The bustling lanes of Bara Bazaar
In some obscure lane in the market of Bara Bazaar (Burrabazar) is a small nameless dhaba. Maybe it does not even qualify as a dhaba– it is more like a small eating joint. Even if you are in close proximity to this place, you will be greeted with a strong smell of spices and onion being cooked in oil. The delicious smell acts as a magnet that will pull you towards the small joint and make you want to try their delicious food. A plate of aloo dum and luchhi is usually served on a disposable leaf plate. This is done precisely because it saves the time of washing the utensils again and again in a place that already sees some water problem.
The inviting smell of lucchis being fried and garlic is an instant crowd-puller
One such busy day in the markets of Bara Bazar led me and my friends to this place. Like every other person, we were pulled in due to the smell of the food that was as inviting as ever.
The most significant smell we got the moment we entered the joint is that of the lucchi being fried in hot oil and the sweet smell of garlic that remained in the air. The Bengali aloo dum that is cooked in mustard oil is an extremely versatile dish in term of spices. We ordered the patent dish and adjusted ourselves into that small place. While we waited for the food to arrive, we began talking to the person doing the cooking.
A family business that has been serving hot and yummy food for years
He told us that the joint is a family business, currently in his hands- the first-generation son. His father had started this joint when he first came from Bihar and was looking for a way to support his family of five. The small place will shock you with the number of people it can feed in a day. Like any other Indian eating joint- it is not the most attractive of places, but the food has no comparison. The item on the menu is also just the classic aloo dum and luchhi, yet, it can be an easy competition for the big restaurants. The kitchen which also doubles as an eating place is was very clean and had only a few items on the slab- the huge kadhai to fry the lucchis in, the spice box, Ganesh mustard oil to cook the aloo dum in and sliced vegetables for the same. The younger brother also helped around in the kitchen by chopping the onions and tomatoes, peeling the boiled potatoes, making the garlic and ginger paste and serving the customers.
The moment we took one bite of the food, we felt the spices hit our throat with such vigour and titillate our taste buds to such an extent that another bite became inevitable. It is why the flat-tasting lucchi is such a good combination. Needless to say, we gobbled our food like hungry monsters and ordered another round of lucchis.
Food, they say is not just for the stomach, but the soul
The joint has been consistent in its quality and taste all these years. The recipe has been the same, the ingredients have been the same, the only thing that has changed is the person behind the stove. Even then, the joint has a devoted set of customers, customers who have the food as their lunch every day or people like us who are pulled in due to the smell that wafts through the tiny lanes of the busy market and makes your mouth water.
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