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Tibetan Delights

Majnu ka Tila or MKT as we called it in college, is a Tibetan refugee colony tucked away in the by-lanes of North Delhi. What it offers is an insight into the exuberant culture and food of Tibet. Bustling with people at all times of the day and night, the narrow lanes are almost always under a flooding crisis but it doesn’t stop the hawkers from selling little trinkets, Tibetan prayer flags, colourful woollen caps and gloves. Every once in a while you bump into a beautiful Tibetan temple with puppies playing in front of it.

The food in MKT is best represented by two of my favourite joints called by almost the same name – AMA Café and AMA Restaurant. AMA Café has the city’s best pancakes on offer. They can be customized according to your taste but being a traditionalist, I go for the banana and Nutella variety. The pancakes are fluffy but not bread-y which is key in pancake making. They are only available till noon so get there early and stay put for the rest of the day. The Apple Pie is another beauty; crunchy crust and soft and crumbly on the inside, it is a scrumptious dish. The décor is bright and fun with Tibetan motifs and photos on the walls and travel books on shelves. It is a great place to sit by yourself next to a window on a winter afternoon, sip a cup of coffee, watch the hustle and bustle down the street and try to get some work done.

After spending most of the day at AMA Café and hopefully catching up on work, move over to the AMA Restaurant down the lane. Comfort food for me is mostly a plate of rice and stir fried chicken or a hearty bowl of meat soup. All and any combinations of Chinese food can get me out of a bad mood and the AMA restaurant serves some of the most affordable and delightful Chinese and Tibetan food in town. The place by itself is basic and not as pretty as its sibling but food is a showstopper. The Momos and Chilli Potatoes are mandatory eating and without a doubt lovely. For the main course, go for Chicken or Buff Thupka and Spicy Fried Pork with Steamed Rice. The pork is succulent and sweet, a taste you will remember long after it is gone. The food is not for the weak of stomach. Go with agreeable company. Eat at leisure. Return a happier person.

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Bille Di Hatti’s Chole-poori

“Breakfast was only worth having when somebody else made it for you.”

What if that breakfast is served hot, crispy, authentic, fermented, bit spicy and with a lot of mouth-watering taste?

Tempted already!
Well, Busted with spheres of Delhi University and its students, Kamla Nagar has always been a hot spot for meet-ups, flea market and food joints.

Among many other famous eateries in the vicinity, Bille di Hatti managed to start with a very small space almost 60 years ago. Slowly and steadily, the taste of his pchole-poori won the hearts of people and since then, they kept expanding in their arena to serve better to more people.

Starting with a busy schedule at 7:00 am in the morning, the joint welcomes its cutomers till 3:30 to relish the taste of his much known chole-poori. As soon as, hour-hand reaches four, they begin selling samosas whereas always asked with chole-poori, “lassi” can be surped all day till 8:00pm.

Well when I say authentic taste, I mean more by the way of making all of these delicacies. The savory curry that we savor here does not contain onion or any amount of garlic. The ‘tadka’ is given only of spices (such as anardana, rock salt, iodised salt, jeera, ajwain, dhaniya etc.) to main ingredients. Not only this, but poori also has its unique feature. It is made up of mixture of all-purpose flour (maida) and semolina (sooji), also has small filling of split black gram (urad daal) to add to the taste. The combo of chole-poori is accompanied with a small bowl containing sliced onions with carrot pickle and meethi ki chutney over the top of it.

And one can always relish some extra taste of chole (bile ducts) at a cost of Rs 15/-

Another favourite from this joint is their sweet lassi. It was thick in texture and had very apt quantity of sugar mixed. Originally, they own many hemispherical shaped earthen plates in which they ferment the curd for lassi. And if you closely notice that fermented curd in the plate, it gets a slightly yellowish layer of fats and proteins on the surface, which is later skimmed off to add as a topping to your perfectly sweetened lassi.

Meanwhile, Amit told us that his grandfather started the place then his father and paternal uncle gave their heart and soul to maintain the legit the taste of original chole-poori. And now, on the same path he and his cousin also joined the way.

A plate of chole-puri costs Rs 55/- and for lassi it is again Rs 55/-

Address: 72-D, Kamla Nagar, New Delhi

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Heard about this hidden gem in Kamla Nagar for the best Bread Pakoras?

The bustling streets of Kamla Nagar have always been one of the favourite marketplaces in North Delhi and the old street food gems of this place are the main reason why people love to shop and spend time here. One such old gem is the irresistibly delicious Kashyap Bread Pakora stall located in one of the bylanes. The easiest way to reach this stall is to take the road connecting Spark mall and Bungalow road. This stall has appetizing bread pakoras and tikki. It is owned by Sunil Kumar who also happens to be the one to cook the snacks. He believes, by the blessings of his father, Late Sri Ram Singh, his business has flourished a lot in the last 36 years, since establishing it in 1981 with his brother. He started selling them at Rs 2.5 only!

 

This Bread pakora is a pure winner amongst all the pakoras that are out there. The outer layer is appropriately crispy, somewhat spongy, rendering a very light texture. The pakora is covered in a batter made out of besan (chickpea flour) and moong dal. It also has a thick layer of paneer, coated with boiled and spiced potatoes which are sandwiched between 2 bread pieces, dipped in the batter for a perfect coat and fried in desi ghee. It is coupled with imli chutney, hari chutney, chaat masala, shredded cabbage and raw onion, and reheated to serve hot. The stall is manned by Sunil ji along with two helpers. They start at 4pm and everything is sold out by 9pm!

Price: Rs 40 per bread pakora

Contact no: 9871126805

175-E, Kamla Nagar, Delhi-7

 

The best Bread Pakora with generous amount of paneer and chutney
Sunil Kumar preparing the Bread Pakora

 

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Head to this joint in Shalimar Bagh for Sindhi snacks

The small and cosy shop which was set up 5 years back, in 2012 gives the classy old-style halwai ki dukan feels, located in Shalimar Bagh. The shop is tucked behind trees on a busy main road. It is owned by Manoj Bhardwaj, who starts the shop at 9am and sits till the fried goodness is sold out. He started the shop as his family had been doing this for generations. Even though it has not been long, his snacks are a favourite amongst the locals. People come from far and carry parcels with dozens of kachoris. He fries the kachoris all day long in a kadhai which is a whopping 2 feet in diameter. The kachoris are fresh when served to the customers. The kachoris are filled with moong dal and are spiced lightly to compliment the hing-aloo subji which is laden with pudina chutney perfectly. The potatoes are mashed by hand, loaded with hing in a delightfully spiced curry. It is a match made in heaven. The size of the kachori is perfect and enough to satiate a person’s hunger. He also doesn’t shy away from giving refills of the curry and in a generous amount.
His dal pakwaan are also very popular and are sold out like hot cakes. Pakwaan is a Sindhi snack, popularly eaten as breakfast made of plain flour dough, fried like a puri till it is appropriately crispy. The pakwaans are prepared by his sister-in-law on Sundays. It is served with Boiled Channa Dal with some basic spices, pudina chutney and raw onion on the side to create a sumptuous dish for brekkie. Bread pakora, mix veg pakora etc are cooked by one chef since the shop has been established. Other than him, there are 2 more helpers and sometimes the family members also visit to help out with the overwhelming inflow of customers.

Rs 40 per plate
AA-167, Shaheed Udham Singh Marg, AA Block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi

Manoj ji serving his customers
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Must have Bhel and Jhaal from this age old kiosk in the Heart of Delhi

The Iconic Lutyens’ Delhi- Connaught Place is every foodie’s delight. The rightly nick-named as heart of Delhi, it lives up to its reputation of having something for everyone- rich or poor. The high ceilings and numerous building with bold white pillars, standing the same since so many years are one of the best spots to hangout at. With all types of shopping brands for locals, you will often bump into many foreigners. As old as this area is, some classic shops have patrons and many come back for these classics. One can fine-dine at plenty of spots here, enjoy fast food at many small cafes and burger-places, or enjoy the winter delights like shakkar-kandi aur amrak (sweet potato and star fruit), adrak wali chai (ginger tea) served by local vendors.

 

One such place is the Odeon Bhelpuri Bhandar. A small kiosk, set up right opposite the much frequented Odeon Complex.It is now owned by his father Anil Kumar and was set up in 1965 by the late grandfather of Nikhil Kumar. There are three things on the menu- Bhelpuri, Sevpuri and Jhalmuri. Now, what is so special about it? The answer has to be everything! From the secret spice mix to the imli chutney which has khajoor (dates), puffed rice, freshly cut tomatoes, chillies, onion and generous amount of coriander and topped off with a layer of sev. One just cannot go wrong with it. The recipe and taste of each of the snacks have been constant for the past 52 years. The owner’s father went to Bombay to learn how to make bhelpuri and then went to Calcutta to learn Jhalmuri. It is the 3rd generation which is handling the kiosk now and loves doing it. He starts selling the deliciousness from 1pm and stays until 11pm every day.

 

Price: Rs 50 per plate (of bhelpuri, jhalmuri or sevpuri)

Contact no: 9650880516

Opp Odeon complex, D block, Connaught Place

 

 

 

Odeon Bhelpuri
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Breakfast made better with B Natural

We have all felt the tiredness that comes with winter. A good breakfast is not just necessary for our bodies but it’s that motivation I personally need to leave the pillows and blankets that I perpetually find myself wrapped in during these four months.  So when I see a tray  of lovingly made corn and cheese sandwiches and a glass(or glasses) of juice waiting for me, it makes my mornings nicer.

With the B natural range, that breakfast tray has become exceedingly easier to come by and I have already picked out my favourites from that range: Pomegranate and Guava.

First with the Pom, do you know that is the original forbidden fruit and not apple as the many reinterpretations of Bible will have us believe. Its also one of the biggest sources of antioxidants for your body and has anyone mentioned how good these antioxidants are for your skin especially in the dryness of a cold winter that seems looming on the horizon. Also, to be very honest, who wants the hassle of picking out the seeds of a pomegranate when you can have a tall glass of all goodness.

My second favourite on their list is the Guava. It is made of both Pink Guava and white Guava pulp and together carry four times more Vitamin C than oranges and ten times more Vitamin A than lemons. No doubt it is known as the superfruit in this army of fruits since it also helps the daily absorption of iron in our body. More iron means more blood pumped.

The other thing I am trying is to find healthier ways to party and the B Natural range comes in handy with their array of mocktail recipes. If you haven’t checked out their recipes yet, I am attaching a link to the website. (You and I both know that with the wedding season and the december parties, we are definitely going to need healthier options and maybe even cut down the alcohol levels)

http://www.bnatural.in/mocktails.aspx

 

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Satisfy Your Waffle Cravings At Waffle Chowk In Noida

Traditionally eaten as a breakfast food in popular culture, waffles have gained popularity as a dessert in Delhi. Whether they are loaded with chocolate syrup or fruits, they are hard to resist.

Recently, Delhi has seen a rise in the demand of waffles with new cafes coming up in every neighbourhood. However, in the NCR region of Noida, there are still only a few waffle places to choose from.     

Waffle Chowk was originally a food truck located in Gurugram’s Sector 29. It wasn’t long before it gained popularity and people started dropping by to try out their remarkable waffles and milkshakes. After its major success in Punjabi Bagh, Waffle Chowk decided to branch out and has opened up an outlet in Noida.

Located in Sector 28, opposite Brahmaputra Market, Waffle Chowk is a small outlet with outdoor seating. It serves delicious crunchy waffles with toppings varying from the classic maple syrup to the rather innovative white chocolate. One also has the option of adding more toppings and customising the waffle a bit according to their liking.

Waffle Chowk’s waffle sandwiches help set it apart from other waffle outlets. People drool over its Nutella and Peanut Butter Sandwich, two things which go perfectly together. If you are unwilling to experiment, the chocolate chip waffle is a safer and equally delicious choice. The waffle is cooked to perfection, having a crunchy texture. It is finished off with a topping of hot chocolate syrup, chocolate chips and a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, depending on the customer’s choice. A few of the waffles with toppings of strawberries and mangoes are seasonal. One can pair these scrumptious waffles with cold/hot coffee or ice tea and enjoy a wonderful evening indulgence.

If you are fond of Oreos, or kit kat or prefer to keep it a little healthy with fruits, there is something to everyone’s liking. The waffles range from rupees 180 to 250 and each of these is served with a topping of vanilla ice cream. This outlet is run by two people in an organised and efficient manner with the help of token system. The outlet opens up around 11 am, but it takes time to set up and thus service starts only by 12 pm. It does not have a formal seating, but a few tables and chair have been put together as a makeshift seating area. This waffle place is situated close to the Botanical Garden metro station and is easy to spot as well. Being relatively new, not too many people know about this place and so it does not remain crowded. It is a great place to grab a quick bite and satisfy your waffle cravings.

Location- Alaknanda Market, Sector 28, Noida

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A Small Kiosk At Brahamaputra Market – Bombay Bhel Puri

Craving some shawarma or kathi rolls? Have a sudden yearning for delicious tandoori chicken or aloo chaat?

Noida’s Brahmaputra Market is the hub for everything food related. At the BP Market, one can satisfy their evening cravings or find dinner to take home. You can also indulge in some Chinese cuisine, gorge on some a pastries and doughnuts or simply fill up on some fresh juice or shakes. It is truly a foodie’s paradise.

Nestled among the bustling Brahmaputra Market is a small kiosk going by the name of Bombay Bhel Puri. Established in 1995, Bombay Bhel Puri is known in the locality for its mouth-watering sev puri and bharwa golgappe. The sev puri is a definite stand out and absolutely delicious. Covered in a layer of sev with a few coriander sprinkled over it, it appears to be nothing special at first sight. But as one begins to dig in, various other ingredients are revealed. A plate of sev puri consists of 7 papris topped up with generous servings of aloo, onions, imli chutney and sev. Every bite of this savoury is a burst of flavours and absolutely heavenly.

Bombay Bhel Puri is owned by Mr Naresh Chabra who has been in business for the past 22 years. Usually, he sits all by himself. At other times, he is assisted by one other fellow. One can also choose from other chaat items like bhel puri, dahi puri, jhal muri, bhalla papri, and a few more chaat items. A lot of people prefer to get the items packed and take it home, instead of eating it at the crowded market. But of course, everything tastes better when it is freshly made and eaten on the spot.    

Chaat items are the staple street food of Delhi and it isn’t difficult to spot one kiosk in every nook and cranny selling the same. However, Chabra’s Bombay Bhel Puri stall is exceptionally good. Most of the chaat items are priced at rupees 50 and are enough to fill a person to the brim. Like every other food stall in the BP market, this too opens up only during the evening. One can easily reach the market by metro, nearest being the Botanical Garden Metro Station.     

This mini Chandini Chowk of Noida has everything from a wide array of food items to even clothes. The market is always bustling with activity, be it morning or evening, except on Thursdays when most of the shops remain closed. Here, you can buy second-hand novels, street shop, or eat to your heart’s content. The BP Market is a must visit for every food enthusiast.

 

Location- Brahmaputra Market, Maharishi Dayanand Marg, Sector 29, Noida

Contact info.- 9818054083

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Health Juice Centre, A Tastier And Healthier Substitute

Hot summer days of Delhi and cold chilled beverages go together perfectly. However, not always can one indulge in smoothies or shakes. So why not go for something different and a lot healthier? Whether you are looking for a quick fix post a taxing workout or have a sweet tooth, fresh juice never fails to disappoint.

That’s where Health Juice Centre comes in.

Having made its mark among the public in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, Health Juice Centre has set up its very first outlet in the Vijay Nagar area of Delhi. Situated among several cafes serving everything from Italian to Asian cuisines, Health Juice Centre still manages to stand out. This outlet is known for serving a wide range of fresh juices and milkshakes which do not contain any water content. They serve everything from the basic mausambi juice to some very interesting flavours called Boom, Zoom, Diamond, etc. Health Juice Centre also serves different sorts of sandwiches, each of which is listed with the amount of fat, calories, carbs, etc it contains.

The Health Juice Centre was first established in Mumbai around 20 years back. Since then, it has only grown. They attract mostly the younger health-conscious generation, in part due to the price at which juices are offered, and their quality, certified by their 100 percent fruit content. The juices and milkshakes are incredible and one can truly taste the fruit. Here, you can also try out samples of juices before placing your order. This quaint cafe is easy to reach, located close to the GTB Nagar metro station. It is small in size but makes up for it with its quality and soft-spoken staff.  

This year, Health Juice Centre is bringing their huge range of juices to the NBT Flavour Fest- Street Fusion Food Court taking place at Baba Kharak Singh Marg on the 14th and 15th of October. The festival is curated by Delhi Food Walks and aims to bring to the forefront the talented minds behind the various fusion food items.

 

Address- D 1/3, Near HDFC Bank, Main Road, Vijay Nagar

Contact info.- +91 8527694131, +91 8376086588

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Mysore Cafe, Serving Delectable Dosas Since The 70s

When you have a craving for something “good” yet do not wish to overindulge, South Indian is the cuisine to go for. The crispy golden-brown dosas paired with sambar, and delicious nariyal chutney on the side make for a yummy and healthy meal. Dosa, originally from South India, has made a place for itself in the hearts of Delhiites.  One can find multiple outlets, from well established, dine in restaurants like Sagar Ratna, Udupi, Saravana Bhawan, to their cheaper counterparts, street vendors, all around Delhi.

Mysore Cafe, located in the serene and beautiful South Avenue area, is a pure vegetarian cafe which serves South Indian dishes. This cafe, a popular breakfast spot among cyclists, offers a range of dosas stuffed with fillings like potatoes, onions, which are served with the staple sambar and chutney and can be paired with tea or the famous filter coffee which is served in a steel glass. Their speciality is the fusion, Bombay dosa which is stuffed with cheese and pav bhaji masala to add that touch of Bombay and is paired with equally delicious nariyal and tomato chutney.

This quaint little cafe, located close to India Gate, has a wonderful ambience and is much loved by the locals for its authenticity and taste. They also sell uthappam, vada, idli, etc, all at a reasonable cost and have generous servings. The cafe has been in business for the last 46 years and is currently owned by RJ Deepak, a friendly and humble guy. It is easy to locate and can be reached by metro, the closest metro station being Udyog Bhawan.

This year, Mysore Cafe, in order to not limit themselves to South Avenue area has participated in the NBT Flavour Fest- Street Fusion Food Court taking place at Baba Kharak Singh Marg on the 14th and 15th of October. If you consider yourself a foodie, you cannot give this a miss. The festival is curated by Delhi Food Walks and aims to bring to the forefront the talented minds behind the various fusion food items.

 

Address- South Avenue Market, Near Sena Bhawan, India Gate, New Delhi

Contact info.- +919312646611