Posted on

THE TOP 10 STREET FOOD DISHES OF DELHI AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

THE TOP 10 STREET FOOD DISHES OF DELHI AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

BY ANUBHAV SAPRA

1. Samosas

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

The most popular snack and street food of Delhi. The origin of the samosa can be traced back to the Middle East, where it was known as sambosa. The vegetarian version consists of a plain flour covering stuffed with potatoes, lentils, green peas or cauliflower. Some even make it sweet by filling it with khoya (thickened whole milk heated in open iron pans) or chhena (fresh curd cheese made from water buffalo milk). The non-vegetarian version of the samosa comes with minced lamb or chicken fillings.

The good ol’ champion among Delhi samosas is the aloo samosa, filled with potato (aloo) and served with mint chutney and saunth (a mix of dry ginger powder and tamarind sauce). In Connaught place, mini samosas named after their small size are available on the pavements of the Barakhamba road. While The Embassy restaurant in Connaught Place boasts about the heaviest and most expensive samosa in the city.

Where to find the best ones?

Annapurna Sweets in CR Park.
Chaina Ram in Fatehpuri.

2. Momos

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Who could’ve imagined that the most common food of Tibet and Nepal would become one of the most popular foods in Delhi? Over the past 10 years momokiosks have flourished all over the city. Momos are dumplings stuffed with a mix of vegetables, chicken, lamb, pork or buff. They are steamed and served with hot and spicy red chili sauce and mayonnaise. To suit the palates of Delhites, chaat masala (mix of hot and tangy spices) are also sprinkled over the steamed preparation.

Where to find the best ones?

Majnu Ka Tila.
De Paul’s in Janpath.

3. Aloo tikki

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Simply put, aloo means potato and tikki means a patty or croquette. Aloo tikkisare fried potato patties stuffed with either just potatoes or lentils and green peas, served with coriander mint sauce and tamarind sauce. They have a crisp outside and a soft inside.

Where to find the best ones?

Natraj Dahi Bhalla in Chandni Chowk.
Bittu Tikki Wala outlets in Delhi.

4. Kebab

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

The most common kebabs are Seekh Kebab — minced mutton grilled on a skewer;Shami Kebabs — minced mutton or chicken with a paste of lentils are mixed with chopped onions, garlic, green chilies and fried in some butter; Galauti Kebabs —galauti literally means ‘to melt in the mouth,’ they are prepared by marinating the finely ground meat with unripe papaya and exotic spices and are later fried in butter.

Where to find the best ones?

Karim’s in Jama Masjid.
Moinuddin Kebabs in Ballimaran.

5. Golgappa

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Golgappas are deep-fried delicacies made of whole wheat or semolina flour. The street vendors pinch a hole into the golgappa and add chopped cubes of boiled potato and mashed chickpeas with saunth chutney. They are then dipped into a bowl filled with spicy tangy tamarind or mint water. There are regional variations of golgappas within Delhi. In CR Park, the water is strictly made of tamarind and the fillings are made of mashed potatoes with chickpeas and spices. In other parts of the city, it is mostly mint water and the fillings are simply boiled potato cubes or chick peas.

Where to get the best ones?

Street vendors in CR Park.
Vaishnav Chaat bhandar in Kamla Nagar.

6. Chole Bhature

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Chole bhature is a Delhi classic available in all the residential and office areas around town. It’s a puffed bread made of semolina or wheat flour, deep fried in clarified butter or oil, and sometimes stuffed with paneer (cottage cheese) or mashed potatoes. They are served with chickpeas cooked in whole spices, onion, green chilies and pickles.

Where to find the best ones?

Sitaram Diwanchand in Paharganj.
Chahcha ke chole bhature in Kamla Nagar.

7. Chole kulche

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Chole kulche is relished by everyone, from school kids to office goers. Chole are boiled chickpeas and kulche is a white flour bread. This dish usually tastes different depending of the street vendor you choose, since everyone seems to have their own recipe. At some places, boiled chickpeas are garnished with onion, tomatoes, spices and lemon; some others add tamarind or dry mango powder chutney to the chickpeas.

Where to find the best ones?

Lotan ke chole kulche in Chawri Bazar.
Bhogal ke chole kulche near Scindia House in Connaught Place.

8. Chaat

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

The essential ingredients of chaat are yoghurt, onion, saunth (tamarind and dry ginger sauce or dry mango powder sauce) and a mix of spices. There are a lot of variants of chaatDahi Bhalla chaat are made of fried lentil balls soaked in yoghurt and topped with saunth, spices, pomegranate seeds and sev (small dried salty noodles). Papdi Chaat consists of little fried and crispy, flat-shaped wheat flour crackers with the same toppings as in Dahi bhalla. The other two commonchaats are aloo tikki chaat and samosa chaat. The only non-savoury chaat is theDaulat ki chaat, available only during the winter months in Old Delhi. It’s more like a dessert made with milk and cream whisked together.

Where to find the best ones?

Ashok Chaat Corner in Chawri Bazar.
Hira Lal Chaat corner in Chawri Bazar.
Daulat ki Chaat is available in the by lanes of Old Delhi during October to March.

9. Rajma Chawal

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

A typical Punjabi home-cooked dish, is also readily available in food carts across Delhi (mainly outside offices). Rajma is the curry made of red beans cooked in aromatic spices and served hot with steamed rice. Rajma chawal is highly nutritious and delicious as well.

Where to find the best ones?

Near the offices and shopping centers like Nehru Place, Shankar Market, KamlaNagar and Karol Bagh.

10. Kachori

Photo: Anubhav Sapra

Kachoris are made of white flour dough stuffed with a mixture of lentil paste and spices. This mix is fried and served with hot and spicy potato curry. Kachoris are usually served with tamarind sauce or coriander mint sauce, but some vendors serve them with a delicious mix of potato curry with asafetida in a slightly large amount.

Where to find the best ones?

Old Delhi has the best kachori joints in the city:
Jang Bahadur kachori wala in Maliwara.
Narayan das Halwai in Khari Baoli. 

*THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN MATADOR NETWORK ON JUNE 16, 2015. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE ARTICLE- http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/top-ten-street-food-dishes-delhi-find/
Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

Yahya Tea Stall

Yahya Tea Stall

Everyone always ignores the small tea stall on the side of the road or at the corner of a street. No one knows the history behind a small tea stall. Even Shah Rukh Khan’s father had a tea stall and served tea at a very well known drama company in Delhi, and if it was not for the star, we would probably never have known that such a tea stall existed.

WP_20141117_037Likewise, there is an old tea stall in the lane of Gali Qasmijan, right at the entrance of Phatak Luharu in Ballimaran. This tea stall was started by the late Haji Mohammed Farooq in 1969, carried on by his son the late Mohammed Yahya. It has been forty-five years since the pouring and serving of tea has been going on here. Now, the grandchildren, Mr. Farhan and Mr. Faizan, who are reporters with a newspaper, are still taking care of their family business. Their father, the late Mohammed Yahya, also owned a dairy shop named after his wife, Sabra and a hotel where the tea famously known as “Haji ki Chai” was served. Since the grandchildren did not have the same aspirations as their father, they gave up the place for rent and but have still kept the touch and name of their father through the tea stall.

When I looked at the boys preparing the tea, I was completely amazed at how it was being prepared. It was nothing like the way we prepare it at home.

WP_20141117_049The tea leaves are boiled in water in an aluminum kettle for a long time and on the other side, the milk is kept boiling, letting it form a layer of cream, commonly known as malai. The first step is to put a spoonful of sugar, a teaspoon of milk and boiled tea, and a spoon of malai. It is then stirred well and served hot. If you desire for a strong cup of tea, they add a spoon of fresh tea leaves, while pouring the boiled tea, in the strainer to give it that dark look and a strong kick. Mostly it would look like filtered tea that is served at a fancy tea shop.

There is a lively history behind this tea stall. Believe it or not a hundred and fifty cups of tea were made and served at a time which impressed me so much since there are so many different steps to get a perfect cup of tea. It definitely did not taste like the regular tea that one drinks every morning.

Nearby the tea stall, there was once a college named Tibbia College which has been shifted to Karol Bagh. This college offers education in medicine, and therefore, numerous and frequent doctors, professors, and students would be attending this college. Now a morning without a tea would not be complete and Yahya Tea Stall completed the mornings of a lot of people in the college and around. Tibbia College ordered six hundred teas almost every day, and without fail they were served with the same quality and standard.

WP_20141117_041For a couple of days, the tea stall had been shut down but by popular demand of the people living there and expressing their love for the tea and the family, the stall was back with a bang, serving tea with as much as dedication as it did when it first started.

The grandchildren besides being modernized and familiar with the media profession did not leave their ancestral house and believed that living there would keep the culture and history of the place alive. Surprisingly, the haveli that they reside in was once the haveli of Ghalib Mirza’s second wife. It definitely must be exciting to live in a house with intricate Mughal style designed pillars, doors, windows, and houses. Farhan Yahya said that the love and the respect of the people could not make him leave the place where he spent his childhood.

A must visit if you want to have a perfectly made hot cup of tea.

 WP_20141117_066  WP_20141117_041 WP_20141117_044

Posted on

Asli Habshi Halwa

Asli Habshi Halwa

By Anubhav Sapra

WP_20141117_016I came across something very interesting when I recently roamed around in the streets of Ballimaran. The entrance of Punjabi Phatak in Ballimaran greeted me with a sweetmeat, “Asli habshi halwa”. This sweet is made up with many nutritious ingredients put together such as milk, desi ghee, cashew, nuts, almonds, clove, kewda, wheat flour, and only during winters, saffron. It is recommended in the cold weather as it is a good source of energy and gives strength to our body to prevent weakness.

The name in itself is very intriguing, which got me thinking why a sweet should be named “habshi”. Habshi is the Urdu word for the colour black and also a name commonly used by many Delhiites for people of African descent because of their color and strength. Isn’t that a bit harsh?

Firoz Ahmed, the proud owner of the shop, shared the journey of the sweetmeat since the time of undivided India. The original shop of habshi halwa was in Chandni Chowk, located somewhere in between Kucha Rehman and Kucha Ustad Daag. Abdul Khaliq was the owner of the shop, famously known as Ghantaghar Habshi Halwa Wale. During the Partition, Abdul Khaliq migrated to Pakistan, leaving his shop in the hands of his workers.

After the Partition, Firoz’s father started with a small granary shop, and sold paan and bidi to earn a living. He met a worker from Abdul Khaliq Habshi Halwa Wale and learned the art of making habshi halwa from him. The recipes were passed down from that worker of Abdul Khaliq’s shop to Haneef to Firoz and till date, Firoz Ahmed makes this delicacy at his home.

WP_20141118_038The shop is now looked after by his son, Firoz Ahmed in Punjabi Phatak, Ballimaran. Mohammed Hanif’s brothers have also continued the business of selling habshi halwa but have opened their own stores named after their brother, namely, Hanif Dairy in Gali Qasimjan, near Hamdard Dawakhana, which has been doing brisk business there for more than ten years now. A few shops after that, I found another shop selling the same sweet by the name Ahmed Dairy, which was started by Taqi Ahmed. To differentiate from the others and retain the original identity of Abdul Khaliq’s shop, a picture of Ghanta Ghar (the clock tower in Town Hall) is printed on the box of Firoz Ahmed’s Habshi Halwa.

Habshi halwa is one of Old Delhi’s famous delicacies and is rich in flavour and aroma. It takes nine hours to cook this sweet and it is sold throughout the year, but mostly in the winters from October to March. It is priced at Rs. 430 per kilogram. The shelf life of the sweetmeat is one month. It may become dry after one month but the taste remains the same.

Ghanta Ghar Wala supplies this halwa all around India, mostly to Kanpur and abroad in Pakistan. During the month of December season, they offer yellow carrot halwa which is supposed to be eaten cold and is made without ghee. I found this extremely new and fascinating. I am eagerly waiting for the December to savour this carrot halwa. I wonder how it will taste – halwa without ghee and served cold.

If you have a sweet tooth and ever find yourself in Old Delhi, you must visit these shops located at the following addresses and try the extremely famous and delicious habshi halwa:

1.     Ghanta Ghar Wala – 1368, Punjabi Phatak, Ballimaran.

2.     Hanif Dairy – 1532, Gali Qasimjan, Near Hamdard Dawakhana, Lal Kuan.

3.     Ahmed Dairy – 1538, Gali Qasimjan, Lal Kuan.

WP_20141117_009

WP_20141118_035 WP_20141118_040

WP_20141117_030  WP_20141118_057

Posted on

Crispy Kachoris of Janpath

Crispy Kachoris of Janpath

By Anubhav Sapra

I received a tweet yesterday –“the nip is in the air and the nuts are back”, with a picture of a huge mound of groundnuts with a clay pot kept at the centre. The clay pot is filled with the small pieces of wooden sticks.  These are lit so to keep the surrounding nuts warm. It also rained in some parts of North Delhi and the mercury dipped further. To celebrate the pleasant weather, I headed out to Janpath to grab a plate of Crispy kachoris, bread pakodas and samosa.

20141013_165609Ranjeet is the man who sells delicious mouth-watering kachoris on the pavement of Janpath. One can easily find him in the morning (9:30 – 12:00) and evening (4:00 to 7:30), sitting opposite Midland Book Shop with a blue box containing kachoris, samosas and bread pakodas, a huge bucket filled with  Potato and Chickpeas curry and a half-litre sprite bottle filled with green spicy chutney.

All the three dishes are priced at Rs 10 each. I tried each one of them, starting with Kachoris, then samosas and finally bread pakodas. Ranjeet serves kachori in a dona and adds aloo chane ki sabzi to it. He squeezes the sprite bottle to pour some green chutney over it. The kachoris with the filling of lentils were great in taste, crispy and fresh. The samosas and bread pakodas were equally delectable.

It’s a good start to celebrate the onset of pleasant winter weather with light crispy kachoris. My next stop is Old Delhi’s Khemchand, Gali Paranthewali, who is back with his Daulat ki Chaat, a delicacy of winter!

Posted on

OLD DELHI- A FOODIE’S HEAVEN

OLD DELHI- A FOODIE’S HEAVEN

It’s not just about the crowded narrow lanes, the old havelis, nor the Red Fort, but it is so much more than all this. Old Delhi appeals many not only because of the above stated reasons among others, but because of the old world charm it still manages to hold. Purani Dilli is like a crowd-puller which calls people even from far off places. It is a hub of so many cultures, traditions, cuisines and has something for each one.

It is most famous for its street food and welcomes everyone who wants to taste the traditional Indian food in desi style! Where else will it be considered a disgrace to have Pani Puri with mineral water and in an air- conditioned restaurant but in Old Delhi? It knows that Pani Puri tastes the best on roadside!

One of the best things about Old Delhi is its flavour. If you really want to taste was an actual plate of Dahi Bhalla or sewaiyyon ka halwa tastes like, Purani Dilli is the place. It has handled the flavours very well and still manages to keep them intact in the dish. I recommend you treat your taste buds here at least once! There is a lot that Old Delhi offers.

After one hectic day, even I set out to satisfy my hunger along with a friend of mine who had never been to the ever glorified Chandni Chowk. We preferred to stroll in the lanes so we could explore more and after quiet a long walk, we landed ourselves in one of the most popular restaurants in Old Delhi, Shiv Mishthan Bhandar. If you go from Red Fort towards Fatehpuri, it’s located in the end at the right side, near Bikanerwala. We went through the menu after being warmly welcomed by the owner, Raja Bhai. Since he told us that Bedmi Puri is the most popular dish, we ordered the same. We also ordered Chole Bhature. The service was pretty good and the food was served hot and in very little time.

DSC04686Jalebi

Hungry as we always are, we smacked the food. Honestly speaking, the puri was a hit. It was hot, crispy and perfectly fried. This hearty dish is fried puffed bread with a mix of lentils and spices. Urad Dal is the main addition to the puri which also makes the texture a little granulated. It is crispier than the normal puri. Some people also add ‘hing’ to the puri for flavour. The red chilli added to the pitthi of Urad dal makes the puri spicy. I would give 8/10 to the puri but only 6/10 to the subzi, since it wasn’t that scrumptious. Salt was in excess in the subzi and it was not even prepared very well. Overall I would rate the dish at 7/10.

After finishing the puri subzi, we dipped our fingers in the chole bhature, which was a better option than the puri subzi, simply because both the bhature and the chole were perfectly made. The bhature were golden brown and and the chole were aptly spiced. The mango pickle with the chole was a great addition. Chole Bhature would get 8/10 from me.

After the enjoyable lunch, we ordered imartis. They are quite similar to jalebis but not totally. Imarti  is made from a variety of urad flour and deep fried in a circular shape. Saffron is also added for colour and afterwards it is dipped in sugar syrup. They are usually yellow- orange in colour due to the saffron.

Perfectly crisp and sweetened imartis put an end to our foodelicious journey.

998744_697236983626972_942476035_n602722_697236730293664_246114379_n

 

Shiv Mishthan offers a fairly large variety of Indian snacks and dishes at quite reasonable prices. The owner, Raja Bhai told us that they cater around 500 people daily and Bedmi Puri is a favourite with all. Hope you grab of the same too!

Meal for two- Rs. 150-200

For further information you can contact

Raja Bhai- 8376825232

Address- 375, Kucha Ghasi Ram, Chandni Chowk, Delhi- 110006.

By Kashish (Foodie Correspondent)

Photo Credit- Piyush Nagpal