In the final leg of our street food exploration in Morena, Madhya Pradesh, we have embarked on a snacks tour across the city to witness its cogent snacking culture. And to guide us on this fascinating food exploration we have with us our young foodie guide Aman Saxena.
The first stop was Sri Chaat Bhandar popularly known as Chini Halwai. Since it was morning, the place was abuzz with people eager to indulge in bedmi, bati and different kinds of ghee based sweets. We too tried the first two dishes and some sweets. Be it the savoury or sweet snacks, everything was truly delicious. The highlight of this visit was witnessing the soan papdi making at their huge and clean workshop. The laborious process was a fascinating watch.
After this huge brunch we took a break and hit the busy street in the evening as Aman said that snacking in Morena has no fixed time. The first thing we tried here was the famous bhalle from Lallo Ke Bhalle cart. For we North Indians balla is the soft urad dal fritters served with yogurt and chutney but here it refers to potato patty topped with chole and chutney. The warm serving was really flavourful and comforting.
Next we reached Sanjay Chaat Bhandar for a dish called karela. The word is a hindi term for bitter gourd but this dish has no trace of it. Instead it was a sweet and sour treat made of a crisp bitter gourd shaped papdi, potatoes and chutney. The genial fellows at this cart also made us try some meethi tikki. Don't confuse it with the familiar North Indian tikki. In Morena tikki refers to golgappe. Both the dishes were delicious and surprisingly pocket friendly.
Negotiating this confusion between tikki and bhalla, we reached our penultimate stop Kashyap Chaat Bhandar. This basic food cart serves only tikki. But the two things that make it absolutely irresistible, interesting and unique are the warm potato and yellow pea stuffing and the mildly spiced dried mango flavoured water.
The final stop of this snacks tour was Shake It Baby. It is a chic contemporary eatery specializing in sandwiches, shakes, momo and chaap. Here we had a fun time with the owner who happens to be a huge fan of our shows. After the warm welcome we tried a momo platter along with cold coffee. Both the items were fun to try.
We are extremely grateful to Aman for giving us an immersive food tour of this city. Morena was a revelation.