It's time for chaat

Customers feasting on  chaat at Agarwal Chaat and Snacks Centre in Saraswathipuram in Mysore. DH photos by Prashanth H G

Kamakshi Hospital Road in Saraswathipuram that connects Kuvempunagar, T K Layout, Janata Nagar and several other localities in the vicinity, turns into a beehive of activities especially after dusk. It continues to remain chock-a-block till 10 pm. If you have thought it’s due to burgeoning traffic, even though it’s a fact, it may not be the only reason. The traffic surges owing to a chaat centre here.

Agarwal Chaat and Snacks has become a reason for many passersby to stop over and grab a bite of Masalapuri or the humble Paanipuri. And, in  case of appetite for something more, they feast on ‘Dahi Samosa’, ‘Samosa Masale’, ‘Kachori Dahi’, ‘Samosa Chutney’ among 25 to 30 odd items on the menu.

K Satish, the man behind the chaat centre that has become a household name, attributes it to the never ending bond of the customers with the shop. Going down the memory lane, Satish says, he was about 10-year-old when he shifted from Uttar Pradesh to Mysore, for education.

He was brought by his uncle Omprakash Garg when he was 10. After school hours, he joined his uncle who was selling chaat items on a pushcart near Shivarampet, Town Hall and other places. It was here that his tryst with flour and dough began. Garg who had earned fame for his tasty chaat expanded the business, opening a shop on K T Street.
Satish who honed his skills creating culinary delights, continued his uncle’s legacy after the latter’s demise.

Apart from Saraswathipuram, Satish also runs a chaat centre beside his house in Kuvempunagar supervised by his wife Kamalesh. It’s also a popular joint, drawing people from different places.

His wife is not the only one from the family to help him. He also has his S Vicky and his uncle’s grandson taking the tradition further.

“When the shop at K T Street had to be closed to facilitate the demolition of the building, I thought of continuing the centre at my house”, said Satish.

It has already nearing a decade since the Saraswathipuram unit started. ‘Kachori dahi and masala dahi’ are the proud inventions of Satish on the ‘spicy front’ prepared using Sarjapa — a sweet dish made of Maida flour and sugar.

“But, we make it a bit spicy here to cater to the taste of all. However, masala puri and paanipuri top the orders in both the centers,” announces Satish proudly.  The minimum you pay for an item here is Rs 10 and maximum Rs 35. The moment if anybody hears ‘Agarwal...’ they will blindly walk up to our shop, such is the popularity,” claims Satish.

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