Most Favourite Food of Common Man
In a small corner off Newal Kishore road stands the famous Bajpai poori wala, functioning from such small premises it has acquired an admiring following of thousands, who flock the shop, sing its praise and relish the food. Mr. Bal Kishan Bajpai came to lucknow in the 70s from Rahimanagar, and worked in a wheat flour mill. Then he got the idea for this shop and persuaded his boss to lend him some land. So he finally started the shop in 1973 and right from the beginning it received a warm response.
The secret behind Mr. Bajpai’s success is simplicity – in making his famous pooris and aloo he uses fresh ingredients, the pooris are fried in desi ghee and puff gleefully in a mouth-watering sight. The aloo sabzi is served with chholay and a little onion slices and pickles. It is the spiciness of the sabzi, which people love – the special mix of spices is prepared using some common ingredients like pepper, coriander powder, and some secret ingredient which they slyly decline to tell.
The shop is now collectively run by Mr. Bajpai’s son Ghanshaym Bajpai and his grandson Manish Bajpai, so the crisp legacy seems secure. Gradually Mr. Bajpai extended the menu to include some other snacks but it is his poori sabzi that remains popular as a small, inexpensive and satisfying meal. people queue up in front of his shop in great numbers every morning when the shop opens at 7 and the crowd remains till it is closed down in the evening. Happily for all fans, they are planning to improvise the existing shop and open more outlets, acquire a standardized system with a unique logo.
Lucknow folklore is already tinged with tales related to this shop, how it formed one person’s lunch for years, how people made time to visit the shop and it has appeared in all media, food shows. Now it forms part of the itinerary of tourists and has been visited by the likes of Anupam Kher, Parineeti Chopra, Vinod Dua, Gulshan Kumar and many more spreading the goodness of its taste wide and far.
So if you have not already tasted Bajpai ji’s delicious pooris, go ahead!
Writer is a student and her passion is painting
(Published in The Lucknow Observer, Volume 1 Issue 9, Dated 05 December 2014)