In the heart of Sydney, this is a place with a unique Indian street-food experience.
Gunjan Aylawadi has opened Flyover Fritterie to celebrate classic Indian street food in a trendy way. Her setup is in a tiny room that used to house the building’s service pipes. Literally, ‘a little hole in the wall’ according to Gunjan. It definitely represents and pays homage to the classic Indian street food stalls in its modernity – a first-of-its-kind in Sydney’s Temperance Lane.
Gunjan is truly celebrating thousands of Indian street food stalls on the footpath, in bylanes, and under the flyovers with her representation and creation of flavoured dishes. Her menu includes Indian street food classics such as pakoras or fritters, sandwiches, and chai. In addition, she also specialises in varieties of home style ‘khichri’.
Indian Street Food & Homestyle Khichri:
Indian street foods are readily available in various cities such as Indore, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Poha Jalebi from Indore, Misal Pav from Mumbai and Kathi Rolls from Kolkata are some of my favourites. Indians love them. Foreign travellers love them too. Whereas Khichdi is a classic but simple Indian home-cooked dish. It is made with rice and yellow mung lentils. It is nutrient-rich. The word Khichdi comes from the Sanskrit word “Khicca”. The simplest khichdi is made of cumin seeds, ghee (clarified butter), and turmeric. It can be seen as comfort food for a monsoon day or winter evening or Puja or religious festivals. It is offered as bhog (food offered at the Pujas to Gods, in old, traditional homes of Kolkata).
In Sydney, I was invited by Gaurav from Wrapped Gestures to have my first khichri and fritters from Flyover Fritterie which according to Gunjan are, “naughty but very very nice food”. With not much of an expectation, I joined him for an afternoon lunch.
Being lunchtime, Temperance Lane got busy with trendy young cooperates from multicultural society in their black/blue suit and brown shoes waiting to have a bowl of khichri with veggie fritters.
When my bowl arrived, I was surprised by the smell of it all. Well, Gunjan has been cooking for a while. She cooks quite essential different styles of khichris. Her Facebook page highlights the following :
Spinach & chana daal khichri topped with pickled corn, tofu fritters & tamarind chutney.
Rasam daal khichri topped with green beans, beetroot and fritters.
Mushroom and Massor Dal khichri topped with edamame and cashew cream and fritters, Eggplant & onion fennel jam jaffle.
Spinach and chana daal khichri topped with pickled corns and fritters.
But I was lucky to have Eggplant & chana daal khichri with chili tomato kasundi, onion fennel jam & fritters with a cup of Indian-style spicy chai.
Khichri is not meant for à la carte menu but my experience had a complete U-turn. The experience remains as good as à la carte style of eating. I know, the idea of having khichri in Sydney for CBD lunchtime special sounds surreal but neither, can I remember a time, when I had khichri in a bowl from Kolkata street-side stall with veggie fritters and chutney. So when others were enjoying fried chilli and Indian guac and Gajar Halwa(carrot fudge with fragrant cardamom & saffron), I spend my afternoon enjoying a bowl full of ‘naughty but very very nice’ khichri and veggie fritters.