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(Not just another fest)

-Navani Satija

So, the winter chill is on and along with it is ‘the random-thought-gush’. And during this time came the most awaited Saturday. Be it, while brushing in the morning to the talks at the breakfast table or from spending the not-so-fun travelling time in the metro to the boring afternoon coaching session, I spent my entire day thinking about the delicacies across the states in India. Finally came the moment when I was about to have the experience of my lifetime. Yes! It was the much talked about Delhi Street Food Festival held at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. The most amazing part of it was to witness different cuisines spread all over India unite together in one arena just to serve the foodie-delhites whole heartedly.

IMG_0280This food fest saw not just the delhites but even a lot of tourists throng into the arena to relish the various tastes across India. Another best part of this whole festival was the pricing of the stuff offered by the 50+ stalls set up there.

I decided to take two rounds of the whole fest- first being the photo-walk to capture this unique experience, while checking out what was best to try and the second being the eating part which was totally worth it. So, I started off with the MAWA KI KACHORI available at the initial stalls, which was a cold sweet version of any regular kachori you would have had till date, only difference being that it was dipped in sugar syrup. It was the very first time I had a sweet kachori and it half lived up to all the excitement.

Next, to prove all the false allegations wrong that I don’t opt for spicy food ever, I went in for the spicy VEGETARIAN PANEER KATHI ROLL. It was this plate loaded with hot, strikingly orange, big chunks of soya and paneer balls served with rumaali roti. Extremely hot, just to accompany the cold chill around, it was extremely spicy and full of countless masalas (trust me!).

Moving on ahead, I spotted the word ‘Punjab’ which rekindled my inherent Punjabi soul craving for SARSON KA SAAG AUR MAKKI KI ROTI. (And no prizes for guessing!) It had to be there. But, honestly I’d never thought that I’d be having the best sarson ka saag till date. Along with this they even offered a big chunk of pure white butter and gur (jaggery) which was customary. The team handling the stall were these people who’d come from Patiala and owned a well known dhaba there and since they were Punjabis, they seemed to be up for a chat anytime.

Similarly, there were various other stalls representing other states. For example, there was the Rajasthani stall that I went to and tried their MIRCHI BADA and PYAAZ KACHORI. Now, this was surely one place that you couldn’t afford to miss. The mirchi bada was like a huge chunk of hot fiery green chilly fried with around dozen masalas. It was totally worth trying if you could bear spicy. Nonetheless, the pyaaz kachori was stuffed with lots of onion and other condiments freshly dripped in oil.

Finally, as I walked further I had arrived at the stalls that offered hot fresh jalebis and gulab jaamuns. Needless to say, these were the Punjabi-dominated stalls. Here you’d find people across all ages completely entranced in all the sweetness.

And after all that I’ve tried to express about this matchless experience, there still remains some part which is inexplicable. So, I’d let it be unexplained for this would hold its true essence.

Wishing that everyone gets such opportunities to eat their heart out!

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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