availability.

The Kolkata Variant of Bhelpuri is called Jhaal Muri. Jhaal Muri (Spicy Puffed Rice) is Bengali cuisine, a dry variant of Bhelpuri and is consumed after garnishing with onions, coriander and lemon juice. I think you are feeling hungry now. 😀

A vendor sells Bhelpuri on the streets of Mumbai.

A vendor sells Bhelpuri on the streets of Mumbai.

Bhelpuri and Jhaal Muri belongs to the food family of chaats, which are salty and spicy snacks sold on carts throughout India. Bhelpuri has a typically Gujarati (Gujarat) balance of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, with different textures as well, including crispy and crunchy from the puffed rice.

Street Food in Kolkata

Bhelpuri can be served in many ways, but it is usually served in a paper folded in the form of a cone and is consumed using a paper spoon or by the ‘papdi’ which is itself an edible component of the ‘Bhelpuri’. ❤

Jhaal Muri served in the paper fold in the form of a cone.

Bhelpuri served in the paper fold in the form of a cone.

Jhaal Muri/Bhelpuri can beat the packet of chips which you take for snacks costing nearly same or even less with vibrant taste.

People in UK can try to find ‘Everybody Love Loves the Jhal Muri Express’ ran by Angus Denoon. Angus is bringing the Kolkata street food to your door step. You can search him on twitter @jhalmuriexpress

Everybody Loves - Jhaal Muri Express by Angus Denoon

Everybody Loves – Jhaal Muri Express by Angus Denoon

Shanti Restaurant in Surrey is another place to visit to have some taste of Indian street food. The restaurant has some fabulous dishes in there menu with different style and taste.

Vikram Vij hospitality shining at Surrey's My Shanti Indian restaurant

Vikram Vij hospitality shining at Surrey’s My Shanti Indian Restaurant

People in United States, especially in NYC can reach out ‘Desi Galli’ in Lexington,NY. Desi Galli has many Indian street foods available under one roof. You can try ‘Kathi Rool’ one of the most yummy food on Indian streets. 🙂

So, plan out for your next weekend with your family and friends to get some taste of Indian street foods nearby you. Hope you Enjoy it 🙂

Namaste ❤