Ahmedabad has one of the best street food scenes out there, I believe. And since I have done a fair bit of roaming and eating of said street (and other) food in Ahmedabad, I thought I should do a post about it. Also because, of late, I have been missing Gujju food like crazy.
So here I go.
When you are in Ahmedabad, you should totally not miss out on eating khaman – that fluffy, sweet-and-sour delicacy made out of besan. The best places (according to me, of course) to have khaman are Mehta’s near Vadilal Hospital, Raipur Bhajia House or Astodia Bhajia house. Raipur Bhajia House and Astodia Bhajia House are more famous for their bhajias than their khaman, but I like their khaman more.
Also, while you are in Mehta’s do give their patra a shot, too. Delicious rolls of pattarveliya leaves stuffed with a sweet-and-sour mixture of besan and spices, boiled later, it definitely gets me drooling.
A visit to Ahmedabad can never be complete without going to the Mecca of shopping – Law Garden. Popularly called Love Garden, this garden turns into a shopper’s paradise in the evenings, and a foodie heaven as well. Rows and rows of chairs miraculously appear at a number of stalls all along the lane next to Law Garden, selling everything from Chinese and Italian to South Indian and Punjabi food. You won’t believe your eyes when you see the lane (called Khau Gali) in the morning (when it is desolate and empty) and then see it come alive in the evenings.
Don’t miss the mini aloo samosas and dalwadas that you get out of the small lorries lining the end of Khau Gali – they are yumminess personified.
And while we are on the subject of dalwadas, you absolutely should not miss eating them at Khadawala’s Dalwada Centre near Gandhigram Railway Station. If you are thinking Khadawala’s is some kind of fancy shop with fancy equipments and menus, you are highly mistaken. It is a tiny lorry in the lane just outside the railway station, but the taste of the dalwadas it churns out is capable enough to outweigh any concerns that any customers might have about its size. People come from all over Ahmedabad to queue up here for dalwadas, especially on rainy evenings. Need I say more?
Also, while you visit Khadawala’s, don’t miss out on another tiny lorry nearby selling methi gotas with sweet chutney – Public Gota House. Droolworthy, I tell you.
Coming back to Khau Gali again, you absolutely should try out the Chinese Bhel at Ajay Intercontinental. A mixture of fried and boiled noodles, vegetables, manchurian and fried rice, this bowl of happiness is like nothing I have had anywhere else.
You must also have the Gujarati-style mini pizzas from Jasuben’s Old Pizza in Khau Gali. Toasty rounds of dough, topped with a sweetish gravy, vegetables and loads of cheese. Loveliness!
Here, I must not forget to mention pav bhaji and pulav from Honest, another stall in Khau Gali. Of course, Honest has many outlets across the city, all of them dishing out equally yummy food. Pav bhaji is also great at Vijay Juice Centre ( one of my favourite eateries, near Ellis Bridge), and they serve a mean mango milkshake as well.
Once you’ve had your fill at Khau Gali, head over to the Asharfi’s van ( a permanent fixture here) for a bowl of deliciously cool kulfi. Asharfi’s calls themselves the King of Kool Kulfi, and I am not about to argue with that. The kulfis I have eaten here are the best I have ever eaten. Most flavours are good, but my personal favourites are pista, sitaphal (if it is the season for the fruit), chocolate and mixed (in which you get a taste of most of their flavours).
Worried about having eaten too much and having to suffer from indigestion? Worry no more. Head over to a Hajma-hajam stall in Khau Gali, and ask for any digestive of your choice out of the long list they offer. Tasty, yet effective for digestion.
Did I mention that the chana chor garam in Khau Gali is yummy, too? 🙂
Municipal Market (popularly called MM) is another foodie heaven in Ahmedabad city. There are rows and rows of food stalls here you can have your fill at, but what you absolutely must not miss is eating ragda pattice at Swastik, a lorry just outside the market. One aloo patty, lovely chana gravy, finely chopped onion and coriander, garnished with spices and a myriad of chutneys, it spells out happiness for me.
Very near to Municipal Market is a restaurant called Choice, where you should absolutely eat the pizzas, pav bhaji and dosas. One of the oldest restaurants in Ahmedabad, the food here is highly popular among citizens. Ask my Amma where she likes to eat in Ahmedabad, and pat will come the answer – ‘Choice’!
In the early mornings, most gardens around the city have these small stalls outside selling hot-of-the-stove breakfast. I love to stop by these stalls for a dish of steaming, Gujju-style aloo poha. If you want, you can top this off with a glass of milky masala chai from a roadside ketli, along with a maska bun. Just don’t look at the amount of butter that the ketli guy is sure to slather on your bun, though, if you want to preserve your sanity.
Then, you must head to HL College, one of the oldest and most famous commerce colleges in the city. Ensure that you go in the afternoon, when the college is open, so that you don’t miss out on any of the delicious food that any of the many stalls outside it have to offer. Here, you must, must, must try out the sandwiches at Maharaja, steaming Maggi at Friends, and cold coffee at any of the stalls. Droolicious! The vada pav and dabeli here is quite famous, too.
By the by, great dabeli can also be had at Jay Bhavani near Law Garden.
Oh, and there’s Freezeland too near Law Garden, if you want to be served some lovely food that you can sit and enjoy. Everything here is good, but the AFL and BFL sandwiches, pizzas, pavbhajis, cheese pulav and pinacolada are to die for.
Errr.. and while you are it, why don’t you give Savitaben’s corn-on-the-cob a go? Savitaben’s is a small lorry selling different varieties of corn-on-the-cob, just outside the Samartheshwar temple near Law Garden. A very sweet person, she always asks where I have been whenever I visit her, as she serves me my favourite boiled corn with cheese.
How can you go to Ahmedabad and not eat a Gujarati thali? 🙂 There are many places where you can have a Gujju thali in Ahmedabad, and most of them are good. My personal favourites, though, are Toran, Vishala’s and House of MG. House of MG is a bit on the expensive side, but the food and the ambience is totally worth it, I would say (it is a heritage bungalow converted into a hotel). If you are in Ahmedabad during the summers, you will be served a yummy, yummy, yummy bowl of aam ras as part of the deal. Undhiyu, if you are there in winters.
A few other things you must have while in Ahmedabad are lassi with ice cream at Farki, neera from a roadside stall (when it is the season for it) and samosas and kachori at Indore Chat House in Paldi. You must try out chat (specially the five- or seven-flavoured pani pooris) at chat stalls across the city.
If you are there duing Dussera, make sure that you get a couple of hot-off-the-stove jalebis and fafdas. Steaming jalebis and undhiyu during Uttarayan. Don’t miss eating the cholafali that most small roadside shops make, either!
Whenever you are feeling too full, stop at any paan parlour in the city and have a thanda, meetha paan. You won’t forget the burst of flavour it leaves in your mouth for quite some to come!
I know I haven’t mentioned many famous eateries in the city, but that is because this post was meant to list out my personal favourites.
Is it any wonder that I suffer from Gujju-street-food-withdrawal-symptoms every now and then? 🙂
Have I tempted you enough to plan a visit to Ahmedabad yet? 🙂