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Khau gallis in Thane cook up a fusion storm

Khau gallis in Kalyan and Dombivli now seems to be drifting away from the old-world Maharashtrian cuisine

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2018 01:02 IST
Ankita G Menon and Priyanka Dhomse
Ankita G Menon and Priyanka Dhomse
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Thane,Kahu Galli
Dombivli residents enjoy the street food popped up near Pendharkar college at Dombivli east in Kalyan.(RISHIKESH CHOUDHARY)

Remember how street food once meant gorging on piping hot vada pavs or digging into some spicy missal pav Well, khau gallis in Kalyan and Dombivli now seems to be drifting away from the old-world Maharashtrian cuisine and cooking up a fusion storm.

Be it amidst the office crowd thronging Phadke Road, youngsters chilling in the lane near Pendharkar College in Dombivli, or families spending a good time at Shivaji Chowk, the streets are lined with shawarma trucks, momo joints, kebab corners and vendors whipping up delish versions of chaats and dosas!

Here are some hotspots in Kalyan and Dombivli that are packing a different punch to your regular street food.

Once you thread through the hustling shoppers, office goers and cultural processions at Phadke Road in Dombivli, you can easily spot the dabeli and vada pav stalls. Dig in, sure, but let yourself be guided ahead by the smell of barbecued chicken to small burger stalls or go on and grab some chilled milkshake with your kids. Proceed towards Ganesh Mandir and on the left are carts waiting for you to dig in to sandwiches, ragda puris, burgers, shakes, juices, and so much more.

Parents, children, senior citizens who come to the park nearby on weekends will vouch for the food here. “It is a family routine to visit this garden on Saturdays. My favorite is the ragda puri while my children love the meetha sev puri followed by chocolate milkshake,” says Akshata Rane, 38, a resident of Brahman Society.

Since the last 50 years ‘Khidki Vada Pav’ at Tilak Chowk has been a favourite among residents of Kalyan. ( Rishikesh Choudhary/HT )

Gulab Yadav, 42, who sells chat there says because of the crowd at the stalls, there is often quite a traffic jam. “We easily get around 700 customers on weekends,” says Yadav, who has seen the street dish up from a humble chaat corner in the past decade.

Heading to the lane near Pendharkar College, Dombivli, evenings take on a lively seasoning with youngsters parking their bikes near the food trucks and cafes. Apart from shawarma, momos, the likes of cheese sev puris, ice bhel or schezuan dosa seem to be a hit and are easy on the pocket. At the end of the lane, you’ll run into a shining Royal Enfield converted into a meaty shack, dishing out chicken skewers, burgers, wings, etc. While you’re there, you may also fall prey to the smell of skewered vegetarian kebabs, fresh out of the tandoor.

Another favourite seems to be the chicken cutlet pav, a spin off on the famous vada pav. “For Rs35, it’s quite a steal! Chicken cutlets are sandwiched into a pav and you can also opt for an omelette,” says Suraj Lele, 24, from Tilak Nagar while digging into a double cutlet pav.

Dombivli residents enjoy the street food near Pendharkar college at Dombivli in Kalyan. ( Rishikesh Choudhary/ HT )

Atul Pense, who has a shawarma truck, says the demand from youngsters for momo and shawarma has made the lane so famous. “My uncle used to have a vada pav cart here. When he passed away, I decided to serve shawarma to cater to the new generation. Now, I have three trucks serving shawarma rolls,” says Pense.

Shivaji Chowk in Kalyan is also home to chaat stalls, ice-cream carts, vada pav and dabeli vendors. But beyond these are the Indian sweet shops that have stood the test of time and taste, for example, Anant Halwai that doles out hits like ras-malai, sutar-pheni, bakarwadi, sheikh and basundi.

If you are feeling a little old school, then Khidki Vada, a 50-year-old outlet that sparked off as a hole-in-the-wall has been a favorite among Kalyan residents. “We had started selling it for 10paise. It got popular and in 1990, we got a trademark,” says Yashwant Vaze, 78, owner of Khidki Vada.

Meghana Prajapati, 28, a Gandhi Chowk resident says she swears by the lane near Tilak Chowk for some feasting after shopping. “Pani puri, khidki vada and dabeli are always on my list whenever I visit this lane,” says Prajapati.

Come to Khadak Pada between 5pm to 8pm and you’ll see foodies, especially youngsters dig into various versions of chats, shawarmas and dosas.”Earlier, there were only two to three outlets. Now, this space has turned into a small Khau Galli,” says Nidhi Nair, 26, from Khadak Pada.

Similarly, Sai Chowk, has emerged with its carts full of momos, quirky Chinese takeaways, bhurji pav corners, malvani chicken, etc. “The food tastes good and is affordable,” says Pravesh Patil, 23, a regular at the chowk. “The stalls comes alive from 6pm till 9:30pm. We see mostly youngsters thronging our stalls because of the variety of fast food items available,” says Manish Rane, a stall owner at Sai-Chowk.

First Published: May 27, 2018 01:02 IST