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JAFFRABAD STREET FOOD TOUR

It is the holy month of Ramzan and just like any Muslim neighbourhood, the narrow and busy lanes of the Jaffrabad Market in Seelampur, Delhi gets filled up with street vendors with their carts or stalls, selling Iftari food items and the common public, enthusiastically thronging the streets to break their Roza or the day long fast along with their acquaintances. So all these set up gets laid an hour or so before the Maghreb or the evening prayer. The prevalent sensory experiences in terms of the sights, sounds and aromas undergoes a visible shift as the place gears up for the Iftar or the feast that marks the breaking of the fast. As the evening moves into night, the sea of humanity swells and the surge of the locals engulfs the marketplace. One thing that revolves in the minds of all is food, the fuel that drives the human body. This place in northeast Delhi has a sizeable Muslim population. It is also the home to thousands of families that migrated to the capital from the nearby states of UP, Bihar and MP.

During Ramzan, the locality and its neighbourhood markets transforms into all night bazaar that is full of food stuffs and other things as well. Like its Old Delhi counterpart, this place is cheaper and full of local crowd as compared to the touristy crowd of the former. It is primarily because this place has no tourist attractions like the Jama Masjid, Red Fort etc. 

A closer look to the human activity would reveal tired yet smiling visages of the locals who are out to bask in the collective glory of festivity and celebration especially through food. From evening time till dawn, food take predominance. Some of the common food sights are the fruits mostly dates, watermelon and bananas, pakodas, rose drink, a pleasing assortment of breads like sheermal or paratha, smoking hot kebabs grilled on skewers and huge cauldrons filled with either Nahari or Biryani.

We are at Jaffrabad to experience the food culture here during the festival of Ramzan; to discover and learn about the most popular and delicious local food, the distinct flavours triggers hysteria and the relentless hands behind the culinary celebration. 

In solidarity to the spirit of celebration, unlike our other food journey we commenced this food tour with an Iftar, for which we joined our friends at a local shop. First task was to buy the food items for the Iftar. It is a customary gesture if you are going for an Iftar. Everybody pitches in with some of the basic eatables that makes up an abundant supply which is then shared by all, simultaneously. 

We bought some Keema golis and mixed pakodas and went on to meet our friends for Iftari. The spread comprised of fruit chaat, medley of pakodas and rose flavoured drink. After this light initial spread came the main dishes comprising of Nahari and Khameeri roti. That the Nahari was brilliant can be assessed from the satisfying expressions of the fellow eaters.

With the Iftar done right, it was time to embark on the Ramzan food tour across the market. Our first stop was the Haji Ikbal Sheermal Wale. We were here for some fresh and hot Nan Khatais or Indian shortbread cookies. We were lucky to witness the making of a fresh batch of golden brown beauties. They were soft, crumbly and irresistible.

Next stop was a popular kebab shop thronged by the locals. Nawab bhai kebab wale is an interesting place that we recommend for the tastiest kebabs in the locality. We tried their famous sheekh kebabs right off the skewers and believe us they were amazing. Very interestingly the kitchen in this eatery sits above the shop and the hot kebabs are lowered to the ground floor shop area by a pulley set up. The owners too were extremely gentle and humble. This place won our heart.

 

Next stop was the Afaq Zaika Chicken. We tried their special butter chicken tikka. It comprised of perfectly grilled chicken pieces tossed in a creamy and buttery sauce made with curd, butter and minimal spices. With all its rich and robust components, this dish can’t go wrong. Its was delectable and addictive although the insane amount of butter can surely give you jitters. The dish was a representation of the iconic Aslam Butter chicken from Old Delhi. In due course of the conversation we came to know that they are kins. 

 

While ambling down the lanes we came to a place frying Khajlas, a Ramzan time snacks that is eaten mostly during Shehri. Next we halted at a bread shop. Traditional breads are the inevitable part of the meal during Ramzan. They had an eclectic variety of breads of which we loved the Coconut one the most. After this was the turn of some mixed fruit shake from a street side cart. It was refreshing and had a custard like taste.

 

Then was the turn of a shop selling matar pulav, tehri and biryani. The taste of these vegetarian rice delicacies were so wonderful that we had to label it as a culinary discovery in the area. Imagine what a humble yet spectacular stuff it must be so as to win the heart of a hardcore biryani aficionado like me.

 

Right after it we also gorged on a delicious plate of Haleem biryani again from a street side stall that was swarmed with a super enthusiastic crowd. We literally jostled our way through them to collect our order. This place was a star.

 

From there we reached Islam Milk store, a place that everybody had recommended. With great curiosity we spoke to the owner and the customers to understand the amazing popularity of this milk joint. And with one sip of their rose flavoured milk we got all our answers. They have mastered  the perfect ratio in which the three ingredients should be mixed so as to get the ambrosial byproduct. We left convinced that a glassful of milk can actually make adults smile.

 

Our penultimate stop was Cool point where we tasted one of the most decadent Shahi Tukda. The fact that they double fry the thing before serving makes it different from the ilk. Along with a scoop of their in house mango ice cream, this dessert attained great height in taste.

After so much gluttony that we didn’t at all regret, we ended the food tour with a paan. Jaffrabad emerged as a foodie haven with some gems that cant be missed.

 

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Vadodara food tour part 1

Today we visit Vadodara, formally known as Baroda as we begin our food tour. Vadodara is a beautiful city filled with culture and is the third largest city in the western part of India and the state Gujrat. It is also the cultural capital of the state, the locals are known as barodians and they immensely love their street food. The street food culture is vibrant with great influence of Maharashtrian cuisine. Both Maharashtrian and Gujrat cuisine coincide and co-exist with eachother. Also, the city happens to be technologically sound and well-maintained.

Along with Tuli Banerjee, a writer and a food blogger we embark on this journey to explore their street food. We started with kathiawadi khadki, a famous restaurant known to serve famous kathiawadi dishes. We were served with a full-fledged thali which consisted of two different kinds of bread, millet bread and corn bread along with sev tamatar, garlic pickle, and potatoes in garlic sauce, ringanu audu. Kathiawadi dishes are lot more spicy as compared to gujrati dishes since they are more on the sweet side. We ended our meal with rajbhog shrikhand filled with dry fruits is mainly made from hung yogurt and gehu ka ladoo topped with poppy seeds and is infused with ghee and jaggery.

We next headed to vishal samosa sandwich where we tried their basic sev sandwich. Our next destination was mahakali sev usal and tried their sev usal, a dish which is a mix of sweet, spicy and tangy flavours which is made from peas, indian spices, and garnished with sev. The dish is accompanied with pav. Right opposite to this shop we went to Rajasthan ice cream parlour which houses a huge variety of ice-creams. Here we tried one scoop of modak flavour, ginger and honey flavour, guava flavour, jamun flavour, jackfruit flavour, pan masala flavour, mawa flavour and kulf flavour. Each and every scoop had its own different taste and stood out. We also tried their rabri faluda ice-cream. Undoubtedly, when it comes to street food Gujrat is a land of innovations!

We also went to raju omelette shop which has its own outlets in USA, Thailand and Dubai and houses 30 different varieties of omelettes. We went on to try the butter crush omelette filled with loads of butter. Next, was Dayal Ragda pattice where we tried the ragda pattice, it is made up of potatoes and bread and is served with spicy chick pea curry topped with coriander chutney and crushed onions.

A very important component of Gujrati cuisine is farsan, salty snacks. In order to try this we head to Jagdish farshan where we try the local delicacies. Really crispy and crunchy, Gujrat is certainly a land of snacks! We next headed to mann shanti handwa and dhokla house. Here we tried the Handwo, a pan cake made up of multi-grain flour tempered with sesame seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Truly delicious and was served with three different varieties of chutneys that simply complimented the dish. We stopped briefly at the delhi chaat corner to try pani puri with ragda. We also tried papdi na lot, a thick paste of rice flour which is steamed and is topped with oil and masala. Lastly, we head to Jay maruti nandan soda shop. A shop that is highly innovative with its soda drinks. We tried vimto soda drink, made with kokam, lemon and masala. We also tried the tulsi soda, extremely healthy and good for digestion after a full day filled with delicacies from around the city!

Places visited:

kathiawadi khadki

Four Ways, Navrang Cinema Rd, Near Tower, Raopura, Mandvi, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001

 

Jay maruti nandan soda shop

2, Shivalay Complex, Lions Hall Rd, Haribhakti Extension, Krishna Society, Paris Nagar, Diwalipura, Vadodara, Gujarat 390015

 

delhi chaat corner

Mahalaxmi Complex, Near Bank of Baroda, Muktanand Road, Karelibaug, Vadodara

 

mann shanti handwa and dhokla house

Mahalaxmi Complex, Near Bank of Baroda, Muktanand Road, Karelibaug, Vadodara

 

raju omelette shop

C196, Thana Rd, Block C 2, Bhajanpura, Tukhmirpur, Delhi, 110053

 

vishal samosa sandwich

101, Alkapuri Rd, Aradhana Society, Vishwas Colony, Alkapuri, Vadodara, Gujarat 390020

 

mahakali sev usal

Nehru Bhawan, GF-14/15 Prathmesh Plaza, Palace Rd, Kirti Stambh, Behind, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001

 

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SURAT FOOD TOUR PART 2:

Today, we explore the part of South Gujrat and Gujarat is certainly beautiful during heavy rains and monsoon and it only gets better with a hot cup of Chai! Along with Rohan Bhai and Yash Bhai we head to a morning chai place known as the Golden Tea point under the citylight flyover.

Later we head to a small town in Gujarat known as Rander where the local food culture assimilated the Burmese street food known as the Khaosa and the architecture is to look out for! We head to Lijjat khvasa centre and try their Khaosa. Khaosa is pan-fried chicken fried with lots of spices and served with green chillis, broth whose main component is peanut paste is topped with crushed papdi. Next we tick off the list, a 32 year old food cart run by Khalid bhai known as the Khalid aloo puri waala and tried their aloo puri, a bite-size dish served with white flour puris topped with, aloo, kokam chutney and sprinkled with crushed onions. After a quick tour of Rander, we headed to try an innovative dish known as locho. Here we try locho’s two different versions one with the peanut oil and the other with butter at Shriji Locho. Locho is a morning breakfast loved by people in Gujrat.

Next we moved to Madidi khamni shop and tried their Sew Khamni and Surti pettice which is basically, fried balls stuffed with mawa, dry fruits, fennel seeds and spices served with coriander chutney. Here we try the famous, Khandvi which is made up of besan. They are so thin in texture so they’re served rolled and are very delicate when it comes to its taste.

Next, we move on to Jalram Rasawala khaman and try their Rasawala khaman served with thick curry with is made up of 5 different kinds of dal and tempered with mustard seeds and topped with tomatoes and coriander leaves. This is best served with sweet lassi. Next we tried the popular drink of Surat known as Coco at A one coco a 60 year old shop. It is a thick drink made up of milk, chocolate powder, sugar and ice. We next headed to Dotiwala bakers and confectioners. Here we try the Naankhatai and surti biscuits. Surti biscuits are small-sized butter biscuits and they have short-breads known as Naankhatai.

In the evening, we headed to Lashkari Bhajiya. And here we try the Ratalu and tomato bhajiya. It is one of the most famous bhajiya shops in Gujrat. The deep-fried golden bhujiyas is served with green chillis and mustard chutney. Next, we try authentic surti non-vegetarion dishes like tapelu, prawn masala, bhajelu and much more… We try the prawn curry served in nice coriander gravy, sprinkled with Indian spices and topped it up with lemon juice! It was a bomb for the taste pallet! To end the meal, we go to the the ghantewaala paan shop and try their rose paan which simply melts in the mouth!

 

PLACES VISITED:

Golden Tea point

Lal Gate Main Road, Lal Gate, Surat – 395003, Opposite Chauta Bazar

 

Madidi khamni shop

Plot No 9, Bharat Housing, Udhna Magdala Road, Surat – 394210, Near Sardar Park

 

Lijjat khvasa centre

Kabutar Khana Mota Bazar Rd, Rander, Surat, Gujarat 395005

 

Lashkari Bhajiya

Sultanabad, Langar Char Rasta, Surat – Dumas Rd, Surat, Gujarat 394550

 

The ghantewaala paan shop

Gh-7, Western Park, Adajan Dn, Surat – 395009, Near Gangeshwar Mandir, Sneh Sankul Wadi

 

A one coco

L-42, Sargam Shopping Center, 1, Surat – Dumas Rd, Parle Point, Somanath Society, Umra Gam, Athwa, Surat, Gujarat 395007

 

Shriji Locho

1B, City Light Rd, Shringar Society, City Light Town, Athwa, Surat, Gujarat 395007

 

Khalid aloo puri waala

Parsiwad Rd, Rander, Surat, Gujarat 395005

 

Jalram Rasawala khaman

Chowkbazar,Nr.Jai Shankar Lassi,Surat., Surat, Gujarat 395003

 

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SURAT FOOD TOUR PART 1:

Today we explore the city of diamonds, Surat in Gujrat, India and explore their street food. Situated on the banks of Tapi river on the gulf of Khambat Surat is also known as the textile hub of the region or textile city of India. The culture of Surat has evolved and emerged into a beautiful amalgamation of other various cultures as people moved from various cities and communities to settle in the city.

Surat has a vibrant street food culture because of the assimilation of people from various diverse backgrounds. Today, with Rohan bhai an entrepreneur we tag along in search of amazing Surat street food.

4 am, early morning we headed out for an early breakfast to Zampa bazaar, old Surat. Even in early morning the bazaar was bustling live with people enjoying the breakfast. We straight head to chanbhai barahandi and try their nalli nahari with paya and fresh tandoori roti. Surprisingly, it is 120 years old! Nothing but, iconic. A very wholesome breakfast to begin the day with. Nalli nahari is tradiotnally non-vegetarian dish which is cooked slowly and found mainly in Old Delhi. Few steps from the shop we reach another shop where we try freshly- cooked malpuas. Here, the batter of malpuas was made using eggs. A perfect desert after a heavy meal! We then also tried the bun maska with fruit jam, a sweet bun lathered with homemade white butter and mixed-fruit jam. Our deal with zampa bazaar ended with a hot cup of tea and it’s a must go-to place when one comes to visit Surat.

Later in the day, Urviben, a food blogger joined us for lunch at G Dada shop. Here we try the Undhiyo, Handwo and vedmi all specialities of Gujrat. Here we tried the authentic Undhiyo which is available mostly and only in winters at this restaurant its present 365 days a year. We also try the kesar jalebis, perfectly cooked with an apt taste of saffron. Moreover, we also tried the other two dished Handwo and vedmi served with yoghurt. Its pretty similar to uttapam. Handwo is crispy and fluffy; all at once. In fact, its protein enriched thus, healthy. While Vedmi, is made of dal and topped with a strong cardamom taste.

We then next go to Hajoori Kulfi and try the khajoor akhrot which is milk-based and healthy! Next we try a unique fusion dish known as the khakhra chaat and kachori chaat at  jalaram dana chana. The khakra chaat is served with ketchup, green chutney, chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander topped with fried masala peanuts and sev. Infact, they are served with cult cheese and mayonnaise! While the kachori chaat is served with chopped tomatoes, onions and coriander leaves, sprinkled with masala and lemon juice. It is a wholesome meal in itself! We also, try the Jeeru, a local carbonated drink with the taste of jeera (cumin). It is a digestive drink, certainly, to be consumed after a good heavy Guajarati meal!

We then went to Khaudra gali, a street food lane in old town of Surat to try various other dishes. We first head towards, Mahesh dosa centre and try their Mysore dosa sprinkled with lots of spring onions and garlic. It is very thin in its consistency. Next, we go to Hanumante ice cream shop and try their badam shake topped with three scoops of ice-cream all of different flavours. Mainly, rose, mawa malai, rajbhog and American nut.

After a quick tour of the gali we briefly stop at the sarasiya khaaja shop to try a monsoon speciality khaaja. They are quite crispy & flaky and is best served with a cup of tea. We then move to shah jamnadas ghariwala an iconic shop established in 1989 where we try the traditional sweet known as ghari. We try the kesar badam Ghari, served with loads of ghee and stuffed with mawa and dry fruits.

Later, along with Basyt Saleh we again head to zampa bazaar and first go to Mohmaddi bakery and try their tunki. A speciality of Surat, it is a short crispy bread sprinkled with sesame seeds and also has pepper. Tunki is made up of white flour and is mainly consumed with mutton tikka. Next, we move to Sagar restaurant and try their chicken macchi masala. The chicken is marinated in fish masala and the gravy is very thick and rich in taste. Another speciality of this place is naan chaap and to try this we head to MG Chaapwala. The naan is stuffed with mint, kokam chutney and keema served with onions. It was a perfect meat sandwich full of bursting flavours! We go to a famous omelette centre known as the bhai bhai omelette shop which have 150 varieties of omelette.

 

Places visited:

Zampa bazaar

Madanzapa Rd, Opposite Azad Maidan, Bakrawadi, Sultanpura, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001

 

G Dada shop

4, Radhenagar Society, Ichhanath Road, Surat – 395007, Opposite Anmol Complex, Near Sargam Shopping Centre

 

Hajoori Kulfi

Shop No 1/3816, Chowk Bazar, Surat – 395003

 

Khaudra gali

opp. Gujarat Housing Board , opp. siddhi vinayak packaging , Tulsidham -, GIDC, Road ., vadodara , Gujarat, Gujarat 390011

 

Mahesh dosa centre

6/141, Khaudhara Gali, Shitalnath Chowk, Haripura Main Road, Haripura, Near Vinod Fashionwear, Surat-395003

 

Hanumante ice cream shop

Shop No 11, Nirmal Nagar, Parab Road, Sarthana, Surat – 395006, Sarthana Jakatnaka

 

sarasiya khaaja shop

3rd Floor, 13- Charotar Society, Manisha Chowkadi, O P Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390020

 

shah jamnadas ghariwala

Opp. Mahalaxmi Mataji Temple, Shop No 19, Royal Residency, Ground floor Near Anand Mahal Rd, Chhatrapati Shivaji Cir, Adajan Gam, Adajan, Surat, Gujarat 395009

 

Mohmaddi bakery

Shop No 946/3, Zamba Bazar, Zampa Bazar, Surat – 395003, Opp.Monginis Cace Shop

 

Sagar restaurant

Kothi Road, Near Prince Cinema, Jubilee Baug, Sursagar North, Mandvi, Vadodara

 

MG Chaapwala

Near Patthar Gate, Madan Zampa, Chokshi Bazar, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001

 

bhai bhai omelette shop

Triveni Apartments, Shop- No 5, 6, Ground Floor, Nanpura New Rd, Opposite LIC Office, Timaliawad, Nanpura, Surat, Gujarat 395001

 

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Dettol Delhi Street Food Awards 2018

And the winners are-

  1. Aloo Tikki: Natraj Chaat, Chandni Chowk

Having served generations of Dilliwaale since 1940, Natraj Chaat is one of those places in town that has managed to retain its authenticity throughout the decades. It is only with them that simple chaat delicacies like Dahi Bhalle and Aloo Tikki have managed to become almost a heritage item in the heart of Old Delhi.

  1. Gol Gappe: Ashok Chaat Bhandar, Chawri Baazaar

You cannot talk about food in Delhi without talking about Gol Gappe, and someone who’s the best in the city for this snack is Ashok Chaat Bhandar. It serves up some of the most delicious mouthfuls of this tangy delight that you can find in the National Capital Region.

  1. Papdi Chaat: Shri Balaji Chaat Corner, Chandni Chowk

Located in the heart of the bustling streets of Puraani Dilli, Shri Balaji Chaat Corner’s Papdi Chaat is just the right kind of crunchy with balanced sweetness and their Dahi Bhallas are beautifully done, melt-in-mouth satisfaction. All in all, their dedication to doing simple things right wins hearts!

  1. Samosa: Chaina Ram Sweets, Chandni Chowk

Come holidays, and you see rows and rows of people lining up in front of this legendary outlet for their (extra) ordinary samosa! While this place is mostly known among the locals for its perfect sweets, the occasional passer by knows that their samosas are to die for.

  1. Banta: Vedprakash Lemon, Chandni Chowk

No matter what age you are or what the weather is like, whether you’re a regular visitor or a first-timer, Vedprakash Banta brings relief the tired body like nothing else. This drink is best enjoyed in the scorching heat. Their unique masala combination pumps life into the hustle-bustle of the city!

  1. Momos: Dolma Aunty, Lajpat Nagar

It is said that Delhi’s favourite street food, momos, came to the city with Dolma Aunty, and since then, the humble street-side vendor has established what a happy plate means to us.  The chutneys with the momos are particularly zingy and spicy. Dolma Aunty’s momos will always be the city’s first and last momo love.

  1. Chole Bhature: Chacha Chole Bhature, Kamla Nagar

Oh how we envy North Campus, Delhi University student but for a very specific reason! Chacha Chole Bhature has been a local favourite amongst Kamla Nagar residents and DU students, but when it comes to taste, nobody makes this North Indian fried favourite like them.

  1. Rajma Chawal: Jain Chawal Wala, Connaught Place

Rajma Chawal is very close to the hearts of those from Delhi, and always has some homely nostalgia and love attached to it. This lovely little street corner in the colonnaded centre of the city brings us a hot plate of nutrition and protein to us and makes it always feel like a Sunday afternoon at home.

  1. Bedmi Poori: Shyam Sweets, Chawri Bazaar

Bedmi Poori might be easily available but not everyone can get the sort of freshness with the dal-stuffed poori and the tanginess of the aaloo as Shyam Sweets. They have been bringing the perfectly authentic taste of Bedmi Poori to the heart (or stomach?) of Delhi since decades.

  1. Nagori Halwa: Shiv Mishthan Bhandar, Chandni Chowk

The only disappointment this legend holds is the possibility of its beloved Nagori Halwa, made freshly every morning in massive amounts, running out by noon! Have a hearty breakfast with the piping hot Nagori Halwa at this lovely restaurant and you will be left craving for it every morning.

 

  1. Parantha: Moolchand Paranthe Waala, Moolchand

How to make staple food like paranthas mind blowing? Moolchand Paranthe Waala is able to accomplish precisely that. Their crispy layers of scrumptiously buttered paranthas have made them a popular present day legend when it comes to authentic Delhi food.

  1. Kulfi: Roshan Di Kulfi

Karol Bagh – For anyone who has to face the blatant rush of Karol Bagh at absolutely any time of the week, the thought of Roshan Di Kulfi stands out like a calming consolation. Served perfectly with Kesar Rabri, this place is a go-to even in the coldest of the weathers.

  1. Nihari: Kallu Nihaari, Turkman Gate

Kallu Nihari overlooks the magnificent Jama Masjid and the Nihari looks deceptively like a simple dish garnished with shredded ginger and sliced green chilli, but the first taste of it will make you realise the reason behind the hundreds of people patiently waiting everyday for this difficult-to-be-perfected delicacy.

  1. Paan: Gupta Paan, Connaught Place

Gupta Paan, popularly known as Odeon Paan, has changed the way the city has looked at paan over the years. Introducing Ice Paan, Fire Paan, Chocolate Paan, and various other paan variations, Gupta Paan is not your average street-side tobacco seller.

  1. Seekh Kebab: Qureshi Kebab, Jama Masjid

Think of Qureshi Kebab and the immediate picture in your mind is that of biting into a juicy, tender, perfectly cooked piece of kebab. Located amongst a throng of excellent kebab-sellers, Qureshi Kebab is yet another outlet which wins over because of their effort and ability to leave a tummy happy.

  1. Chai: Singing Tree, CR Park

Delhi stays alive because of its tea sellers, and Singing Tree, CR Park, is a breather for anyone who happens to pass by. With tens of variations of street-side tea on the menu, this humble chai stall is a manifestation of all that a chai-break is meant to be: conversations, music, coming across acquaintances, the shade of a tree, and delicious, delicious tea.

  1. Kachori: Fateh Ki Kachori, Civil Lines

The name of the place itself is love for us. Again, something as central to street food as kachori is difficult to make in a way that it sets itself apart, and Fateh Ki Kachori, in all its humility, has done it for so long and for so many with its tasty topping of chole and chutney.

  1. Pakode: Khandani Pakode Wala, Nauroji Nagar

Khandani Pakode Wala does not only bring a twist to the regular pakoda by introducing varieties, but also makes sure that their food carries with it, a sense of homeliness and warmth. It is, truly, “khandani”, and has many a person’s evening on a rainy day or Monday.

  1. Chole Kulche: Lotan Kulche Waala, Chawri Baazaar

This vendor has been running on generations of love for the quintessentially Delhi dish – Chole Kulche. It embodies everything that the authentic dish is supposed to be, while also catering to an everyday Delhiite’s taste buds with its uber spicy chole and soft, heavenly kulche.

 

Special Category Awards

 

  1. Hall of Fame: Old Kheer Shop, Chandni Chowk

The name of this place carries with it, not just the thought of the sweetest dessert, Kheer, but also its tradition. You can taste generations of effort and love put into making this sweet dish so central to North India, in their little bowls of happiness!

  1. Women Food Entrepreneurs: ILHAM Afghan Cuisine

ILHAM is an initiative to provide financial stability to Afghan women who have settled in Delhi as refugees from Afghanistan. Supported by ACCESS, the venture has been received warmly by the public in the nearly one and a half year since its inception. Besides catering for events and other orders, these women also bring their extensive Afghani culinary knowledge to the table. They have been trained by ACCESS in entrepreneurship, and their story is as inspiring as it is heartwarming. We can’t wait to see how successful these ladies will be in the future!

  1. Best Street Food Fusion: Rajiv Bhai Ke Special Pizza Omelette, Palam Extension

This East meets West combination is as delicious as it is Instagrammable! Combining the desi street-side omelette with pizza toppings, makes this fusion dish unique, appetising and pretty perfect.

  1. Trending Street Food: KB Chaat’s Moonglet, Karol Bagh

When it comes to innovation, KB Chaat has made sure that street food does not only represent the usual varieties, but also always evolves with times. The Moonglet, a Moong Daal Omelette, is a fluffy dish stuffed with a variety of vegetables. This place is a saviour for creating a vegetarian omelette, making it the talk of the town.

Photo Album- https://www.facebook.com/pg/DelhiFoodWalks/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1766752270075313

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Punjabi Khanna (Amritsari-Tawa)

Punjabi food with its unique and wide range of flavours has caught the fancy of many food lovers across the country. Delhi is lucky to have many eateries and restaurants lined across the city serving the most lipsmacking Punjabi delicacies which is mainly derived from Punjab and Pakistan. The passion for Punjabis have for their food is not just restricted within their community but they have also spreading the charm of their flavours across city, and particularly so in Old Delhi.

Punjabi Khanna is one such outlet which is offering some of the best non-veg food from past 30-35 years. The flavor of each of their food is rich and authentic, and the ultimate answer to your Punjabi food cravings.

This modest restaurant was set up by two brothers Manjeet Singh and Inderjeet Singh in the small and cramped  lanes of old Delhi.

Every item in their menu is bursting of authentic Punjabi flavours, be it tikkas or gravy based items.

The most outstanding dish from their menu was mutton chap which was a delight. The melt-in-mouth delicacy would stay back with you long after you have left the place.

Mutton was generously marinated with strong spices which resulted in a mouthwatering dish. The main highlight that distinguishes it from all other chaaps is the gravy which is not usually served with the dish.

The gravy deserves extra applause for its spicy and tangy essence which goes well with the chaap, both of the items do not overpower each other, they get their own moments to shine.

This single dish is served with some chopped onions and a lemon. And lastly it is garnished with some finely chopped mint leaves.

This chaap is so famous that it has to be pre-ordered to be booked beforehand so that the vendors don’t run out of their biggest-seller.

This chaap goes well with the tandoori roti which is also semi fried with the spicy gravy so that you don’t miss the flavor even for a second. The gravy helps keep the flatbread moist too.

Beside these dishes there are a lot of other items which are also worth trying like mutton biryani ,mutton seekh kabab which is processed by them only. Rajma chawal is another highlight of their restaurant but it is only available once a week on Tuesday.

This restaurant is mostly packed throughout the week. Weekdays are generally lighter than the weekends. If you for looking something hot, spicy and authentically Punjabi- this is where you head.

Location: 32-33 Main, Azad Market Rd, Azad Market

Timings: (Afternoon) : 1:30pm-4:30pm

(Evening) : 6:00pm-9:30pm

Cost for two: 500(approx.)

Contact number : 9999937132

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Madan Lal Halwai

madan lal halwai

Madan Lal Halwai

By Anubhav Sapra

 

DFW is doing a series on 50 must-eats  to find out those real hidden gems on the streets of Delhi. The third in the series is Madan Lal Halwai in Sadar Thana Road, Sadar Bazar. One of the oldest halwai shops in Old Delhi, the eatery was started in 1948 by Late Madan Lal. Currently run by Chaman Lal and his son Manish Sethi, the family migrated to Delhi after partition and started the halwai shop in Sadar Bazar. Chaman lal ji has a pleasant personality and he fed me generously, the day I visited the place.

madan lal halwai
Madan lal halwai

As you enter the shop, on the left hand side is the cooking area where fresh pooris and other snacks are cooked. The menu changes from morning to evening. The day starts with poori and sabzi while the afternoons are filled with the regular servings of snacks like samosa, Moong Dal Ladoo etc.

The eatery is more popular for breakfast dishes that includes Poori stuffed with dal pitthi, served with Aloo and Chhole ki sabzi and the highlight is the seasonal pickle you get with the poori sabzi plate. I was fortunate to try Lounji ka achar – sweet mango pickles with fennel seeds and Kachalu ka Achar. I loved the combination of sweet mango pickles and savoury Kachalu ka Achar. The preparation is completely prepared in Desi ghee. Although a winter speciality, I guess, this is the only place in Delhi where you can savour Dal ka Halwa round the year. The Ghee in the halwa was not overflowing and the sugar was just perfect. As I reached there in the afternoon, I got a chance to try fresh Samosas.

The style of making samosas in Old Delhi is completely different from other parts of Delhi.  The big-size pieces of potatoes are deep fried and then mixed with spices to be stuffed in the dough. At other places, it is mostly boiled potatoes- mashed up and mixed with spices. I quite like the fried version of potato stuffing.

We rounded our food journey at Madan Lal Halwai with Moong Dal ka Halwa, Patisa, Gulabjamun and Lassi. All of the sweets were excellent. The square shaped pieces of burfi were big in size, quite uncommon at other sweet shops.

The 50 must eats in Delhi series is taking us at different food places. It is the journey to explore our food heritage and recognize the efforts of people who make this food more special.  If you have any recommendations to be included in the list, please write to us at delhifoodwalks@gmail.com and follow the #50musteatsindelhi journey on www.facebook.com/delhifoodwalks  and www.instagram.com/delhifoodwalks

 

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Mister Chai

 Mister Chai

By Anubhav Sapra

While you have been scrolling through your instagram feed this monsoon, I am sure the photos of Pakoda, samosa, bun maska and chai have been popping up as the rains envelope India. It does  make, one yearn for some spicy and warm food. My own all time favourite monsoon snack has been roasted corn or bhutta with lemon and masala.

With snacks, a cup of regular local milk chai or cutting chai with different spice flavours- elaichi, cinnamon or a simple masala chai makes the small difference between a chai on a regular day and the one on a rainy day. The street side tea served in a traditional glass or kulhad with steam coming out of it is the only thing that has been able to encompass the wet and cozy feeling you yearn for .

The monsoon menu at Mister Chai, the tea restaurant at Shangrila’s Eros hotel is trying to take this feeling from the street side and serve it to you while you look out at the damp roads from your own luxurious cocoon.The menu is beautifully curated by Chef Neeraj Tyagi keeping intact the local flavours but like always with a twist.

Our monsoon journey began with a cutting chai served in a traditional chai ki tapri. The rusks in a small tin accompanied the tea. The idea of dipping the rusks into the tea to soak the flavours is a classic street thing across India.

Next, I tried the spicy keema and potato pakodas served with sweet and tangy chutney. The usual bread pakoda is stuffed with mashed potatoes and keema. The assorted pakoda platter served on a toy cart had aloo, paneer, palak and mirchi pakodas. The best part of it all was that it was not oily. The chef revealed that the pakodas are fried twice so that it doesn’t absorb much oil.

The highlight of the monsoon menu was the Kulcha. The traditional amristari aloo kulchas , served on a wooden taco stand were filled with pulled jackfruit and goat’s cheese. I am sure it will taste delicious with pulled pork as well. The texture of jackfruit added a meaty texture and compliments with the softness of aloo kulchas. Really loved the combination!

Some of the other dishes on the monsoon menu are bhutta(steamed and char grilled served with Cajun spice, herb butter and lime ) Akuri Toast (Parsi scrambled egg), and the popular delhi’s  special street food – Ram ladoo.

The monsoon menu is available every day at Mister Chai from 11 am to 9 pm till 31st August.

Address: Lobby Level, Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi – 110001

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Utterly Butterly Punjabi: Eating My Way Through Amritsar- Day 1

This blog was first published in Huffpost. Here is the link – http://www.huffingtonpost.in/anubhav-sapra/utterly-butterly-punjabi-eating-my-way-through-amritsar_a_23033274/

THE BLOG

Utterly Butterly Punjabi: Eating My Way Through Amritsar

Day 1.

By Anubhav Sapra, Founder, Delhi Food Walks

Punjabi food, like its culture, is very hard to ignore especially in Amritsar, the golden heart of the land of butter and celebration. The flavours are just like its people, loud and in your face but in a very good way. We went on a food adventure spanning over three days in the land of the gurus and stuffed our faces with the most beautiful, delicious and rich dishes we could find on the streets of Amritsar.

Day 1

Last time when I visited Amritsar, I made it a point to make Kesar da dhaba my first food stop. Let me tell you, I have been exploring street food since my school days—so much so that I made a profession out of it—but the excitement entering this old gem that was established in 1916 gave me an adrenaline rush like no other joint ever has.

       The one thing I learnt is that even though many food joints will look modern from the outside but the cuisine is still Amritsari at heart.

As you enter, the table and benches are lined up; there is another sitting area opposite the road where air coolers offer some respite from the heat. The dhaba has seen the ownership of four generations of the same family and a huge kitchen has developed over time with a separate section for frying and boiling of the kali dal, the one thing that made the legacy of this place what it is today. The original brass degh used by the first owners is still in use to boil the kali dal. The dal is boiled for 12 hours intermittently and stirred by the cook to check the consistency. Once the dal is boiled, it is passed on to next section where it is given tadka in ghee with onion and spices.

I ordered the parantha thali (₹245 ) which comes with two ghee-laden lachcha paranthas, kali dal with ghee floating over it, chole and raita with big pieces of boondi, onion and pickles. It’s not a dish that I would recommend to the faint hearted—like everything else in Amritsar. You should bring an appetite to rival the years of culinary habits that developed to feed the warriors of India.

ANUBHAV SAPRA

Next, we stopped at Giani Punjabi Lassi. A lassi shop that has been in existence since 1927, it has pictures of film actors and the wrestler Khali devouring the big steel glass of lassi. Dhurandar Singh, the owner of the shop claimed that Khali had six glasses of his makhan-topped lassi. Being a lassi fan, I have tasted lassi across different places in India from Varanasi to Mathura (lassi connoisseuring is the next big thing after wine). The one we tried at Giani’s was a unique peda lassi. Four-six pedas are crushed in a brass container that has been in use since 1927. It is then with the help of a wooden blender churned to separate butter from the peda and the leftover water is used to make lassi with fresh yoghurt. Once the lassi is made, the butter is added back to the lassi. It was a different experience, and perfectly. symbolic of the land of butter and ghee. A glass of lassi is yours for ₹75 and the shop is opposite Regency Cinema.

My food guide, Gur Iqbal, a final year student of Khalsa College took us to the telephone exchange where street food carts are lined up selling tawa dishes. We stopped at Bau Paneer Bhurji Shop (also known as Tara Chand Paneer Bhurji). The place has only two dishes on the menu—paneer bhurji and sandwich. Paneer bhurji is a scrambled paneer fried in butter with spices. Firstly, 70-80 gm of butter is added in a pan; into this go chopped onions, tomato, ginger. Now, the secret thick red paste, a mix of chick pea flour, red chillies and garlic is mixed and finally a big slice of paneer is crushed into the mixture. What comes out is a delicious, buttery paneer bhurji to be devoured with a slice of white bread and chutney.

ANUBHAV SAPRA

Another dish, a revelation of sorts, was the sandwich. It comprises a slice of bread deep-fried in Amul yellow butter. Over this, channe is spread and with it slices of paneer, onions, tomato which is then fried in butter. It was again as if eating just butter. It was also served with green coriander chutney. I met this one person who claimed to have been eating the same bhurji for the last 25 years and no the flavours had never changed.

Day 1 of our journey ended in the land of butter and celebration, making us ache not with heartburn but a taste for more.

Finally we reached at King Kulfa cart owned by Prakash at Katra Jaimal Singh. Kulfa can best be described as a layered dessert. It has phirni-rabri kulfi-gond qateera (gond qateera itself has no taste, but is popular among Amritsaris in summer because of its cooling properties) faluda and is topped with rabri, sugar syrup and kewra. It’s sweet no doubt about it but it is one of those things that you cannot miss on a food pilgrimage in the land of milk and makkhan.

ANUBHAV SAPRA

Walking down further we reached Katra Ahluwalia, also famously known as Jalebi-wala chowk, because of Guru Ram Das Jalebi. The shop is famous for hot and crisp syrupy jalebis and soft gulab jamuns. What makes it special is the small pieces of jalebi fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup.

As the evening progressed, it was time to sate the carnivore in me. We reached the legendary Makhan Fish Shop, which started life as a roadside cart in 1962 but is now a full-fledged air-conditioned restaurant with a beer bar next to it. We ordered a plate of fried fish—a simple but truly delectable dish which was first coated in a batter made of chickpea flour with Ajwain and deep fried in mustard oil. The one thing I learnt is that even though many food joints will look modern from the outside but the cuisine is still Amritsari at heart. I also tried mutton tikka with bo wale kulcha (bo in Punjabi means smelly). But don’t worry, it’s not really smelly. Kiran who runs an Instagram micro blog by the name “wakhrapunjab” informed me that it was the taste of yeast in it that gave it its name. It really went well with succulent pieces of mutton.

I got to know from the rickshaw puller about another Makhan Fish Shop on Lawrence Road. I went there as well the same evening so that the taste could be compared. The shop started a couple of years back after the current owner returned from abroad. The fish was double fried with a thick batter of chickpeas. At the other shop in Majitha Road, it was lightly flavoured and smelt-in-the-mouth soft. I was not that impressed with the Lawrence Road shop. It might be because he saw us clicking pictures that he over-fried it. Next time, I will make it a point to visit without the camera.

And that is how Day 1 of our journey ended in the land of butter and celebration, making us ache not with heartburn but a taste for more.

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Kanshi Ram and Dinesh ke Chole Kulche

Kanshi Ram and Dinesh ke Chole Kulche

By Anubhav Sapra

Every Dellhite’s favourite street food is Chhole Kulche! It is one of the most celebrated go-to food of Delhi and everyone has a favourite local joint. Recently, on the recommendation of my foodie friend, Karan, I tried a very different kind of Kulche chole in Azadpur.

The name of the Chhole Kulche joint is Dinesh ke chole kulcha va garam pulav. Located next to Akash Cinema, Azadupur, it is easy to spot, because of the hordes of people surrounding his cart. The cart is owned by Dinesh and managed by his two brothers Kuldip and Raju. The family hails from Bareily in Uttar Pradesh and they have been into this business for the past 25 years.

image1-4This joint has a distinctive and exciting way of making kulchas. The kulchas are fried in butter with a red curry- a mixture of tomato, onion, garlic, ginger and capsicum. First, a generous amount of oil is put on a big pan and the red puree is added with a bunch of different spices. The kulchas are then fried over the spice mixture on the pan. A big spoon of butter is then spread over all the kulchas.

The kulchas are spicy and delicious, with a unique spicy punch that adds to the flavour. I ate few of them with out the chole. Infact, I asked him for double masala fry to make it more spicy. The kulchas are not for the weak hearted because of the amount of butter and spices that are added to the kulcha. However to soothe it down, a glass of boondi raita is  served at Dinesh’s stall.

After the initial conversation, Kuldip and Raju shared that the frying of kulcha is inspired from Pav bhaji where the buns are fried in a thick gravy with butter.  The joint is extremely inexpensive at only 30 rupees a plate.

After relishing the kulchas at Dinesh’s stall in Azadpur, I headed to his Uncle’s Chole Kulcha shop in Naraina. I was warned by Kuldip that it would be over by the time I reached. Keeping my fingers crossed I drove straight to his place, asking the security guards in the residential colony of E block, Naraina for his shop. The complete address is E-195, Naraina Vihar, Near Gyan Mandir Public School, Mobile number- 9211863472. By the time, I reached, the chhole at his stall were already over but on request I got a small portion of Chhole and a few kulchas.

image1-2Kanshi ram, who owns the shop, migrated to Delhi from Bareily at the age of 7 . When I visited his shop, he was listening to folk songs through his headphone, and sitting relaxed savouring tamatar pyaaz chutney with roti. I spoke to him at great length. His eyes were glistening with pride while he shared his story of hard work towards success that began from being a small street vendor to owning a ig shop.

Kanshi ram, also, has a similar way of making the kulchas. He puts butter over a big pan, fries the kulchas, spread a spoon of red coloured chutney, a mixture of garlic red chillies and tomatoes, and garnish it with grated paneer. However, it lacked the spicy punch that was evident in kulchas at  Dinesh’s stall. This is because of the butter and paneer that makes it less spicy compared to Dinesh’s kulche. Nonetheless, if you like your kulcha to be more spicy, you can ask for more chutney separately. A plate of Kulche Chhole costs Rs 40 at Kanshi Rams stall.

After having my fill, I bid adieu to Kanshi Ram and got the invitation at the same time to try the mutton he prepares, which he is going to cook sometime specially for me. I really liked the two joints and I hope they are able to expand across Delhi!

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.