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Food is one of the most important attributes of any city that completes the overall experience of the place. After all other activities, one needs to fuel oneself for latter pursuits. And if you are a foodie then that is exactly what you travel for. Hence for this episode we are at Dehradun the capital of Uttarakhand to explore the gastronomic scene on the streets that is filled with quaint natural beauty, smiling faces and remnants of an intriguing bygone era.
Located in the Doon valley situated between river Ganges on the east and Yamuna on the west the city is famous for its pretty landscape and pleasant climate. It provides a gateway to the popular tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, Auli and the holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh etc. For this exploration, we are super elated and fortunate to be guided by celebrated anthropologist, cultural activist and flaneur par excellence who is the founder of this organisation Been There Doon That, that conducts curated walking tours across the city.
We started with the traditional meal platter at Chetan Puri wala at Hanuman chowk which was served on leaf plated. The homely spread consisted puris, chole, potato curry and raita. Their assortment of ladoos made with desi ghee is another hot favourite among the locals.
Next we ambled down the historic streets lined with old havelis and mansions to have an interesting thing called Katlamme at Mamaji Katlamme wala at Purani Sabzi mandi. Katlamme is a frontier dish that is exclusively available in Dehradun. It is essentially a big sized deep fried crisp flatbread that is eaten with a spicy chole and pickles. This closer cousin of Bhature is a craze with the foodie populace in here.
Our next stop was kachori bhalle stall where we tried a unique and zesty snacks that comprised of crushed Khasta kachori and fried lentil vada topped with chole sabzi and grated radish. No wonder with all the yummy things it turns out to be a popular fare.
Lokesh then took us to Bengali Sweet shop to try a quintessential sweet of the state i. e the Baal Mithai. This chocolate-like fudge is made from khoya, sugar and dry fruits. It has a unique smoky taste that comes from the caramelizing of the khoya due to longer.
Next stop was Sunrise Bakery a name that the city reckons with when it comes to bakery items. Here we tried some of their popular items like rusk, Pista biscuit, patties, Plum cake and cream rolls. The taste was quite phenomenal.
Continuing with our sweet pursuits we reached Kumar sweet shop. Here we were intrigued by the exciting taste of Bottle Gourd ladoos and Kaju Paan.
Soon after that we arrived at another popular fast food joint named Joshi Fast food centre whose Momos are highly recommended for their fresh and irresistible taste. It is a craze among the young crowd. We also shared a heartwarming conversation with the owner of the place.
The pleasant gastronomic trail was hit by a sudden downpour but then that too led us to gorge on an irresistible plate of Pakodas and bun samosa.
Our ultimate stop was Vicky Bun tikki wala where we tried Dehradun’s signature streetside dish Bun Tikki. It wasn’t just a delicious snack but a harbinger of nostalgia and emotions. Watch the video to know the connection.
We are immensely grateful to Lokesh Ohri for taking us on this gratifying gustatory journey across this emerging city that still holds its glorious legacy dearly. Big shout out to team Been There Doon That For their amazing initiative. To know more check out there Social media handles. See you soon.
About the host – Anubhav Sapra:
Anubhav Sapra is an avid culinary explorer who loves to travel and explore different cuisine primarily the street food, not just for the sake of gustatory pleasure but also for quenching his deep thirst for nurturing new cultural connections through the kaleidoscopic canvas of food. He believes that the vibrant and delectable street food tradition across the globe has the power to bring communities together and foster harmonious human existence. To know more, visit www.anubhavsapra.com
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak