September 8, 2014
By Anubhav Sapra
The sudden spell of rain last week in Delhi brought a big relief to Delhiites from the scorching heat. The word ‘rain’ has become synonymous with Samosas, Jalebis, Pakodas and Chai. The two famous Pakoda shops in Delhi are in Nauroji Nagar (Khandani Pakode wala) and Karol Bagh (Bajaj Ji Pakode ki Dukaan)
My mother always boasts of Khandani Pakode Wala whenever she relishes the taste of Pokodas of Nauroji Nagar as my Grand Uncle used to bring Pakodas straight from there in the evenings for snacks. I also became a huge fan of Khandani Pakoda wala and went there quite often whenever it rained in Delhi. The shop is located on Rajmata Vijaye Raje Scindia Marg. If one is on Ring Road, moving from Bhikaji Cama Place towards Safdarjung Hospital, you’ll find the shop on the first left turn after the Bhikaji flyover.
The list of pakodas on offer at Khandani Pakode wala is long – Seekh(mashed potatoes and peas), Kamal Kakdi(lotus stem), Cauliflower, Karela(bitter gourd), Palak Methi (spinach, fenugreek leaves and onion) and Hari Mirch (green chilli) pakoda. The pakodas – crunchy from outside and soft from inside – are served with onion chutney.
While I was in Delhi University, a few of my friends were studying in Tibia College in Karol Bagh. I used to visit my friends for the sole purpose of savouring the Pakodas of Bajaj ji. The address is Shop no. 120-121-122, Netaji Subhash Market, Tibia College, Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh. The other day it rained and luckily I was in North Delhi. I landed at the shop to savour the pakodas. The person who weighs the pakodas is Mr. Banwari, who has been working there since his childhood, for the past 25 years. It is interesting to see him communicating with the customers- “ek dal ka, ek baigan, ek palak, ek paneer”, swiftly passing the pakodas for frying. The chutney they serve is of coriander and besan ke boondi. I got a plate of mixed pakodas (bread pakoda, dal ke laddo, paneer pakoda and Kamal Kakdi/Bhea (lotus stem) to take home from Bajaj ji Pakode wala and relished them with boondi chutney and chai. It’s time you tasted them too!