Pushing your way through the crowds and managing to snatch a dosa or bajji is what makes the Thindi Beedi experience complete
Enter with a Rs. 100 note and walk out having eaten enough to keep you satisfied well into the next morning.
That seems to be the promise carried by Thindi Beedi, a street full of food at V.V. Puram, near Sajjan Rao Circle.
Over 20 food stalls spread over less than 150 m here serve a variety of south Indian, north Indian and Chinese delicacies, to a loyal and appreciative clientele.
Not many stall owners are keen to talk about how they got there, as many of them, unfortunately, do not have a licence. But they are more than willing to share details about their in-house specialities.
Landmark for bread
Start your explorations at V.B. Bakery at the start of the street. This has been a local landmark for over 50 years. The bakery is known for its fresh products, especially the cream puff and honey cakes, and calling its bread soft would be an understatement.
Arya Vysya refreshments opened soon after V.B. Bakery. Murugan. T, its owner, said his specialities include akki roti and paddu.
He claims his food is like “home food”. “During festivals, we prepare dishes that are the speciality of the festival. For Ganesh festival, we prepare kadabu, during Deepavali, we cook holige.”
Dosas and snacks
Eating Ramu’s ghee masala dosa will make you go on a guilt trip, especially if you have watched him make the dosas, generously doused in ghee. But the tasty dosas make it easy to set aside these thoughts and return for more.
The most crowded stall is, unsurprisingly, the one that sells bonda and bajji. Priced at Rs. 10 onwards, it’s a steal. Aloo bonda, chilli bajji, onion pakoda, banana bajji… the list goes on; the capsicum masala, priced at Rs. 20, is a must try.
One up on the competition
On this street that mostly had south Indian delicacies, to get ahead of the competition five years ago, Deepak Singhel decided to introduce Chinese food.
It proved to be a shrewd move, with a good crowd braving the mess around his stall waiting to savour his Indian-Chinese fare of gobi manchurian, babycorn rolls and spicy fried rice.
For the sweet tooth
You cannot say goodbye to the street without trying Shivanna’s butter gulkhand with fruits. It’s colourful and highly satisfying.
The crowds here may be daunting, but pushing your way through to the various counters and managing to snatch a dosa or bajji is what makes the Thindi Beedi experience complete.
Each person visiting the street has a story to share. For some, it brings back memories of college days, when they had a fixed budget to fill their stomach on.
Srinivas Kaja says he discovered the street when he was hungry late one night and did not find any place to go. “This was the only place open to grab a quick bite at 11 p.m. Since then, we have been regular visitors to the street,” he says.
Sunil H.B. visits the place every week. “The taste draws you here,” he says, picking the pav bhaji and Rajasthani paratha as his favourites from this street.
A lot has changed in the street over the years, but some things remain the same: all stalls only serve vegetarian food. There is no explanation for this, but the tradition continues.
Keywords: Thindi Beedi