MICA (Mudra Institute of Communications and Advertising, where I am visiting Faculty for the weekends) has sent a driver Akbar, an employee at Mica ( I think will he know the farsaan places, or will he take me to eat Nahaari or Haleem). Anyway, I ask, he does not seem to be interested in the food kinds. Its also an unusual request, to ask for a Dhaba kind of normal place with local food on the way by the faculty (as one called for the next two days). He stops at a corner Dhaba, they are beginning to make copious amounts of Pao Bhaji (more of a Mumbai savoury), they Dosas, Idlis etc . Not my scene. I want to sink my teeth into Dholas, Bhajia, sweets, aam ras miniature samosas. My mind is saying traditional. Available is general. Akbar is looking impatient. I sight a sweet shop.
I walk into Shakti sweets (everything is in Gujati language), the name of the shop, the food items menu prices. The owner at the cash counter says, aao seth kya sewa, I say I would like some instruction breakfast, he says, saab ko nashta karao (serve breakfast to sir). Magically in a newspaper on butter paper, appears, a large piece of Khamam Dhokla soft and moist with yellow chutney and chopped green fried chillies, yellow jalebis a few, adds two Bhajias (pakoras, more like bondas). I am famished, I dig in. Something to drink...... lassi or aam ras. I say lassi. Small , medium or large, I say small. I am served the creamiest thick lassi, I scoop with a plastic spoon. The food is good but not great, the affection is genuine and the prices! Gawd!
I love the experience, the food is okay to better. I ask the owner for the bill, he says, Nashta kaisa tha seth (how was breakfast). I say great. He says Rs 25/-I am shocked, the affordable prices and of all that I have eaten.
Who ? Why? How? are these prices possible, is it Narendra Modi who is responsible, or is it the consumer prudence buying movement nurtured in Gujarat or the cooperative society movement. No its individual, capitalist enterprise with profit motive which is making and selling yummy breakfast at these sterling prices.
The experience is local exotica, at Rs 25/- for breakfast for a hungry grown up adult. Its well below my Rs100/- a meal for local exotica. Its breakfast, I understand, its also Rs 25/-
Do you have an interesting Gujarati food story..... I have a few.
Whats the main difference between Kathiawadi and normal Gujarati food ?
So Long !