A few months back I had a chance to visit Surat, a major city in Gujarat famous for it’s textile industry. One of the local cuisine on my list was the widely heard ‘Surati Locho’. The word Locho in it’s most modest terms means a mashup or at large a sticky situation. The nomenclature originates on the same lines due to it’s irregular form in which it is served.
A quintessential Surati Locho primarily consists of steamed gram flour, topped with farsan and sprinkled corriander. Some iterations are also served with tamarind chutney or pickles. The primary difference between a Locho and it’s nearest cousin dhokla is the form in which it is served. The Locho being more of thick paste form while dhokla is solid and cut into cuboids.
The culinary world is not new to accidental inventions and locho is one of them.It is a popular belief as one of the shopkeeprs was trying to make a Khaman dhokla however he added excess water that led to a paste formation.On seeing the final result the dissapointed shopkeeper screamed, “Are yaar, locho padi gayo” (meaning ‘a fiasco’ in Gujrati) however he topped it up with a few garnishing’s available and people liked the serving only to become one of the city’s identity over the period.
Over the period the locho has also adapted different flavors with no deviations on the scale of taste. So we have a Chinese locho, Italian locho, lasaniya (garlic) locho and also a Casatta locho. I couldn’t help taste them all.
So next time you are in Surat don’t forget to try out his amazing local flavor.