It was a great day back in 2007 when buddies Ritesh and Sandip arrived in Australia from India with a mere $1,000 in their back pockets. They began selling spices, opened Mirchh Masala grocery store, and hatched a plan to bring authentic Indian street food to Brisbane.
From the street, silhouetted diners can be seen in booths lining the window upstairs from Mirchh's cluttered grocery store. It's where Brisbane’s Indian community gather to enjoy authentic street food and is exactly what Ritesh and Sandip dreamed.
There's nothing flash about this vegetarian, cash-only dining room. Red and white crescent-shaped chairs surround circular tables decorated with Spirograph patterns. The lighting's crude, and Bollywood beams from the TV on the wall. One of those pre-programmed electronic thingies beeps and flashes when dinner is ready – dinner served on ordinary plastic plates sitting on ordinary plastic trays, together with ordinary plastic cutlery.
This is where ordinary ends, because what's served up at Mirchh is one thousand and one shades of awesome. House specialities are puffed and stuffed semolina pani puri (ten pieces), flat, spicy potato topped sev puri/papdi chaat sprinkled with crunchy chickpea flour sev, and chole bhatura – a warming feast of chickpeas with airy, whoopee cushion-like pillows of house-made bread.
Yep, all pastries, doughs and curry pastes are made in the tiny Mirchh kitchen. Every one of the estimated 300-400 samosas served daily is housemade as is the ice cream on display in the dining room freezer. A cone or cup of raj bogh (saffron and almond) is a cooling end to a spiced-up night of feasting at Mirchh.