Food Head to Sindhi Colony to satisfy cravings for pani puris, dabelis and other street eats

Ask a Hyderabadi where you get the best chats in the city and one of the directions they will point you to is that of Sindhi Colony. Prenderghast(PG) road, that runs through the locality is a drive through haven for those connoisseur’s of north Indian street food, who wont settle for less when it comes to their vada pavs and dabelis. A relatively less crowded lane, running parallel to SP road, the street even has ample parking space for those who want to take their time with their samosa chat.

Sindhi colony was so named because it was sanctioned to house Sindhis who came from Sindh in Pakistan after the Partition of India. The area continues to be home to many of these families, making it the perfect place to open a chat bandi. Or at least that’s what Rajesh of Bombay Chaat will tell you. Between topping their popular fresh vada pavs with roasted green chilli before handing them out to customers, he informs us that he hardly has a dull day. “We are known for our dabelis and vada pavs,” he says. Originally from Gujarat, he moved to the city nine years ago and set up Bombay Chat. Today has two others from Uttar Pradesh working at his stall.

Rajesh didn’t come alone, further down the road, his brother Raju runs a successful soda shop. The bright yellow board of Famous Sodas announces the availability of flavoured sodas – Green Mango, Jeera, Kala Katha and more (Famous special ‘digest’ soda and Whiskey soda are on the list!). Behind a row of colourful bottles, Raju works at his self-made soda machine. “Unlike machine made soda, ‘hand-made’ soda can be custom made,” he says. Whether you like your soda fizzy or flat, you can get it here. Like most of the stalls on the streets the shops stays open till late at night.

Walk a little further to Dimmy’s pan palace, a large store catering exclusive to pan lovers. It is the stairs leading up to the shop, however, that get more crowded. Whether it is pani puri, aloo toast, pav bhaji or samosas, it’s all available here. Madan, from Jharkhand and local Manoj are busy dishing out pav bhaji to a bunch of college girls at their stall. Less than two feet away, their friends enjoy the seemingly never-ending relay of pani puri. On the opposite side of the road stands Temptation ice cream parlour. Don’t be fooled by it’s emptiness in the evenings, the place gets crowded later at night and you can see families enjoying the fruity ice cream in their pyjamas.

Adding a touch of diversity to the spread is Idly Dosa People (IDP). The place is a favourite among the residents of the area who are ever so often in the mood for a south Indian repast. Another star attraction of Sindhi Colony is the famous Pizza Den. Known for their ice creams and spicy pizzas suited to the local palate; this shop is one of the most crowded in the area; so much so that they have installed a coupon system to regulate service. A pure vegetarian joint, their spicy paneer pizza can make a hard core non-vegetarian forget about meat for a few seconds.

While this may seem like a lot of options, Nimit Shah who has a clothes store in the area will tell you that the number of eateries on the street has come down in the last decade. “We had the Satyam office here and the road would be crowded with young professionals in the evenings. That’s when most of these places came up,” he informs. Now that Satyam has shifted base, many shops have moved but the place still has enough to satisfy a foodie.

ZEENAB ANEEZ

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