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A street named Pakodi

Bheema Raju  

If Mumbai has a fashion street, Hyderabad has a pakodi street!!! It’s on the way to JNTU Kukatpally Housing Board Colony. As the name suggests, everyone comes here for pakodis (Indian batter fried veg and non veg snack). However, the speciality of Pakodi Street is that they only cater to non-veg lovers. A little ahead of Metropolis Mall on the way to Forum Mall from Kukatpally, Pakodi Street begins at a lane where the landmark is the Maisamma Gudi (local deity temple) at the entrance of the lane. Drive or walk in and the waft of fried masala will hit your nose. At times, the fried spices in the oil might even make you cough, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to reach the carts selling chicken, prawns and fish fried in the authentic Andhra home style.

An ideal place to hangout with lots of munchies at your disposal, this lane is all about eating on the street in disposable containers made with dried leaves. So do not expect anything fancy here.

Around 15-20 carts set up their stall in this lane every evening post 7 p.m and they sell till their steel tubs full of marinated meat and fish are empty. One of the carts that was drawing the most number of people was ‘Sri Mavullamma Talli Chicken Pakodi’ run by Bheema Raju. Bheema Raju is the newest member to join the cart business in the lane and is apparently the most popular amongst them all. It could be because of the fact that he has a modified food cart with an in-built exhaust system, clean counters to cook and shining steel vessels to hold the marinated meat. His cart is also well-lit and little awning attached to the cart offers a little shelter when it is drizzling.

Popularly known as ‘Bheema Raju garu’, Bheema had to resort to setting up a street food cart owning to personal financial issues. He says since the past four years, he has been able to meet the demands of street food lovers. So, what is Bheema Raju’s special? “We sell non-veg pakodis in pure Andhra style. It is deep fried, crispy and spicy. I use a special masala combination and call it ‘navaratna mix’,” he explains.

Pakodi Street functions with absolutely no-frills fashion. There’s no menu card that’s passed around. The items are popular and you just shout out your order. So what’s good here? “It is either chicken pakodi with bone or boneless, chicken leg piece, wings, prawns fry, fish fry, kamju fry,” suggests Bheema Raju as he offers a plate of chicken pakodi to start with.

The meats are bite sized, crispy deep fried and the Navaratna mix is no mean mix. Keep a bottle of cold water handy but don’t give up on missing that taste. Next come the prawn pakodis, with a generous squeeze of lemon and freshly sliced onions on the side, this will take you on a spicy high but it will still be unstoppable. Prices start from Rs.100 and upward. The costliest item that he sells is a single Tilapia (fish) for Rs 400 (biggest size)


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Printable version | Oct 13, 2021 6:46:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/A-street-named-Pakodi/article14550883.ece

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