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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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AJMER FOOD TOUR

Ajmer food tour

By Anubhav Sapra

 It is always fun to interact and explore the city with a local food enthusiast. In Ajmer I met Shikha, a dentist by profession and food instagrammer by passion. She runs an instagram account Ajmerfoodie. Together we explored the lanes of the city, with her being an excellent guide.

We started with Dhanna ki Kachori in Vaishali Nagar– a super spicy dal kachori with kadi. She remarks that this unique combination of Kadi and Kachori was invented in Ajmer and spread to other towns slowly. But the kadi is made in a different style without buttermilk or curd. Having been in existence for 20 years, the shop is run by two brothers Durgesh and Kanahiya. The kachoris are topped with mashed potatoes and coriander. To add a tangy flavour to the kachori, lemon wedges are served along with it.

From here we reached Akbari Museum. Next to the Akbari museum in Ajmer are two shops facing each other – Shankar chaat and Anant Jain lassi shop. Shankar shop is famous for kachori and saakhe. As we already had the kachori at Dhanna, we ordered saakhe with kadi. Saakhe is just fried maida dough with ajwain. Curly in shape, saakhe is also known as namkeen or matar in different cities of India. I had always enjoyed it with a cup of sweet tea. This was the first time I tried it with kadi and chutney. A great combination indeed- the crispy saakhe went well with the smooth and spicy kadi. Next, we tried lassi at Anant jain lassi shop. The thick and creamy lassi is served in a clay glass topped with malai, rabri and saffron water. In the heat of Ajmer, it was a perfect refreshing drink.

Ajmer is known for Sohan Halwa and karanchi halwa. I am sure there would be some historical relevance to the sweets in Delhi and Ajmer. In Old Delhi, sohan halwa is available in selected sweet shops like Chainaram and kanwarji. I simply love this caramalised crunchy chewy sweet biscuit. It is made up of wheat, ghee, sugar and nuts. One small bite of halwa and the mouth is literally filled with ghee. Slowly you get the flavours of nuts. Moolchand Buddhamal in Purani Mandi is the oldest sweet maker of ajmer. Established in 1870, the shop has the best sohan halwa in the old city of ajmer. The sweet is also available in dargah market at all the sweet shops.

The story of bhutia halwayi (ghost sweet maker) is interesting. One story is that the ghosts used to make sweets whole night and when the owner used to open up the shop next day in the morning, all the sweets were made. Second story is that the sweet shop was in an isolated lane on Alwar gate road. No one used to visit that lane at night because of the rumour of ghosts living in Alwar gate road. But lala ji used to open the shop inspite of rumours of ghosts in that area. That’s why the locals started calling it Bhutiya halwai shop. Whatever the real story, the sweets are really good specially doodh jalebi and gond ke laddu. We tried doodh jalebi. The sweet and sugary jalebi is crushed in a steel jug and then half a glass of thick milk is added. Both of them are mixed properly and served in a clay glass with cream on the top. The mix of soft and crunchy jalebis makes it special.

It is not easy to find authentic homestyle Rajasthani delicacies in restaurants. Mahadev dhaba is one of the local eateries in Ajmer where some of the Rajasthani dishes like gatte ki sabzi, ker sangri, sew tamatar, papad sabzi are on the menu. The dhaba is at Nasirabad road in Ajmer.The owner specially cooked sew tamatar and papad ki sabzi for us and allowed us to oversee the preparations in the kitchen. The recipe of both of the dishes was similar- first, in hot oil, onion is sautéed and garlic water is added to it, then curry gravy, some garam masala and finally sew or roasted papad are added. In my opinion, what makes it special are the two ingredients – garlic water and the curry gravy made up of malai. The malai in the gravy leaves a smooth creamy texture to the sabzi. A bit spicy for me, but It went well with the fresh tandoori roti.

On the way to our last stop for faluda, near madar gate, we spotted probably India’s biggest kachori weighing 650 gms.

In the end we decided to stop for some dessert.  Kesar pista kulfi with kesar pista ice cream, rabri, dry fruits and rose syrup were layered and served in a glass bowl. It was the perfect sweet way to end the Ajmer street food journey.

The evening was spent in the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, popularly known as Garib Nawaz (helper of the poor), is a giant figure on the Sufi map of the sub-continent. Situated in the city of Ajmer in Rajasthan, the shrine is open to all faiths. It is an old saying that people who visit Ajmer Sharif and pray with pure faith and loyalty at this Dargah, are granted their heart’s wishes.

In the Dargah there are two huge degs i.e., cauldrons – for cooking Niaz (purely vegetarian food); cooked with rice, ghee, nuts, saffron & sugar. The system of cooking food in cauldron was first introduced by Emperor Akbar. And Ajmer sharif has the world’s largest cauldron with the capacity to cook 4800 kgs of food in it.

I participated in the langar with the locals and the devotees. In a big plate, fresh and delicious biryani and sweet rice were served. People kept sharing the food from the same plate. It was truly an experience of a lifetime!

 

 

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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Pushkar Food Tour

Pushkar Food Tour

By Anubhav Sapra

Pushkar is an ideal place for a street food walk. The whole city can be covered in a couple of hours on foot. Infact, if you walk closely observe your surroundings, there is a chance that you will start recognising the faces of the locals. This is what happened with me when I visited Pushkar last week. After one round of the city, I can recall and recognise most of the places and people. That’t the beauty of this small city.

While most of the blogs talk about the cafes in Pushkar, I was quite sure there is going to be some unexplored street food of Pushkar to be unearthed. Like most of the temple cities in India, Pushkar too has amazing street food. I walked and walked and walked from morning till evening, all the while talking to locals and trying a delicious array of street food.

The journey started with Pushkar Breakfast Corner near varaha ghat. A street food cart that sells Pizza Pakwan i.e., poha with mathri and dal – this was a perfect example street fusion food. Dal Pakwan is an authentic sindhi breakfast dish where big sized mathri, made up of maida is served with dal. And poha – flattened rice, cooked with mustard seeds is a famous breakfast of north India. Pushkar breakfast corner shop simply combined both of them – dal pakwan and poha, and named it Pizza Pakwan. The base is of mathri, over it he evenly spreads poha, then adds dal, and tops it with sew, namkeen, onion, chutney, chaat masala and fresh coriander. It was a simple twist given to the dishes, which made it taste great. The crunchiness of the mathri blended perfectly with the light and fluffy poha. The crispy additions on the top like fried peanuts and sew added a spicy twist to it. The shop opens at 6 am and everything gets finished by 12 noon. The pizza pakwan is priced at Rs 30.

Just on a walking distance is another shop that opens up only in the morning time– Pushkar chaat bhandar- mohan ji bhujia wale famous for pakodi, which is also known as bhujia here. The shop is run by father son duo mohan ji and kamal. It is sold by kilograms at 200 per kg. Normal small size pakodis (fritters) of spinach and besan are topped with kadi (not to be confused with curry). The way kadi is prepared in this part of Rajasthan is completely different from other parts. There is no use of yoghurt or buttermilk in it. It is simply made up of besan and water. The combination of kadi with pakodi is quite unique to Ajmer district of Rajasthan. In Bihar, I had tried kadi with samosa. This was a really fulfilling meal. The fresh crisp pakodis with plain kadi were a perfect breakfast.

After having kadi pakodi, we tried kachori with mango chutney at Ugma ji shop. The dough of refined flour is stuffed with dal ki pitthi to be deep fried in oil. What made it special is the thick mango chutney served with kachori. The kachoris were crisp and flaky.

Malpua
Malpua

Pushkar can be named as the city of Malpua. You can spot a malpua shop in every nook and corner of the city. There is a dedicated lane for sweet sellers in Pushkar near Gau ghat- Halwai gali or the street of sweet makers.

To make delicious malpuas, first the batter of white flour is prepared; Second, it is poured and deep fried in oil; third, the cooked malpuas are soaked in sugar syrup. What makes Pushkar malpua special is the rabri malpua. Instead of adding water to the batter, condensed milk is added to give it an amazing nutty taste. The most popular shop in Pushkar is Sarvadia mishthan bhandar in Halwai gali.

After having malpua at Sarvadia misthan bhandar, we went on to try Laffa at Ganga restaurant. The whole city of Pushkar is known for religious tourism and leisure tourism. There are cafes and restaurants catering to people from all over the world. Most of the foreign tourists are from Middle East and they have somewhat influenced the street food as well. There are 3 shops next to each other selling falafel, hummus and other middle eastern food. The most famous dish is the laffa- a wrap stuffed with hummus, falafel, garlic sauce, mushroom, onion, tomatoes, potato wedges, pepper, salt. Cooked in Olive oil, it was a delight to watch the preparation. And the taste was simply amazing. The other dish we tried at laffa wala was the pizza roll. It was the same filling with loads of cheese except falafel, hummus and potato wedges.

Next, we went on to try the golgappa at a street cart with 6 different flavours- regular (mint and jeera), garlic, cumin, mint, hajmola and lemon. My favourite was lemon- a truly refreshing water with the right spices.

Lala ji
Lala Ji Parantha Wala, Pushkar

The next stop was Lala ji ke parantha cart. It can be spotted anywhere in the lanes of Pushkar after 7 pm till 12 midnight till the stock lasts. This was the best parantha I’ve ever had. I tried the mix vegetable cheese parantha. The stuffing of the parantha consists of mashed potatoes, sew ( namkeen), onion, paneer,cheese, spices. The paranthas are first pan fried in butter then in ghee. There are cooked properly and cut into small pieces with the help of a pizza cutter. The paranthas are served with a dip made up of yoghurt and garlic. The cost of one parantha was Rs 120.

The last food stop was Makhaniya gulkand lassi at Kumawat lassi cart. At kumawat lassi cart, the thick lassi is topped with cream, rabri and gulkand (a blend of rose petals, sugar and spices ). Priced at INR 30 and served in a clay cup, it tasted divine.

What a marvelous city!

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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Eating My Way Through Amritsar: Day 3

This article was first published in Huffpost. Link to the blogpost- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/anubhav-sapra/eating-my-way-through-amritsar-day-3_a_23044828/

Eating My Way Through Amritsar: Day 3

Ending on a high note.

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. Read about day 1 here and day 2 here.

Day 3

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is something we have all been taught. And so we took it literally with some authentic Amritsari kulchas. We started with Kulwant Kulcha. The place is ideal for those who like their kulcha really flaky, crisp and lightly spiced. Then there is All India Famous Kulcha Wala, which has been in business since 1989. The shop is owned by Sucha Singh ji and is managed by his son Ponty Singh. The kulcha dough is rolled into seven layers and then stuffed with aloo and paneer filling and half cooked. When someone places the order, the cook handling the tandoor applies water on one side and sticks it in the tandoor. Like Kulwant’s this kulcha was flaky, crisp and subtly spiced. They also have another outlet called Kulchaland which has a more restaurant-like setup. But for me, Ashok Kulche Wala rules the Amritsari Kulcha chart with perfect spicing putting its offerings a cut above the rest (I’ve already described it in some detail here). One can walk in to his open kitchen and see the steps involved in making a perfect kulcha. This is what I liked best about Amritsar. The people here are open hearted and there are no secrets—one can easily walk in to any restaurant’s kitchen. Amritsaris love feeding people and the owners themselves are involved in cooking.

The people here are open hearted and there are no secrets—one can easily walk in to any restaurant’s kitchen.

ANUBHAV SAPRA

Next up was Surjit Food Plaza at Nehru Shopping Complex, Lawrence Road. An interesting thing about Amritsar’s food joints is that though some look quite modern and fancy, the food they serve is authentic and traditional. From the outside, Surjit looks like the kind of place I can’t usually afford, but the food has not lost its Amritsari soul. I asked for tawa chicken pulao, which I could see being prepped from behind a big glass wall by none other than the owner, Amarjit Singh. He mixed ghee as well as butter into the chicken and then added boiled rice into the mixture. The tawa chicken pulao is garnished with ginger and coriander. The flavourful rice balances the soft pieces of chicken.They have served their food to who’s who of India. They even have a picture album which one can ask for to see the pictures of celebrities dining at the restaurant. But what caught my attention was the modest beginnings of the restaurant. Starting from a small khopcha, it is full-fledged restaurant today with modern facilities.

ANUBHAV SAPRA

A foodie friend, Girish, sends me screenshots of food joints on WhatsApp all the time, often giving me valuable leads. While I was in Amritsar, he sent a screenshot of Giani Tea Stall, established in 1955. The place is famous for its breakfast dishes, especially kachoris, but since I couldn’t make it in time for a morning meal I had to satisfy myself with an omelette and special spiced tea. The tea maker, Ajay, who hails from Pathankot has been working at Giani’s for 15 years. I tried the spiced tea with saffron, cardamom and almonds (₹35 per cup). Next time, when I visit I will make it a point to start my day with his kachoris.

ANUBHAV SAPRA

On the recommendation of another recommendation, we went to Pal Dhaba near Hathi Gate for lunch. We tried magaz, kharode and mutton tikka. The dishes were similar to what we had at Prakash (see here) but super delicious. The kharode, in particular, amazed me. Unlike the soupy Delhi variety, it was thick and unctuous. The pieces of goat feet are boiled in water and then added to a stock-based gravy later. It’s delicious with tandoori rotis. On the table next to us, a group of people from Delhi were having mutton tikka with buttery white sesame naan. I couldn’t resist ordering the same dish. The mutton tikka is again cooked in spices and served in thick gravy. The naan is so delicious that it can be savoured alone without any sauce or curry.

ANUBHAV SAPRA
ANUBHAV SAPRA

This was exactly what we were exactly waiting for—a high note with which to end our amazing food journey. Needless to say we’ll be going back for more.

10 Cooking Tips For Indian Bachelors By Saransh Goila
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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Bakar – the cafe

BAKAR – The Cafe

By Prakriti Bhat

Bakar. One word that encompasses many emotions. On word that can be used in different situations. In a Kashmiri household, it changes to “bakhar” when someone wants to say, “You guys have so much capacity for talking nonsense.” That’s what Bakar stands for. The universal right to talk utter nonsense and not be judged for it. GTB Nagar is an area full of cafes frequently thronged by students who are forever looking for a spot to chat and have good food. Bakar- The Café stands true to its name giving you a homely environment where you can just plonk down and bakar around with your friends over some fine food.

The owners Anubhav Sapra, Swati Singh and Rahul Bhardwaj have made every effort to give the café a homely vibe. Moda Stools, small cane and wooden tables, funky wall art and beautiful lanterns beautify the place. It isn’t as big as the other cafes in its vicinity but that’s where its beauty lies. Bakar is a ‘chhota packet bada dhamaka’! Don’t judge the place by its area. The menu consists of several varieties of Momos, Maggi, Shakes and egg dishes. It also has a few breakfast options like Pancakes and Crepes and soon they plan to introduce a full-fledged breakfast menu.

The co-owner, Mr. Anubhav Sapra is himself an avid foodie and has curated a menu keeping in mind the college crowd which prefers meals that are easy on the pocket. The Alfredo Maggi is good but adding a few veggies could make it even better. Butter Chicken Maggi was undoubtedly my favourite dish here. Butter Chicken and Maggi are two dishes that you can seldom go wrong with. And when such dishes come together there is bound to be a culinary explosion in your mouth. Thankfully, the pieces of chicken were quite abundant, thereby, not making you feel cheated. The typical aroma and flavor of Butter Chicken ensnares your senses making you ask for more. The bowls in which they are served are adorable!

IMG_20160708_145913468Bakar serves a wide array of momos.  Amongst the vegetarian ones, my favourites were the Spinach Momos and Potato Momos. The Spinach momos are extremely delicious and surprise you with their novelty. The Aloo Momos were a clear winner in this category. This is perhaps the first café in Delhi that serves Aloo Momos. Smooth and delectable, the filling takes you by surprise and tastes best when paired with mayonnaise instead of the traditional spicy chutney. Mushroom Momos were again something I hadn’t heard of before. Finely chopped mushrooms are used as the filling and believe me, it is something you do not wanna miss!

Let’s admit it; Paneer Momos is for days when your mood lies between veg and non veg. And the chef at Bakar does it really well with tiny dices of savory Paneer filled in the momos. The Veg Momos is a classic and you can never go wrong with it. The Chicken and Mutton Momos were extremely well made but the latter took the trophy home. I am a chicken lover but those juicy pieces of mutton stuffed in the dumplings tasted way better than its chicken counterpart. My only complaint is that the covering of most of the momos was a bit dry and hard.

2016-07-08-15-51-33To wash it all down, try their cold coffee with strawberry ice cream. It is the weirdest combo I’ve ever heard of. I utterly dislike strawberry ice cream and when this was brought to me I cringed from within and had half a mind to send it back. But the Cadbury Gems and colourful sprinklers prodded me to gather courage and take a sip. After that there was no stopping me. The coffee prevented the strawberry from taking the front seat and created the perfect blend of flavours. At the end, you are rewarded with a fortune of gems!

Kudos to Chef Kapil who brings a plethora of flavors to your plate and palate. Bakar also employs a differently abled staff which brings your order to your table. A jovial man, his laughter is infectious and is sure to make you smile even on a bad day. It is heartening to see that humanity still exists.

Cost for two- Rs. 350 (approx)

Address- G-24, Vijay Nagar

Contact No.- 9811359806

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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Niche, Lounge and Bistro

Niche, Lounge and Bistro

A friend of mine recently hosted a Chef’s table named Messa at Niche lounge and bistro, which is located in M block, Connaught Place overlooking the Statesman house. With over 19 years of HR background, blogging came as a hobby to him and he started Mystic Foodie Mantra a few years back. For this event, he curated a special menu for food bloggers in Delhi.

Not being a regular restaurant reviewer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The food served to us did not just look beautiful, it was simply delectable and I was thoroughly surprised.

image2 (1)The evening began with amusing conversations complimented by an array of unique starters that included Pulled Kathal Tacos and 57 degree duck breast. Kathal, being an excellent substitute to meat, is one of my favourite vegetables, as I like the flavour and texture in it. Served with Salsa and Kasundhi cream, the crisp outer shell of tacos filled with shredded kathal made a perfect combination. The duck was cooked at 57 degrees by a French method named Sous-vide.

Before, I go further about the tasting session, I must admit that the method of cooking involved a bit of food science. The chef revealed that the dishes on the menu are progressive. The cooking techniques involved are dynamic and always evolving. The chef also loves playing with textures, which was evident in the salad he prepared for us. The salad was made of beet and goat cheese. The beet in the salad took on various textures because of the intricate crafting by the chef.

For the main course, we were served Hari Saag along with Polenta crusted fried yoghurt balls, corn bread and jaggery chips with white butter soil. In simple words, dahike kebab were served with the saag. But the imagination of the Chef was incredibly distinctive, which was evident by the preparation and presentation of the dishes made with simple ingredients.

Next was the Lamb Shank Rogan Josh – Rogan josh gravy with ginger air and seasonal vegetables. This was the highlight of the Chefs table for me. It was delicious and I absolutely loved it. I did the most un-niche act at Niche. I slurped the shank and enjoyed the same to the core. Although, it was served as a complete dish in itself, I couldn’t resist myself from ordering assorted breads which went well with the Rogan josh gravy. 

The food journey ended on a sweet note with Cheesecake and raspberry sorbet which turned out to be the cherry on top for such a delightful evening. 

 

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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Poori Sabzi at Rewari Wale and Jindal Refreshment Corner

Poori Sabzi at Rewari Wale and Jindal Refreshment Corner

By Anubhav Sapra

Once upon a time, my friend, Ayush, and I met for a get together. Being great foodies, the discussion soon swung to the direction of food. Starting from Fateh ki Kachori in Civil Lines (that Ayush is quite fond of), we discussed food items with enthusiasm. Then slowly we moved to the quintessential breakfast dishes- poori and bhatura, whereupon he mentioned a poori shop in Shakti Nagar, that makes kofte, but only on Sundays. As the clouds gathered in the sky last Sunday, I gave him a call and in a few minutes, we were inside the shop savouring the pooris.

The name of the shop is Rewari Wale ki Poori Sabzi. Located in Shakti Nagar, it is quite accessible- if you are coming from Roop Nagar, take the first right turn towards Gurudwara Nanak Sahib. After taking the right turn, take the first left turn; keep walking straight and the shop Rewari Lal will be on the left side. The complete address is 24/27, Shakti Nagar, Delhi- 07 ( Mobile- 9999935023). A big cauldron of oil where Halwais are frying the pooris can be spotted easily.

Poori Sabzi
Poori Sabzi with Aloo kofta at Rewari Wale

The pooris at Rewari Wale, were simply made of maida. The sabzi was mix of chole, aloo and methi ki chutney. A spoon of dahi is added over it to mellow down the spices, giving it a tangy taste. Gopal Sweets in Kamla Nagar also do the same. What sets it apart from other poori sabzi walas of delhi are the aloo besan ke kofte. The small balls similar to the size of badi are made only on Sundays. Being a bit spicy, it served as the perfect combination with the poori.

The shop was started 50 years back, by Sees Ram Saini, and is presently managed by father-son, Dharam Singh Saini and Vikram Saini. The shop is open till 3 pm and a plate of poori sabzi is priced at Rs 40. Very close to poori sabzi shop, the Sainis own another shop, which is famous for its khoya burfi and gajar pak.

bedmi poori
Bedmi Poori at Jindal Refreshment Corner

Ayush also introduced me to another popular breakfast joint- Jindal Refreshment Corner, on roshanara road. The shop is right opposite Kunji Lal Jagdish Prasad shop, and is famous for pure milk and lassi. The address is 8438, Roshanara Road, Delhi-07 (Mobile. 9953901089).  Jindal refreshment corner is owned by Brajesh Jindal, Kunji Lal’s brother. Established 40 years ago, they specialize in bedmi poori and kachoris.

Unfortunately, by the time we reached Kunji Lal, the lassis were over. The small size bedmi poori is priced at Rs 20 a plate. I found the sabzi to be better than what we get in other places. The sabzi is, again, a mix of aloo, chole, methi ki chutney, kachalu, and kofta, which keeps changing everyday- palak, urad dal, mooli. The distinctive strong taste of heeng in the sabzi makes it simply delicious.

In the evening, they make samosas. Remembering the old days, Ayush recited the story of how he used to eat Jindal’s samosas on his way back home from school days, not in plates but straight from his hands. Long live his love for kachoris and samosas!

 

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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Baldev Dhaba

Keema Mutton at Baldev Dhaba

By Anubhav Sapra

Where – GTB Nagar Bus Depot

Sweden se aaya mera dost! My foodie friend, who is also a neighbor, runs an Indian food truck in Sweden. Ever year, around Diwali, he visits his family in Delhi. However, more than this, I believe his visit is more about experimenting at newly opened eateries and catching up with the old ones. The other day, we met and discussed the food in Delhi at great length. After a brief question-answer session, he took me to ‘Baldev Dhaba’ at GTB Nagar Bus Depot.

The place is rustic. The dhaba is on the pavement. At one end, stands Baldev and his brother Kishan with a big Patila of keema mutton and at the other, are the benches. It was great to see the hungry souls, majority being bus and auto drivers, sitting and screaming with rejoice, for a plate of keema mutton and tandoori rotis. This place made me recall another eatery that used to be in Ghanta Ghar by the name of ‘Moti Dhaba’ where we used to devour keema gravy with innumerable rotis. Unfortunately, Moti Dhaba is closed but Baldev is running in full force.

The dhaba was started in 1960 by Late Narayan Das Sachdeva and later his two sons Baldev and Kishan took over it and introduced the most popular dish, ‘Keema Mutton’ in 1974.

IMG_20151106_140413The keema mutton is priced at Rs 140- 2 pieces of mutton in a small plate are served with rotis. After gobbling up over 10 rotis, all we had to pay was a meager Rs. 30. Over a plate of mutton, Baldev sprinkles some homemade garam masala and serves it straight to the soul with crispy tandoori rotis. Even though the gravy appears to be very spicy, being bright red in color, the spices were just right. The red colour is just a result of the tomatoes used to make this flavourful dish. The minced mutton gravy with pieces of mutton on bones was excellent.

Baldev dhaba also has vegetarian dishes- chana dal, matar paneer, kadi, rajma – all priced at Rs 20 for half a plate and the rotis are Rs 3 per piece.

I mopped the plate filled with gravy and came home satisfied discussing with my foodie friend about the myriad of new options in the food market. In the coming days, I am sure we are going to explore more! And eat even 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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Kashmiri Kebab Wala

Kashmiri Kebab Wala

By Anubhav Sapra

Where – T-point Phatak Teliya, Turkman Gate

The raging debate on ‘intolerance’ in the country has taken the country by storm. However, far away in foodie land what remains unaffected is the food of Old Delhi. Such  a relief! The buff kebabs are grilled to be savoured by the food lovers of Delhi without any discrimination.

A family from East Pulwama, Kashmir has been selling buff kebabs for the past 74 years in Turkman Gate, at a temporary set up, near the scrap market. Every winter, towards the end of November, this family travels to Delhi to sell kashmiri kebabs, just for four months. The shop which is open between 12 noon to 10 pm is located at the T-point of Phatak Teliya, Turkman Gate.

IMG_20151129_192131Started by Ghulam Mohd, the little shack is now run by the father son duo- Md. Yusuf and Md. Bilal. His other two sons- Mustafa and Sameer sell the same Kashmiri kebabs at Motor Market, opposite Jama Masjid. Md. Yusuf sits besides the scrap of photostat machines with a grill and a small fan to churn the buff kebabs. While Bilal puts the minced meat over the skewer, Yusuf grills it to perfection.

From young to old, Yusuf seems to be everyone’s favourite. The bond is so strong that any localite, if in Kashmir, stays at Yusuf’s place. When I reached there, I saw a kid relishing kebabs straight from the skewers. Within few minutes, another man came who asked this kid to recognize Yusuf bhai. I have captured the joy of this little one relishing kebabs in a video as well (obviously, with his due assent and the guardian’s consent to it). In the words of Yusuf, it is the “mohabbat” of the locals here that acts as a pull for his family to come every year in the winters.

IMG_20151129_191852The kebab is a bit different from the regular ones we get on the streets of Old Delhi. The keema is red in colour, not finely grounded, and contains fewer spices. Md Yusuf brings his own spices from Kashmir; in fact even the garlic and ginger are brought from Kashmir. The kebab is not soft or melt-in-mouth kind, but it is flavoured with finesse. I loved it to the core and for a moment, I could relate myself with the little boy who stood there relishing kebabs straight from the skewer. If I was an Old Delhi child, that would be me! A plate which costs Rs 10 is served with radish and green coriander sauce. One can always ask for Romali roll which is just Rs 13 per roll. A seekh kebab is rolled on a romali roti, doused with chutney and slices of radish to create a bundle of happiness.

There is another Kashmiri Kebab wala who sits at Bulbuli Khana in Jama Masjid. He works as a peon in a school in Kashmir and will be here in Delhi in another week to grill kebabs for the locals. Eagerly awaiting his arrival as I dream of kebabs!

 

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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12 Chittaranjan Park Eateries To Try This Durga Puja

12 Chittaranjan Park Eateries To Try This Durga Puja

With Durga Puja kicking off, there is no better time to visit this mini-Kolkata of South Delhi, where you can pay homage to the goddess as well as to Bengali cuisine. And if you think that all you’ll find are sandesh and fish dishes, you are very mistaken. Delhi Food Walks decided to take a little trip down the gallis of Chittaranjan Park (named after the patriot or deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das) to bust this myth and to guide you to the best places for delicious Bengali specialities. Most eateries in Market 1 are located in a single file; you can stop and sample as you walk down the lane and breathe in tantalising whiffs of mustard and fish.

Nearest metro station:Nehru Place from the Violet line and then auto ride to Market 2.

When to visit: After 6pm, for an evening of merriment!

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Raju Puchka Wala

Location: Near Canara Bank, Market 1

We started off with puchkas (the Bengali iteration of golgappas) sold by Raju who hails from Bihar’s Kishanganj district. For the last 20 years, Raju has been delighting customers with fried wheat puchkas filled with a spicy mixture of jeera, coriander, black pepper, green chillies, potatoes and black chana (most golgappas in Delhi are filled with saunth and made of suji rather than wheat). He also sells a Bengali variant of the ubiquitous aloo chaat – aloo kabli is made of boiled potatoes, tamarind water, chickpeas, green chillies, onions, masala, and salt. Chaat lovers should also try the churmur, which is rather like a hybrid of puchkas and aloo kabli. It’s a tangy, crunchy and sweet concoction featuring chickpeas, tamarind water, boiled potatoes, crushed puchkas, green chillies, cilantro and black chana.

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Ghughnee Wala

Location: Opposite Kolkata Biryani House, Market 1

At Shyamal Barua’s stall, the signboard advertises both momos and ghughnee, but it’s the latter that you’re really here for. Mr Barua proudly exclaims that his mother is the master chef behind the finger-licking ghughnee which he has been serving since 2003. An extremely popular snack in Bengal and in parts of Bihar and Orissa, ghughnee is a curry made of chickpeas (motor in Bengali) that are soaked in water overnight. There’s a veg version as well as one with minced mutton.

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Kolkata Hot Kathi Roll

Location: Shop No 8, Market 1

We can forgive the owners for misspelling “kati rolls” as “kathi rolls”, a mistake made by most people outside of Kolkata where the dish originated at Nizam Restaurant; the word kati means skewers in Bengali and was applied to kebabs and then to kebabs wrapped in paranthas. You’ll find a wide range of mutton, chicken and paneer rolls here, but it also serves up prawn cutlets, veg chops, Mughlai paranthas, barbecued meats, shawarma and even a small selection of Chinese dishes among a host of other preparations. Don’t get too distracted, though – the rolls are what stand out, livened up by different sauces, including the mustard-and-raw-mango kashundi, a secret masala and chopped onions. Perfect.

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Roll ‘N’ Roast

Location: Shop No 7, Market 1

This place is right next to Kolkata Hot Kathi Roll and provides head to head competition to its neighbour, serving many of the same dishes. Their menu claims “Delicious Start Right Here” and they aren’t far off the mark. They are famous for their Chinese specialities (let’s not forget that Kolkata is considered to be the birthplace of Indian-Chinese cuisine) as well as their chops and kobirajicutlets. We highly recommend the Chinese chat which comes with a variety of toppings and a choice of either noodles or rice. For just Rs 200, a non-veg platter will allow you to sample Schezwan chicken (our fave), lemon chicken, chilly chicken, garlic chicken, chicken wings, chicken Manchurian and sweet ‘n’ sour chicken. The veg platter, on the other hand, costs Rs 120 and includes veg Manchurian, chilli paneer, crispy chilli potato, crispy honey potato, and mix veg salt ‘n’ pepper.

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Mad About Momos

Location: Near Evergreen Properties, Market 1

You’ll be spoiled for choice with the myriad types of momos served here — chicken, veg, paneer, soya, steamed, fried or tandoori. The beautiful little stall is made from bamboo sticks and also uses a traditional bamboo basket for steaming the momos – not a common sight in Delhi. It also differs from most other purveyors of momos in the city in that the dumplings are made of whole-wheat rather than white flour. Besides, have you ever seen momos shaped like a fish or a samosa? The fresh, hot momos are served with mayonnaise and a drool-worthy sauce made from butter, sugar, red chillies, tomatoes and onions. There are three other branches of Mad About Momos in Amar Colony, Central Market and Pocket 8 Vasant Kunj.

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A N R Chakraburti’s Pakora Stall

Location: Near Kendra Bhandar, Market 1

The shop traces its origin to 1971, the time when Chittaranjan Park was just a piece of land allotted to displaced people from East Pakistan. For lunch, they serve rice served with either egg (Rs 40) or fish (Rs 60).

Their aloo chop (pronounced alloor chop in Bangla), bread pakoras, beguni , chop pakora, mirchi pakora and onion pakora make for perfect evening telebhajas (fried snacks), best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea.

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Kamala Sweet Shop

Location: K-1/101, Market 1

Prabir Kumar Mukherji, the proud owner of Kamla Sweets, has been successfully operating for past 30 years. Here you can sample the quintessential misti doi (sweetened curd), available in traditional mud pots of different sizes (100gm to 1kg), as well as Bengal’s most famous dessert, sandesh (the “a” is pronounced as “o”) in different shapes, sizes and colours. Their conch- and fish-shaped sandesh are masterpieces and the steamed version (bhapa sandesh) guarantees love at first bite to the sweet-toothed. Other specialities on the menu include chum chum, dudh pulisita bhog, chandrapuli, rosogolla, bundi laddoo and lobongo lotika. You can also try chhena poda (Rs 500 for a kg), a caramelised cheese sweet that actually originated in Orissa. I you visit around breakfast you can also try savouries like khasta kachori, matar kachori and radhaballabhi (urad daal stuffed in a puri); they also make beetroot chops, a rare delicacy in this part of the country.

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Vivek Tea Stall

Location: Behind Mother Dairy, Market 1

Don’t be deceived by the name. This game-changer of a stall not only serves tea or “cha” but also cold coffee with ice-cream and dry fruits, hot coffee (pick from Nescafe, Bru and Davidoff), hot chocolate Bournvita and a variety of teas — lemon, tulsi (green), Arabian, jasmine, among others.

The best part about this ‘cha’ stall is that you can have your tea customised to your taste. His lemon cha was the highlight for us – it contains a flavourful medley of amla, black salt, black pepper, jeera syrup and Hajmola that will cause an explosion of flavours in your mouth.

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Vikas Bishwas — Jhaal Muri Waala

Location: Market 2

His fame speaks for itself as crowds throng his stall. With a genial smile on his face he tells us that he been known as the jhaal muri wala of CR park for the past 12 years. Hailing from Krishnanagar in Kolkata, Vikas started off as a shopkeeper at Annapurna Sweets, but now specialises in all things tangy and spicy. He reels off his specialities in a breathless monotone: ghugni, ankur chaat, aloo kabli, bhel puriand, of course, jhaal muri which he sells for Rs 20 only. Do try his mouthwatering mutton ghugni – a hot chickpea curry with minced mutton served with a garnish of onion, tomato and cucumber.

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Annapurna Sweet House

Location: Shop No 38, Market 2

A former accountant at Shaw Wallace, Mr Benoy Majumdar, has been running this place since 1984. Their star dishes include chhena jalebi(a jalebi made of cottage cheese instead of flour and with a taste quite similar to a gulab jamun; Rs 140/kg); the enticing jal bhara sandesh(a sandesh with a liquid centre); kheer puli (a doughy sweet dish made predominantly of kheer that melts in your mouth like a soufflé; Rs160/kg).
They also serve every Bengali’s favourite breakfast dish – radhaballabhi, a puri stuffed with dal and veggies.
Want further proof of their popularity? They often stay open well past the closing time of 10pm because the orders just don’t stop coming.

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Dadu Cutlet Shop

Location: Shop No 9, Market 2

Opened by Narender Mistri, affectionately called Dadu, in 1992, the shop is now managed by his son Shyam Mistri. Their fried bhetki fish is fried to crisp perfection (the audible crunch as bite in is evidence) and their famous egg devil chop is sin on a plate: hardboiled egg filled with cooked egg yolk and potato all wrapped up in crispy bread crumbs. The Mughlai paranthas are yummy too, and their samosas (calledsingharas) contain a unique filling dominated by coconut and chickpeas.

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Maa Tara Restaurant

Location: Shop No 45, 46, 47, Market 2

Located in the back alley of the market, this small restaurant specialises in authentic Bengali cuisine. Subhrojit, the son of the owners — Manju and SR Dutta, who are originally from Kolkata — proudly narrates the story of how his parents set up the restaurant about 19 years ago. The Maa Tara Special Thali consists of an assortment of dishes, out of which the mutton kasha shines out. Paired with luchi (puffy flour bread), the tender meat with just the right balance of spices will leave you asking for more. The mustard fish curry stands out too. Fish lovers can choose from pomfret, ilish, chitol, rehu and more — all for under Rs 400. Vegetarians must try the postor bada – a pakora with poppy seeds.

Image Courtesy: Mehak Dhawan and Sabhyata Badhwar

(With inputs from Neha Chandra and Kawal Chandhok)

“A collaborative project of Delhi Food Walks and Spoon University on Delhi Street Food Series that brings you the best of both worlds- expertise and love for food.”

This article was published in Huffington Post India- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/delhi-food-walks/12-chittaranjan-park-eate_b_8318836.html

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.