Skip to content

Sarafa Bazar, Indore: A Gastronomic Orgy


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Indore, a fast developing city in heart of Madhya Pradesh, besides being known as the seat of power of Holkar clan, its erstwhile rulers, is also a delight for food nerds.

Whenever I visit Indore, it amazes me no end to see the variety that is doled out in form of ‘namkeens and farsan’ the fried and spiced combination of Bengal gram, lentils, peanuts, peas, potato wafers or the multiple flavors of ‘sev’, the deep fried spiced gram flour crunchy noodle look alike, the breakfast favorite ‘poha‘ made of pressed rice, ‘sabudana khichdi‘ made of sago or a meal of cooked lentils and steamed flour balls, the ‘dal and bafla’ …the list is endless. And any given point of time there are people gorging on food. I often wonder how a whole city is obsessed with food?

Needless to say, Indore is a foodie’s haven. And the fascination towards food among locals becomes overtly evident every night at the ‘Sarafa bazar‘. As night falls ‘sarafa’ dons the avatar of a food court gratifying the gastronomical orgies of food fanatics.

Sarafa Bazar, is one of its kind, the only place in country that is a jeweller’s mart by day but converts to hustling-bustling and jostling street food lane by night. 

I am not really inclined much to venture into a crowded space if I can help it and I am not exactly a foodie either. Thus a trip to ‘sarafa bazar’ at night never really excited me enough. But this time, I gave in to my curiosity and headed to the famed street.

Food frenzy at night

The auto-rickshaw careened sharply before coming to a halt at a corner shop where men and women of various girths seemed to be glued just like swarm of bees on a ball of jaggery. The titillating aroma wafting from that corner made me salivate and unwilled I was drawn towards the source. The ‘Vijay Chaat House‘ was dishing out fresh ‘khopra patties‘ a boiled potato patty covered in desiccated coconut, to the drooling crowd.

I decided to return to it after a walk down the lane hoping some food stall would be lesser crowded for me to begin exploration of food. It was a pointless exercise and a while later I had to plunge in and brave the wave after wave of fresh customers making a beeline to all food joints.

The master chef at ‘Joshi Dahiwade’ served plate after plate of his special dish with the dexterity and craft of a juggler. He would pick up five different spices in his fingers and with a flick of his wrist throw the paper plate in air. As it landed back in his hand he would dash one of the spice on to the plate and juggle again. A plate of those airy lentil cakes dipped in beaten sour curd and tangy tamarind chutney left my mouth watering.

Spicing up the dahiwada
 Another stall lured with ‘bhutte ka kees‘ or steamed spiced mashed corn and ‘garadu-ratalu‘ spiced diced yam and sweet potato bites. Deep fried ‘samosa’ and ‘aloo tikki chaat’ sizzled in a skillet bubbling with hot oil nearby.
Mashed corn and sweet potato bites

The ‘pani-puri’ walah, had upped his game with assortment of five flavors of sweet sour, asafoetida, garlic, cumin and minty syrups filled in little puffed up semolina breads. Fruit sellers were not far behind with their colorful ware decked up on hand carts offering fruit salads and fruit cream desserts. Sweetened buttermilk churned with fresh coconut was a mild concoction that soothed the belly after such oily spice attack was another favorite among people before continuing their affair with more spicy food.

Five flavors of pani-puri
Fruit desserts

An assortment of tables selling calorie rich ‘rabdi-malpua‘, ‘gulab jamun’ and ‘moong halwa’ distracted me. The proprietor claimed to have had the stall since sixty years earlier run by his father. He seemed happy to not have a permanent shop because it saved him from paying taxes. 

Calories galore

Another makeshift seller sold home made crushes with sodas and if all this was not enough, the betel nut seller set up his business at a strategic location. The betel nut or ‘paan‘ is often eaten after the meals as it helps in digestive process. Whether the ‘paan’ at the cart would live up to its natural properties, was however a debatable question. Slathered in all kinds of flavors in white and dark chocolate, the ‘paan’ seemed as sinful as any other food on that street. 

Chocolate covered betel nut leaves

I was full… a little too much by the time I tasted one item on each stall. Would you believe I ate only half the variety that was available? But anymore and I would have burst like a over stuffed soft toy with its undone seams…

It was almost midnight and I stumbled out of the mad house that the street was even as a fresh load of hungry foodies spilled out of autorickshaws towards the street.

If you are in Madhya Pradesh, do not miss out on a trip to Indore and its food.

Facts and Trivia:

  • Indore is one of the largest city in Madhya Pradesh and is an industrial hub.
  • Well connected by road, rail and air, Indore has its own airport in Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, 8 sub stations in Indore railway junction and is accessed by three National Highways.
  • It is just 190km west from the state capital of Bhopal.
  • Historical royal palace of Rajwada and Lal bagh are some other places worth visiting.
  • There is no dearth of restaurants and hotels.
  • Maheshwar, Ujjain are two holy cities close to Indore.

Shoma Abhyankar View All

I believe "Life is short and the world is wide"and travel is best possible solution to make the best of this life.

10 thoughts on “Sarafa Bazar, Indore: A Gastronomic Orgy Leave a comment

  1. I have been to this place only once. Which is a shame because I was there in Indore for my four years of engineering. But thanks a lot for making me recall those days. It was a well-curated post indeed Shoma 🙂

    Like

  2. Indore is a gastronomical delight. Apart from common and well known delicacies such as pohe or gulab jamuns, I cannot forget the taste of garadu and bhutte ki kees that very few people outside malwa region know.

    Like

    • Yes true though Bhutte ka kees is known among Maharashtrian families but haven’t seen it being sold as street food anywhere else.

      Like

Do please share your opinion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: