A Food Walk in the city of “bawan bazar-tepan gali” is a sort of foodie pilgrimage for every foodie. Every lane has a story, every by-lane has a history and every corner in the city has one insanely awesome street food bhaina , who has got zillions of Katakias in his list of loyal customers. It was in this historic city that we organized our first ever food walk.
Foodies of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, the biggest food community of the twin city, popularly known for the very popular food raids organized this First ever Food Walk in the twin city in collaboration with The Broken scooter.
The weather gods were not so kind to us. It rained all afternoon and in all probability it was heading to be a washed out event, but “when the grumble of the tummy is louder than the grumble of the thunder.. .who cares” exclaimed Rachit part of this foodie brigade.
The foodies who had confirmed for the event were so excited for this walk that nothing could stop them. The excitement was evident as almost half of them came all the way from Bhubaneswar despite the inclement weather.
The group of 15 foodies started from The GPO at Buxi Bazaar. We headed to our first stop, Anil’s Bara shop near Peer Baba, behind GPO. The Biri Bara and Aludum-Bara combination was an exciting experience for many. Cuttack is popularly known for the “bara-ghugani” combination , but Anil bhaina serves a pretty unique combination of Bara and a spicy preparation of AluDum. The Biri chop is a must try at this very humble shop.
From there the foodie brigade moved to a tea stall near Samaj Office and this spot was the highlight of this food walk. Rao’s tea stall, tucked in a corner, opposite Samaj Office is more famous for the amazing contributions it is making to the society than the tea that we get there. Mr Rao contributes Rupee 1 from each cup of tea he sells to the education of underprivileged children .
Today Mr. Rao supports the education of around 70-80 underprivileged children through the income he generates at the tea stall. More than 300 children have so far benefitted from in Cuttack.
We offered him an additional Rs. 500/- towards his initiative. He refused and responded saying, “You just pay me what you owe for the chaai. If you want to do something extra for the children, come to the school and visit them.” It is truly a refreshing and humbling experience to meet someone like Mr. Rao today. At Rao’s the remaining 5 foodies joined us and now we were 20 in number.
Then criss-crossing the streets of Cuttack, we reached Kailash Pav-Bhaji, near Gouri Shankar Park. Kailash Pao-Bhaji though not truly Kataki is still a favourite of many in the city. The pao-bhaji and dabeli were lip smacking and left the foodies wanting for more.
At Kailash, many foodies got a lot of time to mingle with fellow foodies. Some discussed business, some discussed what’s new in the city, the biker foodies shared their Ladhak diaries, the divas in the group happily posed for the pictures and selfies.
A trip to this part of the city is incomplete without the very famous “Masala Cola” & “Kulfi” at Chowdhury Bazaar. The foodie group then got a taste of Cuttack’s very own mocktail. There may be many who love masala coldrinks,masala thumsup..this my dear is the baap of all masala drinks .In goes black salt,lemon juice,Sprite,thumsup , a mystery masala and the desi juggle.
Pictures were taken, act was videotaped in slo-mo & timelapse, the foodies documented the moment in the best possible way. After covering these many spots even I was giving up, but the foodie entourage was in no mood to give up. They still had the sandwich and Pandey Kulfi in their bucket list.
Kulfi was a sheer delight. The kesar pista, sita-fal kulfi were an instant hit, but what impressed me the most was the mango kulfi. A whole mango in the form of a kulfi is the showstopper at the shop. Located right after the masala-cola shop, this should be a must try if you haven’t tried it yet.
There is no better way to end a food walk without a “Paan”. Mr Hitesh Seth brought some lovely meetha paan for the foodies. It was a wonderful gesture on his part.
It was a lovely experience with some amazing people. It was not just a gastronomic delight but a great deal of learning too. This food walk gave a good deal of food for thought as well. We learnt a little from Anil bhaina , a little from Mr Rao, Kailash and the humble kulfi wala. We would come up with more such walks in the future and create more such memories and stories.
Thanks for reading~~ Rohit Srivastava
P.S: We deliberately left “alu-dum-dahibara” from the list as we believed that it has been documented many times and taking the twin city foodies out for dahi-bara aludum makes no point. We restricted our food walk area from Buxi Bazaar to Chowdhury Bazaar. We might have missed a few but time and stomach both were a constraint.