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Tea Trails

TEA TRAILS

By Prakriti Bhat

While Delhi is full of restaurants, pubs and cafes, there are places that tend to stand out in a crowd. With its pleasant ambience and concept, Tea Trails Bistro creates an aura of tranquility in the midst of the ever bustling Connaught Place. Done up in hues of white, aqua blue and green with wooden upholstery, it is one of those rare places in CP which bespeaks comfort and has a languid demeanour. Tea Trails is a well known name in Mumbai from where the saga began in 2013. Since then the franchise has successfully opened up many branches in Hyderabad Chennai and Mumbai itself.

IMG_4823The menu comprises of over 80 varieties of teas ranging from Green Tea, Black Tea and Herbal Tea to Tea Mocktails. The USP of this place is the use of tea leaves in their food as well. Fermented tea leaves are used as a garnishing ingredient in some of their dishes like bruschettas and salads. Another unique quality of this place is that they use whole tea leaves in preparing all their teas rather than using condensed forms like powder or tea bags. This brings out the flavor properly and the quality of the end product is not compromised.

Gazpacho, a Spanish cold soup is served as a welcome drink here. Fresh cubes of tomato, black pepper and finely chopped coriander blend in to give you a taste of Spain. This was served in shot glasses. All their teas are served in an extremely organized manner with a kettle, tea cup and plate, small spoon and a Palmiers cookie (which was amazing). Each tray also has a sandglass as the servers explained that a good Green tea like Kehwa requires a steeping time of about 2 minutes while Black Teas require 4 minutes. In contrast to Green tea which is bland but healthy, Black tea is not very healthy but has a strong flavor. The Kehwa was good but I did not relish the Black Tea which had a distinct smoky flavor.

IMG_4830Amongst the Chais, I tried the 5 spices chai which was definitely my favourite among all the hot variants. Made with spices like Cardamom, Cloves and Ginger, it was served in a glass cup with a Palmier cookie. Every spice made its presence felt. It would be the ideal choice for a relaxed winter evening. Amongst the cold teas, you must definitely try their Litchi Bubble tea which is like a pop of flavour in your mouth. While Sangrias are usually made with wine, Tea Trails has introduced a Tea Sangria made with herbal tea and Cranberry juice with small pieces of apple floating on the top.

Gulkand Bun Maska is basically an Iranian Snack where a fruity bun is buttered with Gulkand Maska. It is light on the stomach. Eggs Kejriwal is a popular snack in Mumbai. The name comes from Mr. Daya Prasad Kejriwal who would bring a snack of Pav and Omelette to the gymkhana. A lightly fried Omelette is placed on a buttered Pav and sprinkled with finely chopped onions, green chilies and red chilli powder. It is delicious and quite filling as well. The Green Tea Bruschetta, one of their specialties is made with onions, bell peppers and fermented green tea leaves. For the health freaks there’s Burmese Tea Salad prepared with Lettuce, nuts and fermented tea leaves. It tastes best with the dressing that comes with it.

IMG_4842Vada Pav was definitely the highlight of our meal. A fluffy vada made with boiled and mildly spiced potatoes was pressed between Pav breads smeared with green chutney. Smoked Chicken Sandwich had a distinct flavor of the barbeque sauce used for dressing the chicken. Among Desserts you have to try their Choco Chip Muffin which is quite big and mouth watering. The Dutch Truffle comes with a scoop of Vanilla Ice cream on top and the combo is delightful. Plating for both the desserts is pretty impressive.

If you like to have your cuppa in solitude, Tea Trails is the place to be.

Address- Shop 9, Scindia House, Opposite N Block, CP

Cost for two- Rs. 850 (approx)

Contact No. – 01133106292

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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38 barracks

38 Barracks

Ayushi Mathur

Connaught Place is not only a favourite amongst Delhiites, it is also a well known and talked about attraction all across India. Its reputation is backed by a multitude of restaurants, cafes and clubs which offer a variety of food and beverage options. In a buzzing hub like Connaught Place, hundreds of restaurants open and shut down each year which encourages restaurant owners to come up with unique ideas. An astounding opening that hit Connaught Place earlier this year has to be 38 Barracks, located in M-Block outer circle.

The brain child of Mixologist Mr. Kumar Sambhav and Chef Mr. Gautam Chaudhary, 38 Barracks is a true marvel both in terms of its concept and the food it offers. Inspired by the achievements of a real-life colonel, 38 Barracks pays homage to the glorious army life. The walls are decorated with real guns, rifles, trophies and medals of the colonel. There are also black and white pictures of the army giving the customers an antique and historical feel.

FullSizeRender-3Most of the items on the menu are named in military style going well with the concept of the restaurant. The food at the restaurant is exceptionally sumptuous as well as fairly economical. The restaurant offers a wide variety of delicious vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Among the vegetarian starters, I had the chance to try their Paneer Tikka Barrels. Cut innovatively in the shape of tiny barrels, these tikkas were full of Indian flavours which might be a little spicy for some. The tikkas were served with a small glass of a palate cleanser to wash the spices down. While skin platter is an absolute delight for all potato lovers like me, another fun starter to try is their Soldier’s Mirchi Wada which is served with fresh vegetable salad and two different dips.

FullSizeRender-4On the other hand, the non-vegetarian menu was very extensive catering to different cravings. For those who prefer fish, Clash of Clans is a must try. It is a platter that offers two completely different fish items, one being the English favourite fish and chips and other the Punjabi achari fish tikka. However this unique combination is topped by their unilateral grilled Salmon, the dish I absolutely fell in love with. It is a salmon fillet grilled from only one side for a long time letting the heat cook the entire fish slowly. It is served with baby potatoes and grilled vegetables that compliment its flavour extremely well. For those who crave chicken, the smoked chicken and scarmoza risotto is to die for. It is very rare that someone nails a risotto but this was perfection!

Apart from the lip smacking food they offer, the cocktails at 38 Barracks are not to be missed out on. Aside from the huge variety of cocktails on their menu, they also make custom cocktails with the freshest of ingredients like seasonal fruits. For those who like a sweet sip, their mango margarita is a must have during summers. Overall, my experience was amazing and I definitely recommend this place to all the readers.

Address: 38 M-Block Outer circle, Connaught Place

Cost for two: Rs. 1200

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 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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UNPLUGGED COURTYARD

UNPLUGGED COURTYARD

By Prakriti Bhat

Connaught place has opened up many dining options for food lovers. From single cuisine restaurants and cafes to international brands and pubs, CP has it all. However, Unplugged Courtyard is one place that stands apart from the cluster of eateries in its vicinity. With a huge courtyard replete with a tree and comfortable canopies and table chair arrangement, the place promises an exquisite dining experience with a beautiful décor and an expansive menu.

The restaurant offers 3 kinds of seating arrangements. You could go for the dimly lit interiors that give off a party feel or the al fresco dining area, the courtyard. There is a huge tree surrounded by a parapet where you can sit and enjoy a leisurely chat with your friends. They also have a rooftop seating that opens after 6 p.m.

Unplugged Courtyard is a star when it comes to starters and drinks. They have a mind blowing range of innovative cocktails and a few of them also employ techniques of molecular gastronomy. Roji has a strong flavor of Gin and is served in a vessel traditionally used to store pickles. The drink is topped with crushed ice, litchi and Star aniseed. Ginger sour is basically Whisky Sour but shreds of Japanse Ginger-Gari are mixed with it to add a twist. The Giardino comes propped up in a lantern; vapours emanating from the bottom. Virgin Mojito was quite refreshing and served in a tall Jack and Daniels glass. Peanut butter and chocolate shake came in a goblet shaped glass and was lip smacking.

Ganna Chicken at Unplugged Courtyard
Ganna Chicken

Paneer Ka Ghosla was made with Chilli Paneer in the fried ‘ghosla’ an blanketed  by a cheese slice. Spring Rolls were okayish; the exterior not being crunchy enough. Red Bull Sakahari Croquettes was absolutely scrumptious. These were basically cheese rolls, batter fried and served with a syringe that held a unique concoction of Red Bull and Mayonnaise.

Amongst Non-Veg starters, Amritsari Fish n chips and Dynamite prawns were my favourite. Usually, the fish in fish n chips is quite thick. But here the pieces of fish were quite sleek since that is how Amritsari fish is prepared. Dynamite Prawns came in a red box which read ‘Danger’. They were the perfect combo of soft and crunchy. Mutton Shish Kebabs were spherical kebabs made with minced meat and served with tiny papads and a curry. Ande Ka Funda was the craziest dish here! Artificial egg shells held a mixture of chicken, herbs and a gelatinous yolk-like substance (which I just couldn’t decode!)

Brai Grills at Unplugged Courtyard, CP
Brai Grills

For main course I went all Italian and ordered a Chicken Ravioli in White sauce. The dish did not meet my expectations as the Raviolli kept falling apart and the sauce could definitely have been better. Turkey Ham pizza lacked cheese and meat. For Dessert we tried Brownie Pakora with whipped cream which was completely out of the box and super delicious. But the anti grill lollies were the showstoppers. Chocolate, Kiwi abd Strawberry syrups are poured on an ice slab which maintains a temperature of -29 degrees Celsius with the help of liquid nitrogen. These are then stuck to plastics sticks on which they can be enjoyed.

Unplugged Courtyard is the perfect date spot with the canopies and the perfect place for catching up with your pals over a drink. The molecular gastronomy only makes it better. It is a blessed addition to Connaught Place!

Address-  L- 23/7, Near Odeon Cinema, Connaught Place

Cost for two- Rs. 1600

Contact No.- 01133107701

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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Cafe Dalal Street

Cafe Dalal Street – M Block Connaught Place

                       -Ayushi Mathur

Interiors-249 copyIn some respects, Cafe Dalal Street is the most exciting opening to hit Delhi this year. As the name suggests, the restaurant presents a unique way of serving drinks ranging from cocktails to smoothies. The price of each drink is based on a demand and supply model. The higher the demand of a drink, higher is the price and vice versa. With hundreds of cafes coming up each year, the sensex based pricing of drinks at Cafe Dalal street definitely ousts the monotony. It is not only the pricing that is different; the bar also has some unusual cocktails to offer. One of the drinks that caught my interest was The White Wine Zing Spritzer, a concoction of white wine, gin, peppers, jalapeno and strawberries. However outlandish it may sound, this drink is undeniably a treat for cocktail lovers like myself.

Chicken-Gol-Gappa-1Not to worry foodies, this place has got your interests covered too. Cafe Dalal street head Chef, Mr. Hemant Kumar has crafted an enticing multi-cuisine menu that brings an extraordinary range of finger food to the table. The idea behind the food was to give the customers a fun menu to go with the drinks and my experience was definitely amusing. I started my culinary adventure with Butter chicken golgappas, which being an original  creation combines the everyday street food with north Indian all time favourite butter chicken. The traditional potato stuffing is substituted with diced chicken chunks served with tangy butter chicken curry and this appetizer is simply ambrosial. I also had the chance to try wasabi prawns and jalapeno poppers. The jalapeno poppers are stuffed with an admixture of Cheddar and Gouda cheese along with jalapenos and olives. The poppers are served with sweet and spicy salsa containing honey which gives it a unique flavour. The wasabi prawns were the right balance of crispy and soft. Even though, it is always difficult to find fresh seafood in a non-coastal city like Delhi, the prawns served at the restaurant taste incredibly fresh.

The allure of this joint does not end with food and drinks. The staff is extremely amiable and alert to the needs of the customer. The ambience of the restaurant is very welcoming as well. The cafe is lit with dim orange-red light and the music is not very loud in the sitting area, working well for a perfect lunch or dinner conversation over drinks. If all this doesn’t excite you already, let me tell you that this is one of the few places in Connaught Place that also has a dance floor.

Cafe Dalal Street is a place that truly gives you the 100% feeling. The ambience is good, the food is great and the concept is exciting and so this joint will definitely be on top of my recommendation list to anybody looking for a fun experience in Delhi.

Location: M-89/90 M Block, outer circle, Connaught Place

Cost for two: INR 1000

What to look out for: The new limited summer menu that includes refreshing dishes with ingredients like mango.

 

 

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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3 Of Connaught Place’s Sweetest Secrets

3 Of Connaught Place’s Sweetest Secrets

By: Aradhana Dwivedi-Verma, Anubhav Sapra

The history and origins of the delectable delight that is the rasgulla, has always been a subject for heated debates, but its existence is nothing but a divine blessing for us. And what’s more, eastern India is not the only region that can lay claim to making the best ones. New Delhi’s Connaught Place, an exuberant shopping and eating hub, has a sinful little underbelly that not everyone is aware of. Hidden among the boutiques and swanky restaurants are street stalls selling the most delectable rasgullas and other sweet treats. Sweetening the deal even further are the throwaway prices.

1. Lalji

An amiable gentleman with a kind face, Lalji has occupied his corner of Connaught Place’s H Block for close to 40 years. In the summer months, customers flock to his modest stall to cool down with rasgullas, ice cream and rabdi.

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Originally from Gorakhpur, Lalji lives in Nabi Karin, Paharganj, and earlier sold ice cream in Satyanarayan Katra, Chandni Chowk. Although he makes the ice cream himself, he sources the rabdi from Hathras; it is made by two brothers named Bablu and Mukesh, who also supply it to Haldiram’s, says Lalji with quiet amusement.

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The rasgullas at this stall are sweet and juicy, and the rabdi (Rs 10 for a cup), is sweet, textured and melts in the mouth. It is sold through the year, though the Lalji sets aside the ice cream and succulent rasgullas after Diwali, replacing them with gulab jamuns and gajar ka halwa.

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Find it here: Next to Punjab Sindh Bank, H Block, Connaught Place
Contact: 8800123521

Lalji sets up his stall at noon each day and leaves at 9pm.

2. Sajan Lal

The first thing that strikes you about Sajan Lal’s shop is the array of posters depicting benevolent colourful deities smiling down upon his trays of rasmalai, kulfi, rabdi, faluda and rasgullas.

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Sajan Lal is from Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, but has been living in Delhi since 1982. Like Lalji, he too buys his rabdi from Bablu and Mukesh, but makes his rasgullas and ice cream himself.

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As he makes you a faluda-kulfi (swiftly going through the steps — ice cream, faluda, chashni, rabdi, ice cream again and a deft dash of Rooh Afza) he tells you that he lives in Paharganj, as do many others in his trade.

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When you’re here, do try the rasmalai; it is soft, flavourful and utterly beautiful to behold. If you’re craving something salty, ask for the dhoklas. The dhoklas are a recent addition to the menu (it was his first day of selling dhoklas on the day of the interview); he is looking to add variety

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The best thing he makes is the rasmalai; it is soft, flavourful and utterly beautiful to behold.

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Sajan Lal sets up shop at 10am, and stays till around 8.30pm, which is when his stock usually runs out.

Find it here: Near Bank of Baroda, M Block, Connaught Place
Contact: 9953939342

3. Sanjay Agarwal’s stall

Sanjay Agarwal runs a stall near Barakhamba Road metro station, selling faluda, rabdi, kulfi and rasgullas. It is probably one of the most famous sweet stalls in CP, if not all of Delhi – before Sanjay hopped on board, his father had been running it for 40 years.

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The place is always crowded, with people asking for their favourite desserts.
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Unlike most other vendors, he breaks a rasgulla into half before serving it to you, and when you express surprise upon learning that he too lives in Paharganj and buys his rabdi from Bablu and Mukesh, he tells you that this is no coincidence. Lalji is his brother-in-law and Sajan Lal is his father’s younger brother. In shop number 53, Shankar Market, sits Rampher, Lalji’s brother. He only sells faluda kulfi, says Sanjay Agarwal.

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Agarwal’s most legendary dish is the slightly tangy faluda; he explains that while the others use only mango ice cream, they use mango and vanilla. He also explains that their ice cream is the best because they churn the milk more.
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In the winter months, they sell moong dal ka halwa.

Find it here: Outside Exit 6, Barakhamba Road Metro Station
Contact: 7834897696

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.

Picture Courtesy: Aakanksha Joshi

This article was published in HuffPost India. Here is the link- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/delhi-food-walks/3-of-connaught-places-swe_b_8101412.html

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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Depaul’s

                 Depaul’s: The perfect blend of culture & consistency

                               By: Shagun Nayar

11942278_900779169991723_400259581_nThe Cosmetics, Coffee & Snack Shop located on 22 Janpath , Indian Oil Bhavan Corridor is an institution in itself.It stands tall and proud as one of the few remaining old haunts of Dilwaalon ki Dilli. Known widely for its perfect blend of frothy cold coffee & consistency throughout the years, it has managed to withstand the big bad wolves like CCD, Costa, Barista & Starbucks. 

I can say with utter confidence that there does not exist any true Dilliwaala who hasn’t visited the infamous Depaul’s. The name itself is sure to stir up conversations stemming from fond memories and nostalgia between friends, students, colleagues and thinkers. Be it discussing philosophy & politics right in the middle of the capital city or whiling away time after bunking lectures to getting that much needed kick of caffeine after the endless bargaining at Janpath, Depaul’s has managed to be everyone’s first choice in the bustling market of Janpath & Connaught Place.

The reason why Depaul’s has successfully continued and further strengthened its legacy is because it emits an aura of permanence & culture in an otherwise fast-paced world where producers are driven not by their craft but by their desire to be number 1.

11948237_900778756658431_1615926665_nFounded in 1952 by Mister Dharam Pal Kathpalia, it was more than a distant dream. Surprisingly, hailing from a prominent family Mr. Dharam Pal never got the approval from his father on starting a business venture because his father was sceptical of “business” as a promising occupation. On having been conferred with the ‘Rai Sahab’ designation by the British Officials, he didn’t like the sight of his son leaving a possible future in administration/governance for something as risky or unstable as a business venture.

The lovely Mr. Ashwani Kathpalia; second generation of the family business who was personally attending to all his customers with a beaming smile was more than willing to share with me the history of Depaul’s and how it came into being. So, with absolutely no family support and very little money, Mr.Dharam Pal had no other alternative but to start from scratch by selling mere objects as a street vendor. Subsequently, as a result of his hard work & will power, he opened his very own cosmetics shop in the posh neighbourhood of Janpath where he was joined by his two real brothers & that’s how the family business came into being. After being relocated from the original Depaul’s which was located on the corridor along the main road to its present location in 19 70 , the enthusiastic entrepreneurs of the Kathpalia family expanded their business from a cosmetics shop to a booming beverages corner in 19 68 & that is the story behind their first ever bottle of cold coffee. A decade and a half down the line, the owners decided to further expand and transform Depaul’s to a well stocked shop with Cosmetics, Cold Coffee and a range of Food Items owing to its sheer popularity and prime location.

Depaul’s now houses under its name, The Original Cosmetics Shop, Cold Coffee Corner, An elaborate Snacks Bar with Burgers, Grilled Sandwiches, Korma Sandwiches, Momo’s, Patty’s & their famous Cheese Balls.

Staying true to the principle of customer satisfaction, Depaul’s has managed to keep up with the changing trends by introducing a fresh range of flavoured cold coffees. You can now order anything from a Regular bottle of Cold Coffee to Mocha/Chocolate/Hazelnut/Almond/Sugar Free Cold coffee.

For all those of you who last visited this humble institution in your good old college days or those of you who are new to this beautiful city , head out to what in my opinion is a heritage coffee shop & travel back in time where the coffee is always premium and the quality is always consistent.

Phone Number: 011-23328214

Price for 2: Rs. 150-200

 

 

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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Ashwini ji ke Peepey wale Chole Kulche

Ashwini ji ke Peepey wale Chole Kulche

By Anubhav Sapra

IMG_20150730_141726I remember, once while reading the newspaper I came across this article which said that there are almost 250 cafes and restaurants in Connaught Place. Many come and shut down after some time and the shutters remain unnoticed. In midst of that, there are a few street food joints selling amazing dishes uninterruptedly for many years. One of them is Ashwini’s chole kulche (Mob. 9953085746) at the corner of MCD’s Anti Malaria office. The location might not sound attractive but his chole indeed is worth relishing.

It was Ashwini’s father, Late Prakash Sharma who set up this shop in CP. Ashwini ji used to accompany his father every day and assist him. In 1988, while he was pursuing the graduate program from Delhi University, his father passed away and he took over the shop to make both ends meet .From 1988 to 2007, the Committee staff was against him for running this shop. However, he filed a case in court and eventually got the permission to operate his shop.

IMG_20150730_135357Interestingly, the chole is cooked in Lahori style, without oil. The chane is boiled in ghee ka kanaster and then homemade spices are mixed into it. It is famously known as Peepee wale (cans of ghee)chole as the chole is boiled for almost 5 hours  in empty ghee cans on slow wood fire. The can is changed every 15 days as “the quality of the cans is not up to the mark as it used to be” remarks Ashwini ji.

The shop is open from 12 noon to 4 pm. Ashwini ji pedals his cycle for two hours in the morning with a big aluminium can filled with hot Chole from Wazirabad and reaches the spot at 12 noon. A plate of chole with three kulcha’s costs Rs 20/-. You can ask for bhaturas as well.

The chole is mixed with brown pudina ka paani(thick mint water). The mint leaves are sourced from Chintapurni, hometown of Ashwini ji in Himachal Pradesh. They are dried and grounded to powder form so as to later add it in the chole. Finally, the chole is garnished with onion and lemon juice.

The concoction of all these makes the chole a bit spicy, but that’s how the locals like it. The gravy was just perfect to be mopped up with fluffy kulchas. I liked the lahori style chole with thick gravy and a punch of mint water. I relished it to the core!

What intrigued me the most at his shop was that people from different sections of society ranging from homeless citizens and shoe polishers to office guards to college students and office goers, all relishing chole kulche, at one place. It seemed to be a perfect example of the equal world which we all wish to see.

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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ULTIMATE DESI TWIST

ULTIMATE DESI TWIST

By Prakriti Bhat

I remember, as a kid, the only condiment that fitted with every kind of food was ketchup. I am not very fond of tomatoes but a veg cutlet or stuffed bread would be incomplete without tomato ketchup. Kissan has been a leading ketchup brand, spreading smiles since 1933. The company has a huge fan-base amongst children who swear by their jams, squashes and ketchups. Since ketchups are not very spicy, they compliment kids’ meals. Now, Kissan has launched two new flavours-‘Chilly Tomato’ and ‘Sweet & Spicy’ to tingle your taste buds.

What happens when two popular brands come together? They conjure a heavenly combination which has the best of both worlds. Kissan and Pizza Hut join hands to bring to you ‘The Ultimate Big Pizza’ spiced by Kissan Twist, which was unveiled at their Connaught Place branch. It is BIG in size and high on taste. And the best part-it is priced at a decent rate of Rs.199 for vegetarian pizzas and Rs. 249 for non-vegetarian pizzas.

The event began with several interactive activities. Head Chef at Pizza Hut, Arjyo Banerjee demonstrated how a pizza is actually made and we got a rare opportunity to create our own pizzas! The next activity required people to be blindfolded and then identify different ingredients/toppings using their sensory organs. Chef Arjyo kept up everyone’s spirits with his jovial demeanour. It was a fun filled session.

The meal began with an array of drinks. Orange Spritzer was a rejuvenating cooler. It tasted a bit different from the regular drinks with the soda bringing a whole new element to it and had a citrus flavour. Other drinks included Masala Lemonade, Mojito and soft drinks. This was followed by a round of starters including different types of garlic bread. Pizza Hut is well known for its mouth watering, cheesy garlic bread. They, quite successfully, ‘twisted’ the regular garlic bread recipe by topping it with slices of chicken salami, staying true to their ‘ultimate twist’ theme.

20150613_130544What makes The Ultimate Big Pizza different? First of all, the crust is thinner than their widely popular Pan Pizza and enhances your experience since the focus is shifted from the base to the toppings and sauces. One bite into this delicious pizza is enough to lift your spirits. Moreover, the new Kissan sauces lend a tangy flavor to the pizzas. The vegetarian version of The Ultimate Big Pizza is blessed with generous toppings like paneer, corn, onions, olives and jalapenos while the non vegetarian version is topped with chicken keema, chicken sausage chunks, capsicum and paprika. These pizzas will in fact suit the children’s taste buds since they are not extremely fiery as the sauce maintains a balance of spices.

The meal came to a pleasing end with their chocolate dessert. Layers of chocolate sponge cake and whipped cream; it couldn’t get better than this! It looked bewitching as they used choco twisters to decorate the dessert. In fact, presentation of all the dishes was par excellence.

I know where I am heading this weekend. Do you?

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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Lutyens Cocktail House

The British experience in the capital: Lutyens Cocktail House

By Aishaanyaa Tewari

Entering the chic interiors of Lutyens Cocktail House (LCH) at 22, Janpath, right opposite Le Meridian Hotel, brings a lot of promise of a luxurious dining experience. In a space set away from the bustling inner circles of Connaught Place where restaurants and cafes are fighting it out in a constant battle to win over palates, LCH is strategically positioned away from this competition telling its own story of British sophistication and elegance, serving the Delhi powerhouse comfort food and a fine dining experience.

Sitting with a bunch of other food reviewers on a sunny Sunday, one gets to hear stories from history that have found their narration in the designing of this dining house. Named after the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the restaurant is the brainchild of Priyank Sukhija and has been created with impeccable artistic care. The big hall that the place flaunts has been studded with circular mirrors on one wall that highlights the modernity interspersed with framed plans of the architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhawan and bird’s eye view sketches of different buildings and areas designed by Lutyens. From the teak panelling to the chairs bearing a wooden radial for a back rest is a tribute to the architect’s work and speciality.

 The open square bar station smack dab right in the middle of the hall highlights what LCH has the best to offer ‘infused cocktails’. Having tried two out of the seven to eight bold signature cocktails from the menu, I personally found the Perfume working for me more than the Citronus.  The former was a fragrant refreshment with a peach ice sorbet fused into rose wine with a hint of cardamom; the sweet heaviness of the wine that needed light whirring brought a cooling sweetness to it as the sorbet melted into the drink. The latter, however, was a tangy beverage with a sharp prick of vodka overridden by an overpowering infusion of syrupy orange candy and mace, garnished with lemongrass.

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Chic and minimal hanging glass fixtures and sunlight filtering through massive windows run the length of one wall overlooking one of the most posh areas in the heart of Delhi. They prepare this place not only for a sober brunch or formal luncheon during the light of the day but also add playfulness to the place in the evenings making it a fun bar and a venue for flamboyant cocktail parties. Visiting the place late in the morning, I opted to taste the special brunch menu. Eggs Benedict was my first order which is prepared by adding an egg in a cup to a pot of hot water and some vinegar. The poached egg is then put aloft a thick slice of crispy and sweet English muffin or bread, and topped with Hollandaise sauce that seeps right through the sponge, giving it a buttery and creamy texture throughout. The brilliance of the dish is in the simplicity of the taste, although Eggs Benedict is bound to leave you unsatisfied if you do not accompany it with a salad or a side dish. A bowl of Caesar salad that had been ordered by me earlier tempted me to be tried out along with it. The salad had less crunchy leaves of romaine and iceberg lettuce than I expected, with meagre shavings of Parmesan cheese underdressed by olive oil.

_MG_8911With an exotic music selection ranging from Spanish vocals being strummed to the guitar to Middle Eastern tunes lurking softly in the background, I waited rather long for my dishes to come and longed for the manager or the chef to accompany me on this visit and tell me more about the preparations, the unique techniques to make them if any, and why they tried certain textures and aromas together, one of them being mushroom risotto which hits you unguarded with an overwhelming, smoky, and strong flavour of mushrooms which may be unpleasant to some. Made with three kinds of mushrooms, namely button, porcini, and shitake, the stock prepared with the latter two seemed to be less flavoursome than the mushrooms themselves, and the rice undercooked. To try out another similar recipe I ordered beetroot risotto which was a cheerfully red and pink steaming preparation garnished with roasted beetroot pieces, asparagus, and a crispy beetroot cracker, which added a crunch to the well cooked Arborio rice. It was a great treat that left me craving for more.

_MG_8966The next dish that I tried was a sweet pancake with fresh cream and sliced bananas topped with icing, which was pretty leathery and dry while chewing and one would expect a more generous helping of cream with it. Following this, I tried chicken pancakes. The chunks of chicken were a bit hard to chew and were prepared simply with almost no spices, and hence lacked aroma while keeping its flavours light for brunch. The servings were enough for one to fill his or her stomach comfortably during that time of the day.

Right before the dessert course, my eyes caught the Lutyens pie in the menu which proved to be a wonderful last minute decision. The dish comprised of a marinated paprika chicken leg snuggled in a bowl with a layer of tastefully salted and roasted potato mash. The flavour of garlic and a lingering presence of cheese added to the pasty texture of the mash. It also magically aided me to savour the extremely well-cooked, soft and delicious meat. I would personally suggest a drink with the dish, not because of any dryness in the meat but rather to round up the experience this pie brings.

_MG_8923The desserts to my surprise were a winning bet, freshly prepared at their bakery in The Warehouse and not bought or ordered from other bakeries or makers. The banoffee cheesecake was a creamy and dense delight with a layer of walnuts accompanied with the rich flavour of coffee, caramelized bananas, and balanced by a finishing of toffee sauce and cherry. It is one of the best preparations in the menu as one can have to put a perfect end to the dining as it has this quality of making one feel of having indulged themselves. The tiramisu also proves itself to be one of the winners as it leaves your taste buds craving for more. The deliciously moist sponge adorned by a rich layer of cream was truly delectable, hiding away a tucked layer of coffee-flavoured cream.

J18A1577 Wrapping up the brunch, I took another look around the place which was adorned with coffee table books and travel guides; picturesque and pleasant to look at with its old clocks and miniature models of iconic cars. Remembering my LCH culinary journey on Robert Welsh cutlery, I set off wondering that although appetising, the food lacked recall value. With the brilliance and boldness that it shows in its desserts and cocktails respectively, LCH needs to adopt the same style in order to be able to improve its shortcomings in culinary preparations as well as the efficiency of its general services.

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.