Much of my life in IIT was spent at Chedis, which quite literally means hole but apparently refers to the owners name. In those days Chedis had lawn seating, a banyan tree and starlight dinners, was open 24x7 and served reliably greasy food. I was quite pleased, therefore, to see Chedis still around (though considerably hemmed in by the new IIT boundary wall), still open 24x7 and still as reliably greasy-spoon as before. Now it had actual printed menu and marble tabletops but luckily, still sells the regulars, prominently displayed right below the name, upstaged only by Top Ramen Curry (a brand unknown in our time).
Our life at Chedis revolved around a few things – Maggi, Special Chai, Bread Bhujiya and two unique offerings - Mohile Special and Tinku Special -available nowhere else in the world, not even elsewhere at IIT. Mohile was the nickname of a student credited with the invention of this concoction (he was still trying to graduate when I joined), while Tinku was a cook at Chedis who created a variant of Mohile and duly got his name into the history books. Both used to be specials, only to be ordered on occasion except by us bad boys (who ordered one every day) but I guess time and tide have relegated both to the status of the honoured but regular. Only a KGPite can discern the difference between a Mohile and Tinku, (and I’ve long since forgotten) but I did remember being a Mohile man, so that's what I tried on this visit, supervised kindly from a dark corner by the old man himself.
And that’s the reason its in a food blog. Mohile, greasy hamburger buns sandwiching two doublefry eggs and a unique masala, was as delicious to this now-jaded-with-sushi-and-foie-gras palate as it always was. In short, the Mohile is a genuine, 100%, alsi-desi gourmet creation. The bread adds crunch, the yolk oozes out in a most delicious fashion and that very unique masala gives it that very unique aroma.
Chedi used to be very cagey about what exactly that masala was (and we had no shortage of fanciful theories, some of which included cocaine) but age seems to have mellowed him. He was quite talkative this time, revealed readily it was some kind of standard masala from the market, though I admit I couldn’t quite make out what masala he was saying. I suspect that the deep dark secret is actually Everest Garam Masala (it certainly smells like that) – it struck me only later that I should have asked to see the packet. In any case, he let me have a handful of it to take home. I’ve been sprinkling it, on and off, on my breakfast eggs and thinking of Mohile-stuffed nights under the stars and the big banyan tree.
Making a Mohile is straightforward – hamburger buns toasted in fat on the griddle, two eggs, salt and masala fried first on one side then the other. The twist seems to be to let the masala fry a little, you can’t just sprinkle it on top and be done, oh no no. The frying of the masala is what gives off the killer smell that makes a Mohile a Mohile. Then, sit down with hot tea and munch away.