Sunday, September 18, 2011
My desire to always experiment,try out,explore,cook and taste something new and different took me on a "Taste Drive"this week to Lonavla,which was a short drive and a great get away from hustling bustling life of Mumbai and the drive was quite enjoyable as the early morning conditions were very pleasant.
There are several natural and man built sites to visit in Lonavla like Lions Point,Kune Point and Bushi Dam to name a few,but what took me to this naturally beautiful hill station was the famous Chikki and other snacks.
Just as we were about to enter the Lonavla town the mist surrounded us and we could feel the moist air and view the mountains covered with lush green grass,shrubs and trees all around us.
The view was very scenic,photogenic and fascinating.
We quickly reached our destination in Lonavla-the production unit of the famous Maganlal Chikki at Nangargaon.
The unit was very well maintained and the line of production was as per the laid down operating procedures matching all required hygiene and food safety standards.
I was escorted by one of the partners Ms.Deepali Ashok Agarwal and the round of the property was conducted followed by a demonstration of making of two varieties of famous Chikki's.
This was first time I was seeing such an accurate and skillful production process of Chikki making from raw material to the final product and its packaging.
I also tasted the Chikki's that were just made and tasting so freshly made chikki was an experience that I shall remember for many years to come.
I then went to the retail outlet Maganlal & Sons,at MG Road,Lonavla where I met Mr.Ashutosh C Agarwal.
This shop has now become a "must visit"place for all tourists who come to this hill station for whatever reasons.
This ever popular Chikki also gots its reference in Amir Khan's popular song "Aati kya Khandala" in one of his films.
Despite being busy and occupied this humble man spared some time and spoke to me in detail about his company,its inception,its products and there production process.
After taking leave from Mr.Agarwal,as we were driving down the lane,we spotted yet another 43 years old outlet which made Wada Pav and some more snacks.
The shop "Golden Wada Pav" is situated on Mumbai-Pune Road in Lonavla,and on the counter were three generations-Father,Son and the grandson personally manning and supervising the production.
I interacted and spoke to Mr.Ninad Khandelwal (the grandson),who explained to me how they procure the best available raw material and how the process is monitored to ensure consistent product is obtained always.
I tasted their Wada Pav and realised that certainly it has an edge over the other Wada Pav's that I have tasted hitherto.
Firstly a green chilli chutney is spread on the Pav buns and then this famous hot wada is sandwiched between them.
What astonished me was that in the making of these wada's there was no onion and garlic used,yet the taste was so mesmerizing.Its sheer magic in some hands that with such simple ingredients they can creat wonders!
My "Taste Drive" to Lonavla was very informative and tasterful.I moved on to my next destination......Pune!!