I used to love Dahi puri at Kadamba restaurant, Basaveshwarnagar (B’lore). Four times a week, I would go there after college and relish on this chat. I would closely watch the chatwala while he prepared this chat. The hygiene standards of Kadamba are good unlike at the road-side vendor’s. He uses larger than mouth sized gol-gappas and I love the challenge of gorging on them without spilling the masala pani. The stuffing is made of moong dal sprouts, mashed potatoes and thick curd. The curd they use here is not sweet unlike the ones I tried elsewhere. It is spicy, sour and tangy. Then he garnishes with sev, coriander, beetroot and carrot shavings.
I know all the ingredients which goes inside this and tried to replicate a few times. But it could not match the taste of his dahi puris. May be he uses a secret ingredient. You know, kind of just like blood. We know all the components making up this essence of life, but no scientist could create it artificially. Clever analogy, isn't it?
After spending a month in my hometown during summer holidays, I eagerly went to Kadamba the earliest after coming to Bangalore. The dahi puri I had this time didn’t taste at all like the one before. The curd was sweet. As told by the waiters there, I learnt that my favourite chatwala went back to his village and would never return. My search for the perfect dahi puri continued but I was disappointed everytime.
The center of an entrance exam was at VV puram, which is far from the place I live. On the morning of the exam, I seriously considered skipping it. But then, I went and attempted it anyway. After the exam, I went to Dosa mane nearby, which is famous for 100 varieties of dosas. The masala dosa was not as good as expected. I saw a man in the chat counter and I did a double-take. It was my favourite chatwala! I was thrilled at my discovery. He was happy to know that I missed his dahi-puris. We chatted for a while and he told me that he came to Dosa mane as the pay was better and it was closer to his home. I gorged on till my stomach ached! I thought I could never eat the dahi puris made by my favourite chatwala again. If not for the exam (which went really bad) I would never have come to VV puram. I was happy to be united with the world’s best dahi-puri! And I know where exactly to head to for evening snacks!