Friday, March 21, 2014

Chennai Food Street: Sowcarpet Street Food - Chats, Sweets and Beverages


Kakada Sweets - Sowcarpet
I have been to Sowcarpet on many occassions and have never been disappointed.  The entire stretch is lined with  tiny and small dhabas, push carts, makeshift stalls with Hindi speaking workers keep boiling, frying, stirring from dawn till dusk. It is the long street where age old eateries have emerged and still thrive, serving  crispy jalebis, golgappa, pyaz kachoris, pau bhaajis, aloo sabzis, bhindi, raita, shahi panner, chotu motu bhel, kulfis with different flavors and Kolkata paan at last but not least. People love to walk along this crowded stretch and like to enjoy these North Indian ‘reality bites’ around here.

What is golgappa? In North India people call Pani pooris as "Golgappas" and in West Bengal its name is "poochkas." It is a fun to witness the preparation of golgappa. With an inviting smile, the vendors poke his thumb into crispy fried shells (small puris appear like a golden sphere).  Later fill it with fresh garbanzo beans (chick peas) and boiled potatoes, then dip the puri into the ice cold sweet and sour water (pani prepared using tamarind and jaggery). Then topped with savory green chutneys, spicy masala powder and finely chopped onion pieces. The item will be served one by one in paper cup and the customer waiting with anxiety will eat it as a whole.

Vada Pav (Wikipedia)
Maharashtrian fast food Vada Pav is gaining iconic status in India. This street food, once enjoyed by poor man in Bombay, is attracting  rich and famous businessmen, family and students. People  flock around vada - pav stall at another corner.   Golden colored oil fried vadas are inviting. It is nothing but potato pieces mashed with garlic, chilli and coriander masala and dipped in chick-pea flour and fried in oil.  The crafty vendor slices the pav ("pav" is the Indian colloquial for bread) and butter it well, spread with green chutney and sprinkle some garam masala powder. Keep vada in between pav and served hot.

Pav Bhaji (Wikipedia)
Pav Bhaji is another Maharashtrian street food, now served every in Indian street food joints. Pav means bread. Bhaji in Marathi means vegetable dish. Bhaji is a mixed mashed vegetables usually displayed in a large tawa. The sliced pav will be shallow fried in butter and the crisp golden yellow pav will be served with bhaji, a dollop of butter, with optional toppings of grated cheese, dry-fruits and even fresh fruits. It is becoming an all-time favorite in Chennai.


Kakada Ramprasad is famous in Sowcarpet.  It houses, chat corner, sweet and snacks counters and as well as a restaurant. It is well acknowledged as one among the best sweet shops in Chennai. The Badam milk at this restaurant is one of the finest and tasty drink with perfect consistency and thickness.



Sowcarpet Images
Jilebi Maker at Sowcarpet
Sandwichwala
Namkinwala
Hot Kachori and Samosa at a Chatwala

White Pumpkin Peda

Gol Gappa or Pani Puri

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