Apart from being tagged as “Diamond City”, “Silk City”, “Clean City”, awarded the “Best City”, Surat is also known for its amazing food and the way they enjoy it. There is an old saying that says, “Surat Nu Jaman Ne Kaashi Nu Maran” which means dine in Surat and die in Kaashi for the ultimate experience of the soul. The variety of Street foods in Surat will amaze you.
The yummy Khaman to Khamani, the buttery Paranthas with more than 100 varieties and similar number in varieties of Dhosa to even Dabeli, the array of chats from Delhi and Rajasthan, the variety of Handvos it has all.
But what doubles the joy of savouring food here is a unique culture that exists nowhere but in Surat. There is an area in Piplod where the footpath is lined with several hawkers with their menus just as in Restaurants. They spread Carpet on the footpath where people either order food or bring their own and enjoy it on the roadside amidst the shiny lights of Malls and cars zipping past.
If you are visiting Surat, this is definitely not a miss. From variety in almost all the dishes you will also find some unique platters.
There is a very intresting story why this dish is named Locha. It is because it coincidently got invented while cooking normal Khaman. Once when a farsan vendor was preparing khaman, for some unusual reason he took it out of the oven semi-cooked, when he tasted it, it was like a tasty blast in his mouth, hence the Locha as it is famously known was invented by a mistake, a blessing in disguise.later. The authentic Locha was later sub categorized into many forms for the people to enjoy the way they want. E.g: Cheese Roll Locha, Schezwan Locha, Italian Locha, White Locha, Garlic Locha, Butter Locha etc. There are a number of famous Locha places in the Surat city namely Jani Farsan, ParlePoint, Gopal Locho (multiple branches), Khaman House,Athwalines and Jalaram Locho stall, ParlePoint .
Khaja is said to be a surti monsoon delicacy. Khaja, which means’ just eat it’ is from the 1880s. During those days, the city used to have a horse race on four weekends of the Aashad month of the Hindu calendar. The race was held at which is now known as GhodDod Road. The race started from Athwa Police Chowki and ended at Langar in Dumas. Few Lord Krishna preachers are believed to have made this Khaja. the “Khaja” was served to the crowd before and after the race. It is said that it tasted wonderful with bowls of mango pulp.
Undhiyu originated from the Gujarati word “Undhu” as it is cooked for hours in earthenware, stirring the specific 8 vegetables (cultivated in Surat) upside down traditionally. This spicy authentic vegetable casserole is a winter dish which is been passed from generation to generation still not all can pull this delightful dish well. The Undhiyu can be accompanied with pooris and rotis (phulkas) and also tastes great with rice and Gujarati dal too. It is also occasionally prepared on Uttrayan, where families celebrate kite flying and enjoy the taste of Undhiyu with all the members of the family. The best where you can find Undhiyu is the Mota Varrachha and the Dumas Road, yet nobody can beat the elderly mother’s and Grandmother’s made with love Undhiyu’s authentic taste.
This is one of the best amongst the spicy dishes of Surat. A combination of khaman with a spicy gravy poured open it leaving you wanting more after each bite. A Street shop near the Old Museum in chowk is famous for this spicy yet mouth-watering dish.
“Khamani” the name sounds as a better half of Khaman. Khamani is a dish prepared with Chana Dal as the key ingredient combining it with Garlic, Ginger, Chillies along with Sugar that will definitely tickle your taste buds. Places where khamni is famous include Madhi Ni khamani (Multiple Branches). Apart from this many other street farsan vendors also sell khamani.
Sosyo the first ever Indian soft drink was launched, an Indian variant in 1927 by Mohsin Abdul Rahim Hajoori, when Gandhiji called for a ban of imported products under the Swadeshi movement. Intially, it was called ‘Whisky No’ because, although it tasted as ‘the perfect mix of whiskey, rum and soda’ yet was non-alcoholic. It has been successful since generations and the drink still has not faded with time nor has been affected by other new products in competition. It is a product of the famous brand the Hajoori’s which also include other products apart from Sosyo. E.g: Frootreet Icecreams, Kulfis and other Soft drinks.
Ponk wada in Surat is famous in winters. Basically ponk is just green juvar. Not only vendors sell Ponk Wada but also Ponk Samosa, Ponk Cutlets, Ponk Bhel etc. Other than suratis many other people come to Surat just for enjoying the taste of ponk and adding a spicy and delicious taste to their winters.
Tomato bhajiya is a speciality of Surat immensly famous and usually enjoyed on the Dumas beach mostly on weekend mornings. This delectable Bhajiyas on the beach side is a pleasant experience. Although the monsoon adds an extraordinary zing to the taste and the crowd gathers with their friends and families to enjoy the tangy bhajiyas with rains falling along.
One of the most favorite varieties in snacks in the city can be considered is Fafada. Generally people prefer a combo of Fafada with Jalebi and it is specially demanded more on dusshera, a hindu festival celebrating the defeat of Raavan(a character from the Indian mythology). They are yellow, made from gram flour popularly known as besan in the Indian households, served with sour & spicy chutney. Faafda is available all over Surat, but it began at Lal Darwaja, Near Station Road. Some other renown places in the city include Jay Shankar Dhanji, Bhagal, Girish Faafda Center ,Shubhash Chowk, Gopipura, Shiv Shakti Faafda, Choksiwadi,Rander Road etc.
Handvo is a traditional Gujarati Cake made from mixed dals of the Indian culture. It is best served with buttermilk. It is must have for someone looking to try different. A spicy savoury you will love anytime, anywhere on any occasion with friends or family.
A spicy dish preferred as breakfast, especially on weekend mornings by the surti crowd. It is prepared mostly by Muslim vendors and Rander is famous for this dish which later got popular in other areas of Surat as well. A spicy and tangy combination of potato gravy on semi-cooked wheat puris garnished along with spring onion, onions and sometimes even Egg, Cheese and Coriander. Although some places also sell Non Veg options.
A traditional gujarati sweet dish, dipped in Ghee and stuffed with Dryfruits. Ghari is made on the special day of ChandiPadwa. Renown places that sell ghari are Jamnadas at Chauta Pool, Thakkar Motiharji ,Mohan Mithai , Thakore Sweets , Chunilal ni Mithai etc at Bhagal and Choryasi Dairy Near Amba Mata Temple.
Who doesn’t love Ice Gola? But by now you have got to know one thing about the lovely people of Surat and that is Surtis want the best when it comes to eateries and that is why they give a makeover to even the simplest dish just like this!
This chocolate milk out stands any other chocolate drink completely in Surat. A one’s cocoa near Chowk is famous for its cocoa.