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Surat is a city in Gujarat that was previously called Surya. The city also serves as the administrative capital of the district of Surat. Surat city lies at a distance of 306 kilometers in the southern side of Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat and on the left shore of River Tapti. Surat stands second among the largest cities of Gujarat and eighth among the most populous cities of India. The population of Surat is 4.5 million. There is a moat that divides old Surat from its newer suburbs. The old part of Surat consists of handsome houses that are quite historical and narrow streets. Surat is highly recognized for its possession of diamond and textile businesses. The city is also called the diamond and textile capital of the world and the Manchester of India. More than 92% of diamonds in the world are polished and cut in Surat.
Surat - Ideal City for Foodie
For people who are foodie and have a special love for Indian food, Surat should always rank first in their list of places that excel in their cuisine. Surat is very popular for things apart from its flourishing textile and diamond industry too. There are a variety of food stuffs found in Surat that serve to be amazing for the people who visit Surat from different parts of the world. From the Pav Bhaji of Bombay to Gujarati specialties, Surat has got everything to offer. The people of Surat are found to be very crazy for food and the people who visit Surat get overwhelmed with the outdoor energy and enthusiasm of the Suratis.
Surat is basically a vegetarian place and the people of Surat do not indulge in consuming even egg. Surat also consists of Jains who are not used to consuming food with garlics and onions in it. This is the reason why there are not many restaurants in Surat that provide non-vegetarian food. However, the veg food preparation of Surat will force the non-veg food lovers to take a leave from the intake of non-vegetarian food for some time because of the taste of vegetarian food prepared in Surat. Cheesy sandwiches, buttery paranthas, silk Khaman, malai kulfis, golgappas, chats, handvos and the ice golas are some of the foods that are sure to entice the senses and the tummies of the food lovers. These are foods that force an individual to overeat.
There are some specialties of Surat like Lochu which is a paste made out of gram flour that is flavored with spices like garlic and served with coriander chutney and oil. Jani Farsan is a famous restaurant located at Parle Point, opposite Sargam Complex that is very popular for its Lochus. Different delicious varieties of kulfis and chats are found available at Gangaur, a restaurant on God Dod Road.
Eating Out in Surat
The top crowd days for eating out are Saturdays and Sundays when not a single person in Surat stays indoors. Weekend evenings are not meant for staying at home. People come out in massive groups on the weekends to socialize, to roam and most importantly to eat around the eateries found in Surat. The crowd of the people is generally found on Kamrej Chowk which is the starting point of the highway and the crowd continues till Magdalla which is the end point of Surat. Every thela, dhaba, restaurant and ice cream parlour is found to be crowded and people are found standing outside the stalls waiting for their own turn to arrive. Perhaps, it can be rightly said that Surat is one city after the city of Bombay where people are found flocking the restaurants even at 11pm at night.
Footpath Eateries in Surat
The people of Surat practice a very exclusive habit which is called ‘Footpath eateries’. This is a system that is found to exist only in Surat and is not found in any other city in India. Though the eating habits of the people of every state are found to be changing at present and it is only because of this reason that ‘footpath eateries’ is emerging as a practice in several other cities and states of India. Both the adjacent sides of Surat-Dumas road in the Piplod area is found lined and crowded with people sitting on the footpaths and having their snacks and food. There are several hawkers found on the footpaths selling pav bhaji, paranthas, sandwiches, frankies and corn. There are chatais spread by the hawkers in front of the thelas for the customers to sit and enjoy their food. People in this area are also found bringing their food from home and having it there. Tourists who visit Surat make it a point to visit this place and experience the adventure of sitting on a wide footpath illuminated with lights and having different types of foods. Footpath eateries are synonymous with Surat and people who visit Surat cannot plan to leave the place without experiencing footpath eateries. The hawkers who are found selling different kinds of snacks for the people out there are very cheerful, kind and gracious and in a way it can be said that the hawkers love feeding people. This footpath serves as the most important eating destination for college kids and joint families. The people of Surat are very energetic, warm and generous and in order to get a glimpse of the method that these people use for enjoyment, one should visit the footpaths of Surat.
Some Surati Dishes
Some of the most exclusive and special Surati dishes include Surti Undhiyu, Locho, Rasawala Khaman, Surti Ghari, Ghotalo and Cold coco. Surat serves as the place that has given rise to some of the most popular varieties of foods found in the state of Gujarat. Surprisingly, it is found that the food found in Surat is very different from the food that is found in whole of Gujarat. Stereotypical Gujarati cuisine is sweet but Surati food is rather spicy than being sweet. During winters, the people of Surat flock to the shores of River Tapti for eating Ponk. Ponk is roasted millet and it is a variety that is available only in Surat. Surat is also popular for the celebration of Chandi Padvo when the people of Surat indulge in buying lots of Ghari and different other delicacies of Surat. On this day, the Dumas are also held where the people have their late night snack or dinner under the full moon.
Cuisine of Surat
The city of Surat is very famous for the traditional food that is found in this city and it is also famous worldwide. There is immense variety provided by Surat in everything, be it shopping, tourism or food. There is an outstanding diversity found in the Cuisine in Surat. It is a very unusual phenomenon to find such variation in food of a particular city located in one state. Cuisine in Surat is found to be greatly inspired from the cuisine that is found in Maharashtra. There is a minimal utilization of sugar in Surati dishes. The people of Surat mainly consume jowar while the people of North Gujarat and Saurashthtra consume maize and bajra. The dishes found in Baroda consists of an amalgamation of different tastes because o the location of Baroda. Previously people who belonged to the elite and the middle classes of Gujarat used to consume wheat during festivals and occasions. But times have greatly changed now and at present wheat forms the most important part of Surati food and is used in numerous ways.
Surati Gujarati Thali
It serves as an absolute treat for the taste buds of the people. it is not only the taste of the food that catches attention but it is also the appearance of the Thali that brings waters to the mouth. There are four major components contained in the Surati Gujarati Thali namely Pulses, Cereals, Rice, vegetables and other supplements like chutney, pickle, buttermilk, salad and papad. The dishes of Surat generally contain a lot of green chillies, ginger, and jaggery. Sugar is also an alternative that is used in place of jaggery. The Thali is a delectable platter and it is impossible to resist the taste of this Thali. Tuver Dal is the staple food of Surat and this dal is served along with rice. An array of different food items are found in Surat.
Exclusive Gujarati Food Culture
The food culture in Surat is very exclusive and the women of Surat also find immense pride and joy in preparing the different types of recipes found in Surat. The people of Surat are very fond of food and it is only because of this reason that even foreign food has found place in Surat and has been welcomed by the Suratis. It is believed and the people of Surat strongly support the point that a person who is not employed can start with a food stall in Surat for income because nothing but a food stall works in the city. The Cuisine in Surat is famous all over the world. Roadside kiosks known as “rekdis” and “laaris”are very common and even popular in the city. Cuisine in Surat is also very large consisting of the very common Gujarati Thali and even South Indian Food. Surat also consists of numerous renowned eateries like Klassic Deewan-e-Khaas and Indian Curry that are very good at providing traditional food of India. There are people who also have a very strong liking for South Indian food in Surat and the best place to get South Indian food in Surat is Mallu Restaurant, Vishnu’s and Mysore Café. Roadside stall in Surat also engage in providing inexpensive and tasty food and even the people from the elite classes visit these laaris to have some delicious food out.
Popular Food Rates in Surat
Lochu (per plate) – Rs. 50 Parantha (per plate with chutney, curd and pickle) – Rs. 40 Handvo (per plate) – Rs. 40-60 Malai Kulfi – Rs. 40 Chats (per plate) – Rs. 30 – 60 These are the rates of some of the most popular foods in Surat that are generally found on the roadside stalls.
Food in Surat is found in several varieties and at the same time it should also be noted that the people of Surat are very fond of having different kinds of food on a regular basis.