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THE DELHI STREET FOOD FEST

THE DELHI STREET FOOD FEST

(Not just another fest)

-Navani Satija

So, the winter chill is on and along with it is ‘the random-thought-gush’. And during this time came the most awaited Saturday. Be it, while brushing in the morning to the talks at the breakfast table or from spending the not-so-fun travelling time in the metro to the boring afternoon coaching session, I spent my entire day thinking about the delicacies across the states in India. Finally came the moment when I was about to have the experience of my lifetime. Yes! It was the much talked about Delhi Street Food Festival held at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. The most amazing part of it was to witness different cuisines spread all over India unite together in one arena just to serve the foodie-delhites whole heartedly.

IMG_0280This food fest saw not just the delhites but even a lot of tourists throng into the arena to relish the various tastes across India. Another best part of this whole festival was the pricing of the stuff offered by the 50+ stalls set up there.

I decided to take two rounds of the whole fest- first being the photo-walk to capture this unique experience, while checking out what was best to try and the second being the eating part which was totally worth it. So, I started off with the MAWA KI KACHORI available at the initial stalls, which was a cold sweet version of any regular kachori you would have had till date, only difference being that it was dipped in sugar syrup. It was the very first time I had a sweet kachori and it half lived up to all the excitement.

Next, to prove all the false allegations wrong that I don’t opt for spicy food ever, I went in for the spicy VEGETARIAN PANEER KATHI ROLL. It was this plate loaded with hot, strikingly orange, big chunks of soya and paneer balls served with rumaali roti. Extremely hot, just to accompany the cold chill around, it was extremely spicy and full of countless masalas (trust me!).

Moving on ahead, I spotted the word ‘Punjab’ which rekindled my inherent Punjabi soul craving for SARSON KA SAAG AUR MAKKI KI ROTI. (And no prizes for guessing!) It had to be there. But, honestly I’d never thought that I’d be having the best sarson ka saag till date. Along with this they even offered a big chunk of pure white butter and gur (jaggery) which was customary. The team handling the stall were these people who’d come from Patiala and owned a well known dhaba there and since they were Punjabis, they seemed to be up for a chat anytime.

Similarly, there were various other stalls representing other states. For example, there was the Rajasthani stall that I went to and tried their MIRCHI BADA and PYAAZ KACHORI. Now, this was surely one place that you couldn’t afford to miss. The mirchi bada was like a huge chunk of hot fiery green chilly fried with around dozen masalas. It was totally worth trying if you could bear spicy. Nonetheless, the pyaaz kachori was stuffed with lots of onion and other condiments freshly dripped in oil.

Finally, as I walked further I had arrived at the stalls that offered hot fresh jalebis and gulab jaamuns. Needless to say, these were the Punjabi-dominated stalls. Here you’d find people across all ages completely entranced in all the sweetness.

And after all that I’ve tried to express about this matchless experience, there still remains some part which is inexplicable. So, I’d let it be unexplained for this would hold its true essence.

Wishing that everyone gets such opportunities to eat their heart out!

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Monkey Bar

Monkey Bar

By Poorva Shourie

You know that the food of a restaurant is mind numbingly awesome when you crave for it on a Sundaymorning. True story! And this, according to me, is the best way to introduce the much talked about Monkey Bar.

Monkey Bar is a Gastropub from Bangalore that has everything you need for a good time; mouth watering food, great music, brilliant ambience and superb service!

The minute you enter this ”Gastropub”, the first thing that hits you is the atmosphere. There is this contagious vibe that I have never experienced in any other restaurant before. Everyone working in the restaurant exudes this vibe and it’s very difficult not to catch it and be a part of it. From the moment you enter Monkey Bar its hard not to feel happy.

The place has been done up nicely – it’s located at the glass pyramid building where Ministry of Sound stood previously. They have used the glass building to its advantage – the sunlight gives the restaurant a very warm and fuzzy feeling. The interiors are very raw and rustic. The walls bare a look of bricks and exposed water pipes and are adorned with quirky posters that entertain you as you wait for your food. There is also a pool table and a foosball table that can be used free of charge (they really know how to earn those brownie points).

While the ambience is great and the music is fabulous, the service is impeccable and the entertainment is plenty, what really stands out is their food!

They have the best, and I mean THE best burgers in the City! Almost all burgers come with caramelized onions (a major win), mayonnaise, lettuce and mouth-melting meat fillings. The bread of the burger is soft but what is softer is the patty- chicken, lamb or beef. One bite and you are guaranteed a free trip to foodie heaven. Since I am a chicken lover, I root for the Rooster Booster however if you have no qualms about beef or lamb, go for the MoBar Burger, the Cheese Burger and/or the Lamb Burger.

You could also sink your teeth in the Sea Food Sliders – three mini burgers with fish and prawn fillings topped with onions, mayo and mustard. For any Sea Food lover, this is their stairway to heaven. These patties are so soft that they almost melt in your mouth. In fact they had to make three small patties in order to prevent it from breaking.

If burgers don’t float your boat then you can always have the Bacon Wrapped Tandoori Sausage Dog. When a hot dog is wrapped in bacon, its can hardly ever go wrong, however what makes this Hot Dog really good is its pork sausage. The Keema Bao is also a great dish to try – it’s like a big dumpling stuffed with Keema and served with mutton Broth. The Keema filling is flavorful but the mutton broth adds that extra punch to the dish.

The best way to top all this delicious food is with a dessert! A must try is the Mobar Sundae – layers of chocolate ice cream, cake, Nutella (yes Nutella) chocolate spread, cookie and tutti-frutti. It’s a wholesome meal in itself, however the only thing that I didn’t like on it was the tutti-frutti and the cold,rather soggy cookie. If the cookie was crunchy and the dessert was sans the tutti-frutti, it would’ve been nothing short of perfection. Also another great chocolaty dessert is the Flourless Chocolate XS Cake – my tip, order it with ice cream.

I can go on and on about the food at Monkey Bar but personally I believe that no matter how much one raves about the food here, it’s something everyone needs to experience for themselves. So this weekend, head to Monkey Bar and excuse me while I go wipe the puddle of drool off the floor.

Price for Two: Rs. 2000 approx.

Address: Plot 11, Upper Ground Floor, LSC, Pocket c 6 & 7, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

Phone Number: 011-30146033 ext.855

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wonder wraps

Wonder Wraps

By Surabhi Bakshi

Satya Niketan, the heart of South Delhi is a foodie’s paradise. You get everything from Chinese to Punjabi, Italian to south Indian, it has something to please everyone’s taste buds. Off late a lot of food joints have opened up but the one that has caught everyone’s eye is 36 Chowringhee Lane.Located just opposite to the famous Venkateshwara college’s main gate, this place has been serving awesome rolls since long. It won’t be wrong to say that Chowringhee started the roll culture in Delhi. Their menu boasts of a variety of succulent,mouth-watering and delicious rolls. For the hard core non-vegetarians the double egg and the double chicken garlic roll is a must have. What stole my heart was the double chicken tikka roll served with hot and spicy BBQ sauce, it actually leaves you craving for more.

The veggies shouldn’t feel disappointed because this joint has a lot to offer to satiate their palate as well, the double paneer roll, soya chap roll, mushroom roll taste heavenly.

If you are one of those who are cleanliness freaks then you are likely to get a bit disappointed because all the rolls are made on the same pan and the spoon used for the egg and the other veg items is also the same and the rolls are a bit oily(definitely not for the diet conscious and the aspiring models ).

The prices are competitive so you can always trade them off for a healthier sub or steamed momos that are served next door. Also they have opened up their branch in Kamla Nagar market(North Campus) where they also serve delicious shawarmas all for a sum of 40. Here you also get an extra helping of mayonnaise,BBQ sauce,Tikka sauce only for Rs.10.

Go to this place to enjoy a quick,no frills bite.The rolls are fresh,hot and amazing and once you start eating them you will surely crave for more.

Piece of advice: If you want to avoid something then avoid the Aloo rolls (until, you’re an absolute potato person, that is.)

 

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LEVEL 2, RADISSON BLU

LEVEL 2, RADISSON BLU

By Samridhi Jain

A decade back there was dearth of good hotels in west Delhi, to have a proper dining experience, one had to think and ponder where to go and so, having a good buffet was like a distant dream. But then came in Radisson Blu and brought us two restaurants- Indyaki and Level 2 for Indian and continental cuisine respectively.  I went for the ‘Level 2’ restaurant and it proved to be a ‘foodie’s paradise’, the best thing about it is that through all these years Radisson Blu has been able to maintain its standard in every new branch it has opened. It is known for its high standards and international style and this restaurant is not an exception, the whole place spells of sophistication. It is calm and quiet, just perfect to spend a lovely evening, I enjoyed the amazing buffet, starting from salads to appetizers and then you’ve got soup, main course and desserts.

Trust me when I say that, every single dish was impeccable. Level 2 provides continental food and the salad, one can also make pick and choose the ingredients to be put in his salad dish or go for a pre-prepared and finely presented salad dish, there is good variety to choose from in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. If you’re not in the mood for salads, don’t worry, they’ve got lots of starters to get you hooked up and tempted, the variety in the starters is huge- for  vegetarians, they provide Paneer Tikka , Kebab, crispy babycorn in schezwan sauce, Pizza and Pastas.

The starters and soups are prepared and served though live kitchen which looked really nice and the pizza was hand tossed and freshly baked, although the starters are enough to fill your stomach but only the look of the main course will make you want to overeat. The list in the menu is huge, so much so that you cannot recollect all of the names.

The food went well with the ambience of the place, it was combination of western and Indian decor to make everyone feel welcomed, with its dim lights, it is the perfect dine-out for a couple, family or formal meetings. The light jazz music in the background spices things up as you just want to relax and savour everything that you eat. Also, the service doesn’t let you stop soon- they serve you with sweet smiles and answer all your queries which reflects the knowledge and coherence in the staff, everyone well aware of what are they serving. Everything was up to the mark. In fact, even the cutlery was according to the dishes being served. Last but not the least, the ending part of a great meal is a great dessert, which was truly amazing. They served mud cake, Strawberry Cheese Cake, Orange Pannacotta (sugar free), Blueberry crumble, Kiwi Mousse(eggless), Walnut pudding, Pineapple Halwa and Malai Tikki.

The desserts were for every kind of person- you’ve got eggless for pure vegetarians, sugar free for dieticians who can enjoy dessert without taking in a lot of sugar and whatever you choose to have, feels like a piece of heaven, you can just feast upon all the desserts all night long and you won’t get tired. It’s definitely one time stopover and then you can decide for yourself.

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Dilli ke Pakwan Festival

Dilli ke Pakwan Festival

By Prerna Sinha

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This street food festival organized by the Delhi Tourism from 23 – 29 Dec’13 was an experience, back to back stalls for kilometers, and free entry, what else does a foodie need?

The fest, organized at Baba Khadak Singh marg appeared so colourful and happy, visited by thousands of people from all walks of life- children, students, professionals and elders, everyone turned up to satiate their taste buds. Stalls serving street food had decked up the whole area- Rajasthani, Punjabi, Bihari, Mughlai, South Indian, you name it and you could savor on it.

1510924_577606015656617_1758581090_nSweet, Spicy or sour every delicacy was yummy, carrying the traditional touch from its area of origin, be it Changezi Chicken, Daulati Chaat or Moong dal kepakore. Menu from different stalls covered wide range of food from the states. Stalls from Rajasthan tempted people into trying Daal bhaati choorma, moong dal ke pakode, pyaazkikachori, kesariyajalebi. The stalls serving fish and Changezi chicken were some of the most popular ones since the non vegetarian food stalls were lesser in number than vegetarian food.
Typical street food from Delhi included scrumptious chhole bhature, mashhooor cheele, tikki chaat, soya chaap and bread pakore. The variety of food presented from different parts of the country was incredible.

1512740_577601462323739_1995800184_nA very successful fest, gave Delhiites the reason to come out of home and taste the traditional food from across the country at one place. People also looked at this as an opportunity to spend time with family, friends, away from the monotony of life and thoroughly enjoyed it, with bright sun!

We look forward to more fests of the kind in future.

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Street Food Festival

Street Food Festival-2013

A joke that has been doing the rounds recently is that, the 3rd National Street Food Festival organised by The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) in Delhi was a bigger hit than Dhoom 3! Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was declared HOUSEFUL.

The three day event which began on 20th December and lasted till the 22nd of December, witnessed a footfall of almost 18,000 people. The catchphrase of the gastronomic affair was ‘Swad hai, Romanch hai, Street Foods ki Baat hi kuch aur hai’.

Street food vendors from all across India had come to participate and flaunt their regional speciality. The event was organised by NASVI in order to promote, professionalise and brand street foods. It was also aimed at influencing the policy makers in order to transform the usually ignored genre into a secure zone.

The entry fee was merely Rs.30 and totally, worth it all. Stalls from Chandigarh, U.P., Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Assam and host state Delhi were seen. The fest had something for everybody. The ones having a sweet tooth indulged themselves in desserts like jalebi- rabri and kulfi, while the hard core vegetarians found sarsoon ka saag with makke ki roti to their delight. There were ample options even for the non-vegetarians; there were seekh kababs, chicken tikka, mutton and chicken korma, biryani, fish tikka and so much more. The list can go on.

The first stall that caught my eye was of Bihar. Their speciality ‘littli chokha’ was a popular demand. Litti, a small naan- like thing is made with flour and a ‘sattu’ stuffing and is served with potato curry or a non-veg curry.

Chicken tikka rolls from the Mughlai Cuisine stall were next on my plate. Amazingly soft and perfectly barbecued tikkas tasted heavenly with the green chutney and lemon. The roll was worth Rs. 80/-

The Tamil Nadu stall had Tamarind Rice, Pyaaz pakodas and puddu to offer. I tried the puddus which were cute rice balls. Made of rice, peas, chopped onions and green coriander, they were served with green chutney and sadly, were not so tasty as they looked.

The famous Mysore Pak from Mysore was also a hit with the people.

I then jumped to the Punjab Stall which offered amazing chicken and sarsoon ka saag. It was served traditionally with makke ki roti.

The aloo bada at the Chandigarh Stall was also popular among the visitors. It was a different kind of bread roll, one can say, without the bread of course. The stuffing was similar, that of mashed potatoes and tasted similar too.

The jalebi rabri was the best one I have ever had. The jalebis were crispy, aptly sweetened and tasted very delicious with the creamy rabri.

The Lucknow stall also had interesting dishes on its menu. It had Mughlai Biryani and Boti Kabab for all. The Biryani was amazing. The rice was soft, pleasant and nicely coloured.
Street food is a carrier of culture and heritage and festivals like these help us revive this truth.

My experience at the fest was wonderful. There was so much to explore, so many foodies to meet, so much love to share!

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GIANI’S

 

GIANI’S

ADDRESS: Church Mission Road, FatehPuri, Delhi- 110006

CONTACT NO: 9210318644

For all the figure conscious people, let me tell you Old Delhi is not the place for you. Why so? Let me tell you!

An abode of the heavenly gods of taste, delicacy and food!This is what Old Delhi is all about.Simply after every 5-6 shops in the area, you will find an eating joint. Your shopping can never be complete without munching some or the other street food here. You will walk for a metre or two and you will find chaat- waalas, kachoris, jalebis and so much more all around the place.

Chandni Chowk shopping area is one such place where you can’t help but dig in some great food. From sweets to snack, it has it all. Giani’s food corner is a small eatery en route Fatehpuri. One has to turn right from the T-point at Shahi Majid, Fatehpuri. This outlet is the original Giani’s and it has many branches all across Delhi. Giani’s originally started as an ice cream corner, but now they have extended their menu to Chole Bhature, Chole Chawal, Lassi and a few more things. Not a very long menu to choose from though, but whatever the joint offers, it is worth it.

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The most popular thing offered her is the rabri falooda, which is actually vermicelli floating in rabri and a lot of crushed ice in a large glass.

I started my meal with a plate of lip-smacking chole bhature and with a glass of lassi. The bhature were crispy outside and soft inside. They were stuffed with little paneer(cheese) and that certainly added to the taste. The chole were not very good, they were a little undercooked. Lassi was served in a kulad, i.e. a container made of mud. The lassiwas outstanding, with the thick layer of cream on it and the smooth texture. It was cold with the perfect amount of sweetness.

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For those who have a sweet tooth, there is more that Giani’s offer. You can choose to have ice cream or Rabri Falooda or both for that matter! I preferred the much talked about rabri falooda, which was nothing less than heavenly. They give a big glass full of rabri. Rabri “is a sweet, condensed milk based dish made by boiling the milk on low heat for a long time until it becomes dense and changes its colour to pinkish. Sugar, spices and nuts are added to it to give it flavour. It is chilled and served as dessert”.

The prices, like most restaurants in Old Delhi are economical. The chole bhature cost around Rs. 60 per plate, the lassi is around Rs.30 and the rabri falooda cost nearly Rs.60. A nice and filling meal for two can be had within Rs.400.

The ambience is not very luxuriant, but a decent one. It can get a 7/10. The chole bhature would certainly get a 7.Lassi was 10/10 for me. The creamy texture is still there in my mouth. And the rabri falooda of course, it would score an 8.5 on my scorecard.

The overall experience was good, but I would highly recommend the rabri falooda for all the sweet lovers.

Happy eating!

 

Foodie Correspondent:Kashish Badar

Photo Credit:PiyushNagpal

 

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Culinaire

Culinaire

By Poorva Shourie

While I was growing up, like most Indians, my palate was very restricted – it usually ran wild at the thought of Indian or Continental food. I never really understood why people around me liked Chinese so much and Thai was a concept alien to me.

Till very recently I refused to recognize food from the East as a cuisine that would satisfy my taste buds; until I started my first internship.

My ex – coworker was obsessed with Chinese and Thai food and invariably most of our meetings were fixed at Oriental restaurants. My stint at company and thus with the co worker ended shortly but what lingered was my extreme fondness for her beloved cuisine.

Now I am not saying that I can have Chinese every day. No! Thank you. But whats surprising is my sudden and out-of-the-blue craving for Chinese or Thai food every now and then.

Like today, for example, while I write this article, I am babysitting my niece and I want nothing more than some well-cooked Thai Green curry accompanied with steamed rice.

And since I can’t go out (babysitting, you see) I decided to call my favorite take-out restaurant – Culinaire, in GK 2.

This little place started as a snacks joint/shack a few decades ago (I am not exaggerating here ) and it turned out the be THE place everyone in GK (and far beyond) call for some gastronomical happiness!

The food at Culinaire is scrumptious and the portions are generous.They serve Lebanese, Thai and Chinese. I sincerely feel that their Chinese and Thai surpasses their Lebanese. The Doner Kebab, for example, can not match up to the one at Arabian nights. The bread is too thick and the hummus – doesn’t taste like hummus.

However their Chinese and Thai – oh my!

It’s simple, straight to the point – an amalgamation of the right flavors. To put it simply, it is just wonderful.

I was never really fond of Thai food as pointed out earlier but Culinaire’s Thai Green curry is by far the best I have ever had. It’s light with a generous helping of bamboo shoots and baby-corn.

Culinaire has perfected most of the Chinese delicacies. The Schezwan sauce is easy on the palate – neither too hot neither too sweet, the oyster sauce is good, their dim-sums are delicious (only steamed not fried), the fried rice is a must try, their soups are authentic and their service is impeccable. Overall the experience is fulfilling for the tummy and light on the wallet.

Before I wrap up this article I would like to mention one thing – you can go to Culinaire, place your order, sit down and have your food, however in my opinion when the food is home delivered the experience is something completely different. According to me it smells delicious, it tastes better and somehow I feel their portion sizes are a little more generous during take out.

Thus the next time you are sitting and watching the Big Bang Theory (or babysitting) and Sheldon Copper orders his very famous Tangerine Chicken with Soy Sauce don’t just sit there salivating – pick up your phone and order a plate of goodness from Culinaire!

 

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KHANA KHAZANA

 

KHANA KHAZANA

-BY LOVLEEN KOCHAR

To calm my ever growling tummy I decided to head towards ‘Khana Khazana’ situated in the bustling Tughlakabad Institutional Area [nearest metro station Govindpuri].

The diner boasts of an ample space and a cosy-comfy ambience. I opted for the 1st floor seating area. After quickly settling down, I ordered ‘Chicken Tak Taka Tak’ for starters, fairly tagged with a price of Rs. 175.It was served in a very exquisite manner and tasted as delicious as it appeared on the platter. The juicy and properly cooked chicken, the right blend of spices to tickle your taste buds-made it a bingo for starters.The presentation, the taste, the chicken is bound to make your mouth water. They keep your tummy and pocket both happy by serving oodles of the dish.

P.S. You can have it for starters or can include it in the main course, as it goes well with Naan too.

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Next up was ‘Shredded lamb in garlic sauce’.  This dish comes under the non-spicy food category. It goes well with rice. Although the look was quite enticing, somehow it didn’t turn on my taste palate. Still it was an average dish. The quantity was satisfactory and it is valued at Rs. 210.

The showstopper of this restaurant has to be the TANKER. Tanker is a tub full of cold drinks (serves approx. 4 small glasses), and it compliments your entire meal perfectly. Priced at just Rs. 80, I felt blessed!

Personally I don’t like oily food, and luckily I stepped in the right place. The scrumptious and flavoursome food will surely stuff your stomach but your heart will desire for more. The polite, amicable staff and the quick service give the place a coin of vantage. All in all, it’s a nice and delectable place to satiate your belly. This beanery offers a wide variety of veg as well as non-veg dishes, so it will take many more visits to try all their delicacies.

Recommendation: VALUE FOR MONEY and DEFINITELY WORTH A VISIT!!

 

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Indian Coffee House

Back to the bygone era: Indian Coffee House, CP

By Sanskrit Nagar

A place where you have an almost ideal mix of sunlight and shade, where the wild and the civilized are in perfect harmony, no one disturbs while you brainstorm over a meal that is as cheap as it was quite a few years back. And when I say, “quite a few years back”, your mind takes you to just one place, yes Indian Coffee House.

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The oldest café in Delhi, where revolutionaries and freedom fighters once met, greets you with unbelievably cheap prices and plenty of space to sit in. The balcony or the inner area is entirely up to you. The space is enough to accommodate the daily footfall but lacks maintenance. The benches might be a tad bit uncomfortable for some but they make you feel like the second floor of Mohansingh Palace has seized time.

The staff is polite but not too interested, their uniform which has lost its charm over the years still will fascinate you. Your order will take a minimum of 20 minutes to be served unless you have super-human communication skills or a constant smile on your face. My cold coffee with ice-cream and chowmein arrived in exactly 10 minutes and were both value for money. I played safe by filling my tummy with the popular items but you could also try Dosa, Scrambled eggs or the Cheese omelet. The food has that typically generic North Indian flavor to almost everything you but it is all served fresh and hot. You could probably try everything and even then the bill wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket.

A few things to note about ICH are, first – the bamboo stick beside every table. These are to shoo away monkeys who stroll about almost every day. Second – the desperate fact that ICH needs a makeover or soon it will be nothing but a place that serves cheap food. Third –  please carry a lot of patience and time when you visit ICH as you may just want to chill for a while.

Personal recommendation- Cold coffee with ice-cream

Price for two- Rs 200