Could this be the best one…? (FF-part 4)

Falooda quest #3 was not only disappointing, it left Amu a little worse for wear. If you recall, while we waited for the strange pineapple falooda at Flamingo, we ordered a couple of plates of mixed chaat. That chaat was lethally spicy, even though die-hard Flamingo chaat-eaters will say ‘But the mix plate at Flamingo is the best!’

If there is anything I have learned while on this bizarre mission, it is this. Nothing is consistent.

So poor Amu was up all night, not only throwing up, but also with …….(she’s going to hate me for divulging this)……diarrhea. The next morning, looking decidedly woebegone, limp and listless, she looked at me with mild accusation and asked me if I knew how it felt to want to use the loo for two purposes at the same time.

While I had managed to let the chaat pass through my system incident-free, the offspring’s paternal side of the chromosomal components disallowed her digestive system from being blase about extra spices.

We decided to give ourselves a break and lay off street food for the time being……but Fate had other plans for us…..

The next night, Huz’s brother O.D and my lovely sister-in-law Tah dropped in for a visit. They had been away for two weeks, vacationing on some beautiful beaches in Thailand and Malaysia this summer, and Tah brought me back some very pretty Thai crockery. We listened to their stories and in my mind I was momentarily transported back to the time we were there a couple of years ago….

In our turn, we told them what we had been up to and described the different faloodas we’d been guzzling. They were amused but I could tell their interest had been perked. There are very few things that enthuse Odie….(vacationing in Thailand/Malaysia is one. Collecting expensive rubies is another) so when he asked if we had tried the falooda at Lighthouse, there was a tiny glimmer of a spark in his eye…

Tah was surprised we hadn’t heard about this one. She told us about family falooda outings and mentioned a decrepit old aunt whose cravings for falooda at Lighthouse surfaced every few months and she would implore Tah’s brother to take her there.

Huz and I were, OF COURSE, most game to try it out and we wondered if bro and SIL would like to show us where the shop is accompany us.

Amu politely declined the invitation, but I could tell she would have preferred to throw a shoe at me.

So off we went, leaving Amu behind this time, but picked up O.D and Tah’s daughter Fati on the way. She digs faloodas too.

So it was around 11 o’clock at night that we made our way past the Pakistan Chowk roundabout and crossed over into the oldest areas of Karachi, which is populated by old old buildings, once quaint and beautiful, now just quaint and in various stages of disrepair. It is heartbreaking to see these remnants of British-era structures being taken over by ugly new commercial buildings, criss-crossed by ugly wires and cables, dotted with unsightly shop signboards.

Perhaps it is just as well that I couldn’t take pictures as we drove towards Lighthouse. The streets were too dark…

Now before you start conjuring up images of an actual lighthouse at the water’s edge, the Lighthouse I’m talking about is actually a very old commercial area on the far end of M.A Jinnah Road, the end closer to West Wharf than the Quaid’s mazaar. It is known as Lighthouse because there once used to be a cinema in this area by that name. It is also the most renowned flea market in Karachi.

And this was the place we were seeking there…

Jeddah ice cream and falooda

There were two kinds here as well…..regular and special. Regular falooda is made special by the addition of nuts and fruit and jelly and unsurprisingly, Huz succumbed to the lure of of such richness…

The rest of us ordered regular faloodas, and while we waited, Tah recommended dahi baray from the tiny little shop next door…

It was the best plate of dahi baray ever, topped with chana and papri….mmmm…

dahi baray in Tah's elegant hand

It didn’t make a difference if we ordered special or regular, the price was still the same….90 rupees for a huge glass of falooda.

If you recall, I was very eager to find a place that made a concoction using basil seeds…..

Ta-da! See the little black tadpoley looking things? Basil seeds! (tukh malanga in Urdu)

and an angle that shows off more of Tah's elegance

and my lack thereof :p

the view from our car

looked like some sort of meeting

I loved the falooda. It had the perfect rose ice cream, the perfect amount of tukh malanga (I adore the subtle crunchiness) and was rich and satisfying, with a few pistachios and figs when I worked my way to the bottom. I could have done with less vermicelli and more milk, but still, I think this was the best one so far. Huz should have had the regular one, cos I don’t think he ended up having the same falooda experience I did.

O.D and Tah were happy to see our enjoyment and enthusiasm and were glad they got to be an inadvertent part of the falooda quest. Fati was just baffled by it all, but enjoyed herself too, nonetheless. She never thought Huz and I were the sort who’d enjoy doing stuff like this, which tells me we need to work on our image….

Perhaps we come across too….la dee dah…?

We need to show her we can have as much street food as the next person!

Karachi Port Trust by night....

KPT.....1918.

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13 responses to “Could this be the best one…? (FF-part 4)

  1. you are too funny janoo!!!…loved it!!…:D
    ‘While I had managed to let the chaat pass through my system incident-free, the offspring’s paternal side of the chromosomal components disallowed her digestive system from being blase about extra spices.’….nicely phrased..:D
    ‘ Huz succumbed to the lure of of such richness…’…funny!…and the pics put it all together quite nicely for a visual experience as well..:0

  2. I’m glad to see that you’ve found a real contender! Maybe you can go back again soon for another to compare, and your Huz can have some of the regular. I hope poor Amu recovered quickly and can look forward to enjoying falooda with you there, too. (I’ve had that awful experience, and I really feel for her!)

    As always the photos helped me feel like I was there with you on the quest!

    PS: I think I come off as a little “la dee dah” myself, so I’m working on my image as well! :)

    • You read my thoughts Re! Would you believe we DID go back for seconds…? This time we went with a couple of friends. Funnily, they didn’t seem all that impressed. Huz had the regular one this time and after finishing the whole thing (deep in contemplation) he thought the New Town one was better!
      To add insult to injury, I enthusiastically recommended it to my parents as well, and my mom called me the next day just to let me know she didn’t like it so much either. She thought there was too much ‘stuff’ in it.
      So the plot thickens, you see….
      I am now confused. Does this mean we have to continue the quest until Huz and I are unanimous in our approval…?

  3. You have to do at least 7, M! Coz 7 is Magic :D Hope Amu’s ‘paternal tummy’ has now recovered its maternal panache ;-)

    I enjoy getting to know Karachi through your posts :D I see how similar Bombay and Karachi are…both important, bustling Port cities, burgeoning with people in a mad rush. The buildings in Bombay (in the Fort Area particularly), make me so sad, for the exact same reasons you describe. I understand that people must work, but does the ugly Neon really help, I wonder?

    Looking forward to No.5 Ms. Lah Dee Dah :P

    • Hahah, well H, there are innumerable places in Karachi that sell falooda, but as you can see, finding the best one isn’t going to be all that easy! We all (including my mom) have to agree on it :P
      Amu recovered soon enough, but things went awry when Huz and I went back for seconds AFTER having platefuls of extremely spicy food at this place called ‘Mirchi’. I guess we should have taken the name more seriously!
      The next day, BOTH our tummies were totally messed up.
      So we aren’t la dee dahs for nothing!
      Glad to give you a glimpse of Karachi. I’d really like to visit Bombay again though. The last time I was there I was only 7 years old so the memories are blurred. Need to refresh!
      Would be there with a hop and a skip, if only we could get non-reporting visas…..which is impossible now…. :(

  4. “…While I had managed to let the chaat pass through my system incident-free, the offspring’s paternal side of the chromosomal components disallowed her digestive system from being blase about extra spices…..” Mun you crack me up. :) Great post. And I’m learning some new slang………. “tubelight”………. hahaha…………”you’re very profane yourself”…………hahaha………..I’m gonna have to find uses for these.

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