Very rarely, one tastes a dish that fills the heart with joie de vivre (joy of living) and its warm glow stays with you throughout the day. My moment of such epiphany was at Bedekar Tea stall, Pune recently. The misal I had there was hot, spicy and simply mind blowing.
Bedekar Tea Stall popularly referred to as Bedekar Misal has been a part of Pune’s heritage for more than six decades. It was established in 1948 by Dattatrey Bedekar, it is now managed by a duo of third generation Bedekars. Situated at Narayan Peth, all it has is a small room with tables on either sides, the billing counter at the end, a board announcing the menu items on top and kitchen at the back.
As per Namita Tickre, an avid food blogger and one of the most active members of Indian Food Freak, Misal in marathi means a mixture and as the name suggests it is a mixture of many things served with Pav/ bread slices. Misal is a very popular street food all over Maharashtra. Misal originated in Kolhapur (Phadtare is “the” place for it, the locals call is Nadkhula) and has taken over the whole Maharashtra. Every region has its own twists. Misal is known for its high spice content and is particularly known as Misal Pav. There are diffrent version of Misal Pav such as Kolhapuri Misal, Nashik chi Misal, Puneri Misal, Khandeshi Misal and Nagpuri Misal name signifies area where this misal is served also you get Kalya Masalchi (Black Masala) Misal Shevmisal etc. The chili powder gravy called ‘Kutt’. The final dish is topped with Punjabi mix, Farsan or Sev, onions, lemon and coriander.
At Bedekar Tea stall, the misal is unusually served with slices of bread, very convenient to dip the fresh, soft bread into the gravy that is served separately in a bowl (and replenished as one slurps it out). The misal is somewhat different from its Kolhapuri cousins in other ways too. For one it is not as fiery, though fiery enough for me. There is a pleasantly sweet aftertaste to it emerging out of the extreme spiciness.
I could go poetic about its effect on the ones consuming this divine misal. Very much like falling in love, a bite into it and I feel a flush of excitement, increased heartbeat and dilation of the pupils. What follows is a wave of ecstasy which stays with me for hours later, making me feel good to be alive. A must try when in Pune.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.5 | Ambience: 3.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for two: Rs. 150| Alcohol: No | Credit Card: No | Timings: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Address: 418, Munjabacha Bol, Narayan Peth, Pune, Maharashtra, Munjabacha Bol, Narayan Peth, Pune, Maharashtra | Tel: 020 2445 1270