Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unmatched Flavors of Street.

A man stands before a shaded cart, finely chopping onions, as he needs more of the diced vegetable- other vegetables; tomatoes, boiled potatoes, etc. (both whole and cut) all kept aside on trays for each... papri and sev stacked in big plastic bags either hanging from his cart or placed beside him along with variety of chutneys and sauces... A large hot griddle over a stove is right in front of him.
Image : google
A look at his hair and you know pollution and dust didn't show their mercy to his mane... a thin layer of dirt and perspiration on face exhibits how hard he has been working ... his clothes sticking to his body in a few places due to sweat... a piece of not-so-clean cloth is at his disposal, to wipe his hands... one tub filled with water to dip the used dishes into it for a few times (that's his way washing the dishes), stands beside the cart on his side... a small stainless steel tank of drinking water, with a couple of glasses (washing procedure is same) kept on its lid.

That's our man--- the chaat wala (chaat man) and his small and super hit business of street food.

He represents the whole big bunch of chaat walas, across the country who serve us with those, oh! so De-licious street food, we crave for.
Indulging in these heavenly snacks, we pamper our taste buds every now and then.
And I am no exception (though I am not a junk food lover, I savor these once in a while) but it is always a herculean task for me to indulge in street food, without hygiene concerns hovering over my head. (Errr.. yeah.. OCD). 

Mom being "Mom", couldn't see my plight, had a simple and logical solution- she prepared my favorite chaats at home *I love you Mom*. 
But..But..But ---- it was nowhere near to my chaat wala's divinely bites (Its still isn't). What Mom makes is tasty - really it is - but what it lacks are the "quintessential" flavors of street. 
Even after getting the right ingredients and right proportions and other foody elements correct, the zing is always missing. 5 star restaurants too, can't get "that" taste.
So, where do we go wrong? what is missing ? -- According to my Mom ...the answer lies in the sweat, dirt and unhygienic conditions.....hmmm... I second her.

Hence, sacrificing my OCD, once in a while, for the pleasures of chaats to dance on my tongue is justifiable, isn't it ? "pst...I do make sure to eat at a cleaner, more hygienic stall... you see I can definitely make do with some lesser amount of mouth watering taste producing germs----*winks* ".

Recipe Time :
I am sharing this Video, I found on Youtube; how to make Pav Bhaji (famous street food) from a stall at Juhu Beach. Enjoy !


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