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Sample some tasty goodies at Khopoli's Street Food Festival

If the thrilling rides at Adlabs Imagica aren’t enough reason to drive down to the amusement park in Khopoli, they have a Street Food Festival to indulge in as well. Deepali Dhingra gets a taste of the same, even as she swings 90 degrees in the air, plunges down 60 ft and lives to tell the tale

We held our breath. We couldn’t scream even if we wanted to. It started as a slow spin but very soon, we found ourselves swinging at a crazy 90-degree angle and the only time we managed to open our eyes for a few seconds, there was nothing but the clouds peeking at us.

The platter of fries includes Aloo Dill Pakoda, Piaz ke Karare Pakode, Punjabi Samosa and Mirchi ka Pakoda. Pics/Deepali Dhingra
The platter of fries includes Aloo Dill Pakoda, Piaz ke Karare Pakode, Punjabi Samosa and Mirchi ka Pakoda. Pics/Deepali Dhingra

The Scream Machine at Adlabs Imagica terrified and thrilled us to bits, and our only thought when we were high up in the air was, thank God, we had our lunch a couple of hours ago. Yes, we were here for the rides, but our agenda was also to get a taste of the ongoing Street Food Festival. And what a day we had chosen for our drive down to the amusement park at Khopoli, a few hundred kilometres out of Mumbai.

The Pindi Chole Bhature was one of the best we’ve ever tasted
The Pindi Chole Bhature was one of the best we’ve ever tasted

The skies had finally opened up and we were greeted by the sight of green landscapes and mountains on our way. Once we arrived at our destination, we ignored the temptation of heading straight to the exciting rides and went to the food station a wise decision, in hindsight.

We noticed a long table full of all kinds of Indian street delicacies as we entered the Imagica Capital. With counters for chaats, wraps and rolls, pav bhaji, fried items, kebabs and sweets, it truly seemed like a celebration of Indian street food. We kickstarted our food journey with the Paani Puri, which was tangy with its mix of moong dal and jaljeera.

We stuffed our faces with the Dahi Batata Puri and the Sev Batata Puri both of which proved a hit with their delicious fillings and flavours. They disappeared from our plates as quickly as they had been piled on them. The Masala Papad did not exactly live up to its name, as it was a little bland and went largely ignored but we could easily have taken a second helping of the Steamed Corn, with its spicy flavouring perfect for this weather. Since the weather also called for fried foods, we went for the pakodas. The Aloo Dill pakoda had thin slices of potato fried in oil, while the Piaz ke Karare Pakode was a crunchy affair.

We gave up the Mirchi ka Pakoda halfway as it was really spicy. The samosa addict accompanying us seemed pretty content munching on the Punjabi Samosa, which though small in size, had a generous filling of potatoes and peas.

The Spicy Veggies on Grill was a platter full of baby potatoes, cauliflower and paneer cubes, coated with a creamy gravy and grilled to let out its subtle flavours. From the non-vegetarian kebabs, we chose the Murgh Achari Tikka. The chicken pieces were soft and juicy and cooked to perfection. We also enjoyed the naan and roti with the chicken curry, although the mixed vegetables were a tad too sweet for our taste.

The Pindi Chole Bhature, which we kept for the end, was unanimously declared as one of the best that we’ve ever tasted the chole winning extra brownie points for the right mix of spices, and thus lending the dish a smooth, soft texture. Adding to the fun, were various fairy tale characters, who danced to popular English and Hindi tunes, and entertained adults and
kids alike.

At the end of the meal, we concluded that not only was the taste of the food bang on target, at R400 per head for an adult and Rs 300 per head for a child, the buffet style food festival was value for money as well. And if Indian food is not what your heart desires, there are enough restaurants with various cuisines in the vicinity, where one can eat to his/her heart’s content. Our only advice, wait a couple hours before you head for the rides!

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