I tried… I really tried to align these two images onto one line, but my skills came up short.
I did speak of chaat last week, and this is a photograph of the chaat that I ate. Chaat is just one form of street food in India, and there are several kinds of chaat.
The photograph is bad, and out of focus, and I can assure you that it tastes better than it looks. This one (and, I really have no idea of how to translate these words into English) contains papri, bhalla, dahi (yogurt), spices, etc. The sauce – or chutney – is a kind of tamarindy one, and there is a bit of something else, which I cannot even spell in English. The nasal sound of the ‘o’ in the word simply cannot be written in English unless you are a linguist, and can use those squiggly little signs that indicate how you are to pronounce them.
Anyhow, Indian street food is tasty.
If I may be allowed to make a provocative statement (and I am sure Indians from other parts of India will raise their hands in feeble protest), the best street food is served up in North India. In fact, we North Indians are the kings of Indian street food.
It is something that can make you salivate like a panting puppy. There is street food for all seasons, all served up with a dish of honest sweat, grime, diesel and dust. The last four ingredients are essential for making really good street food. Some restaurants, including five star places, have made the occasional attempt to serve street food in a restaurant, in air-conditioned comfort. But then, you lose the essence of the stuff.
Would you eat your food if all the ingredients were scrubbed with Dettol?
Think about it.
Still, no? Well then, you get what I mean.
What you need to bring to the party, is a strong stomach. The food is yum, but if you don’t have a strong stomach, then you will soon feel a noxious, fiery gas emerging from your nether regions, followed by several trips to the White Throne.
You do know what I mean.
At that point, you will be tempted to sing the famous ditty, composed in doggerel. It goes like this:
“Indian street food, it is so yum It creates a warmth in my little tum But oh, but oh, what have we here? The food, I know, is yum, yum, yum But what is happening to my bum,bum, bum?”
You know this song? No?
Well, you have heard of The Delhi Belly? The song was composed in honour of the world famous Delhi Belly….