HYDERABAD: It’s been one year since many of the public spaces were temporarily closed thanks to the pandemic. However, slowly even though the whole world is not back to the normal times, many cultural spaces are partially back to business while maintaining the needed measures and social distancing. That’s how Hyderabad’s popular open cultural space Lamakaan, Banjara Hills after its 10th-anniversary celebration had to close in the month of March 2020.
Now, after 11 months this space has opened partially. And there’s good news for the foodies. The canteen has re-opened. The hot ‘n’ spicy samosas and the much famous nimbu pani are back along with buttermilk, chai, coffee, mirchi bhajji, dahi vada, anda bonda, and lassi. Several youngsters came just to taste the samosa and chai. Says Mrinal K, a young performance artiste while drinking nimbu pani,
“The moment I and my friends heard that Lamakaan canteen has opened, we came to discuss our next project over our favourite snacks.” The place is going to be open between 3 pm to 9 pm. Tables are set in a way that maintains the right social distancing. The canteen is still in the same room but entry isn’t allowed there. Downstairs, the green room in the courtyard used for the artistes has been turned into the takeaway counter. The workers are wearing face masks and shields.
And the most sold food item is samosa filled with spicy mashed potato along with peanuts and peas. Says the head cook Gajendra who is from Baleshwar, Odisha and been working at Lamakaan, “I worked in Kolkata for three years at an eatery and learnt the recipe of Bengali singhara or samosa as it is called in this part of the country. The green chillies add a unique flavour to the snack.”
At present only three staffers are there. Says Kranti, the manager, Lamakaan, “We are keeping the numbers restricted for now due to Covid guidelines.” One has to take a coupon at the gate before entering the premises. The duration to stay over there is one hour. “No events will be held at Lamakaan till a decision is taken by the management,” adds one of the staffers.
— Saima Afreen saima@newindianexpress @Sfreen