We all agree to this fact more than anything: any dish which can be made at home, tastes better on the streets. We all love eating outside mostly because it feels like a different kind of air when our dripping noses can’t take the spices anymore, but our taste buds still manage to recognise why we did what we did to ourselves. The laughter that comes after eating the hot food on streets almost makes us forget that it is spicy or even tasty at times. I go numb.
I live in Hubballi, a city of common affairs in North Karnataka. It is called by many names because of the nature it beholds – the people and their business. It gets warm a day, and chilling another night. But, mostly warm these days. One of the better things for Hubballi to have so many people from around the country is the food they carry along with them. I still fail to find a few shops which once were my only motivation when dragged to the markets. Now, not only am I dragged towards any place other than those markets but even the worrying times of this corporate world. We might not yet be there where we are scared to be, but we are moving closer at the speed of a kind. I hope we don’t make it.
So, street-food? In my city, as one living here would know, it tastes the best at one spot. It is this highly-happening place at the centre of Hubballi. Durgadbail is known for it’s shops of such variety in not only articles but their owners too, the different kind of people you meet there – ones you already know, the connection to every other market on all sides, and mainly the food. As far as I know, to me it has always been the dishes at Durgadbail which pulled me to the markets when my mom thought it was her. She is the one that still buys me food though. My mom reads the blog.
Here, we are talking about Durgadbail still, we find many kinds of dishes swinging from the regional Idlis to Bengal’s porous desserts. Now, we also have access to chocolates from Switzerland. They just don’t survive, these western dishes in such places at Hubballi. Much like other Indians, we tend to preserve our culture but fail at times. Here’s a few photos I took in 2016 at Durgadbail. Sorry for posting these pictures during the lock-down, fellow residents of Hubballi. Let me know when you’re going after this is over. I’ll go the next day. We all are aware of the crowd being heavy here.
Dabeli – from Kutch
A closer look at Softy
Before I finish this article, I want to mention my never ending love for one element of this food-street which is fair even in the partial sense. I call her Pav Bhaji Ajji. There could not have been a name other than what it literally means. Ajji means grandmother in Kannada. She’s an old but not-so-old lady who makes the best Pav Bhaji in the world. Be it wherever the dish comes from, it is this woman who makes it the best. Here’s her, and also me with her.
She dreams of Pav Bhaji, like Jiro dreams of Sushi
Stay at home, and dream of Pav Bhaji? I’m very good at it.
I wish you all manage to stay at home and not jump to the streets out of desperation for air. It’s hard, I know. It’s necessary, I know. It’s boring, I know. It’s insane, I know. It’s good, I know.