By Swati Maheshwari, Corporate Communications, Holachef
When I was planning my Madhya Pradesh road trip, a lot of people recommended that I visit Indore. I had never really thought of Indore as a tourist destination so this came as a surprise. On further inquiry, I was informed that Indore is famous for its street food. That immediately made Indore the most exciting stop in my rather long itinerary:
I reached Indore in the afternoon and immediately left for Chappan Bazaar situated in the heart of Indore city. The placed lived up to the hype created by my many friends and acquaintances before my journey to MP had begun. Here’s everything that I indulged on:
1) Johny Hot Dog
Don’t expect this to look or taste anything like a hot dog. This mutton patty in a crisp bun is something you would immediately fall in love with. There’s nothing to not like in this one. It’s a perfect mix of spices and minced meat, tucked neatly inside the bun. At Rs 30, this is a steal. There’s a vegetarian version too which also tastes good, priced at Rs 25.
This was an unheard of specialty. It’s made of a type of tapioco – fried and then served as a chaat, with a spicy masala sprinkled on it. It’s soft to bite into, filling and the taste of spices make it deliciously appetizing.
3) Daal Vada
I wasn’t planning to really eat this one but the guy at the shop put a batch of freshly fried vadas out of a wok. I gave in! And I am glad I did – perfectly spicy and crunchy.
Look at them. I remember how it seemed impossible to wait for this picture to get clicked so I could delve into these. They were just perfect!
It is recommended that you have Indore’s famous poha-with-jalebi combo for breakfast on one of the days. You can come to Chappan Bazaar for that as well in the morning.
5) Alu Patties
Don’t go by their name. They don’t look or taste like any patties you have ever tasted (just as our Johny Hot Dog)! These are basically coconut stuffed inside a potato mash and fried till golden brown. If you like coconut, these are your answered prayers.
6) The Special Paan
I think I paid Rs 90 for this paan. And shop keeper took 15 minutes to make it. So you can imagine! While it was loaded with some really exotic concoctions, it was not easy to eat at one go. This didn’t work for me but if I had to do it all over again, I would still buy this paan just for all the fuss around it.
There’s more at Chappan Bazaar that you can indulge in but I had to call it a day at this.. because I had to prep myself for the Sarafa Market food walk – a place that is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Indore. Sarafa Market is a jewelry shopping area by the day and street food paradise by the night. However, it has mostly veg food so know what to expect when you get there. Some call it India’s only night street food market – a claim I cannot verify. The street food market starts at 9:30 pm and goes on till about 1 am.
7) Get Kees-sed by Bhutte Ka Kees
This is basically grated corn tempered with spices and garnished with coriander and/or coconut. It tastes really nice and is a must-have in Sarafa.
Sarafa is famous for desserts – both made with milk and without. Have a got at them as per your taste – there’s something for everyone. You can even get a variety of lassis and hot, flavoured milk. Check out the size of those jalebis there.
Sarafa has all the Indian chaats that you can imagine! Dahi Vada to Ragada – it’s all there.
Apart from these unique specialties, you can find some regular stuff such as momos, South Indian snacks like dosa and uttapam, veg cutlets and even fresh cut fruits!
I will confess that I wasn’t too hungry when I went to Sarafa (thanks to all the bingeing at Chappan Bazaar) but it was a wonderful experience to just take a walk in the middle of the night amidst foodies and jovial group of friends and families enjoying all the things on offer. I was in Indore only for half a day and one night so I had to fit all of this in that much time. If you have two days, it’s recommended that you spread it out so you can enjoy everything to the fullest!