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Exploring Nagarathpet: Bengaluru’s Other Thindi Beedi

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Plenty has been written about VV Puram’s bustling and undeniably good street food. But, often, we forget about other worthy competitors. The thindi beedi at Nagarathpet is one such. Every evening, the crowded streets gets busier with carts, stalls, and shops opening up to dish out everything from Masala Dosas to Pav Bhaji. And while it falls short on variety when compared to VV Puram, the taste is bang on! Join us as we eat our way through Nagarathpet’s eat street.

Annapoorna Sweets And Chaats

Just off Nagarathpet’s main street, on CT Lane – Annapoorna is a legend. The tiny, brightly-lit shop sees a steady stream of visitors through the day. Rajasthani snacks rule the roost here and for those of you who complain about the non-authenticity of chaats in the city, Annapoorna will change your mind in a jiffy. The star offering here is the Kadhi Kachori – crunchy bits of kachori stuffed with spicy potato doused in a yogurt-based curry. We half expected the kadhi to be mellow, instead, we got a tangy concoction that went splendidly with the kachori. Apart from this, you can also munch on plain kachorisjalebis, and fafda.

Shyam Mishra Juice Centre

It’s hard to pass by this shop on Nagarathpet’s main street without giving it a curious glance. It’s wooden shelves are lined with jars filled with dry fruits and preserved kiwis, slices of pineapple, and mango. You can pack home any of these {prices begin at INR 200} to munch on later. But when you are at the shop, do try their rich dry fruits shake. This is a heavy drink and we recommend that you finish your street food visit here. If you prefer something lighter, go for good old sweet lime juice or the version where they mix it up with pomegranate juice.

Mayur Pan Mahal & Juice Centre

This one cannot be a missed! Located right at the start of the narrow street that is home to the famed Lakshmi Natraj Restaurant, Mayur has a loyal following of its own. They specialise in Bombay-style street food and come pretty close to the real deal. We asked for their Masala Pav and got a steel plate piled with pieces of ghee-soaked pav that was tossed up in a thick tomato and onion-based sauce. It was spicy and slightly greasy — street food done perfectly, in short! The Special Dabeli that comes with studded with pomegranate seeds and sev is also worth trying.

Masala Papad Opposite Neel Kamal Sweets

A regular feature on the streets of Avenue Road and Chickpet, the Masala Papad makes for a quick, lip-smacking snack. Once you’ve placed your order, they take a large papad and toss it on a coal chula. It’s then slathered with a couple of chutneys before they sprinkle on sliced tomatoes, shards of carrot, chillies, and sev. The icing on the cake proves to be the bits of raw mango. So, you’ve got a snack that’s got plenty of crunch, freshness, a bit of sourness and also a hit of heat. Yum!

Jalebiwala Next To Shesh Woolens

All through the evening, the jalebiwala quietly squeezes out squiggly shapes into the waiting vat of oil and fishes out fresh jalebis. Served on a banana leaf, the jalebis are wafer thin and aren’t cloyingly sweet. And eaten piping hot, they disappear at the blink of an eye.

Dosa Cart Opposite Rajhan’s Golden Mall

Their are plenty of dosa carts in Nagrathpet’s thindi beedi, but we recommend you stop by at the one opposite Rajhan’s Golden Mall for its classic and innovative versions. There’s the ghee-doused Masala Dosa that can never go wrong. You can also try the Baath Dosa – where they pile on heaps of lemon rice onto the dosa. They also have the Pudi Masala Dosa whose insides come coated with gunpowder. Hot, hot idlis and flavoured rice make up the rest of the menu.

Indian Coffee Day

Another joint that offers authentic Rajasthani {and a few other} snacks, this busy joint is perfect for a refreshing cup of chai paired with flaky kachoris. They also serve Kadhi Kachori and Vada Pavs that are plump with batter-fried potato fillings. Our favourite though are the chunky jamuns that are soft and simply melt in the mouth.

Badam Milk Cart Next To Indian Coffee Day

Just outside Indian Coffee Day, you’ll see the Badam Milk cart. The big, black vat with bubbling milk catches your eye instantly. This is a great drink to have on a cool night {and we know there’s plenty of those in Bangalore} and proves to be a great digestive after all that hogging. Of course, the fact that it tastes good – the drink is slightly sweet and comes with a hint of spices – is a welcome bonus.

Photos: Abheet Anand/LBB