Street Food and Hygiene

It's almost the end of September but rains in Ahmedabad appears to stay for another week. The monsoon season appears to be extending beyond September. This year, according to the weather forecast, rains are expected in the first week of October too. The rains in Ahmedabad have a pattern similar to that of  a mountainous terrain. They come from no where and at any time of the day.





Rainy season calls for spicy, fried and fun food to celebrate and welcome the rains.

In North India, rains have a permanent accomplice by the name "pakora". Pakoras are made of all kinds of vegetables available at home. The alu, gobhi and onion pakoras along with bread pakora are very popular in my household during monsoons. I serve these with green coriander chutney, tomato sauce or tamarind sounth. A hot cup of ginger tea is an added accompaniment .




I remember, my mom making these and other snacks fresh and hot at home. My childhood home was in a university campus in a small town in Haryana.The campus was away from the main city.The campus did not have any shops which cater to such foodie needs of families. :)



These days, we see so many small shops serving only pakoras / bhajias etc. Every city has that "famous nukkad wali pakora shop". Long queues can be seen on these shops to buy the hot pakoras to celebrate monsoons.

The same fritters are known as "bhajiya" in western states of the country. The small difference between is that pakoras are made with slices of vegetables dipped in besan batter while bhajias are made from kachumber mix of vegetables, besan and spices.

Bonda is another favourite food of rainy season especially in the western India. A ball of boiled potatoes with spices is dipped and coated in besan (chickpea) batter which is fried in oil till golden brown.

In Ahmedabad, Dal Vada with fried chillies is very popular snack for rains. I was introduced to them in 2003 when I had shifted to Ahmedabad. My Gujarati neighbour bought some Dal vada from that "nukkad wali famous dukan" in Gurukul area. They were hot and spicy. When I saw the shop, she bought them, I felt nauseated.

Street food is now a very celebrated genre of food. In these days of social media, food bloggers and social media "influencers" are always ready to make a story of unsung street food shops. I have never seen anybody speaking about the hygiene of the place or food preparation. The talks revolve around taste and price.

My take on availability of low priced food is that, it's better to increase the prices and invest in better hygienic production of food items.

So next time instead of going to any nukkad ki dukan for those hot fried low cost "sasta" snacks, keep an eye on the cleanliness of the shop and how they prepare your favourite foods rather than the price of the items. Chances are you may be buying typhoid at that price.

Or better to make them at home. When our cities clog during the rainy season, it's better to be monsoon ready beforehand by stocking ready to use mixes for dal vada or besan for pakoras etc instead of running to shops and getting jittery for parking space or traffic snarls of rainy season.

Happy and safe snacking !!

Comments

  1. Hritik singh12/24/2019 1:51 PM

    Great blog.!
    Loved the way you've presented the entire content. But really if it comes to food you can't stop drooling over the delicious dishes of the best restaurants/cafes of Ahmedabad city.

    MyToolBag is giving away free food vouchers on best restaurants/cafes of Ahmedabad city, (upto 50 percent off and BOGO too) on the grand success of their App in 2019.

    Visit @mytoolbag.in and participate in the #HuSuKaruMTB challenge now!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6aqEnYlXbk/?igshid=5vimf7q4ee9n

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Hritik Singh. There was some issue with the commenting on my blog and I was unable to check the responses, hence the delay. With the current situation, I guess going to a restaurant is going to be a thing of passe for some more time. Let me know, how can we remain connected and support each other.
      It would be great, if you can share your email or subscribe to the blog.

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