Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Photo Feature : Ramadan in Ahmedabad's Old City - Part 4 - Khaja

Of all the various things that we tried on this trip to the Old City of Ahmedabad, the stand out of the evening was definitely the khaja.

As a rule, I avoid all items made of deep fried maida (except non-veg samosas). This may not seem like a tough thing to do, unless you are part of a UP household, where most snacks are made out of deep fried maida - mattri, nimki, papdi etc

However, though I sensed the smell as being that of deep fried maida, there was something else that made it seem interesting, so I stopped on this tiny side street to take a closer look. The whole street was shut and it was just these 2 guys sitting on the footpath, one was rolling and moulding and the other was deep frying, all at extremely high speed, so their movements were just a blur.

I asked them what they were making and they called it "Khaja" and before I could ask any more questions, they expertly wrapped one of the deep fried balls in a piece of newspaper and presented it to me. We broke it open and inside was a hot sticky ball of khoya (thickened sweetened milk) that was on the verge of melting. It was so good: the hot sticky khoya and the crispy, flaky batter, that we both devoured it in seconds without bothering that we hadn't got a single good shot of the inside of the khaja.

It was absolutely brilliant, sadly we decided against buying any more to carry home as we realised that the cooled down versions wouldn't be half as delicious. They are best eaten straight out of the frying pan.

After licking our fingers clean, we asked these guys how much it would cost, but they refused to take a single rupee from us. they said something to the tune of "you enjoyed our food so much, with so much relish, how can we charge you for that?" How do you argue against that logic?

I wonder if I will be able to find them again if we return, because they were on a short cut that we took late at night. If you find them, do message me with better address details.

This last picture is not a great picture because the shadow of the flash, fell on the khaja that was broken open, but you can get an idea of the flaky, crispy pastry and the gooey interiors.

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