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11 Old Delhi Eateries You Must Not Miss This Ramzan

11 Old Delhi Eateries You Must Not Miss This Ramzan

By Anubhav Sapra, Founder, Delhi Food Walks

Published in Huffington Post. Here is the link to the post- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/anubhav-sapra/11-musttry-iftar-eateries_1_b_7685156.html

In the holy month of Ramzan, Muslims from all over the world fast from dawn to dusk to come closer to God. Abstaining from food and drink during the day, the faithful Muslim may eat two meals a day – the pre-dawn suhoor and iftar at dusk.

During iftar, Old Delhi becomes a paradise for food connoisseurs. The lane opposite Jama Masjid – Bazar Matia Mahal – is filled with heady aromas from big heaps of keema samosas, vats of buffalo biryani, grilling botis and kebabs and hot paneer jalebi. To cool down, there are drums filled with Rooh Afza sherbet and dishes of dahi vada.

But with so many choices, where will you find the best feast? Here are 11 of my favourite iftar joints (some essentially nameless and known only by their specialities) in Bazar Matia Mahal.

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1. Kallan Sweets
Studded with framed newspaper cuttings of visits from India’s biggest chefs, Kallan Sweets overlooks one of the gates of Jama Masjid. Started by Mohd. Shaan in 1939, its doors stay open from 7am until midnight, with a break at 2pm to prepare a fresh batch of sweets and snacks for the evening. One of their specialties is the bright orange and thick paneer ki jalebi, which uses a cottage cheese paste in lieu of much of the flour that goes into the more common jalebi. It is extremely popular in Ramzan, along with other festive delicacies such askhoya samosakeema samosa (shaped like gujiya and stuffed with minced meat) and paneer ke pakode.

Address: Shop no. 4-5, Jama Masjid, Gate no. 1, Matia Mahal.

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2. Haji Mohd. Hussain Fried Chicken
Established 40 years ago, this shop has been dishing out fried chicken in Delhi far longer than KFC. I call it JFC – Jama Masjid Fried Chicken. The chicken is first marinated in different spices and chickpea batter, and then half-fried. For maximum crispness, the chicken is cut into small pieces to be fried in huge pan of boiling oil. The end result is crunchy outside, moist and tender inside. It comes served withrumali roti, onions and special tangy masala chutney.

During Ramzan, Haji sa’ab also sells keema goli, which are small balls made out of minced meat, and served with onion and chutney.

Address: 113, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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3. Aslam Chicken Corner
This eatery is famed for its unique interpretation of the butter chicken, and has been a Walled City favourite for 18 years. The cooking technique includes a stint in the tandoor for the chicken before it is bathed in creamy gravy. The chicken pieces are first marinated in a special (and top secret!) combination of spices. A separate chulhas is used to heat large blocks of Amul butter which is then combined with curd and poured generously over the scrumptious chicken pieces. The melted butter seeps into the chicken thereby softening it and the curd lends a tangy taste to the dish and cuts through the butter. The chicken is served in a steel container with a basket of rumali roti.

This Ramzan, Aslam Chicken Corner has also started offering chicken seekh kebabs, with a nice flavour of green chillies and Amul butter.

Address: 540, Bazaar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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4. Kebabs at Qureshi, Lallu Kebabi, Bhaijaan And Kale Baba
The iftar feast is incomplete without kebabs. Right opposite Gate No. 1 Jama Masjid are two well known kebabchis famous for seekh andboti kebabs – Qureshi Kebab Corner and Lalu Kebabe. Both of them make excellent kebabs of buff smeared with Nutralite, onions, and spicy chutney.

The new entrant, Bhaijaan Kebabs in Chitli Qabar sells fibrous shammi kebabs deep fried in oil. Another kebab shop in Sui Walan, Kale Baba ke Kebabs, is popular for their sutli kebabs – these are so soft, they have to be held together with a twine of thread. You actually have to hold the thread tied over the kebab from one end, and it spreads on your plate, when unfolded. Sutli kebabs are served on a green leaf, with radish and mint chutney.

Addresses: Qureshi Kebab Corner and Lalu Kebabe, Opposite Gate No. 1, Jama Masjid; Bhaijaan Kebabs, Shop No. 2202, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Opp. Flora Bakery; Kale Baba ke Kebab, Sui Walan, Chitli Qabar.

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5. Changezi Chicken
Originally established as Hotel Maidah in 1986, the name of the shop was changed to Changezi Chicken in 1990 after their signature dish. Changezi chicken is served in a tangy gravy of yogurt, tomatoes and onion. The chicken is roasted separately in a roast machine by l-Halabi, a brand established in Dubai, and then shredded into boneless pieces by hand before it is put in the gravy. This dish is the brainchild of the founder of the shop, Mohd. Fazil, the Mr Delhi of 1971! You can also have beef biryani, payanahari and a multitude of chicken preparations at the many branches of Changezi Chicken. The restaurant occupies a long stretch on Churi Walan Gali and buzzes with customers during Ramzan as it remains open from 6pm-midnight.

Address: 2614, Churi Walan Jama Masjid, Delhi-06 and 3614, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj.

6. Laung Churey Kebab
A small stall outside the Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar sells something that vegetarians are delighted by: laung churey kebab, made from besan, aata and onion. There are three varieties – fried, kebabs which are soaked in water after frying and long vegetarian seekhs, all of which are made in a small shop nearby. These kebabs are served with chutney of red chillies, amchur, salt and garam masala. The shop was run for 15 years by Mujahid and his son Mohd. Nurshid took over six years ago. For Rs 20 a plate, this is one deal vegetarians cannot pass on.

Address: Outside Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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7. Cool Point
Established 25 years ago by Muhammad Zahid, the place is currently managed by his son, Zohaib. Cool Point is mainly famous for its shahi tukda (bread deep fried in pure ghee and then dipped in thick cream and sugar syrup) and phirni (a mouthwatering dessert of milk and crushed rice served in clay containers). Cool Point is also known for its kesar milk, badam milk, lassi and mango and vanilla ice cream.

Address: 973, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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8. Nawab Qureshi’s watermelon shake
A much frequented food cart or thela belongs to Nawab Qureshi, originally from Uttar Pradesh, who sells a refreshing drink during the hot summer months (he sells fruit in winter). Fondly called “Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa” (affection, love, fun), this drink costs just ₹ 10 per glass, and is indeed filled with love and fun. The pink concoction is made from fresh Amul milk (cartons of which are stacked on top of each other in his cart) and Rooh Afza, a typical drink of the summers. Qureshi adds a twist to this by adding freshly cut watermelon cubes for crunch and a fresh taste.

Address: Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa is available all summer long at Nawab Qureshi’s stall in front of 1149, Matia Mahal, near Jama Masjid, Delhi-110006.

9. Ameer Sweet House
Ameer Sweet House, decorated with pictures and framed articles about its founder, has been selling sweet and savoury food for about 100 years. Managed by Haji Zafruddin, the shop sells special dishes like keema and khoya samosa during Ramzan, from 4-7pm. You will find mouthwatering sweets like balushahibesan ke ladduchamcham and gulaab jamun , as well as chhole bhature and pakoras.

Address: 957, Haveli Azam Khan, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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10. Pehalwaan Biryaniwale
Pehalwaan Biryaniwale, also known as Biryani Mirch Masala, is right opposite Ameer Sweet House in Haveli Azam Khan. The owner, Haji Mohd. Anwar, opens up at 5pm and sells biryani right until 2am. He also sits outside in Chitli Qabar Chowk for an hour in the night. The meat, marinated in salt and chillies, is cooked separately and added to the rice. After adding masala, the dish is cooked on low heat (on dum) in a big tub covered with cloth. This type of biryani does not need complementary dishes like raita and the smell itself is enough to make your stomach growl.

Address: Shop no. 701, Haveli Azam Khan, Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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11. Gur ka Sharbat at Pahadi Imli
A small shop in the corner of Moholla Pahadi Imli sells a novel and refreshing drink: gur ka sharbat. The jaggery is brought from Ajmeri Gate Market and is kept soaked in water in a big container. The brass spoon used to mix the two is as old as the shop itself, which was established in 1947. Akhil Ahmed, the son of a watch-seller in front of Fatehpuri Masjid, has seen the price of this drink go up from 1 paisa to ₹ 5 a glass. The shop opens at 8am and serves the drink until stocks last.

Address: Corner of Pahadi Imli, Chitli Qabar, Bazar Matia Mahal.

Pictures by: Yatin Arora, Kusha Saini

Delhi Food Walks organizes food expeditions to relish the food culture of Delhi and interact with the fellow food enthusiasts. For details, visit our Facebook page. And if you wish to join DFW’s Ramzan (Iftar/Sehri) Walk, e-mail us at delhifoodwalks@gmail.com.

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#TheGourmetStudio

#TheGourmetStudio

By Anubhav Sapra

Delhi Gourmet Club, Delhi-NCR’s premier food club and Groupon India has introduced an incredible offer for the food lovers in Delhi. They have come up with ‘The Gourmet Studio’, an initiative that aims to feature the culinary expertise of the Top Chef’s of India. Starting with Chef Vaibhav Bhargava of  Pan Asian – Sheraton Delhi; the campaign brings foodies a specially curated six-course tasting menu.

I feel privileged to be a part of the launch with the stalwarts Atul Sikand and Sourish Bhattacharya from Delhi Gourmet Club; Ankur Warikoo, CEO Groupon India and other well know food bloggers in Delhi.

The food journey started with a brief description about the dishes on offer by the very talented Chef  Vaibhav Bhargava. Being a devoted chef with signature recipes to his credit, Chef Vaibhav, has worked with worldlier diners like Zuma, a contemporary Japanese restaurant and Noma, a two Michelin star restaurant as a stagier for a month. The Chef surpassed all the expectations. The food served at Pan Asian-Sheraton Delhi was highly commendable.

IMG_20150624_214145Although not part of the tasting menu, we were served summer roll with crab and mango in a pool of chili mayo. Mango added the right twist to the roll. In soup, I had Tom Yum Soup, Thailand’s most famous soup. It had distinct hot and sour flavours. I am not a sushi person. But the sushi which I had at Pan Asian was one to die for. Vegetarians can chose to have either a Japanese roll or an Asparagus Tempura roll and non vegetarians could try spicy salmon roll and California roll. I opted for California roll, rolled simply to perfection. The other bloggers on the table quipped silently that the chef has mastered the art of making great sushis at Guppy by ai.

In the main course, I had Teppanyaki Lamb Coriander, which was excellent in taste- tender and succulent pieces of lamb cooked in mild spices.

The food journey ended with Pan Asian fantasy platter and Hot toffee pudding.

The specially curated menu by Chef Vaibhav starts at unbelievable price of Rs 1199 on Groupon. Click here to watch Chef Vaibhav giving customers a sneak-peek of what they can expect at this memorable dining affair.

To book the table, please visit the following link- http://www.groupon.co.in/deals/delhi-ncr/pan-asian-sheraton-hotel/791877

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THE TOP 10 STREET FOOD DISHES OF DELHI AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

THE TOP 10 STREET FOOD DISHES OF DELHI AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

BY ANUBHAV SAPRA

1. Samosas

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

The most popular snack and street food of Delhi. The origin of the samosa can be traced back to the Middle East, where it was known as sambosa. The vegetarian version consists of a plain flour covering stuffed with potatoes, lentils, green peas or cauliflower. Some even make it sweet by filling it with khoya (thickened whole milk heated in open iron pans) or chhena (fresh curd cheese made from water buffalo milk). The non-vegetarian version of the samosa comes with minced lamb or chicken fillings.

The good ol’ champion among Delhi samosas is the aloo samosa, filled with potato (aloo) and served with mint chutney and saunth (a mix of dry ginger powder and tamarind sauce). In Connaught place, mini samosas named after their small size are available on the pavements of the Barakhamba road. While The Embassy restaurant in Connaught Place boasts about the heaviest and most expensive samosa in the city.

Where to find the best ones?

Annapurna Sweets in CR Park.
Chaina Ram in Fatehpuri.

2. Momos

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Who could’ve imagined that the most common food of Tibet and Nepal would become one of the most popular foods in Delhi? Over the past 10 years momokiosks have flourished all over the city. Momos are dumplings stuffed with a mix of vegetables, chicken, lamb, pork or buff. They are steamed and served with hot and spicy red chili sauce and mayonnaise. To suit the palates of Delhites, chaat masala (mix of hot and tangy spices) are also sprinkled over the steamed preparation.

Where to find the best ones?

Majnu Ka Tila.
De Paul’s in Janpath.

3. Aloo tikki

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Simply put, aloo means potato and tikki means a patty or croquette. Aloo tikkisare fried potato patties stuffed with either just potatoes or lentils and green peas, served with coriander mint sauce and tamarind sauce. They have a crisp outside and a soft inside.

Where to find the best ones?

Natraj Dahi Bhalla in Chandni Chowk.
Bittu Tikki Wala outlets in Delhi.

4. Kebab

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

The most common kebabs are Seekh Kebab — minced mutton grilled on a skewer;Shami Kebabs — minced mutton or chicken with a paste of lentils are mixed with chopped onions, garlic, green chilies and fried in some butter; Galauti Kebabs —galauti literally means ‘to melt in the mouth,’ they are prepared by marinating the finely ground meat with unripe papaya and exotic spices and are later fried in butter.

Where to find the best ones?

Karim’s in Jama Masjid.
Moinuddin Kebabs in Ballimaran.

5. Golgappa

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Golgappas are deep-fried delicacies made of whole wheat or semolina flour. The street vendors pinch a hole into the golgappa and add chopped cubes of boiled potato and mashed chickpeas with saunth chutney. They are then dipped into a bowl filled with spicy tangy tamarind or mint water. There are regional variations of golgappas within Delhi. In CR Park, the water is strictly made of tamarind and the fillings are made of mashed potatoes with chickpeas and spices. In other parts of the city, it is mostly mint water and the fillings are simply boiled potato cubes or chick peas.

Where to get the best ones?

Street vendors in CR Park.
Vaishnav Chaat bhandar in Kamla Nagar.

6. Chole Bhature

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Chole bhature is a Delhi classic available in all the residential and office areas around town. It’s a puffed bread made of semolina or wheat flour, deep fried in clarified butter or oil, and sometimes stuffed with paneer (cottage cheese) or mashed potatoes. They are served with chickpeas cooked in whole spices, onion, green chilies and pickles.

Where to find the best ones?

Sitaram Diwanchand in Paharganj.
Chahcha ke chole bhature in Kamla Nagar.

7. Chole kulche

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Chole kulche is relished by everyone, from school kids to office goers. Chole are boiled chickpeas and kulche is a white flour bread. This dish usually tastes different depending of the street vendor you choose, since everyone seems to have their own recipe. At some places, boiled chickpeas are garnished with onion, tomatoes, spices and lemon; some others add tamarind or dry mango powder chutney to the chickpeas.

Where to find the best ones?

Lotan ke chole kulche in Chawri Bazar.
Bhogal ke chole kulche near Scindia House in Connaught Place.

8. Chaat

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

The essential ingredients of chaat are yoghurt, onion, saunth (tamarind and dry ginger sauce or dry mango powder sauce) and a mix of spices. There are a lot of variants of chaatDahi Bhalla chaat are made of fried lentil balls soaked in yoghurt and topped with saunth, spices, pomegranate seeds and sev (small dried salty noodles). Papdi Chaat consists of little fried and crispy, flat-shaped wheat flour crackers with the same toppings as in Dahi bhalla. The other two commonchaats are aloo tikki chaat and samosa chaat. The only non-savoury chaat is theDaulat ki chaat, available only during the winter months in Old Delhi. It’s more like a dessert made with milk and cream whisked together.

Where to find the best ones?

Ashok Chaat Corner in Chawri Bazar.
Hira Lal Chaat corner in Chawri Bazar.
Daulat ki Chaat is available in the by lanes of Old Delhi during October to March.

9. Rajma Chawal

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

A typical Punjabi home-cooked dish, is also readily available in food carts across Delhi (mainly outside offices). Rajma is the curry made of red beans cooked in aromatic spices and served hot with steamed rice. Rajma chawal is highly nutritious and delicious as well.

Where to find the best ones?

Near the offices and shopping centers like Nehru Place, Shankar Market, KamlaNagar and Karol Bagh.

10. Kachori

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Kachoris are made of white flour dough stuffed with a mixture of lentil paste and spices. This mix is fried and served with hot and spicy potato curry. Kachoris are usually served with tamarind sauce or coriander mint sauce, but some vendors serve them with a delicious mix of potato curry with asafetida in a slightly large amount.

Where to find the best ones?

Old Delhi has the best kachori joints in the city:
Jang Bahadur kachori wala in Maliwara.
Narayan das Halwai in Khari Baoli. 

*THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN MATADOR NETWORK ON JUNE 16, 2015. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE ARTICLE- http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/top-ten-street-food-dishes-delhi-find/
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ULTIMATE DESI TWIST

ULTIMATE DESI TWIST

By Prakriti Bhat

I remember, as a kid, the only condiment that fitted with every kind of food was ketchup. I am not very fond of tomatoes but a veg cutlet or stuffed bread would be incomplete without tomato ketchup. Kissan has been a leading ketchup brand, spreading smiles since 1933. The company has a huge fan-base amongst children who swear by their jams, squashes and ketchups. Since ketchups are not very spicy, they compliment kids’ meals. Now, Kissan has launched two new flavours-‘Chilly Tomato’ and ‘Sweet & Spicy’ to tingle your taste buds.

What happens when two popular brands come together? They conjure a heavenly combination which has the best of both worlds. Kissan and Pizza Hut join hands to bring to you ‘The Ultimate Big Pizza’ spiced by Kissan Twist, which was unveiled at their Connaught Place branch. It is BIG in size and high on taste. And the best part-it is priced at a decent rate of Rs.199 for vegetarian pizzas and Rs. 249 for non-vegetarian pizzas.

The event began with several interactive activities. Head Chef at Pizza Hut, Arjyo Banerjee demonstrated how a pizza is actually made and we got a rare opportunity to create our own pizzas! The next activity required people to be blindfolded and then identify different ingredients/toppings using their sensory organs. Chef Arjyo kept up everyone’s spirits with his jovial demeanour. It was a fun filled session.

The meal began with an array of drinks. Orange Spritzer was a rejuvenating cooler. It tasted a bit different from the regular drinks with the soda bringing a whole new element to it and had a citrus flavour. Other drinks included Masala Lemonade, Mojito and soft drinks. This was followed by a round of starters including different types of garlic bread. Pizza Hut is well known for its mouth watering, cheesy garlic bread. They, quite successfully, ‘twisted’ the regular garlic bread recipe by topping it with slices of chicken salami, staying true to their ‘ultimate twist’ theme.

20150613_130544What makes The Ultimate Big Pizza different? First of all, the crust is thinner than their widely popular Pan Pizza and enhances your experience since the focus is shifted from the base to the toppings and sauces. One bite into this delicious pizza is enough to lift your spirits. Moreover, the new Kissan sauces lend a tangy flavor to the pizzas. The vegetarian version of The Ultimate Big Pizza is blessed with generous toppings like paneer, corn, onions, olives and jalapenos while the non vegetarian version is topped with chicken keema, chicken sausage chunks, capsicum and paprika. These pizzas will in fact suit the children’s taste buds since they are not extremely fiery as the sauce maintains a balance of spices.

The meal came to a pleasing end with their chocolate dessert. Layers of chocolate sponge cake and whipped cream; it couldn’t get better than this! It looked bewitching as they used choco twisters to decorate the dessert. In fact, presentation of all the dishes was par excellence.

I know where I am heading this weekend. Do you?

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Lights Camera Action

Lights Camera Action

By Anubhav Sapra

In Khari Baoli, Pakodimal doodhwala used to sell excellent burfiwali lassi, which had a piece of burfi mixed in the yoghurt. His Mathura style lassi tastes similar in which the sweetness doesn’t come from added sugar but from the burfi. After he passed away a few years ago, I could not come across a better burfiwali lassi elsewhere in Delhi.

The other day, I went to Lights Camera Action (LCA), a new restaurant situated at B.K. Dutt Market in Rajouri Garden. I was extremely delighted to have been served the creamy, saffron colored, Mathura style burfiwali lassi. Although named Benarsi lassi sphere, it was flavored with the right amounts of kesar (saffron) and pista (pistachio) that simply burst in to the mouth tantalizing the senses and reminding me of UP. The lassi sphere which is served complimentary, reminded me of Pakodimal burfiwali’s lassi.

IMG_20150530_141911As the restaurant’s theme is Bollywood, the next complimentary dish that arrived on our tripod table was flavored popcorn (an intrinsic part of the movie watching experience). On the recommendation of Mr. Varun Puri, who is the proud owner of this restaurant, my food journey started with Rajnikant’s Early Morning Tea – a piping hot and spicy rasam. The presentation of the dish was quite engaging. The chai was served in a local dhaba style tea kettle with four glasses containing different ingredients – curry leaves as a substitute to tea leaves and coconut powder as a substitute to milk powder. The crushed curry leaves were added to the glass with coconut powder which formed oil on the sides. I enjoyed the preparation to the core.

The names of the dishes at LCA are quirky and interesting. Some of them are – “Main to tere pyaaz mein deewana ho gaya” (fried onion rings dusted with south Indian spices),“Bruceliii ki Broccoliii” (Broccoli marinated in Indian spices and cooked on charcoal), and some street delicacies – “sadak chaap momos” to  combo meals – “Dhoodh ka dhoodh paani ka paneer” (A paneer dish with dal, breads and salad).

IMG_20150530_143209These days street food with a slight modern twist is becoming quite popular amongst restaurants and some of the food writers have explained this as the ‘café-isation’ of street food. At LCA, papdi dhokla chaat is served with a twist, named Hollywood Nitrogen Papdi Dhokla Chaat, it is a real treat to the eyes, as the presentation and serving is done right in front of the guests.  Chef Arnav Puri makes the chaat by explaining every step patiently. The yoghurt and dhokla is frozen at -176 degrees using liquid nitrogen. The frozen crumbs of yoghurt is mixed with papdi, tamarind chutney, palak ka patta (spinach leaves), chopped boiled potato cubes then garnished with pomegranate seeds. At the top of it all, the frozen dhokla is crushed and mixed well in to the chaat. It was delightful to watch Chef Arnav in action!

IMG_20150530_153614The other dishes worth trying are – “Chammak Challo” which was an orange leafy salad with zesty dressings,“Pyaar tune Quesadillas” which is tortilla bread stuffed with cheese and sautéed vegetables in Kohlapuri spices and “Jhakaas Maska Pav bhaji” which is bhaji fondue with butter toasted pav.

The food journey which started with a molecular lassi sphere ended with a Social Media Coffee shake served in a ceramic glass with the logos of Facebook and Whatsapp imprinted on it.

Address – J2/6B, 3rd Floor, BK Dutt Market, Rajouri Garden (walking distance from Rajouri Garden Metro Station)

Cost for two : Rs 1500

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Brahmputra Market Street Food

Brahmaputra Market : the combination of chalk and cheese

By Priyanka Sharma

Brahmaputra Market, situated in Sector 29, Noida perceived as the “mini Chandni Chowk” by many is the quintessence of a food paradise. A large number of street food vendors dot the market place, so that you cannot step out of the area without pleasing your taste buds. This place is never without people at any point of the day. So if you are in a mood of munching something? Or not? This place is definitely going to get you spoilt for choice.

BP, as people call it in short, satisfies all sorts of cravings and serves a variety of food, be it spicy, tangy, sweet, hot, cold, frozen, healthy, unhealthy, north Indian, south Indian or Chinese, the list just doesn’t end. Alongside, there are numerous medicine shops, stationary shops, garments stores, grocery stores, vet clinic and various other doodah. Being from Noida, I’ve been more than a regular visitor of this market, and even after being a vegetarian, I’ve never been bored or exhausted by this place because of the variety it serves. There are a few grubs that should definitely be tried in BP :

20150531_191545Dahi waale gol gappe from Agra chat bhandar are an absolutely perfect means to soothe your palate. These dahi puris are crisp spheres or puris filled with chopped boiled potato, and onion, fresh curd, imli (red), and coriander (green) chutney, topped with sev, spices, coriander and pomegranate. Generously filled with curd of perfect consistency and freshness, crisp puris, spices and lots of sev topping is what makes this preparation worth trying. Traditionally, one of these is served to people after they are finished having pani puris. You shouldn’t be surprised if the bhaiya, while serving you the dahi puri asks you “ise tode bina khaana” because well, that’s what the rule is which is pretty interesting. (Contact number:9958981489; Cost for two: Rs 100)

Lakshmi Café House is a treasure in the centre of the market. You can sit here and guzzle some delicious variety of south Indian cuisine, especially filter coffee. Do try their fried idli that they serve only on Tuesdays. The food here won’t leave a hole in your pocket.(Contact number: 9863994444; Cost for two: Rs 300)

20150531_193603There are numerous ‘not to be missed’ dig – ins too, like Lucknow Zaika veg kabab plate, that’ll cost you Rs. 50. Different stalls for veg and non-veg kababs (cost for two – Rs. 100) are available.  Kapoor’s balle balle will serve you the best butter chicken, which will be a treat for all the diehard non vegetarians (cost for two – Rs. 450). Now if the spices get you all sobbing and sniffling, we have Baba Kulfi Bhandar  for you; if you have been crying out for sweetness, a Kesar pista kulfi will cost you Rs. 20, and Rabri falooda Rs. 40 (contact – 8800489401). If your health concerns interfere in this tasting spree then you can hit the Bhola juice corner that will serve your purpose with super – fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and toothsome shakes. Their khajoor shake which is worth trying is a unique mixture of khajoor and milk which is unbelievably delightful (cost for two – 120).

Happy tasting spree!

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Bhaiya Lal’s Pineapple Burfi

Bhaiya Lal’s Pineapple Burfi

By Anubhav Sapra

 Being a self confessed sweets addict, I am constantly looking out for sweet shops. Some of my favorite sweet shops in Chandni Chowk are – Chaina Ram in Fatehpuri Chowk for Karanchi halwa and sev badam, Hajari Lal Jain in Kinari Bazar for rabri and khurchan, Ghantewala near Fountain Chowk for sohan halwa, Tewari brothers near Town Hall for motichur ke laddu, Annapurna Sweets opposite Seeshganj Gurudwara for Bengali sweets and of course, Dariba Kalan’s famous jalebi.

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I was walking down the Dariba street when I spotted a mithai wala selling varieties of colorful mithais beautifully decorated with chandi vrak in separate trays. These trays were laid on the stairs of one of the Jewellery shops in Dariba Kalan. The owner, Naresh Kumar evenly spread sheets of edible chandi varak over the sweets, sprinkled pistachios burada, and covered the sweets with nets to keep flies away.

Naresh Kumar sells the sweets opposite Gali Kunjas in Dariba Kalan between Ramtaur Jewellers and Swastik Jewellers shop from 5 pm onwards. He learnt the art of making sweets from his father, who is well-known as Bhaiya lal. Bhaiya lal started the sweet shop in his name in 1936 at Shop no. 3459, Hauz Qazi, Subzi Market and Naresh Kumar took over in 1962. He has been selling the same variety of sweets.

IMG_20150530_174602The menu consists of Bengali mithai Rasbhari, Parmal stuffed with khoya, cham cham, lauki burfi, Pineapple burfi, nariyal burfi. All the sweets are prepared in a more or less similar way – with khoya as the main ingredient. All of them costs Rs 400/- kg. The sweets are weighed by using a tarazu (balance scale).

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What intrigued me most was the Pineapple burfi, which I had tasted for the first time at this sweets shop. It turned out to be excellent because it was just the right amount of sweet. It was prepared adding pineapple syrup to roasted khoya.Another Bengali sweet, Rasbhari which are small rasgullas were different from the ones we usually get. Rasbhari was not soaked in sugar syrup, it was dry from the outside and the centre was filled with thickened sugar syrup so that as soon as one bites into it their mouth fills with the sweet syrup. Other sweets, cham cham, lauki burfi, and nariyal burfi were equally amazing.

 I am delighted to add Bhaiya Lal’s sweets to my list of favorite Sweets shops in Chandni Chowk!

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Barcelos

Barcelos

By Prakriti Bhat

Amongst the swarm of eating joints in Khan Market is debutante Barcelos which opened on 26th February, 2015 under Mr. Costa Maziz. It is situated opposite Café Turtle and is adjacent to the Chinese restaurant Soy, so locating it is not at all a problem. Like the other restaurants in this area, Barcelos too is situated atop a narrow staircase. Delhi has a lot of options for Italian and other such cuisines but this restaurant promises a completely different experience by bringing the Afro-Portuguese cuisine to your plate at a reasonable cost. The food chain which began in 1993 in South Africa has now a strong foothold in over 17 countries and continues to spread its charm worldwide.

Barcelos is named after a Portuguese town. The logo of this franchise is a red rooster which can be seen on the headboard, the dips bottles and even on the miniature flags stuck on the burgers. It is also a famous symbol in this Portugal town. It is called o galo de Barcelos (the rooster of Barcelos). Legend has it that once a pilgrim was accused of stealing from a wealthy landowner. He was sent to court where the judge sentenced him to death despite his repeated protests of innocence. The judge was about to eat a rooster at that time when the pilgrim, as a last attempt to save himself said, “if I am innocent, the rooster will begin to crow”. Just when the piligrim was about to be hung, the rooster started crowing and he was set free.

The ambience is good. Walls are covered with maps, making it look like a scene out of geography class. Potted plants lend a very naturalistic feel. The interiors are quite simple, nothing out of the world as such. The food is presented well and the quantity is quite generous. The most popular dish here is the Black Burger. The black buns are prepared from some special herbs and permissible food colour in the U.S.A. The bun does not taste any different from the other regular ones, it’s just the colour that makes it special. The Chicken Black Burger has a huge and well marinated chicken fillet, lettuce and tomatoes. It is a delicious treat for the soul. The staff notes down your spice preference and makes the burger accordingly.

IMG-20150527-WA0005Chicken Picantte is a dish of chicken breast grilled with Peri Peri sauce. Perhaps one of the best grilled chicken I have had; neither very soft nor very hard. It is served with a bowl of Coleslaw or any other side dish of your choice from the menu, and potato wedges. The coleslaw is prepared exceedingly well. The Vegetarian Trinchado was a dish of yellow rice served with a bowl of vegetable gravy consisting of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and paneer. The rice had a lemony flavor. Vegetarian sizzler came with spicy rice, grilled vegetables and potato cutlets in a smoky avatar. Amongst the mocktails, Minty Balst is a refreshing cooler. It’s like a semi-frozen version of the regular mojito.

IMG-20150527-WA0006The staff is very courteous and service is quite prompt. They take care of individual spice preferences. African music plays in the background but it’s a bit too loud making it a little difficult to hold conversations. Also they could probably play some popular songs in between which would make the crowd feel at home. “There are a lot of Italian, Chinese and Mexican food joints in the city. Barcelos introduces a completely different range of flavours. The Black Burger is just one of the many surprises that we have in store for our customers. We will be introducing new dishes after a span of every 3-4 months”, says Mr. Kuldeep, manager of the Khan Market outlet. The franchise is expected to expand itself as they hope to open about 8-10 branches by the end of 2015.

With its authentic cuisine and gastronomic delicacies, it seems like Barcelos is here to stay!

Cost for 2- Rs. 1000

Address- Shop 57, Khan Market, New Delhi

Phone no.- 01133105219