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Vaishnav Chaat Bhandar : *heart eyes*

While wandering around the streets of Kamal Nagar ask any person to point the direction for the best chaat place around and every one will surely mention one place that is ‘Vaishnav Chaat Bhandar’. This incredibly famous chaat bhandar is the go-to for every person in Kamla Nagar who develop cravings for some sweet and tangy chaat. According to this place’s humble owner this place is around six decades old and has a very constant trend of satisfying their customers throughout.

As soon as you enter the lane which carries this amazing wonder you will see a swarm of people mushrooming around this joint  from quite a distance. Even the name board of this place screams how old this place must be as the alphabets are carved on a sandstone rather than using modern day techniques. As we believe that with every change in region in India , the flavours of the chaat has twists and turns of its own. As you proceed into this place you will see the barbecue  grills with seekhs of very delightful marinated paneer and soya chaap which tells you that this place is much more than just chaats and golgappas .

Their vast menu includes pav bhaji ,paneer tikka and various types of soya chaap. The owner of the shop recommended us to try their famous ‘Bhalla Papdi‘. It was basically a dish in which bhalla and few papdis are soaked in dahi which is then topped with chickpeas and potatoes along with some boondi, to add some more flavour to it , tamarind chutney and more dahi is added, then to give a final touch different combination of spices is sprinkled on to it. One particular thing that can be observed is that the chaats here are prepares in a Old-Delhi-style as it is topped with kachalu which is a trend that Old-Delhi chaat vendors follow a lot. This dish was delicious as it kicked the taste buds at all right places with perfect temperature of dahi. All the combination of the chutneys and spices worked perfectly for us. Next in we dug into to the classic pav bhaji , it was served with loads of butter on the bhaji and as well as on the buns too, it was served along with some onions and lemon slice. The flavour of the pav bhaji was amazing with bhaji being slight different in good way from the usual ones.

Even though there is no such concept as ‘ seating arrangements’ at this place , but the flavours and varieties of the tidbits that this place offers are worth a try.

Name : Vaishnav Chaat Bhandar

Address: 66-67/E, Near Chota Gol Chakkar, Kamla Nagar

Contact info : +91 9810195762

 

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Vinod Kumar Momos: Moh Moh ke flavours.

Momo vendors in Delhi are boundlessly populated at every crooks and nooks of the city. Let it be any type , whether it be steamed , fried , tandoori or gravy the people of this city never leave a chance when their taste buds call for this yummy snack. Moreover we being true foodies can never ever resist such simple yet so flavorful dish. However the traces of momos go back to a long time ago originated in Nepal, it still has a big trace on the hearts of every Delhi people.

So, we can find a small momo vendor called the ‘Vinod Kumar Momos’ near the bada gol chakkar i.e. the Spark mall at our very own Kamla Nagar giving out hot and steamy momos straight out of the steamer which results out in a two minute struggle to initially even hold the plate. After seeing such a sight we can do nothing to hold us back but  order a steaming plate of momos which is served in three different types which varies in nothing but the stuffing of these fluffy balls of flavor, the three different types of variants are veg ( a mixture of cabbage etc. ) , paneer (cottage cheese) and chicken.

All the three variants are served with spicy red chutney on the side and the momos themselves are topped with creamy mayonnaise  and sprinkled with various spices such as oregano and chilli flakes. The side served chutney hads a very fiery flavor which compliments the tangy taste of mayonnaise. As you take your first bite of this delicacy dipped in perfect amount of chutney  your taste buds experience the perfect mix of flavours that is the subtle flavour momo along with a gulp of tanginess of mayonnaise  along with hot flavour of the red chutney .

After hogging all the different momo variants you will definitely drop by this place frequently as it is located in a very convenient location so that you have no excuse to miss this particular food joint out. The prices too were very attractive with a good quantity with lots and lots of flavour which comes out of a very hygenic stall, this stall should be on your must try list for sure.

 

Name : Vinod Kumar Momos

Find it here : Near bada gol chakkar , Kamla Nagar.

Contact it through: 9643371308

 

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Agra ka Parantha and Tandoori Chai

As much as the breakfast food trail across Agra filled me up, it also left me wanting to not miss out on the other unexplored gems. Tahir obliged and took me to the next stop on our gastronomical journey; Ram Babu Paranthe Waale, in Sikandra on NH-2. This place has been serving its flavours, both old and new, drenched in Ghee for the past 87 years. From old favourites such as potato and mix-veg paranthas, to crowd pullers like maggi and chocolate, and bizarre ones like pomegranate and apples, their menu has several varieties of stuffing for you pick from and surprise your taste-buds.

 

Ram Babu Parantha
Ram Babu Parantha

We decided to get out hands on a classic mix-veg parantha, penne pasta parantha, and the Maggi parantha. Be prepared to throw your diets in the backseat while visiting this place, since each of these paranthas is fried in a thick pan, drenched in around a hundred grams of ghee and served with aaloo-matar sabzi (potato and green pea curry), some kadhi, pumpkin dish, some tamarind chutney, and pickle.

We first tried the Maggi parantha, which is especially popular among the young customers. The stuffing had green-peas, chopped carrots, and some extra masalas to amp up the heat. It was spicy and got us excited to move on to our mix-veg parantha. This was stuffed with green-peas, carrots, onions, and potatoes. The preparation was so crisp that we could hear it crackle as we dug into it.

Last came our penne pasta stuffed parantha. The pasta was tossed in desi masalas and topped with some cream. The fried pie-like result was then generously coated with grated cheese making it taste like nothing short of a pizza with a north-Indian twist.

This 87-year-old restaurant displays a perfect picture of the long way that the Indian food-culture, has come with 32 kinds of paranthas in its menu. They plan to add 36 more varieties and keep the menu ever-evolving.

Our adventures continued as we reached a neat and unconventionally fancy, lit up Chai Tapri serving Tandoori Chai. The chai is served in Kulhad, a clay utensil, often used to serve drinks in. The Kulhads are heated up over coals in a tandoor. Fresh milk-tea is then poured in these glistening-red clay-mugs, making the Chai boil and bubble up; and taking in the distinct, earthen smell and aroma of the mud. The chai, perhaps a bit-sweet to please the taste of the locals, has a nice flavour of cardamom and ginger.

Agra sent my way a wave of unexpected innovation while still keeping the essence of the original, making me wonder what more the city has to offer.

 

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AGRA BREAKFAST FOOD WALK

AGRA BREAKFAST FOOD WALK

 

The Tajnagari needs no introduction. It is home to perhaps two of the greatest symbols of love. Taj Mahal and hot street food made with love. I came here to give the latter its due attention. The city comes to life in the early hours of the day, and so did I, excited to explore this culinary haven.

My ambrosial journey through the rustic lanes of the city began at Dilli Gate Chai Waala, a small, bustling shop that never closes. And it literally never closes, serving piping hot tea 24×7, this ever-welcoming shop does not even have a shutter! Here I met Tahir, who shared my passion for greasy street-food and was well versed with the nooks and corners of the city, to take me on a breakfast food trail. We started with some Chai with pleasing flavours of ginger, long pepper, and cardamom; and to go along with it some butter lathered elaichi rusk and Bun Maska. The Bun Maska, like all other breads available at this place, was toasted on coals, which is their speciality.

With Chai in our systems and appetites expanded, we were ready to take on our next adventure and have, as Tahir mentioned, some Lashkari food; the food of the Mughal Army. We headed straight to the heart of the walled city, Nai Basti, but don’t let the name confuse you. Nai by name, the entire place was drenched in an old-world charm. Through the tight alleys we reached Mughal Nihari, a place known to have kept the authentic flavours and strong use of masalas intact in its Nihari recipe. The Paaye, meat, and bone marrow are all cooked overnight in the authentic masalas and served with the traditional Khamiri Roti. The fibres of the soft, well-cooked meat break down into the gravy and pleasing my palette with the strong masalas. Be sure to ask them for what among the mutton, Paaye, and bone marrow you want more and they will be more than happy to build your bowl to your preference. For Rs. 80 per plate, this place is sure to leave your pocket and your stomach happy, but make sure you reach here early in the morning as they run out of the preparation by 10 am.

Next on our food trail was Haleem. On a small, road-side stand in Kashmiri Bazaar, awaited us an early morning Haleem, a thick, protein filled gravy made of daal, meat, and an assortment of spices, that is sure to keep your hunger at bay for a few hours. This Haleem was loaded with turmeric and served, dressed with green chilli to add to the heat. The dish is cooked overnight where pressure is applied to the daal and the meat, which makes the fibres of the meat dissolve in the gravy, so you bite into a thick pool of nutrition and powerful flavours.

A walk through Agra’s street food marvels would have been incomplete without some Bedai, so to get our fix, we reached Munna Lal Mithai Waala. The Bedai or Bedami Puri was served with aloo ki sabzi (potato curry), pumpkin gravy, and curd. The puri, stuffed with urad daal and made in desi ghee, was satisfyingly crispy. To go with it we had Moong Daal Halwa that washed my mouth with its overwhelming amounts of ghee.

Kala Mehal and its residing Sindhi community had waiting for us the Sindhi Pakwaan, which is a huge round matthi, served with chickpea gravy loaded with a strong doze of spices and masalas and topped with some fresh green chilli, red onions, and oil.

After our fix of the Sindhi cuisine, we headed to an archaic looking shop that has been serving its delicacy since 1840, Chimman Lal Puri Waale. Tahir called it Agra’s “Museum of Food”, because of how well it preserved the original flavours of the Tajnagari. For a mere amount of Rs. 30, they gave us a plate loaded with two puris, one of them stuffed with a methi or fenugreek filling, and small portions of potato-chickpea sabzi, sweet-tasting white pumpkin sabzi, aloo-matar-paneer sabzi, some chutney and achaar, and to wash everything down, bowls of kheer and raita. Every preparation had a distinct taste, perhaps unique to Agra and Banaras.

To end our breakfast tour, we arrived at Gopaldas Petha in Subhash Bazaar to try the much-coveted Agra ka Petha wrapped in the refreshing flavour of gulabjal. Petha was once known as the “dessert for the poor”, because of the inexpensive ingredients that go into its making, but the end result left me absolutely content. You can get this Petha for Rs. 300/kg at Gopaldas Petha.

 Agra truly served its culmination of communities, cultures, and history on the plate with just the right amount of sweet, spice, and warmth.

Edited By- Arshia Bhutani

 

 

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U Like Roll Corner : A Tale of Rolls

Long ago in the year 1996 there lived a humble man namely Mr. Jamil Akhtar, who had a sense that something is missing from the northern region of the foodie capital city. Soon he realised that no eatery around this area sold rolls (a small piece of bread that is rolled around a stuffing ). He took this matter into his hands and inaugurated his very own ‘U-Like Roll Corner ‘ in a small street in the Kamla Nagar market,North Delhi which served a vast variety of rolls ranging from different varieties in both vegetarian and non vegetarian options.

The taste of his tidbits along with the thinnest covering of roti and lots and lots of filling coordinated with a perfect blend of various sauces which drips through your lips while you take a bite of the mouthwatering rolls was what attracted the most crowd to hog into this world of rolls which is still consistent. Whoever visits this place never fails to notice the technique which Mr. Jamil uses to make his rolls, the dedication, the skills , the fluency he showcases while preparing his masterpiece is remarkable!

The stall opens in the afternoon around three and closes till eleven in the night with most of its rush hour being around the nighttime. Pure desi ghee is used in preparing the rolls in the perfect quantity so that the rolls doesn’t turn out to be greasy. As soon as the stall opens the rolls especially the non vegetarian ones sell out like hot cakes.The nonveg specialty items include spicy chicken roll , cheesy chicken roll , egg rolls and various other combinations. The prices of these ranges from rupees 25 to maximum of rupees 90.

The tale of rolls which began in 1996 still satiates your hungry taste buds with the crispy and juicy rolls which will continue its era happily ever after.

Name: U-Like Roll Center

Address: Kamla Nagar Market, Beside Keventer’s

Owner’s Name  : Jamil Akhtar

Contact number: 8800376692

 

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Bun Tikki Wale Bhaiya : IPCW ki shaan

Indraprastha College for Women in one of the oldest college of Delhi University situated in the North Campus near the Civil Lines metro station. With  quite a beautiful campus and very welcoming ambience, there is another thing about this college which is the usual ‘ talk of the town ‘ that is the ‘Bun Tikki‘ stall that resides just outside the college gate in a small corner with the most concentration of people. The traces of this stall goes back to  the post independence era around the 1950’s . The current owner of this stall Mr. Ram Dev  proudly claims this stall to be even older than half a century and how this tradition is carried on from his father to him and how it will be carried on to to the next generation very soon.

The stall opens early in the morning around 9:00 am  and serves its delicacies till 4 in the evening. The menu is not very vast but it shows perfectly what this eatery specializes in. The menu includes the most talked about ‘Bun Tikki‘ along with other tidbits such as aloo chaat , chole kulche , bhel puri , papdi chaat and kulcha roll which is perfectly complimented by a popular go-to of each and every Dilliwala known as Bunta which is perfect to quench your thirst along with the sweet and spicy bites this small eatery serves.

This place experiences the most rush during the break time in the afternoon when all the hungry peeps including the students of the college and even the teacher staff are in a search for something delicious to fulfil their hungry tummies and the rush is sometimes even more than that of the college canteen itself . The hot piping tikki  sandwiched between the perfectly buttered buns along with the tangy sweet chutney and a perfect seasoning of various spices makes it just irresistible as it sounds. Another most loved dish here is the aaloo chaat which is made from perfectly shallow fried potato cubes seasoned with the spice mix and topped with the spicy green chutney which we can customize according to our preferences by consulting our very own taste buds.

Mr. Ram Dev is very particular about the hygiene of the stall and keeps it as clean as possible, he particularly mentions about how he uses the fresh ingredients  to make these mouth watering snacks. What makes this eatery even better is the price of the items, none of them are above a range of Rupees 30 . Such flavoursome and zestful snacks at such low costs with maintained hygiene ! What else do we need ?

Address : Beside the main gate of IPCW, Civil Lines

Owner’s Name : Ram Dev

Contact no. : 9319533687

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Sudama Ji Ki Tea Stall : One stop for all the chai lovers

Feeling cold ? have chai (tea) . Want to have a important conversation ? Meet up at chai. After all , who says chai cannot be the solution to your every problem. Chai is the most loved beverage among India and the love indeed doubles when it comes to Delhiites. One such place which was established around 30 years ago by a very humble man popularly known as ‘Sudama ji ‘ by his fellow customers , is “Sudama ji ki Tea Stall” which is located right on the main road from Kirori Mal College to Ramjas College. At any mentioned time of the day you will see people flooded on this tea stall, there doesn’t exist a single person in the North Campus who doesn’t know about this stall. Once you name it and people will tell you the exact spot where it is located at. Sudama ji serves his special tea at as low as Rupees 10. You can taste the flavor of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom in the masala chai  he offers.

The best time to visit this place is the late evening hours especially during the winter nights, you will see every person including the cops patrolling around the area  to the students living in the campus to the staff and even the fellow rickshaw and auto drivers breeding around the stall waiting for their chance to get a glass full of the ‘most talked about ‘ chai  of the campus. This stall stays open until late night with never ending rush for chai which can always be seen boiling down in big vessels by Sudama ji with a lot of passion to make his chai perfect for his customers.

You can also have some rusks , biscuits to accompany the perfect cup of tea even to make it more perfect. While crossing through the university you will always listen people mentioning this tea stall and especially students quoting it very often. So, if you are on a search of a perfect cup of ‘garma garam chai’  along with a swarm of people who are equally passionate and  in love with chai as you are or else need a perfect kick start to your day or want a much needed break then surely this is the place you are searching for.

Name : Sudama ji ki tea stall

Owner’s name : Sudama ji

Address: On the main road between KMC and Ramjas

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Labib’s : The crowded nukkad

Roaming around north campus with a hungry tummy and confused state of mind ?  In this situation enter the very famous   “ Chatori lane” which is a small street in Kamla Nagar beside Mc Donald’s in which you will capture the sight of food in every direction you look at. This street ends with a very famous nukkad food joint  known as “ Labib’s”, it can be seen from quite a distance that this place is very crowded all the time. The first thing any person who visits this place observes is a very long menu with numerous options ranging from various kinds of shakes, rolls and sandwiches etc. This place serves both vegetarian and non vegetarian delicacies.

It is very famous among the college students due to the pocket friendly menu, who can be seen mushrooming on the stairs nearby this joint with the amazing food this place serves. This place is famous for its shakes, black forest shake is a must try and even they serve the best ice mocha. You can even have the rolls including the shawarma roll and the double egg roll. They also  have a best seller called the “chicken chatkara sandwich” which is as delicious as it sounds. This shop generally opens around 12 pm and closes late around 10 pm with its rush hour being mainly in the evening.

They offer their food accompanied with great dips such as the cheesy dip and if you are new to this place they offer your first mayonnaise dip for free. Even the service is quick and the owner is very friendly too. So, if you are looking for somewhere great to eat with numerous options and pocket friendly budget, this place is exactly what you are searching for. So, don’t forget to  visit this place and grab a lip smacking  snack along with a gulp of thick and cold shake and have a very happy meal and leave this place with a satisfactory grin and eagerness to visit it again.

Name: Labib’s

Address : UB-101, Chatori Lane , Kamla Nagar

Contact number : +91999432924

 

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Tom Uncle Maggi : DU’s official canteen

Delhi University especially the north campus is known to have numerous hangout hubs as well as it is known to be flooded with many street food joints. North campus is a go to point for the students looking for a hot meals after or in between lectures. One such quick snack tops every DU student’s eat list and that is ‘Maggi’. No matter how many rows of maggi stalls are installed in the campus, ‘Tom Uncle’s Maggi Point’ is still the best and most visited maggi point in the campus. It is situated in the crossing between Daulat Ram College and Ramjas College. It is a very famous hotspot which is always surrounded by our very own DU students. The history of this maggi point goes a couple of decades back. No matter if you are a current student or an old graduate from Delhi University you will always remember this place by heart.

This place serves almost 60 varieties of maggi which has options for every taste preferences. It has a vast variety for cheese lovers such as cheese butter maggi, cheese onion maggi and many more. It also has some of the healthy options such as oats vegetable maggi , atta vegetable maggi and even some with the Chinese twists too. The huge varieties of the maggi is enough to burn your brain out of confusion about which ne to choose and to add upon it, this place not only just offers maggi but also many more dishes such as pasta , sandwich , macroni and even  bhelpuri , sevpuri and moreover  to accompany these dishes we have our all time favourite mojitos, milkshakes and sodas.

The top recommended maggi variations are cheese masala maggi , oregano maggi and chilli pepper cheese maggi. This maggi point was initially started by ‘Mr. Ramesh Kumar’ in 1978 as a small stall which then grew into a double outlet shop which has its other outlet in vijay nagar near Hudson lane. The picture of the initial stall along with Mr. Ramesh Kumar aka Tom Uncle can be seen on the outlet’s menu. The service that started decades ago stil never fails to make every person which visits here happy wether it be in terms of varieties, taste , price , service, vibe or any criteria which makes a street food joint special.

Name: Tom Uncle’s Maggi point

Owner’s Name : Sunil Kataria

Contact number: 9540230404

Address:  Delhi University North Campus, infront of Daulat Ram College.

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Maggi Tarian : Much more than just maggi

Kamla Nagar can be referred as a big treasure box with lots of treasures and gems, I can assure that no hungry person can walk out empty stomached from this place which is full of food . If you take walk down the main market in kamla nagar you’re bound to quickly come across a small pop shop which goes by the name ‘Maggi Tarian’. It is located in front of Spark Mall or else the bada gol chakkar as the local people address it.  This tiny shop almost resembles a food truck where  you place your order and can also see the food being prepared, having the food on high tables or you can also have your seat on the stairs of the mall as people usually do here.

The menu at this place is much more than what its name suggests. It serves pasta, shakes, wraps, fries, sandwiches and of course maggi. It has a versatile variety when it comes to pasta and maggi  and also various types of shakes. According to me the most recommended dish here is the all time classic white sauce pasta and tandoori cheese pasta. I would also suggest the fries which are the classic salted ones , but the good thing is that you can choose your own dip out of a huge variety of the tangiest and mouth watering dips.

Although this place does not provide any seating but I strongly feel that everyone should try having their delicious gulps of the snacks while sitting on the low boundary of the mall and observing one of the busiest market of Delhi.  This place opens at One O’clock in the afternoon and serves their delightful snacks till 10 o’clock in the night. The most busiest hour is notably the evening hours and between 2 to 3 in the afternoon when the north campus colleges have their lunch timings.

Maggi Tarian is the best option one can go for if he or she is in a mood of having good food in a reasonable price.

Name : Maggi tarian

Address: Bada gol chakkar, Kamla Nagar

Contact Number: +91 9899667083

Owner’s name: Mr. Ishaan