Pardon me if I sound biased but coming as I do from the city I consider the home of really tasty street food, I can never find my kind of junk food here in Hyderabad. The bhel puri and pani puri are light years away from what I grew up having at Elco Market and Kailash Parbat in Colaba. The vada pav available so easily in every area of Bombay is practically unheard of here and the filling and tasty vegetable sandwich? Hyderabad hasn’t even heard of it…
So it was with an uncertain mind that I went for the Khaogali Food Festival being held at the Taj Banjara Hotel. But here was a pleasant mix of street food from Hyderabad and other parts of India. Held at The Chai Shop, their really quaint restaurant with posters of Bollywood stars on the walls, Chef Amjad and his team had put in a lot of effort in creating the menu. That was obvious from the range of dishes served. There was the coal roasted corn on the cob Bhuna Bhutta to what I would call the Hyderabadi Vada Pav where the pav had been toasted slightly and the vada for some reason lacked the punch of my hometown’s street variety. [See, I told you I was biased.] The aloo tikki though was quite well made and just right with its spices and other ingredients.
There were Hyderabadi street food varieties in the form of Sirka wala Murgh and Pepper fry Mutton and Bandi Chowmein. With stalls outside where the food was being freshly prepared the atmosphere of a street food corner was rightly created. Attentive staff kept plying us with more food and before we knew it we were stuffed.
But then, I never say no to pani puri or bhel puri so I ensured I tasted some of their chaat. And I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The bhel puri had a freshness to it since it had been made and served to us all in five minutes and the tangy pani of the pani puri had the right amount of tamarind to make our tastebuds come alive.The only downside to this wonderful festival is that it is on till this sunday the 30th of November and for some reason – only on weekends. Which means you have to go there tomorrow or the day after if you want to eat street food in style.