Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Of Longings for Shillong Food

Police Bazar at night (main commercial market)
Is it the hot humid weather in Delhi or is it my years catching up with me or is it just a craving for good food? The answer to that I do not know but one thing I know - I miss the paani puris, the miniature Re. 1 dimsums, the chowchow (noodles), the small ja-doh (rice) stalls and the alu-muris of Shillong. Ah! The misty, mystical, rainy, beautiful place called Shillong, rightly called 'Switzerland of the East'. I had spent my college years there and the place will always be special. I write this post not to reminisce my days there or describe the beauty of the place but to talk about the food. I am no big foodie or a culinary expert but they say some tastes are acquired over time or years and mine has been borne out of years. 
Bara Bazar - Wholesale vegetable market
You never realize the difference in food, people or culture until you have met others. The food always tasted great in Shillong and it was clean, healthy and nutritious. Being free from pollutants like in big cities and vegetables grown mostly using natural methods, the food was divine. A popular place to eat called 'The Wok' , located near Fire brigade, Laitumkhrah had the most delicious of pork and chicken chowmein. How I wish I can go back there now and show you pictures of the place and let you taste the food.
 As I write this post in my super heated up room, thanks to Delhi's heat, my stomach can't help but growl with hungry cravings for the food from Shillong. Most restaurants in Shillong are managed and run by Tibetans who have such gifted hands to make good wonderful and tasty food. Sometimes I visit MT or Majnu Ka Tilla in North Delhi to savor a taste of Shillong since the restaurants in MT are also managed by Tibetans. I am older now, I have visited other cities and tasted their oriental cuisine and I can say now that Shillong has the best to offer for my taste buds (a matter of personal choice).
There is no dearth of restaurants and cafe's around this small hill station. For some class and glamour, there is the Heritage Hotel Restuarant, The Ri Kynjai at Umiam Lake, Yalana Restuaran  etc. And there are other popular younger crowd hangouts like the Shillong Cafe which is located right in the center of Don Bosco square. 

You won't believe if I told you that you can get dimsums for Re. 1. But there are such delicious tiny heavens of dimsums (or momos) which costs just Re.1 each and are sold by local women who have their small stalls near the roadside. Roadside? ugh! Is it even clean or healthy? Oh Yes! They are very clean and healthy, prepared with utmost care and secret ingredients added which results in the most delicious food ever made :). 
You have heard of the scenic beauty of Shillong and may even have visited this beautiful place. If you ever plan to visit again or its your first trip, I invite to fill your senses with its breathtaking beauty and the best food ever. And remember, the real taste of food is from the cosy Jadoh stalls and locally prepared cuisines. May you have a wonderful holiday and indulge your senses in this abode above the clouds.
Vegetable and Fruit Stalls on the highway to Shillong