I love sweet and spicy food. When I think of ‘sweet and spicy’, many memories come flooding. I especially love ‘Dahibara Aludum’ and ‘Gupchup’ (i.e. Panipuri or Golgappa).
I was very small when I was introduced to Dahibara Aludum, a famous dish of Odisha.
My maternal grandfather and subsequently my father treated us to the Dahibara Aludum prepared by Raghu, a much-in- demand Dahibara Aludum maker & seller. Raghu sold his yummy fare in front of Barabati Stadium of Cuttack - the venue of many important cricket-matches.
|Famous for Dabhibara Aludum- Raghu, Cuttack, Odisha|
I still remember the very first time I had taken a bite of this delightful dish! Apart from majorly satisfying my taste-buds, Dahibara Aludum also encouraged the serious thinker in me. As my spoon pierced into the fair and tender Dahibara’s flesh, I wondered how can something be so soft and yet retain its shape without breaking. Later, I wondered, how can any fried item maintain uniform fairness and not have burn injuries!
|Dahibara, Cuttack, Odisha|
By itself, the Dahibara dipped in the curd-water tastes sweet. Though most vendors do not add sugar in the Dahibara or the curd-water, yet it tastes sweet perhaps because of the natural sugar-content in the milk that is used for curd-preparation. The Dahibara is sweet only if one hasn’t added the hot and spicy chilly powder on top of it; such addition turns it spicy.
Also, there is the spicy Aludum, easy to tear, that is served along with Dahibara. One bite of Aludum and you can sense the rich spices lingering in your mouth. Together they are a super cool sweet and spicy combination that anyone can eat without any tantrum!
On one occasion, being an over-zealous spice-lover, I had added extra chilly powder on my Dahibara serving. Ah! Fiery hot and spicy! I had to have water then! Having been in the same situation earlier, my understanding family stepped in to help me! I was offered fresh Dahibara and curd-water. I gobbled one Dahibara up and drank a whole bowl full of curd-water, but still the effect of the spice magic persisted in my mouth! That’s when I had to resort to sweet Peda- a sweet that is sold near Dahibara Aludum to control such emergency!
When I was small, when Raghu brought his treats, they got over within less time as many Dahibara Aludum lovers like us were eagerly waiting! Not much has changed after all these years. Though Raghu has changed his address and his grandsons handle the business now, his Dahibara Aludum tastes the same and there are still eager foodies waiting to lap it all up within no time! The twin-cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar boast of yummy Dahibara Aludum that’s available on major roads and areas. Served by vendors on cycles or hand-carts, you cannot miss this filling and appetizing snack that doubles up as a meal!
Also, Gupchup (i.e. Paanipuri or Golgappa) is a must-try when you visit Odisha. Many varieties of Gupchup are available. In an incident similar to my above Dahibara experience, I had zealously asked the vendor to add extra green chillies and spicy powder in the potato mixture served as filling inside the Gupchup balls or puri. The dish became very spicy. Then, the vendor dipped the Gupchup into sweet and refreshing jaggery-water- syrup infused with mint and tamarind. Aha!
My sweet and spicy memories got triggered when I came across the culinary stars, Vikas & Vir, talking about their #Foodventures. Vir’s video featuring Alubukhara Dahi Tikki and Vikas’s video with Lobster Thermidor are #Foodventures that sweet and spicy food-lovers like me would love to try.
I love such sweet and spicy concoctions, don’t you?
Which is your favourite sweet and spicy food? Please share your views in the comments section below.