Highway On My Podcast Ep 14: Garba-hopping in Baroda, and Rocky’s tryst with Matla Chicken in Anand

A trip down memory lane.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted your plan to take that long trip? Is the ongoing lockdown making you crave going off-road? Fret not. If you can’t go to the highway, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant, and Abhinandan – the team behind shows like Highway On My Plate, Vital Stats of India, Jai Hind, and Rocky and Mayur's Food Xpress – will bring the highway to you!

So, here goes the newest offering from Newslaundry: Highway On My Podcast. The creators of the much loved TV travel show revisit their travels across India, sharing stories, anecdotes, trivia, and – for when the roads are open and inviting again – recommendations on food, culture, people, and much more.

In this episode of Highway On My Podcast, Rocky, Mayur, Abhinandan and Prashant take a deep dive into their memories of their travels in Gujarat. They drive across multiple cities, from coastal towns to bird sanctuaries, sampling food on the way.

The trip starts from Baroda, famous for its dance festival during Navratri. As the team reminisces about the two occasions they got to be a part of the dance festival, in-house “bhalle dancer” Mayur recollects going shopping for traditional attire. While garba-hopping, the team landed up at one of Baroda’s biggest gatherings with over 40,000 participants. Rocky is reminded of a special Jain Chicken he ate at the time.

Heading to Ahmedabad, Abhinandan recommends taking the old highway, not the new expressway, if you’re looking to try delicious Kathiyawadi food at the Umiya hotel near Anand. Conversations on Anand, naturally, lead to discussions on the history of Amul. Equally naturally, Rocky describes a Matla Chicken he tried in Anand, and its unique preparation style.

In Ahmedabad, the team visits Seva Cafe, a unique space run by volunteers where customers can either pay nothing or whatever they wish to. They then wind up at Bhatiyaar Gali which, as Abhinandan explains, is the place to visit for scrumptious food, and to bust the myth about Gujarat being a vegetarian state. Later, they tuck into a traditional thaali at the exquisite old Agashiye hotel.

Driving to Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, Abhinandan remembers spotting a huge flock of flamingos on the way. In-house bird expert Rocky chips in with why flamingos turn pink. Abhinandan has his favourite meal at a paratha house in Porbandar, and the team discusses its pristine beach and huge fish market that is home to some of the rarest types of fish.

In Mandvi, a nondescript port town, the team looks for a man named Gaba, famous for his Dabeli, a unique snack that originates in Kutch. Rocky describes it as the “food he gets in his dreams”. Then they head to the white desert of Kutch, which they experienced on a moonless night, their visit coinciding with an eclipse. They also visit Jamnagar to have some Shrikhand, Surat to hunt for garlic ice cream, and play music from an old jukebox at a small Irani hotel on the border of Gujarat.

All this and more, only on Highway On My Podcast.

For more trivia and behind the scenes moments from Rocky and Mayur’s travels across India, sign up for the HOMP newsletter.

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