Sunday, July 1, 2012

The local moment

Whenever I go to a new city, I'm never truly satisfied until I feel I've been somewhere truly local and been able to navigate my way through a situation, sans driver or guide.  While my drive around town had been amazing, it was hardly experiencing the city as locals do (pretty sure they don't get carted around in the back of an air-conditioned Toyota with iced water all day).

That changed yesterday when I came across this chaotic canteen at Shilparamam and had the delicious local moment I'd been waiting for.
The guy at the very back would squeeze the flour out into the piping hot oil, which firms it up into ball form.  I actually tried to order one of these but when I said "can I have one of those round balls please?" they just laughed at me haha!
I finally worked out that there was a ticketing system which meant fixed prices from the board - refreshing after all the haggling I'd been doing.  Went with a masala dosa, thanks to C for introducing me to these crispy pancakes on the poncy streets of Surry Hills.
Success!  Perched it on a chair as it was insanely hot to hold through the paper plate.  Not sure what the darker sauce was but it was delicious as it was lethal!
The chair I was resting my dosa with was swiftly taken away from me when someone else needed to sit down.  Seeing me struggle, these two beautiful girls made room for me on their table and even shared their iced water with me! (I was crying from spices at this stage).
Authentic local meal achieved - and with the kindness of strangers I didn't burn my hands or belly.
My hands and face were covered with oil at the end of it all (napkins aren't big over here) yet even my meal at the palace wasn't nearly as satisfying as that burning dosa.  
Was the perfect end to my (almost) week in Hyderabad.  Best 44 cents I ever spent.


Anonymous said...

Love meeting the locals over a 44cent meal!

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