Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not the sundal you know

Time was when pushcarts such as these were extremely homogenous. Every one of them had the same basic ingredients: greenpeas, chickpeas, slices of unripe mangoes, grated (or finely chopped) coconut, salt, chilli powder... and then the power of the maker takes over. Whether you took your custom to Balu or to Ramu depended upon how well the man knew your taste, and how he'd balance the salt to be just right for you. Were there pushcarts in those days? Unlikely, you say? Maybe you're right, for the sundal came to its own on the sands of the Marina Beach, which are not the easiest terrain to push a laden cart through.

With more options for an evening out than just the Marina, the options for push-cart-snacking have also grown. Chennai has also become quietly cosmopolitan, no matter what outsiders might say. Here's proof, if you will: the sundal has ceded a fair amount of space to crunch-munch delicacies imported from other parts of India. Jhal mudi on the push carts was just impossible to come by a few years ago, but now, it looks like Chennai has taken to it with a vengeance.

Writing about sundal and jhal mudi has only served to make me drool - I can't think of what to write any more!


Avi Ramu said...

i miss da masala vrkadalai u get n da bus stops

Shantaram said...

>> Tifossi>> So what's the Kurukshetra equivalent? :)

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