Wednesday, October 27, 2021

In Love with Food

Mawa Jalebi and Poha - Raju Tea Stall, Bhopal

How many times have you travelled just to discover a place for the treats it offers when it comes to eating? I am yet to come across people who do not love food. While still in school and later on in college the fascination to try out all kinds of foods almost overtook any other desire to feel satiated. There were no lofty ambitions, just a bite into a rich and succulent pastry at Nirulas, a bite into pizzas and burgers that had just entered the scene in India were perhaps the best early treats. Later during my college, which was not too far from Chandni Chowk, a once in a while treat at the Natraj Dahi Bhalla near the Central Bank, some sweets at the Ghantewala, a dig into parathas prepared in pure ghee with spicy vegetables at the famous Parathewali Gali followed with Jalebis oozing with syrup at Dariba Kalan were the earliest forays in search of good food. I vividly remember walking all the way from Connaught Place( now Rajiv Chowk) to have a rendezvous with samosas at the shop outside the Sucheta Kriplani Hospital on Panchkuian Road. The man from Frontier ran the shop for decades selling unforgettable samosas!

Humble Indian Thali at Chotiwala, Rishikesh
Later, I moved out of Delhi when I joined the Navy soon after college to see a new world opening before my eyes. The first encounter was at the Ernakulam Railway station where the Military One tonner from Naval Academy awaited to ferry us from the station. A foodie in me could not resist polishing off several steaming hot fluffy idlis with coconut chutney and sambhar before entering the portals of the academy. Every weekend I would make it a point to visit the joints like Woodlands and Malabar hotel not too far, to dig into the best dosas anywhere. The love affair with food continued as I travelled to Jamnagar and went to the extent of befriending a ' Dhokla seller' (whose shop was smaller than most pan shops around the corner). He excelled in making the stuff and I learnt the art from him when he saw me faithfully visiting him week after week,. I have not forgotten the tips he shared with me. From there on, the love for Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav in Mumbai made me travel all the way from the Navy Nagar to Andheri and Dadar to the best treats of this humble fare. Extensive travel within the country gave me the opportunity to devour the recipes ranging from Mirch vada and biryani in Hyderabad, Dal Lucchi and Sandesh in Kolkata, Appams in Kerala, Dal bati in towns of Rajasthan, Mawa Jalebi and Poha at Raju Tea stall in Bhopal and so many more.  The simple meal of dal roti and vegetables at Chotiwala in Rishikesh is one of the finest tributes to the Indian meal! The list is almost endless.

Pesto Focccia in Moneglia, Italy
The romantic tales around food suddenly took wings when by a stroke of good fortune I landed in a company soon after the stint in the Navy. I discovered the best Falafels on Caramel Street in TelAviv, the silky velvet crepes near Montmartre in Paris, the tall succulent burgers on the Fulton Street in New York, the finest baklava at Hafiz Mustafa in Istanbul, the Chocolate Spoon in the Delft in the Netherlands,

Pastel de Nata of Lisbon

awesome Foccacia and Lemon tarts in Moneglia in Italy, Pastel de Nata on the streets of Lisbon, Ricotta filled Pastizzi in Valetta in Malta, Tart de Citreon in the tiny shop in Old Town, Nice, France are a few that leave me drooling. 

Historic birthplace of Pizza Margarita in Napoli
The most adventurous trip was to Napoli, the birthplace of pizza to discover the very place where the Pizza Margretha was born! The narrow street in this town is crammed with the best places that make the pizzas, rum-babas, Sfogliata dessert that are etched in memories forever. I would not mind travelling long distances even today, just to search for perfect food. How many of you have lustful memories of foodgasms?

PS- All Pics are mine


  1. Even though I am not a foodie, your blog makes me think what I missed. I will keep this in mind when I start traveling

    1. Many thanks Mani ,for reading!Luckymeto have a reader like you full of appreciation.

  2. I love food too and what a post ... if we have gotten a chance to savour delicacies we r definitely blessed...

    1. Thanks a ton Jaish! Could not agree more that we are indeed blessed to have tasted all those flavours in our life time

  3. Drool.... Reading this post has made me hungry!