Beereshwara Prasanna serves up typically Bangalorean chaat
With an appetite for culture satiated at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, the more basal huger pangs are best relieved in the lane diagonally opposite the auditorium.
An enjoyable snack is guaranteed at the Sri Beereshwara Prasanna Fast Food, named after the man at the helm of affairs.
For a decade, this has been the go-to spot for local residents as well as music and theatre lovers, for its chaats and heavily Indianised version of Chinese food.
While Prasanna’s chaat carts are brightly coloured like the others the city, he draws on his experience of close to 28 years to create popular chaats, such as masala puri, bhel puri and dahi puri, which he has specialised in since he came to the city as a 10-year-old in search of work. His version is typically Bangalorean, using a base sauce common to all items, unlike Bombay chaats, and peas instead of channa.
His expertise extends to the strictly vegetarian and very popular Indo-Chinese cuisine too. A range of items are made using baby corn, mushroom, cauliflower, potato and paneer, ranging from the noodles and fried rice options to manchurians that are made to specification.
The most interesting is the ‘rani’, a dry, spiced item available in a number of vegetable bases that is best eaten by itself or along with the sweet and sour ketchup that flows freely here.
The ‘chips masala’ is one of Prasanna’s special items, a crunchy dish made using fried potato wafers. Twelve-year-old Mohanesh, who lives nearby, has been coming to the stall almost every day for the last two years and is handed a plate of chips masala immediately as soon as he arrives: it is the only item he eats here.
Every chaat item, served on plates made of arecanut leaves, is priced at a standard Rs. 15. As chaat sold for just 75 paise when he started off as a boy, Prasanna says he’d feel guilty if he were to raise the price any higher.
The clean surroundings and ample space on the adjacent footpath make this place a perfect evening hangout.