All in a day’s work

packed breakfast
Every chance I get, I use. After locating my ride at Vadodara the first question I put to him was where I could get some good ‘snacky’ Gujju breakfast! He knew just the place. We went to Payal Farsan Mart from where I got packed a bite of quite a few things – very like the proverbial kid in the toy store I was. Masala dhokla, a redder version of the above, was not even my favourite! That would have to be the crispy methi na gota: deep fried spiced besan + whole wheat flour batter with just the hint of bitterness from methi leaves. How they get the gota to be spongy-soft has got to be a skill, for I saw no holey signs of baking soda. There was khandvi which I had to try, naturally (mine’s better πŸ˜‰ ). Pattis – a different kind this time. These were stuffed with a mixture of grated fresh coconut, ground peanuts, coriander, and sesame, with the thinnest outer layer of cooked mashed potatoes. These are much in demand by ladies who are observing a fast, all ingredients being kosher – permitted as fasting foods! I also tried their house-special makai ni bakarwadi – which was a very delicious version of the common bakarwadi. A very rewarding breakfast; absolutely worth the wait.

Everything was packed charmingly – wrapped first in a square of grease proof paper, then in newspaper (pink coloured Gujarati newspaper!), and tied with string. Weren’t we just talking about newsprint as wrapping paper?

I highly recommend a visit to Payal if you are in Vadodara. No pictures of the delicious food, I’m afraid. I was hesitant to whip out the camera and shock the man; I was supposed to be there for work. Serious work. Like streambank stabilization. I would be telling engineers and contractors at the site a thing or two. I would also face my first public participation meeting before the gramsabha later that day.

Saurashtra spread
Undhiyu, baingan bhartu, simla mirch, lasuni palak with bajra na rotla (with jaggery and ghee, of course!) and buttermilk.

After a lousy lunch I refused to eat dinner in the hotel’s restaurant that, for whatever insane reason, does not serve Gujarati food. They, naturally, serve Mughlai and Chinese. After drinks (yeah yeah, it’s a dry state), we all went to Tapi (I think that was the name of the dhaba) for a taste of food from Saurashtra. They have an AC section! The food was okay, but the company and the rotlas were first rate.

khakras galore!

While Payal was closed next morning, I found Surti, near the airport, that had barely opened its shutters. There was some time before the pattis, gotas, and other fried items would start coming out of their hot karahis. They only had dhokla ready which I gladly got a parcel of (very greasy though). I grabbed some thepla with pickle, and bakarwadi to bring home a taste of Gujarat.

Payal Farsan Mart
2 B N Chamber
R C Dutt Road
Opposite Welcome Hotel
Alkapuri, Vadodara 390005

24 thoughts on “All in a day’s work

  1. After seeing the khakra’s the first thing that came to my mind was thepla’s. My ex-roomie’s grandmother packed some 60-70 thepla’s for her during her India trip and my frnds and I would come home from the Univ everyday to have a few of them with masala chai :)) …me want some now :(( Can I apply for a PA post with you?

    That was the idea behind the post – to make all of you far away remember home!

  2. Anita, I’m home sick seeing all this fare. Gujarati food has been a huge part of my life. When I traveled to Gujarat for work I only thought of food, I guess thats how one feels once there. I need a dose of Gujarat now!(stamping my feet like a kid but no one here to fulfill my demands)

    Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures, drool πŸ˜›

    I was sure this would send people down memory lane… my pleasure entirely. πŸ˜€

  3. A good friend of mine has moved to Ahmedabad, so Im looking forward to foodie trips to satisfy my hankering for Gujju food. I did satisfy some of them though on this trip to Mumbai, when I went back to our old haunt Chedda’s in Matunga (the guy we used to buy groceries from is still there albeit in a swank airconditioned version of the old store)and stocked up on all kids of farsaan and churan.

    Thanks for this mini foodielogue! πŸ™‚

    I bet Bombay has great Gujju places!
    Make your list so your friend doesn’t forget anything!

  4. I can’t get over the amount of work involved to produce a batch of undhiyu! Fascinating foods…and I really want to taste bhakarwadi now!

    That makai bhakarwadi was really something, a giant oval and very different from the other regular kind, even though I couldn’t tell it had corn in it.
    I’ve only had undhiyu outside – never cooked it myself. A lot of work like you say, and apparently, to get it to taste authentic it does need copious amounts of oil!

  5. Of all the cities in Gujarat, I’ve spent max time in Baroda… love the food there. Love love love… you make me want to go back now.

    At least make a visit…want to join me next time? πŸ˜€

  6. Hips, baby. It all goes to the hips. Looks like you had a great time! So am I, actually. So am I. The food’s so-so, the sights are what make the trip worth it. Catch up with you again soon!

    WOW – your sights. What an amazing landscape!

  7. What a scrumptious brekkie to start the day with !
    The gujju dhaba grub looks as oily as that from punju dhabas!

    Yup – very oily it was! And I couldn’t even tell between a few of the dishes – they were so mashed up they even looked the same!

  8. hello you have a wounderful blog out here.Never commented before but had to this time as you have made me nostalgic because Baroda is home and i am far far away.i simply love payal’s farsans.thanks for bringing back the memories…

    Made you de-lurk!
    Payal Farsan rocks! I am looking forward to another visit soon!

  9. My SIL stays very close to Payal Farsan…..everything that they have tastes awesome, doesn’t it???

    Absolutely awesome! Your SIL is a very lucky girl! And I bet some of that luck passes on… πŸ˜€

  10. what a beautiful post Anita! keep them coming!!
    Do visit my blog if you get a chance, I usually blog about the time I spend with my daughter.

    Thanks again for sharing such beautiful memories!!

    Loved your stories too!

  11. Hi Anita,

    What a surprise to see you in Vadodara :)Vadodara is home – I grew up there, went to architecture school there (yes, all nighters were punctuated by leftover farsan from payal and the like!) , and worked there as well before I came to the US for grad school – so streambank stabilization, are they finally doing that on the Vishwamitri?? Would love to know more about your work in the city…
    Also,strangely, your trip to Baroda coincided with my parents visiting Kashmir – and thanks to the awesome description on your blog- visiting Kheer Bhavani – they had a lovely and very memorable time.

    My work is a bit further away – in Ankleshwar actually. Another architect – cool!
    And I hope to go back to Kashmir too…one day…in the near future?

  12. What’s farsaan?

    Farsaan, my dear, is what is not a meal. So all those yummy snacks that Gujjus are famous for (besides their business acumen!) – the gathiya, sev, khakra, etc. etc. are all in the family of farsan. Gujjus are known to never leave home without some packed snack, and what they can carry with them on a train journey can be very elaborate…

  13. yummy – but what about the recipes ? My fave Sunday breakfast is dhokla and gathias with to die for chutneys from our local farsaan wala

    Yes, the recipes! Of course! There are links πŸ˜‰ !
    And I can’t make a few posts without recipes or what? (There was hardly enough time for the story… πŸ˜€ But I hear ya…)

  14. Hi! The Khandvi looked just yumm in your picture, and sounded really easy to dish out too. So there you go – I tried it. Guess the curd I used was a little too sour though. So the taste was not too much to my liking! It looks really nice and I took a few pics of it!! :D. Anyway – next time will try with some good yogurt. Do you have any other tips that would help?

  15. Loved reading your writeup, it really cheers up and your recipes are just great (I’m referring to other posts:) ) and I have tried making almost your kinda aloo paratha which you sent for Roti mela..aloo paratha was delicious.

  16. I studied in Gujrat for 7 years, including B.E. So yes, this post takes me down memory lane πŸ™‚ And speaking of Gujrat being a ‘dry state’, back in my college days, my friends used to ‘smuggle’ alcohol from Daman πŸ˜‰

  17. hey anita,

    this is payal from payal farsan..
    first of all thank u so much for all the comments it waz very sweet of u… i waz really very amazed to find a blog on our shop.. with so much of good response frm this city we have opened another outlet in baroda wch is in fatehgunj.. i wud be happy to have thr some time..

    once again thx a lot..

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