We are well aware of the great Indian Tea obsession but what compliments the Indian tea are some tangy and savoury snacks. Who doesn’t love chai and nashta? We went to hunt down for some highly authentic and superior quality dry snacks. One of the best snacks that we came across was offered by the exceptionally classic -Ramji Damodar Bhajiyawala (RDB).
A Farsan shop started in 1900s in Surat by Ramji Damodardas, the avuncular figure whose nephews now run the shop. RDB is a typical small scale venture that has metamorphosed into a giant superior quality snack brand that all blue blooded Surtis swear by. The business was soon handed over to Prabhudas Thakkar, Ramji’s nephew due to his health issues. The new heir to the farsan kingdom, Prabhudas coming from a completely different line took over the business, toiling day and night to make RDB a superior quality brand.
The process of making hot and ready to serve snacks (garam nashto) starts at the crack of the dawn. In the world of wholesome titbits, their most saleable product is the Bhusu- a mixture of sev, ghatiya and lentils. Funnily the name Bhusu is often used as a slang because you can’t stop munching on it once you have given it a try. Next up in line is the khaman and it tastes best with methi vaghar and apparently it is only available in Surat. So you can’t miss out on that.
The customers queue up every day from 10 AM to 2 PM and in evening at 4 PM to 9 PM to devour tonnes and tonnes of farsan that is freshly prepared every single day. On the occasion of Chandi Padva, Surtis can’t stop feasting on gharis and bhusu and RDB certainly is a chartbuster in that season. RDB owners proudly mention that they make the bhusu in groundnut oil and that is almost unlikely in Surat. While we don’t know the significance of that claim, it looks like a big contributor to their superior quality and taste. RDB has been selling hygienically packed foods with long and enhanced shelf life to places like Baroda, Mumbai and overseas too. Surtis living abroad have nostalgically held on to the aroma and taste of RDB Bhusu. Right ON!! RDB has an offering for these homesick people which comes in specialized double layered packaging and can be sent to distant countries.
The owner gushes that one of their NRI customers is so obsessed with their Bhusu that he eats only two spoons every day to save it till the next lot arrives. Talk about rationing. The brand’s top priority is quality and hygiene. RDB gives us the taste of tradition. Be it haute monde or locals, Bhusu is loved by all. Go get some goodness packed and you will not stop gnawing on them.