They call themselves ‘BIGGGGG Foodies’ or ‘over 210 kg of eating machines’. Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma have explored an array of cuisines through the length and breadth of the country with their show Highway On My Plate, and are prepped for much more, both in India and overseas. We believe them: after all, this famous pair that always makes you smile can tuck into seven meals a day.
If it’s the last weekend on earth – what city are you eating in and why?
Rocky: Bengaluru has a vibrant food scene but uniquely the people there have adventurous palates and tuck in with a sense of excitement and discovery into food that may be completely alien to their sensibilities. There are therefore, fairly authentic tastes from the world over in Bengaluru. What more can one ask for? There’s also New York, which is possibly the most exciting food city in the world, but I’d rather spend my last weekend in India with my fellow foodie Indians.
Mayur: Delhi! It’s got the widest possible range of cuisines and eateries!
Food or travel?
Rocky: Travel for FOODDDDDDD
Mayur: All sorts of travel to get to all sorts of food
Name one Indian city that serves the best street food.
Rocky: Delhi for its sheer versatility. Kolkata and Mumbai are strong contenders but Delhi edges them out in the on street kebabs, rajma chawal, chaat, doners, tandoori, chola bhaturas on cycles, kulfis on carts, bhel puris on wheels, pickles, preserves, saunfs, aam papads and oh, so much more.
Mayur: Hard call, but we’d say Delhi wins out. chola bhaturas, golgappas, kababs, raan, nihari, daulat ki chaat, desi ghee jalebis and the list goes on.
Any guilty food pleasure?
Rocky: No guilt and no regrets… I’ve worked hard to reach 120 kilos and I’m proud of it.
Mayur: Never ever had a moment of guilt around food. There is occasional mild regret when we’ve eaten our seventh meal for the day but fortunately that feeling never lasts too long.
Your favourite eatery in India?
Rocky: Karavalli, The Gateway Hotel in Bengaluru for quality and Havemore, Pandara Road, Delhi for quantity.
Mayur: For breakfast it is Kanha Sweets (Lawrence Road, Amritsar) for their bhatura and loungi and Mothers Kitchen in Karunagappally for it’s puttu-kadala. For lunch its Kesar Dhaba in Amritsar and for dinner Indian Accent in New Delhi.
What is your fondest food memory?
Rocky: Mostly around buffets, but I remember when I was 15, I went for a Christmas party thrown by an American lady who had made delicious roast chicken legs for about 25 people. I remember eating them all (I was always starving as I played a lot of sports) much to everyone’s surprise. Needless to add nobody got any chicken that day and my Mum’s little ‘chat’ when we got home is forever burnt into my memory (and my behind still carries a scar or two since the day, I may add).
Mayur: My dadi used to make these phenomenal ‘ulta tawa’ rotis and then we’d drench them with white butter and eat a dozen piping hot off the flame!
Favourite food destinations in India?
Rocky: City – Bengaluru, cuisine – Lucknow (Awadhi), state – Kerala
Mayur: Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow and Kolkata.
What is the weirdest meal you’ve ever had?
Rocky: One meal that was even hard for me was fried silkworms for starters, hornet grubs for munchies, whole frogs fried in chilly and giant white worms for the main course with rice cooked in pigs blood… that even sounds extreme. Watch me eat that on TV while Mayur laughs his head off at the different colours my face turned while I polished of everything. By the way, try the fried silk worms if you get a chance, they’re excellent. No kidding.
Mayur: Weird dunno but the most unusual dish I ever had was in Africa. Eleven different types of mushrooms in every possible size, shape, colour and texture on a single plate. Oh and I once popped a sea cucumber into my mouth thinking it was a vegetable. Shock and surprise!
What do you hate about your job?
Rocky: That I work only 300 days in a year and waste 65 perfectly good days.
Mayur: What? We travel all over our beautiful country singing, dancing and eating in the company of a dear friend and we get paid for it. What can we say it’s a hard life!
Which is that one cuisine you always wanted to try but haven’t tried yet?
Rocky: I’ve yet to explore Sub Saharan Africa’s cuisines. I start trying those in 2018 which is going to be Africa year for me.
Mayur: I’ve lived and travelled across over 70 countires and never shied away from trying whatever was on offer.
Which part of India are you yet to explore through your food journeys?
Rocky: The Lakshadweep Islands are the last frontier. I’ve eaten everywhere in India except there.
Mayur: We’ve driven over 350,000 kms across India and eaten our way through 28 states and 7 Union territories of India. Tripura is the one place we need to get to sometime soon.
What’s your regular comfort meal?
Rocky: Chicken curry, bhindi, mirchi ka achaar, onions with lime and hot soft rotis. (All Punjabi Style)
Mayur: Baingan bharta, rajma and chawal with lots of raw red onions.