First published in 2008
“Alepaak” phonetically sounds exactly like the same word in Marathi
(Ale-paak- where ginger- Alle, is the key taste)
Alepaak, a snack made with groundnuts, puffed rice, grated coconut and a spice called ‘Pade Lavan’ which is a carminative, digestive and reduces flatulence and also accords a distinct taste to Alepaak, accompanied with sugar cane juice.
Alepaak can be got in two forms – One Groundnut base and another parched rice base. The groundnuts are cleaned and then salt, Black salt, coriander, grated coconut, green chilies, and lime juice is added, and what we get is groundnut Alipaak.
The process for the parched rice Alipaak is also the same just replace the groundnuts. It can be had separately or mixed with puffed rice and the fresh juice of sugarcane adds more flavor to it.
In other places Onion and other stuff are added; here nothing else is added. To top the preparation and to give a bit of spice a Ladoo of powdered Phutane mixed with asafoetida, chilies, ginger and black salt to give that extra spicy kick.
Belgaum is the only place where we get this. Strangely, it tastes best when sitting down with the dish served on paper pieces!
Mind you, dont try to eat it with a spoon for the fun is in a natural way and not your Dish-Spoon way. It may be available elsewhere with some modifications. We know of two very special and nice places to get it –
First on our list is Sheetal Rasvanti Grih, on Congress Road near Corporation bank. Starting in 1984 or even earlier, this place is the best place for Alepaak and fresh sugar cane juice. If you have been to Belagavi, you must at least visit once here.
The second place to get Alepaak is the moving cart of Mr.Sant. He moves in and around the city- Ganpat Galli, Ramdev Galli, Khade Bazar etc. & he visits each road on a different day of the week. His wares are stored in oldish tin boxes and he hands out his product in a paper cone or packed in it. You can also get some extra laddoos for some extra bucks. One can buy Alepaak not by weight but by volume, the vendor has an aluminum measuring cup whose volume he alone knows and decides the price on the same. Usually, one can get one small cup at Rs. 10 and in denominations thereof.
So the next time you are here and still have not tasted Alepaak do visit them once for a lifetime experience.