It’s been around for years now, yet General Bazaar continues to be a food haven for most Hyderabadi shoppers

If there is some thing we Hyderabadis love then it’s got to be a round of shopping and tucking into good food. And if the food in question happens to be spicy, piping hot street food sold at affordable prices then there’s nothing like it. For years now, most people living in the Secunderabad area have made a beeline to General Bazaar as their one stop solution for all their home and fashion needs. But there’s another reason why so many Hyderabadis love heading to General Bazaar – for the aloo toasts, sandwiches, mirchi bhajjis and jalebis.

The street behind the durgah on R.P. Road for instance is filled with carts offering all kinds of treats. If you happen to stop by this particular stretch of General Bazaar in the mornings, you could help yourself to some steaming idlis, crunchy vadas or sumptuous dosas. Go there sometime after 11a.m. and your senses will be assailed by the scent of freshly fried bhajjis of all kinds – mirchi, mysore, aloo, masala vada, punugulu etc. Not to mention the sight of crisp and juicy jalebis or the fresh fruit juices available right there.

“I’ve been doing business in this area for the last 21 years selling bhelpuri, aloo toast and sandwiches. My father used to run the business earlier and then I took over,” says Surender Vaishnav, who runs the Sri Vinayaka Bhelpuri Chaat Bhandar, behind the durgah at R.P. Road. Surender caters to a large number of shoppers and offices in the area and says that over the years he has built a loyal clientele base that includes people of all ages. “Owing to the demand I’ve now started taking orders from nearby offices on the phone as well,” he says, adding that he has been able to survive in the business for so long due to the level of cleanliness he maintains at his food cart.

Right across the street is S. Suresh’s bhajji stall, where people flock at any given time of the day for their share of mirchi bhajjis, samosas, kachoris and other such fried goodies. For those who wish to eat a more filling meal there is always the Balaji Jai Narayan Udipi Tiffin centre with its freshly prepared South Indian fare is a big hit with both shoppers and the several steel utensil traders in the area. For short eats there are men selling irani samosas on cycles for as less as Re. 1 per samosa. Sounds like a steal?

Like it goes with most street food joints, the level of hygiene might leave a lot to be desired. But considering the food is fast moving and always freshly prepared, it might cut the risk a bit. Some food carts like Surender’s do however, maintain hygiene levels to the T.

To wash it all down there is a fresh fruit juice stall and a man selling tender coconut water just down the road. For people with a sweet tooth there is Bankat Lal’s stall selling freshly made jalebis, jangris and sweet boondi.

“I’ve been running this stall for nearly 30 years now. Though originally from Rajasthan, I’ve lived in this city for almost all my life and there was a time when business was very brisk in this area. Today however, with the numerous sweet stores that have sprung up around and rising costs, my sales have taken a hit. Yet, I manage to do decent business. Festive season is when sales really pick up though,” says Bankat.

A short walk further up the street you could also find some refreshing sugarcane juice. The best part about grabbing a bite on this street – you can get a plate of freshly made snacks for as less as Rs. 20. So go ahead and give the General Bazaar street a shot.