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Ahmedabad might be the only city where mile-long queues are seen outside dalwada centres in the midst of torrential rain! Head over to these famous joints this monsoon.
Finally, the rains have visited Ahmedabad, bringing relief from the hot sweltering summer. While enjoying the drizzle, what comes most to mind is a hot cup of adrak wali chai (ginger milk tea) with dalwada. The most important thing about dalwadas is this—you must enjoy them when they are served fresh and piping hot! The Dalwada is the most sought-after snack by Amdavadis during the rains, and also otherwise. It is such a popular snack that a mini dalwada version of it, with sliced onion and fried chillies, is also served at parties in Ahmedabad these days.
Did you know that every region in India has its own version of the dalwada? The north eats it like a chaat hot vada with mooli ki chutney (radish slaw) and green coriander chilly chutney. These can be found in the lanes of Amritsar and are called ram laddu. Kolkata, on the other hand, is known for its famous Victoria vada which is a puffed-up version of the dalwada. In southern India, they are known as chatambada. The recipes for this differ but the essence of the final product is the same.
Back in Ahmedabad, here are my 3 favourite places for dalwadas. Be sure to visit these if you haven’t already!
My most favourite place for dalwadas is the Ambika Dalvada Centre, which has been around since I was a child. I remember going there with my dad after school-hours. The centre started off selling dalwadas from a cart near Commerce Six Roads and is now located behind HL College, which makes it a popular spot for students. The centre has two branches and has been operating for over 40 years. I always buy from them the batter I need to make dalwadas for outdoor catering. You can also now buy their batter and dalwada on Swiggy and Zomato from their two branches.
This is the oldest dalwada place in Ahmedabad. I have seen queues that stretch up to 1 km long at this dalwada centre on rainy evenings at 6 pm while the rest of the city is flooding over with water! It seems we Amdavadis love to go dalwada-hoping during the rains, regardless of waterlogging! Initially started by a Bihari man called Mishra near Roopalee Theatre, it was later started at Ellis Bridge by his cook or helper. This centre too had humble beginnings as a handcart. The chatpata taste of the centre’s dalwadas has kept the crowds coming in big numbers over the years.
This centre sells both gathiya and dalwadas and is very famous in the area, though not very well known among those from the western part of the city. It is known for its unique style of offering jalebi alongside gathiya and dalwadas. The centre was renovated around 5-6 years ago. The mix of savouries and sweets on offer makes a trip to this centre especially worthwhile! If you’ve not been here, don’t miss out.
I love my dalwadas in the monsoons and hope you can find the time too to hop over to these centres and try out a mouthful of dalwadas! Enjoy them alongside a handful of mungfuli (peanuts).
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