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Sardar ji ke Poori choley

Sardar ji ke Poori choley

By Anubhav Sapra 

Despite the proximity of Daryaganj to Chawri Bazar and Chandni Chowk, the way food is prepared in these areas differ. While the food is mildly spiced in Daryaganj, in Delhi 6 it is hot and high on spices. Delhi Food Walks conducted its Sunday breakfast walks in these three places, and the highlight of the one at Daryaganj was Sardar ji’s Chole poori.

IMG_20150516_110704The shop was started by late Nand Singh ji and is currently being run by his son Kuku Singh. Originally from Rawalpindi, the family migrated to Delhi after the partition and shifted the shop to the current address on Ansari Road, Daryaganj, twelve years back. One can identify the shop by the board outside which reads, “Jeha Caterers” however the shop is well – known as Sardar ji ke poori choley ki dukan in Daryaganj.

At Sardarji’s shop, the menu changes as the day progresses. It starts with Poori Sabzi, offers rajma and kadi chawal in the afternoon and in the evening serves traditional snacks such as – samosa, kachori and jalebi.

IMG_20150516_105015This famous Sardar ji’s shop is proud of serving Punjabi poori. It is different from the regular Bedmi poori available in other places in Old Delhi. The dough of Bedmi poori, is made up of wheat and is coarse in texture. Whereas, the dough of Sardar ji’s punjabi poori is a mixture of wheat flour, white flour, ghee and salt. It is stuffed with urad dal ki pitthi (paste of yellow lentils), saunf (fennel seeds), jeera (cumin seeds), red chilies and the hing ka paani (asafetida water) and is deep fried in oil. The mixture of all the spices especially hing leaves the poori light and crisp and does not have any after effects like heart burn.

The aloo chole sabzi is mild in spices without onion, garlic and tomatoes. The sabzi is cooked in curd with masalas. The gravy of the sabzi is thick in texture and simply outstanding in taste : not too spicy, not too bland.

A plate of poori sabzi is accompanied with sitaphal ka achar (pumpkin pickles), sliced onions and methi ki chutney (fenugreek chutney). In winters, the pickles served are of gobhi and gajar (cauliflower and carrots). The pickles are also mild and light flavoured.

Apart from Poori choley, Sardarji’s shop also offers sweet malai lassi which is served in a kulhad and besan ke laddu. You can wash down the Poori choley with these if you find it spicy.

Cost of one plate Poori choley : Rs 30

Contact number of the shop owner : 9717031008

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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Select CITYWALK, My Square- the Food Court

Select CITYWALK, My Square- the Food Court

By Anubhav Sapra

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The temperature in Delhi has touched another high of 45.5 degrees. In this heat wave, the best place to relish the different varieties of food is at My Square, the food court in Select CITYWALK, Saket.

The interiors are nicely done with the Happily Unmarried store greeting the food lovers with its quirky and funny gifts. The food court is surrounded by the food stalls with the beverages and dessert section at the centre. The seating arrangements are well laid and quite comfortable. An area is marked for performances, where the food can be relished with a dose of entertainment.

Although not functional, the food court is set to attach an i pad to each table where the menu will be listed and the orders and payment can be made right there instead of standing in the queue. I got my My Square card recharged and explored the food court which has something to satisfy the taste buds of everyone across different age groups. From North Indian, Italian, Mexican to South Indian, the variety of delicacies on offer is huge.

The iconic and the best South Indian restaurant in Delhi, Sarvana Bhawan has opened its third outlet in Select City Walk after Connaught place and Janpath. The prices and quality of food is outstanding. The North Indian, Punjabi cuisine restaurant Pind Baluchi has good thali options.

The New York Style, wood fired, create your own customized Pizza at Fat Lulu and Mediterranean inspired Pita Pit’s healthy sandwiches are popular for quick food. For calorie conscious people, Lean Chef has an interesting menu. The calories of all the dishes are listed – from no oil, no fat veggie burger (387 Kcal) to chicken hummus burger (480 Kcal).

Moving from the low calories food at the Lean Chef one can find The Toddy Shop where the food is rich in calories. The menu at The Toddy Shop has been curated from the Chef’s family kitchen, old Syrian Christian households, and from Hindu and Muslim hearths across Kerala.

The other food joints in the food court are Rrala’s Habibi, Lebanese and Moroccan specialty and the famous Mexican grill – Mex it up. At the corner of the food court is a food truck- Wanchai by Kylin serving the most famous street food of Delhi, Momos, noodles and other bowl meals.

For street food lovers, SS on the go has Chowpatty Pav bhaji, Bombay Sev puri and Purani Dilli’s famous breakfast dish Bedmi aloo and Chole bhature.

At the centre is a beverage, desserts and candies section. There is Refuel to fuel your body with shakes, smoothies and fresh juices, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf serves beverages that is going to rejuvenate one’s soul in the heat waves of Delhi.

My Square also has a variety of option for desserts and sweets. Kulfiano with 20 stick kulfis are there to complement with freshly made gelatos at gelato Italiano. The must try at gelato Italiano are Madagascar fine chocolate, New York Cheese cake and Royal Kulfi. SS on the go serves the decent paan kulfi.

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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Sunday brunch at Oasis, Vivanta by Taj

Sunday brunch at Oasis, Vivanta by Taj

By Anubhav Sapra

Surajkund, as a destination is famous for its annual fair which promotes Indian traditional handicrafts and handloom. I have been to the fair only once, certainly not for the handloom or handicraft but for the food. I remember having extremely palatable Pakistani food especially the chapli kebabs two years back at Surajkund fair when Pakistan participated as a partner country. Since then, I could not find any other reason to travel to Surajkund all the way from Delhi. However, an invite to visit Vivanta by Taj to savour the Sunday brunch dishes at Oasis restaurant provided a tempting reason to pay visit to this place again.

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The major highlight of the Sunday brunch at the Oasis, Vivanta by Taj at Surajkund is live counters for Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Italian appetizers. An important element of a live counter is the interaction with the chef while he/she cooks right in front of you. The other highlights are the lavish buffets which include cold cut counters, salads and Indian section.

I started my food journey with Sikandari raan, tandoori sabut murgh and baked whole snapper with kasundi, peri peri chutney, beetroot chutney and kachumber. All of them were marinated just right and grilled to perfection with the chutney and kasundi perfectly complimenting the meat dishes.

IMG_20150510_134001The zenith of the brunch was Chicken Kabsa, a delicious mix of rice and chicken, commonly available in the Middle East and regarded as a national dish of Saudi Arabia and is very closely similar to our own chicken pulao. Executive Chef at Vivanta by Taj, Mr. Joshi gave a detailed explanation of how the dish is prepared. The commonly used spices in preparing chicken kabsa are cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, nutmeg and black pepper. Rice is flavoured with spices, onion rings, slices of tomatoes and whole green chilies. Later, pieces of roasted chicken are mixed in to the rice. What makes it distinctive is the tomato base that gives it a light flavor and other aromatic spices mixed with whole spices. It was truly delectable. I enjoyed having it with Mutton chaap and Saag mutton both of which were thoroughly and wonderfully cooked to the core with the meat effortlessly falling off the bone.

IMG_20150510_143244The day I went to Surajkund coincided with Mother’s Day celebrations and I met a few Bengali families celebrating the occasion. I got to taste the Bengali sweets, rosogulla and sandesh and I ended my meal on summer coolers- smooth and creamy, pistachios and almond kulfi faluda with kiwi and apple toppings.

Vivanta by Taj, Surajkund runs another restaurant by the name of Pandara that serves Punjabi style dhaba cuisine. With this said, I believe, the association with Surajkund is going to continue!

Address: Shooting Range, Surajkund Faridabad

Sunday Brunch Timings- 12:00 Noon – 3:30 PM

Cost- Rs 1800 + tax (includes food and mocktails)

Rs 2300 + tax (includes food and sparkling wine)

Rs 3000 + tax (includes food and champagne)

 

 

 

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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Desi Roots

Desi Roots

By Anubhav Sapra

There are very few restaurants in Delhi which have a “pull” factor. Desi Roots seems to be one of them. It is delightful how the dishes are experimented with and yet have their “desipan” intact. Its ambience which has already been talked about a lot is worth mentioning here for its creativity and how it instills a re-learning of the childhood days. It does make you observe how things have changed since then.

Here, you will be greeted with the relaxing sound of a bell. The ambience reminds you of your past especially if you were born in the late ’70s or the ’80s. The wall is painted beautifully with children’s games – which today seem to have been lost somewhere – like lattu, kancha, stapu and many others. I can associate with this very well; I remember how I used to play lattu the whole day under the scorching sun outside my house. Another corner of this place has a trunk that consists of comics like Champak and Chacha Choudhary. Reminding me of my early days again, it gives me immense pleasure to share it here that I had a large number of comics which I used to lend to my friends. I acted like a little librarian, keeping records in a notebook. On the other side of the café, are big milk cans, a sewing table, a coal iron, a headlight of “Humara Bajaj” scooter- all bound to make one nostalgic.

IMG_20150506_131519Coming to food, Desi Roots has an interesting desi menu with a modern twist. The guests are treated to a complimentary medu-vada, which is a dal pakoda served with coconut and mint chutney. It is important to mention here that the staff was very welcoming. Personally, what matters to me more than the food is the warmth with which it is served. On the recommendation of the chef, I started with lamb galauti paate with ulte tawe ka parantha. The galauti kebabs are grounded in to a spreadable paste. Galauti which means ‘melt-in-mouth’ comes with a twist where you relish a ‘bite-sized ulte tawe ka parantha’ with its pate and mint chutney, topping it with some spiced onions for an extra edge.

IMG_20150506_143435After this I had chipotle chicken tikka with avocado raita. The dish was served over a smoldering bed of iron. This was simply delicious; succulent pieces of chicken were perfectly marinated. This was served with thick avocado raita. I was amazed to see ‘kulle ki chaat’ on their menu. This chaat is an Old Delhi specialty and you get it only at a couple of places in Chawri Bazaar, the most famous ones being Hira Lal Chaat Corner and Jugal Kishore Ram ji Chaat Corner. I had the kulles of cucumber and watermelon which were no less than the ones you get in Old Delhi. The kullas were filled with masaledaar chickpeas; the tinge of lemon juice to it was just perfect. I also had deconstructed samosa with aam papad chutney, served with a golgappa. It had four layers of papdi filled with cooked potatoes, dry mango sauce, sev, yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. However, I did not like this dish much.

IMG_20150506_141841In the main course, came a mini toy truck loaded with Ambala Cantt. mutton curry accompanied with tikona parantha, mukka pyaaz with lemon and kumquat achar. I was disappointed with the quality of the mutton since it was a bit chewy for me. However, the curry was flavorful and the paranthas were amazing with their apparent soft and triangular layers. In the vegetarian section, the chef served four different varieties of khichdi – classic, juvar, quinoa, and bajra, in small clay pots and mini pressure cookers. All of them were mild in flavor and tasted more like ghar ka khaana. It was delicious!

IMG_20150506_150915In the desserts, I was served “Jamaulddin ki kheer” famously known as “Bade Miya ki kheer”. Every morning, kheer is sourced from Jamulddin’s shop in Lal Kuan to Saket and served cold. Another dessert which had a nice twist to it was badam halwa– baklava with shrikhand. Shrikhand was sweet and sour in taste and went well with the badam halwa.

Overall, it is a great place to be at where eating is such a visual treat. Treat yourselves with Ambala Cantt. mutton curry, chicken tikka, and the varieties of dishes along with the ambience which is ought to take you down the memory lane.

Address: G-16, Ras Villas Mall, Saket.

Meal for two: ₹ 1200.

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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Wendy’s

Wendy’s is in Town

By Shreya Chowdhury

Wendy’s, one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, is finally arriving in India, in Gurgaon Sector 29, on 6th May, 2015. We got a little sneak peak on 3rd May in a Bloggers Meet Event.

 If you love good quality food which does not burn a huge hole in the pocket, Wendy’s is the place to go.  The little bit extra that you might be paying; it would be for the overall experience.  No more standing in long queues, waiting for your paper-wrapped burgers. Now, you will be served in porcelain with proper cutlery on your table via a table locator.  The urban décor, the attentive staff and the ambience enhances the entire burger-eating experience.

What sets Wendy’s apart, is not just their delicious square-shaped burgers, but also the variety.  Their vegetarian menu is extensive, ranging from the spicy aloo crunch to the Ultimate Paneer.  That does not mean the non-vegetarians are left out. Wendy’s offers all kind of choices for meat-lovers as well, from chicken, chicken with bacon to mutton burgers. Hence, at Wendy’s, you are spoilt for choice!

double baconatorFor hard-core non vegetarians, their double-baconator is ultimate bliss! Two layers of perfectly cooked chicken patty with a generous helping of bacon along with two slices of cheese, explode in the mouth, creating magic.  The bacon gives it a slight crunch. The meat, the cheese and the sauces together make a great combination.  They also have the Jr.Chicken, the chicken cheese melt, the classic chicken, smoky chipotle, the ghost chilli, the barbeque bacon club, which are all delicious.

For vegetarians, they have chilli cheese melt, spinach n’ corn, cheese mushroom, paneersalsa, ultimate paneer. For people who like to experiment, the Greek Falafal is a must-try. The combination of crunchy peas patty, pickle, tomato and tzaziki sauce is simply wonderful, making it a nice and tangy mouthful. However, the star of the menu is the Spicy Aloo Crunch.  Baby potatoes crushed with the skin on and fried, along with spicy sauce, onion and coriander, it is a storehouse of flavor.  It is Crispy! It is Juicy! It is Spicy! It has everything you want in a burger. They say all good things come in small packages. This burger is the best example.  Do not go by its looks. It is absolutely lethal!

Wendy’s sides are also very nice. The chicken chilli is delicious.  It is a signature dish, made of beans, minced chicken, and coriander. It is spicy and full of flavor. The bacon and cheese fries are also good. The natural cut fries, crispy bacon and melted cheese make a good combination.  Wendy’s also has salads, the Paneer Pesto Salad and the Chicken Ranch Salad.

The food journey at Wendy’s ends on a sweet note, with their Banana and Caramel Frosty. Creamy vanilla ice cream, with caramel sauce and a nice banana flavor makes it a perfect ending to a lovely meal.

greek falafal         banana and caramel frosty

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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Guppy by ai

KONNICHIWA JAPAN!

By Prakriti Bhat

Apart from its technological prowess, Japan is also famous for The Hanami Festival. This festival celebrates the ephemeral season of cherry blossoms. Guppy by ai recreates the magic of the Hanami Festival through its dishes by introducing a special menu that captures its essence. The name comes from ‘guppy’, a fish.

It all began with ai, which was a Japanese restaurant cum lounge in MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket that was shut down due to certain reasons. Guppy by ai was launched in August 2013 in Lodhi Colony and has since received rave reviews. Guppy by ai runs under the patronage of AD Singh along with other restaurants within the Olive brand such as Olive Bar and Kitchen, SodaBottleOpenerWala and Olive Bistro.

The interiors are reminiscent of the original Ai with red hearts all across the walls.  The place also seems to have been heavily influenced by the anime and manga culture which is quite evident from the walls and the few books that are kept on the window-sill. The Olive brand has a tradition of having a courtyard-like area in all its branches and Guppy by ai is no different. It has a separate patio which also acts as the smoking area.

I was greeted by Mr. Nishant Kr. Gaurav, the assistant manager who gave me a brief history of the place. Also, he was very patient with my incessant questions about each dish. Chef Saurav Sharan was kind and courteous as he introduced dishes from the special and the extensive regular menu. The kitchen is spearheaded by Chef Vikram Khatri who has won numerous awards for his culinary expertise.

akaneGari Punch is a mocktail made with mint, sugar, lime, ginger ale and the main ingredient, Gari which is the Japanese ginger. Gari is pink in colour and that is where the colour of the drink comes from, by muddling ginger in the muddler and shaking it with ice. Akane is a drink made with pomegranate, orange and mint. It has a very sharp, citrus flavor. I had asked for Miso soup, it being one of my favourite Japanese delicacies and it was made well with tofu.

Next came Edamame, a dish of steamed soyabeans tossed in sea salt. This was probably the only dish which I did not enjoy much. Tofu and water chestnut Motoyaki was very appetizing and reminded me of our Shahi Paneer in a peculiar way, even though both are quite different. It was baked well in an umami rich sauce. Assorted vegetable Tempura had an array of batter fried exotic vegetables like bell peppers, baby corn, potatoes, onions served with Dashi and spicy mayonnaise.

california rollNext up was the much anticipated sushi- California Roll packed with crabmeat, cucumber and avocado. All the dishes were served with requisite sauces and dips. The California Roll came with wasabi and soy sauce. Prawn Gyoza and Exotic Mushroom Gyoza may look like innocent dumplings but are bigger, juicier and generous in their fillings. These were served with chilly Ponzu sauce, though one can eat them just like that to enjoy the taste of tiger prawns and the mushrooms and avocadoes.

Tofu and Water Chestnut MotoyakiIn Salmon Nigiri, a small piece of salmon is placed on a tiny rice ball. One of the waiters flamed the salmon right in front of me. It looks so heavenly that one just can’t stop admiring the detailed designing on the rosy salmon. Salmon Tartare was a vibrant combination of avocadoes between two layers of salmon served on a carpet of cucumbers! The Chicken Udon Noodles were well spiced and had big chunks of chicken along with mushrooms. Among the desserts, I tried Apple and Prune Tart and Blueberry Crepes, both of which ended the meal perfectly.

Guppy by ai keeps the spirit of Hanami alive with its sakura inspired dishes. The detailing and hard work put into each dish is quite visible. However, everyone may not savour this cuisine because unlike Indian cuisine it is not laden with oil and spices and is comparatively quite bland. But for the rest, this is one place you must visit especially during the Hanami Festival to enjoy their special menu. The festival goes on till mid may.

What are you waiting for? Pick up those chopsticks and say sushi!

Address- 28, Main Market, Lodi Colony, New Delhi

Contact no. – 01124690005, 9650185005

Cost for two- Rs. 3000

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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Flavours of Thailand

Flavours of Thailand

By Priyali Prakash

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With the ever increasing exposure to different cuisines from all over the world, Indians are experimenting with their choices even more and Thai cuisine has definitely stood out as one of the favourites. Keeping this in mind, Blooms Restaurant of Eros International, Nehru Place has come up with a Thai Food Festival.

With an exotic buffet of colourful vegetables and succulent meats laid out on a boat-shaped table decorated with antiques inspired by Thai way of living, Blooms has gone out of their way to invite Chef Mhee from Chiang Mai restaurant, Gurgaon to showcase an authenticity of flavours in the food being served during this festival.

While the Naam Takrai, the lemongrass cooler served as the welcome drink comes across as a little too sweet, the following appetisers specially Som Tam, raw papaya salad with a fish sauce dressing and dry shrimp, garlic, chilli, lime and palm sugar is a delicious start to the meal. The mince chicken salad with spring onions is quite minty in flavour.

The Po Pai Thod, vegetable spring rolls can easily pass off as our regular spring rolls whereas Koong Pun Ooy, prawns with sugarcane is a sure shot winner among the snacks. The dish does not have the peculiar smell that goes with maximum prawn dishes and tastes amazing at the same time, which makes it stand out from the other dishes.

The chicken and tofu Satay comes with a tangy cucumber salad and choice of peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce as side dips. Other starters include Thod Man Plan, fish cakes and Thod Man Khao Phod, corn cakes.

The mains include the Thai favourite, Phad thai noodles which have a sweetish tinge to them. Also served for the mains is steamed rice infused with fresh herbs. The Pla Nueng Ma Nao, lemon steamed fish is the best of the lot. Conventionally a street food in Thailand, this steamed fish comes with a tangy lemon sauce and chillies- simple yet full of flavours. The fish is soft and steamed to perfection. Phad Phak Ruam Mitr, the stir fried mixed vegetables are a good option for vegetarians, considering that there aren’t really many vegetarian options. The Phad Nam Prik Pow Kae, lamb stir with Thai chilli paste tastes a lot like our desi lamb chilli.

Goong Samun Prai, sweet and sour tamarind prawns with crispy thai herbs makes a refreshing dish. The curries are a little somewhat coconutty in flavour- both the Soya chop Penang curry and the mixed vegetables in yellow curry.

In desserts, Tub Tim Krob  (Sweetened crispy water chestnuts in sweet coconut milk with crushed ice) and Klauy Buad Chee (Banana in warm sweet coconut milk) were amazing to end the food journey.

Word of Caution: Most of the dishes have a dominating taste and aroma of ginger and lemongrass. Make sure that you don’t have a problem with too much of these very strong flavours.

 The festival is on till April 19th at Eros Hotel, Nehru Place

 

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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Sanjha Chulha Food Exhibition

Sanjha Chulha Food Exhibition

By Anubhav Sapra

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Years ago, Marshall McLuhan aptly remarked world as a ‘global village’. Quite evident, as it is today, the seamless exchanges of ideas, culture, people and of course food, across borders. People have migrated from one region to another for various reasons. With them, travelled the food culture. This has also lead to the heterogenisation of food culture. And offcourse, its evolution.  There seems to be no such thing as local food now, the food being eaten in one part of the globe is easily available in another part. South Asia is one region where eating habits in most of the countries shares a lot of commonality.

To promote the cross cultural collaborations between nine South Asian Countries, a movement titled “Sasian Journey”, has been led by the Asian Heritage Foundation and Self Employed Women’s Association, in collaboration with prominent NGOs of the region in engagement with the Smithsonian Institution, USA. They are hosting Lotus Bazar, the flagship market development package conceived for deserving artists, artisans, cooperatives and cultural enterprises through design let interventions. The Lotus Bazar has also on offer- South Asia’s first food festival- Sanjha Chulha, which literally means Common Kitchen. The festival has been curated by food critic and scholar Dr. Pushpesh Pant to promote the incredible variety of local and regional cuisines of South Asia showcasing the diversity of culinary art. The dishes are cooked by the in-house team of The Ashok Hotel led by the Executive Chef, Mr. Lumba.

The Menu from different countries are-

India:

  • Murgh Rehana with Naan/Parantha
  • Gulnar Biryani with Raita/Salad
  • Dum Gosht Biryani with Raita/Salad
  • Stuffed Gulab Jamun

Sri Lanka:

  • Kukul Mas Curry (Chicken flavored with coconut milk, curry leaves, black pepper & Gigi paste) with Kaha Bhaat  (Yellow Rice tempered with mustard seeds & curry leaves )
  • Kukul Mas Curry with Pol Roti(Coconut Flavoured grilled roti)

Pakistan:

  • Anda Keema Kaleji Naan/Parantha
  • Soya Keema Kaleji Naan/Parantha
  • Paneer Peshawari with Naan/Parantha

Afghanistan:

  • Afghani Shorva (Thin Mutton preparation) with Afgani Naan

Nepal / Bhutan:

  • Veg Thupka(Veg Stew topped with noodles)
  • Veg Momos with Dip(Chilli Garlic)
  • Chicken Momos with Dip(Chilli Garlic)

Bangladeshi:

  • Sarson Maach (Mustard Flavored fish curry)with steamed rice

Dessert Menu

  • Mishti Doi from Bangladesh
  • Stuffed Gulab Jamun from India
  • Tila Kufi from Indian Subcontinent
  • Phirni from Pakistan

In the Evening the festival has nice combination of snacks, from 3pm to 7pm

  • Samosa with Mint Chutney
  • Fried Vegetable Wontons
  • Chicken Momos with Dips
  • Vegetable Momos with Dips

The festival is on till 31st March at The Lilly Pool Lawn at The Ashok, Chanakyapuri and entry is free.

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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Karim’s

A ROYAL AFFAIR

By Prakriti Bhat

karimsWalking through the serpentine lanes of Old Delhi, one comes across the hustle and bustle of life with people setting up their shops and getting ready for the day. Butchers, hardware shops, stationary stores, etc open their shutters to the world keeping up their promises of quality products at wholesale prices. Cars, rickshaws, autos, scooters, e-rickshaws, all try to squeeze their way through the narrow streets. The shouts of shopkeepers, the jingling of rickshaw bells, the chatter of people; they all have a music of their own and add to the charm of Old Delhi. But a trip to the walled city is simply incomplete without a visit to the famous Karim’s. Known worldwide for its Mughlai food and amiable service, Karim’s boasts of a rich cultural and culinary history.

Rewind to the Mughal era. The Mughal emperors would constantly go out on wars to secure their position in the sultanate. Since years, the royal cook would prepare meals under the aegis of the Mughal queens and kings but with the onset of British rule, the Mughal Empire came to an end. When the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled, the royal cook (whose descendants are now running Karim’s) had to leave the durbar and look elsewhere for a job. In 1911, at the time of coronation of King George V, Haji Karimuddin moved to Delhi with an idea to open a small dhaba to cater to the guests coming from all over the world. He set up a little stall outside the towering Jama Masjid and his menu only consisted of a humble combination of aloo ghosht and daal served with roti. In 1913, Haji Karimuddin set up the Karim’s Hotel in Gali Kababian, right opposite to Jama Masjid and today it is a prominent eatery in the capital city.

Bringing royal food to the common man’s plate at a nominal rate has been the main objective of Karim’s. The family continues to conjure up delectable dishes, each with a closely guarded secret. It is a 5 minute rickshaw ride from the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station. The rickshaw drops you right in front of Jama Masjid from where you have to enter one of the many alleyways. Meandering through the narrow lane, a whole new world opens up in the form of Karim’s. It’s hard to imagine how such a big place can exist at the end of such a constricted gali. They have 3-4 sections to serve the heavy crowd that starts pouring in from morning itself. The staff is dedicated and affable and the service is quite efficient. Going against the popular notion of Old Delhi being an unhygienic place, the restaurant also scores high on hygiene.

1395857_546954232055129_791945401_nI went to this place with some NRI relatives who had heard a lot about its culinary delights and rich history. The place works at its own rhythm as the cook stirs the steel pots at a steady pace over burning coal and not fire. We ordered Chicken Burra, Mutton Burrah, Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Mutton Kebabs, Sheermal and Mutton Korma. The Chicken and Mutton Burrah were well marinated and slightly charred on the surface. The Biryani was cooked in a typical Mughlai manner with less spice which worked well for my relatives. The meat was succulent. Mutton Korma was a dish of mutton served with a red curry which satiated our taste buds. This we ate with a flatbread called Sheermal which is a specialty here. The Mutton Kebabs were my favourites. Juicy and delicious, they took ‘yummy’ to another level altogether. Other popular dishes here are Badam Pasanda, Chicken Mughlai and an exclusive entrée called Tandoori Bakra which has to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Zaeemuddin Ahmed is the restaurant’s director and a representative of the family to have worked here. Numerous generations have come and gone but the standard of their food remains unchanged. Karim’s may have opened numerous branches all over Delhi like Gurgaon, Noida, Nizamuddin and Saket, placed in swanky malls and modern markets. But for the most genuine, best and truest experience one must visit its original branch near Jama Masjid, where the saga began. It has definitely put Old Delhi on the world map by offering a satisfying meal to people from all across the globe. People can experience the richness of Mughal Durbar by digging into their food. At the end of Gali Kababian awaits a magical world of gastronomic delights.

Location- 16, Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid

Cost for two- 850 (approx)

Contact no. – 01123264981

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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The Timeless Madras Coffee House

The Timeless Madras Coffee House

By: Shagun Nayar

MCH-www.zootout.com_The Madras Coffee house, located in the Outer circle of Cannaught Place is much more than what meets the eye. I say this because the Madras Coffee House has been able to successfully withstand money-making corporations and multi-national food chains and stand tall& proud as one of the oldest café’s/restaurants/hotels in the capital city. The offers keep coming, but the dedicated and loyal workforce of this humble and charming little café is true to its cause of protecting what seems to be, one of the very few remaining  haunts of Old Delhi.This coffee house is a legacy in itself because of its rich historical background and cultural importance. It emits a strong sense of pride and loyalty which is why the owner feels that in a couple of years, the Madras Coffee House will be considered as a heritage landmark.

It was initially a modest ice-cream parlour which was owned by the Hem Chand Jain family who moved from Punjab to Delhi. Like any farsighted business man, he expanded his shop into a restaurant and bar called the Shanghai Restaurant and bar which was a popular haunt for the British soldiers who brought over their lady friends, danced with them within the pasty white walls on band music, ordered Chinese food and sipped on their cocktails. Owing to the supremacy of the British crown and the strong pertinent racial bias, Indians were not allowed in this restaurant even though the owner was an Indian national. The owner frowns when he speaks of this, but that’s just how things were back in British India. Post-independence, the restaurant was changed once again into a pure vegetarian milk bar, called Respo Bar &once again, Indians were welcomed with open arms. Owing to its prime location and popularity, Jain transformed it into a fully functional coffee house in the 1950’s and that is how the Madras Coffee House came into being.

On entering this coffee house, you are immediately transported back in time. The windows are covered with plastic flowers hanging down, there is a temple with an idol at the entrance of this coffee house which is surrounded almost as if it is under guard, by a structure of bamboo. The ambience of this place is sure to make you nostalgic. The pale off-white walls running across the coffee house, covered with broad panels of metal engravings are met with dark orange tables and modest wooden chairs covered with an olive green fabric.  The entire place is exactly how it was in the 1950’s.  There is a huge backdrop of Kwality Walls Ice-cream posters behind the counter and an ice-cream parlour that is no longer functional. It’s a typical coffee house with music playing in the back, crowded with college students, middle aged professionals and the odd 1-2 foreigners.

11040258_818025618267079_1839288466_nThe menu is diverse with a wide array of dishes spread across Indian, Chinese and South Indian. The infamous filter coffee, the airy-light Idli’s and the delicious Special Masala Dosa were my favourites from the menu. The filter coffee was made just like any typical south Indian filter coffee served with a sugar pot. The Idli’s were soft and airy, accompanied by an authentic rendition of the coconut chutney & spicy Sambar, the special masala Dosa was a combination of well-boiled potatoes, curry leaves, cottage cheese, peanuts, fried onions and tomatoes.Dining in the Madras Coffee House was an experience in itself with soft, soothing music playing in the background, students and professions reading their books and the manager, waiters bringing in food with utmost simplicity and joy.

So, if you’re ever wandering the streets of Cannaught place or looking for a taste of real Delhi, don’t forget to check out the Madras Coffee House and be transported back into time with walls that tell stories of the glorious past and food that will make you come back for more.

Location: P 5/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi

Contact Number: 011 23363074

Approximate cost for two: Rs. 450

 

 

 

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.