Saturday, April 16, 2016

Indore Diaries - Sarafa

This is at Midnight!
What comes to you mind when I mention ‘Night-life’? Parting, Clubbing? Some places are famous for that kind of night-life, true; some places like Mumbai are also famous for people roaming around Marine drive or carter road promenade. But would you guys believe me that Indore is also a city that has a night-life worth experiencing? A night-life that is jubilant, unique and a must do! Indories (people of Indore) are known for being foodies and their night-life is very much about it.

Close to 1:00 am, same place.
About a minute from the Rajwada entrance gate, right beside the wada wall is a lane in Indore that has the most popular jewellery shops of the city. They glitter with gold in daytime, of sorts, but at night the lane is lit up by halogen lights, CFL bulbs and stove fires! This lane, known as the Sarafa Bazaar turns into a street food lover’s paradise every night – from 8:00PM to 2:00AM.

One really old permanent sweet shop
Some permanent food shops of the lane prep for the whole day and start their services at 8 while others set up their carts and stalls in front of the closed jewellery shops at the same time, and the most interesting part – even the places of the carts and temporary shops are fixed since what seems like forever.

Look at the amount of stuff already sold out.
Imagine there are stalls like Joshiji Ke Dahiwade which apparently started in 1977 and Saawariya ka Bhutte Ka Khees or Sabudana Khichdi that started in 1983 and these two are the most famous of the oldies lot because they somehow manage to finish their entire stock by the end of each night.

Okay, they were just super yummmm!
From sweets like jalebi, rabdi, gulab jamun, malpua, mung daal ka halwa etc…, to snack items like Indori poha, bhutte ka khees, kachori, dahiwada, samosa, dosa, sabudana khichdi etc… you will find it all here all cooked in ‘Desi Ghee’. Along with these there are plenty of fruit stalls and Lime and Coconut water stalls in the lane.

Before this, I didn't even know about Bhutte (corn) ke Khees
People of Indore – Men, Women and Children – love this place for sure because in the hottest of days, or even during weekdays you would find these lanes crowded with people savouring the street food flavours of India.

Healthy Options! Anyone?
The area is pretty safe and you wouldn’t even be bothered by the darkness and the nearby sleepy empty roads, 2 minutes after entering this place. Parking is not available in the lanes post 8 and there is police security at both the ends of the lane. 

This ain't a Jalebi, it is a Jaleba!
Also what I found out from one of the shop owners (where I was enjoying sweets) is that these people have some sort of association and have rules due to which only food cooked in healthy oil or ghee can be sold in the area. I am not one to authenticate their claim, but yes I can tell you this, I am not a street food person and I didn’t fall ill after hogging like crazy over there!

It is believed that Sarafa Bazaar started during Ahilya Bai Holkar’s rule and even the food bazaar was famous back then as shop owner’s food paradise. Though there are no records to prove it was a special part of Indore back then, it surely is a very unique distinguishing part of Indore now! Like Rajwada tells you about Indore’s glory, Sarafa tells you a lot about Indore’s culture. And one thing is for sure – When in Indore, eating at Sarafa is a must!

Food at midnight!


  1. OMG, the food looks soo yummm!! I'm gonna explore street food next time I'm in Indore.

    - Chai - Style.. A Pastiche -

    1. It tasted yumm too! Do that and also eat at chappan. You will love it :)

  2. It's fun to eat at Sarafa bazaar! I never miss it when I go to Indore!

    1. Hehe Indore has this thing that makes people love food even if they are not foodies :)

  3. This place is truly a paradise for foodies :)

  4. This is my kid of night life. Since I don't really clubing or drinking alcohol, my party means food and just food. I really love visiting night markets for food. It's fun and spontaneous. This post makes me wanna go to Indore :)

    1. You should visit Indore. The place too has a way of growing on you :)

  5. Indore is a heaven for foodies and I ensure that I always make few trips to Sarafa Bazaar while in Indore!
    Great post :)

    1. No foodie would want to miss out on Sarafa. :D
      Thanks a lot :)

  6. We can say Indore is famous for food, nightlife, pubs and clube.