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!
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
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)