With the sun setting over the Kathajodi, it’s the time when office goers and college students wander the streets looking to satisfy their ‘evening hunger pang’ on a budget and Cuttack for sure, doesn’t disappoint. The city has been famous for serving out multiple delicacies which are also pocket friendly.
We at TBS last brought to you the super tasty Dahibara joints across the city. But then every batsman needs a non-striker, a partner to stand with them. The ‘bara-piaji’ combo serves the purpose pretty well. Found at almost nook and corner of the city, you find the bara-piaji carts ready to serve you one of the oldest delicacies of the town.
But then what is it so special about it that every ‘kataki’ (even outsiders) drools over it. Is it the perfect mixture of gram flour, crushed rice and being deep-fried in oil that gives it a crunchy and crispy taste that matches none other?
Is it the combination is gram flour, smashed onions and a pinch of curry leaves which add its own special flavour.
Or is it the gravy of chick peas with the perfect mix of slice and dice that make the combo unbelievable?
On the grounds of taste, all of them score a point but it’s the dedication with which the cook makes them , is what steals your heart.
A 83-year-old aged man, sits on a cart, a dim light hanging on the top amidst the hustle of the town. Located in the Balu-bazar square, the very first thing that draws you is the aroma of the curry or the “Ghuguni” which is like the universal catalyst of taste as it goes down with absolutely any side dish.
With chunks of coconut over it , the crowd pours in to have a bite of the tenderly fried small bits of happiness (synonymous to Bara) with it’s crunchy and crispy layer going right down to the mid. If it’s a Sunday , you have to turn into a Spartan to get through the crowds to grab a plate or in my case may be 2.
Priced at 25 p/ piece, yes you heard it right 25 p , these small pieces mixed with the pea gravy can be gulped down within an instant. Caution: If they are hot, take it slow (personal experience).
In an era where the KFC’s , the Dominoes’s ,the café’s are dominating today’s youth, I feel proud to say that Cuttack is one of the few places where even in the presence of all of them, we haven’t lost our inner Kataki. A ride in the rain on the ring road, a pit stop at a tea stall near the stadium and a plate of bara in hand, we can proudly claim to experience bliss EVERYDAY.
For those who are heading out to explore some evening food, do not forget to grab, what can easily be one of Odisha’s best gifts to the snack world. Mix that feeling with an incredible taste which will linger on, you will get epic-ness.
Location: Balu Bazaar Square, Cuttack
You rate the novices not the legends and this is one dish we will always be proud of.