HomeArticlesRATLAM Food Tour – FAMOUS Ratlami Sev + BHUTTE ki Kachori + KELE ka Samosa (& Tikiya)
RATLAM Food Tour – FAMOUS Ratlami Sev + BHUTTE ki Kachori + KELE ka Samosa (& Tikiya)
August 31, 2019
Welcome to Ratlam, the city famous for Sev, sari and gold. It is also known as the city of tea lovers. It is also one of the biggest railway junction of the western zone. Today, in search of taste, we will explore the streets of Ratlam. And relish Come with us. You have decorated it quite well. There is pomegranate seeds, fresh coriander and lemon. This is Madhya Pradesh’s traditional breakfast. It is called Poha and it is made from flattened rice. Today we are at the Saklecha shop. Sir how old is the shop? Our shop is like 50 years old. And do you prepare this Poha for breakfast only?
-Till 12-1 pm. On the top there is sev, fresh coriander, pomegranate seeds, mustard, cumin and fennel seeds. Sir tell us about the process of making this. How is it prepared? For this, we take 100 ml oil for every 1 kg of flattened rice. So for 5 kg we use 500 ml oil. Then we temper it with mustard, fennel and cumin seeds. Then we put green chilies and some green peas. We fry the green peas, that are available all through the year, in the oil. So first you soak it(flattened rice) in water and… We wash it well. Like 3-4 times. If you make a video of this cleaning process you will be surprised to see the amount of dirt that is there in the packaged Poha. At homes, the womenfolk-X, Y, Z anybody- just soaks it and cooks it. We wash the flattened rice in such a way as people wash their cars. The way they wash their vehicles applying the pressure of the water jet. A lot of dirty water comes out of this. And that too even till the 3rd or 4th step. It has an amazing taste. There is a nice flavour of the asafoetida. Lemon juice is added for the tang. The use of sev lends a spiciness and crunchiness to the dish. On the top there are these sweet pomegranate seeds. Sir give us a tea. What is so special about you tea that it is so popular? Nothing sir, its just pure milk. The tea leaves are A Class. We add the spice and let it boil thoroughly on the charcoal fire. That is why the tea comes out nice. Which spice do you add?
-Just cardamom. Wow ! A thoroughly boiled tea. It gets properly boiled on the charcoal fire. And as a result it has a distinct flavour. The leaves are A One. Pure milk is used. The kind that comes from the villages.
-Right. We don’t add any water. So it is prepared with milk only? Pure milk only. So it is the kitchen of the Lord who is here. And the work in on due to his blessings only. The name of your shop is also Bajrangi and there are so many photos and idols of Lord Hanuman ji over here. I am a big devotee of Lord Bajrangi and everything here works on his blessings. How old is your shop?
-Sir it is 40 years old. What is your name?
-My name is Vikash Goyel. What is this? Coffee.
-Yes. This is saffron coffee. This is our coffee. Saffron coffee.
-Yes. In this, first you add the saffron to the milk, then boil it and finally add coffee to it.
-Yes. It is very strong. We have kept it strong in accordance to the weather. We make it light as well. Very nice. It has a unique flavour. There is a nice flavour from the saffron. This is called ‘cut coffee’ because it has half a glass of coffee. The full coffee is for Rs. 20 and it is bigger in size. Just like Bikaner’s Bhujia, here they have the Ratlami sev. Currently we are at Gordhanlal shop at Daulatgunj. This shop is fifty years old. And here we will taste the famous Ratlami sev. Its totally hot. And fresh right out of the oil. It is eaten fresh and hot. Sir tell us what is so special about the Ratlami Sev In Gujarat also you have the sev. So its taste comes from the water present in this region. It is affected by the water and the climate. Into the gram flour goes the clove, black pepper, hing, cumin, salt and chili powder. Then it is deep fried over there. And the famous Ratlami sev is ready. It is very crisp and fresh. When you eat it, in the beginning you won’t feel the spiciness. But after a while you will feel it in your throat. It has a very nice flavour of the clove and asafoetida. And the spiciness hits your throat. People have it with Poha or as a teatime snacks. Very nice. This tastes like the bhujia but it is the sev only. Wow ! This is better. These are two variants of the sev-one is the masala sev and the other one is plain. The plain one has gram flour and salt only. I like the plain one the more. Namaskar sir.
-Namaskar. One Dal Bati Bafla Thali for us. So this is the traditional thali.
-Yes. Wow! You have added ghee on top of this papad as well.
-Yes. Ghee, masala and fresh coriander. Along with it there is this Bati. Bafla. What is chutney made of? Onion, garlic, coriander leaves and green chilies. And this sweet and sour dal. Here what is the concept behind the dal? Like you asked me whether I want sweet dal or sweet and sour dal. It is all about your preference. If you want savoury we will make savoury dal for you. So here people put sugar in their dal.
-Here they like the sweet and sour dal. I can see that the food here is a mix of Rajasthani and Gujarati influence. Rajasthan is nearyby.
-That is why the food is so similar. The Bafla is a dish from Malwa. The main difference between Bafla and Bati is that the bati is directly baked on the charcoal fire. The bafla is first boiled then baked and ghee is added. Along with this there is this chutney made of coriander, onion and garlic. There is papad that is roasted and smeared with ghee and sprinkled with chili powder and fresh coriander. And also we have the sweet and sour dal, the specialty of this shop. They customise the dal for you. They have added sugar and dried mango powder to it. They have put a lot of ghee, coriander and garlic and then tempered it. The process of crushing the Bati is quite interesting. You do it in the mortar and pestle.
-Yes. Very delicious. The taste is that if a plain whole wheat ladoo. You use coarse wheat flour.
-Yes Sir a small plate for us. This is a again a fundamental dish of Ratlam and other parts of Madhya Pradesh. People eat it during fasting. Although it is available all throughout the year, people prefer it most during any kind of fasting. This is Sago into which Bhoora is added. Then chilies, masalas, salt, peanuts And for crispiness these fried potato chips have been added. Its sweet and sour and pure in taste. What are these red spots in the Kachoris. These are the corn ones. These are of corn and lentil both.
-The spot is for identification.
-Okay to identify the corn ones from the rest. The stuffing inside these kachoris are that if corn.
-Yes This is quite unique because in most of the kachoris you have the potato or lentil fillings. Here they have stuffed it with corn. Wow you have put hing in it. The flavour of hing is quite nice but it is spicy. Its lentil and corn. There is a sweetness from the corn. There is red chili powder and hing and it is perfectly fried. The samosa that is mostly available all throughout India is the potato samosa. This is the raw banana samosa which the people from the Jain community can also eat. This is sweet and sour.
-yes. There is green chilies, whole coriander. they don’t put fresh coriander. There is garam masala as well. Ratlam is a small place famous for sev. But what ever else did we try out here was quite delicious. Let’s taste the mirchi vada. It won’t be spicy, right.
-No. If it is spicy then Rabri treat is on me. Its crisp and very fluffy. As they were rightly saying that it is not spicy but zesty. I was passing from here and I liked the hoarding of your shop-Madhya Bharat bar bar. It is very old. Its been 15 years since it closed down. 20 years since it has closed down. And prior to that when had…
-It had got its licence long long back. Its licence dates back to 1952-53. After the Independence. That’s why the name is Madhya Bharat. So it is a very historical place. And the hoarding is also very old. Bar bar. The board also belongs to the same time. The counter, the furniture , the chairs everything is there since the beginning. Only the fridge has changed. The fridge is a new addition. The beer that you see is the fruit beer. See it is written ‘super strong fun beer’. This one is Khajuraho and the other one is Life 1500000. And it is written ‘non alcoholic beverage’. But its smell and taste resembles the beer. How many years ago…like did the government pass any rule as a result of which there is no bars in Ratlam? They are there but total three are licensed. There is Mamta, Padamshree… these two to three bars are there. Rest all are prohibited by the government. What is the reason for closing them? Like they need AC rooms, parking lots, gardens… Everyone can’t afford it. Like in this small space how can I fit a garden, a room or a parking lot. That is why we had to leave this. Do people come to have fruit beer? Very few sir. One, two or three bottles get sold. On some days there is no sale at all. It has a nice Jal Jeera kind of flavour. And as you were telling it has fizz as well. It tastes like a beer but it is non alcoholic. Its name is ‘super strong fun beer’. Let us see how is the shop from inside. So there are these bars. And cabins. Inside here as well. It is dark. These are the cabins. This used to be the kitchen of the Bar. Here we get two kinds of Tikki-potato one and raw banana one.
-yes. Raw banana one is for the Jain people who don’t eat potatoes. Give us a Jain tikki as we have eaten aloo tikki a lot. In fact give us a Jain tikki and aloo tikki both. This is tikki, then chole, green chutney and sweet dried mango powder chutney. masala and cumin. Very delicious. The tikki is quite crunchy. Here is known as tikkiya not tikki. Isn’t it?
-Yes Chola Tikkiya. This is mint flavoured water.
-Yes. Wow ! This is a complementary thing with the Tikkiya. Completely zesty water and it has a digestive quality. One more speciality of this shop is… They advise you have the water in the same bowl in which you have the tikkiya. Because the leftover chutney traces increases the flavour of the spiced water. This is the Aloo Ka Biscuit. It is basically Aloo tikki that is broken into pieces and thoroughly deep fried. On the top there is masala, jeeravan, red chili powder, salt and lime juice. Wow ! Do you like it?
-It is ultimate. It has a nice flavour from the desi ghee. This chat that we are trying is the raw banana tikiya. on top there is chole, green chutney that doesn’t contains ginger. sweet dried mango powder and harad chutney. And some masale. Come let’s taste. In Ratlam there are many such dishes that suits the Jain style of eating. people from the Jain community don’t eat underground vegetables. Like potatoes, ginger or yam. That is why this raw banana tikkiya is quite famous. We had also tried Karu mama’s raw banana samosas. Now we are trying the raw banana tikkiya. although there isn’t much difference in the taste. between the potato tikkiya and this raw banana tikkiya. And the real fun of having a tikkiya is with the chola. this is dahi vada Wow! totally soft vada. dipped in curd. at the top there are the two chutneys. Jeeravan, red chili powder and salt. Drink some of that mint water in this bowl. it would be a great combination with the leftover curd traces. these dahi vadas are chilled.
-Yes. We keep it like that as it gets hot being close to the flame. What are the vadas made of?
-It is of moong and chaulei dal. I am not aware of this dal.
-Its like a bean. 90% of the dahi vadas in the market are made of Urad dal. It results in a heavy combination with the curd. hence all through the year we make them from moong and chaulai dal. It aids digestion. This is the speciality of our dahi vadas. Chaat does helps in digestion. and you get different flavours. our chaat is healthy chaat. Thank you chote lala ji Now we are going to your uncl’s shop.
-Right. there you have pani puri and spinach leaf chaat. There are 10-12 flavours of the Pani Puri. Palak chaat has palak pakoda topped with curd and masalas. Which is the best flavour?
-you taste them all. -Come let’s go.