Regardless of where we stay or how swanky or not we may otherwise be, I think we all have one “dependable place”. This place has seen our tired faces and lazy feet shuffle in a fair few times-or their delivery boys have had the good fortune to see our front doors more than most relatives would have.
And for the last four years that we’ve been in Tardeo, our “dependable place” has been Hindmata, which is two buildings away from the homestead. Really as convenient as it gets.
Hindmata is that silent no nonsense knight in shining armour for mom and I when we’ve just landed back to Bombay after a long flight or the kitchen at home is on lockdown due to repairs and whitewashing (like today). It’s also been my saviour during summer when mom would cart off to Kerala and I’d come back late from work, tired and famished, only to order some rotis, dal and aloo jeera and have them deliver the goods, piping hot in no longer than 15 minutes.
Back to today. With four workers at home and the slight paranoia of leaving the house open for a long period of time, the easiest and quickest lunch option was Hindmata, so we headed downstairs for two thalis, 25 minutes of frenzied eating and a quick walk back home to make sure we haven’t been robbed in that time.
This is admittedly not one of those places where I’m going to impress upon the mild hint of cumin and clarified butter in the tempered dal or the perfect touch of sweetness to the sheera. But it’s fresh, filling food that I don’t have much to complain about. The chana is well cooked and not hard as pebbles, the aloo gobi is spicy, dal is steaming hot and the paneer is well, paneer. Yet to find a place or person who has messed that God given creation for me.
And previous last minute trips have also proved they do a decent veg grill sandwich and a very Indo-Chinese triple schezwan for those who are into that kind of thing.
The place is always bustling with families and people on their way to the station from work, and so the food is usually hot and fresh. And they’re open till 12.30-1.00 every night. And that’s pretty much all I’ve needed from a dependable place, honestly.
And if I make an effort to bookmark restaurants and review them at length, it’s only fair I give this little eatery the same honour for all the times its filled my stomach and mother’s when no bookmark or reservation could.
To our “dependable places”, wherever they may be!