Jalaram Nasta House’s Sev Usal

Sev Usal is a spicy Maharashtrian dish. Sev is actually fried noodle like strands made of chickpea flour and fried, while Usal is a gravy made with white peas and chutneys along with spices and condiments like ginger, garlic, tamarind and so on. The dish is an incorporation of the two elements. While it can be had by itself, it is more enjoyable to be had with a bread bun locally called as Paav in India.

While Sev Usal is not a dish that is native to Baroda, people of this city have brought it as close to perfection as possible. In turn, the residents of Baroda have showered love by making it a staple part of their diet. A Sev Usal stall is common sight. In fact, in terms of food dishes it is considered by many to be the pride of Baroda.

Locally, Mahakali (named after the Hindu Goddess) is one of the most popular places to have this at. Such is the popularity that many more small time stalls bearing the same name or a variation of it have come up. However, my personal favourite place to have it is the Jalaram Nasta house which is also called Lalabhai’s Sev Usal centre.

Located inside a lane that opens to a road, it is not very easy to locate unless you’re specifically looking for it. I remember getting lost, the first time I went there alone without my friends who would normally take me there. It is marked by a banner in red with the name written in white in Gujurati.

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You will first be given a premixed dish to get you started with. If you ask for extra (and I always do), you’re first served the sev and onions, while the gravy comes few moments later.

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You can mix and match the sev with the Usal to get the combination you feel right. This is how I start.

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An important aspect over here is what is locally called the ‘Tari’. It is basically a chilly preparation made from oil, green and red chillies. It is very spicy, and is added on top at the last before mixing the whole thing.

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To be honest, this is one of the reasons that gives Sev Usal its signature feel and adds an extra dose of yum. And there, you finally have your Sev Usal ready..

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Feel free to dig in.. Part of their team was happy to be part of a picture that I took before leaving.

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The dish and the place are so wonderful that I take my guests and friends over to have a taste of this iconic dish. This is a picture of Shail di and me, when she had come to visit quite some time ago. Repeated comments as to how much younger she looks, may result in bricks flying in your direction 😛

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I am attaching its location on Google Maps for you to locate it.

 

Written for day 10 of the A to Z challenge.

 

Hola for some yummy Mexican food

This is another place that I stumbled upon by accident. I was looking for a place that accepted online orders and payment for home delivery orders, when I came across HOLA Mexicana. I enjoyed their food so much, that I ended up ordering at least once every week for some time. Soon it dawned upon me that while I have had their yummy food many times, I haven’t actually been there even once. I made up my mind to go there over the weekend.

HOLA Mexicana is quaint little place nestled in a building complex Fatehganj, Baroda. Their banner is well lit, so that you don’t miss it. The only catch is that you can easily park a two wheeler, but a car will need some efforts.

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They have a warm looking interior, which can easily manage 20 or so patrons. One of the plus points is that they have A/C and wifi, so it makes spending the hot noons or evenings easy.

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One of my regular orders over here is their mexican rice. While they offer both veg and non veg options, I like to go with the chicken version. It is a fabulous combination of rice, sauces, spices, tanginess, vegetables, beans, shredded chicken (since I go for the non veg version) and cheese. I have had it almost everytime I have ordered from them, and I still enjoy it each and every time.

This is what the bowl of mexican rice looks like when you receive it.

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I like to give it a nice mix, before diving in.

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Not one to get satisfied with just one bowl of rice, I order something else to go with it. This time I ended up with one of their omelettes.

holaome1They make a nice fluffy omelette that has stuffing inside the fold. Mine had chicken, vegges, spices and cheese. Needless to say it was absolutely delicious.

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What is even better about the place is that in spite of serving such delicious food, and giving you a warm and comfortable ambience, they are easy on the wallet. Here’s a snapshot of their menu

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This is hands down, one of my favorite places in Baroda to have mexican food. I will leave you with a picture of the HOLA Mexicana team who were happy to pose for a pic for me.

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Written for day 8 of the A to Z challenge