How many of you Bangaloreans know ‘Thindi Beedhi’? I would not be surprised if 50% of Bangalore isn’t aware of this place? Well, for starters this place is very different from today’s mall and swanky restaurant culture. But, having said that this place has a lot of culture and history attached to it and is one of the more famous landmarks in the garden city for those old citizens of Bangalore.
Thindi Beedhi or Food Street is a street in VV Puram, one of Bangalore’s oldest corridors. It is a lane that dishes out some of Bangalore’s best traditional cuisine. In it’s hey days, it used to be a line of hawkers selling their wares on mobile carts. Today, it is a mix of small shops and mobile carts. But, even today, the taste quality hasn’t changed much or at least that’s what the old timers say.
I used to frequent this place a lot about 6 years back when my workplace was just a stone’s throw away. I literally used to have dinner here on all work days of the week. Happy memories or should I say happy tastes lingered in my taste buds for a very long while. And it was after a gap of 6 years that I got to visit this iconic street yet again and that too on a rainy evening along with my colleagues from office.
The food street is known for its food and not for its facilities. One should go here for the food and not seek up market hotels or restaurants. In all probability, the food dished out to you will be great in taste, but you will have to stand in the crowd and relish it. The hygiene may not be great, but having said that I have never fallen ill after eating food here.
My evening experience at food street began, when I parked my motorcycle in front of V B Bakery, which is at one end of the Thindi Beedhi. V B Bakery, is one of Bangalore’s oldest bakeries and is known for its kara biscuits, honey cake, benne biscuits, special bun and more. First, I did a customary walk around the shop and then dug into the yummy honey cake.
With this the evening began on a sweet note. I had to go search for my colleagues who had arrived a short while earlier and who were first timers here. When I found them, they were already munching into some pani puri and other chat delicacies. I was happy to see them enjoying this place.
Then began our marathon walk up n down the food street in an attempt to savour all the specialities offered here. The group started with hot jalebis. And then some more piping hot jalebis. In my mind, this is the best way to titillate your palate. Then came the turn of some Kali dosas, benne dosas, onion dosas and paper roast dosa. The best part here was when we saw the paper roast arrive. It was more than a good 2 feet long.
After satiating our stomachs for the time being, we decided to check out the mobile carts at the other end of this street. Here, we had some mango corn masala and boy was it totally mind blowing!! Corn cooked over a charcoal fire along with the raw mangoes and their secret masala recipe made this item a hot favourite in our group. The only sad part here is that these mobile carts are at the mercy of the local policeman, who make life miserable for those who do not pay them a bribe.
Next, we went to a shop where we saw a huge crowd in front of it. Here we decided to indulge in some paddu and dosas. While, we were waiting for our orders, I decided to ogle the menu card, which was printed right on top of the shop along with the fluorescent lighting. The specialities here, apart from the ones we ordered are Ragi Dosa, Akki Roti, Bele Holige, Hot Jamun and Hot Jalebis. Soon the Paddu came along with the coconut and chilli chutney. This combination is one of my personal favourites and it tasted excellent here.
By now, some of the folks in the group were feeling the effects of this over-indulgence and hence decided to sign off with some hot badam milk. The more daring group members went off the other side and back to the mobile carts to try out some masalai mandakki. The masalai mandakki was freshly prepared in front of us and came out on top as yet another great snack sold here.
After the masalai mandakki, nearly everyone in the group was feeling full. Hence, we decided to sign it off with some Kesar Elaichi Kulfi, which was like the icing on the cake. A signature end to a great evening. Once all of us had finished our kulfi, we called it a night and parted ways. But, me and my friend were not over yet. He bought some jackfruit for his home, while I picked up some hot jalebis.
My 6 year wait to food street was definitely fulfilled that evening! I just hope I don’t have to wait that long for my next time.
For all those who do not know this place, the food street is located on old market road in VV Puram and is sandwiched between Sajjan Rao Circle, Minerva Circle, RV Road and National College Fly over in South Bangalore. The detailed map can be looked up here.