Hr Ki Pauri in Haridwar is famous for two things: Brahmkund, the main bathing sthal adjacent to the main temple on the banks of the Ganga, and Mohan Pooriwala.
This eatery, furnished with just four tables and a few chairs, serves just poori subzi and jalebi mal-pua, and more than competes with the biggies in the business. For the past 100 years or so, this eatery has been on the must-visit list of devotees and tourists alike.
Enjoying a hot spicy bite, Rinky Kalra, a regular visitor, who came with her family for a dip in the Ganga, says, “After the Ganga snan, nothing is more soothing and palatable than the hot poori sabji. Come to Har ki Paudi and not eat at Mohan pooriwale is not possible.”
Before she gets married next month, Rinky is here to get some tips on how to make delicious stuffed pooris as well.
Tilak Raj, the cook, can roll out a poori with just two strokes of his rolling pin. After that it’s just cook and serve.
Inflation and price rise has forced the owner of the restaurant to increase the price of the dishes by Rs 4 per plate. Last year, the dish was priced at Rs 24 a plate and for Kumbh it is now Rs 28 per plate. The sweet dish is still priced at Rs 15 which serves one mal pua with 60 gms of halwa. Those not going in for mal puas can enjoy a double helping of halwa.
“The restaurant opens early in the morning and serves till midnight,” says the owner Vijay Modi. This eco-friendly Indian style eatery maintains tradition and serves the food in leaves which are bio-degradable and eco-friendly.
Many people, seeing Mohan’s success, have drawn inspiration and opened similar eateries. But a century of tradition is hard to be put out of business.