June 10, 2014
Food for thought
By Abhijit Patnaik
Peeli Dal at Shakahari, Chawri Bazar: Making good peeli dal is an art, but these guys excel in it, though the one at Karim’s is also to die for.
Fish Fry at Ganesh, Karol Bagh ( Gurudwara Chowk): The queue of cars outside this beehive of activity is a testament to the drawing power of its menu’s main attraction.
Bedmi Aloo near Naugarha, Chandni Chowk: If waking up early in the morning and having your breakfast beside an open drain is your idea of fun, this is an experience you can’t miss.
Aloo Tikki at Natraj Cafe, Chandni Chowk: The tangy tikkis served in a pool of creamy dahi and a medley of chutneys are enough to make you ignore the elbow power of passers- by.
Papri Chaat outside UPSC Building , Shahjahan Road : You may have had chaat all over, but this one has something that makes even your crashing dream of entering babudom seem fine.
Kakori Kebabs at Aap Ki Khatir, Khan Market: The hole- in- the- wall restaurant has moved from Nizamuddin to Khan, but the quality of its kebabs hasn’t suffered.
Cream Chicken Kebabs at Salim’s, Khan Market: Even the Middle Lane dogs seem to love it – if they see you eating it, they’ll wait patiently around you for their turn to lick the plate.
Chicken Tikka Rolls at Khan Chacha, Khan Market: These rolls defined Khan Market for an entire generation of bunkers from Modern School – now the whole of Delhi goes to have them.
Chicken Changezi at Chicken Planet, Tyre Market, Near Filmistan: Now, you can have this beauty in air- conditioned comfort, away from the confusion at the eatery’s aam admi side.
Poori Aloo of Ramchand, Chhota Bazar, Shahdara: The pooris don’t get soggy because they are made with sooji and the aloo ki sabzi is drenched in imli chutney.
Chhole Bhature at Odeon Sweets, Bhagat Singh Marg, Gole Market: Some people get very possessive about their favourite chhole bhature place. Our cholesterol- laden heart beats for this one.
Mutton Dish at Ashok Meat Dhaba, Shop No. 42, Subhash Chowk, Sadar Bazar: You won’t get lost trying to find this hole in the wall. Just follow the aroma of shudh desi ghee.
CP Chicken Pepper Steak at United Coffee House, E- Block, Inner Circle : A chunky piece of chicken breast bathed in a creamy mushroom sauce and accompanied by lots of veggies is our idea of bliss.
Dal Meat at Embassy, D- Block, Inner Circle : The hardy perennial has winner written all over it. The mutton pieces in it are like butter, as is the dal . You must also have the Pindi Chana and the scrumptious Embassy Pudding.
Tomato Fish at Kwality, Regal Building : Certain classics become a part of a city’s collective consciousness. This is one of them. The place also has the best caramel custard.
Double Egg Single Mutton Kathi at Nizam’s Kathi Kabab, Plaza Building : This is the best of their offerings, though you must also have their Pakhtooni Keema Kofta Curry.
Set Dosa at Sagar, Defence Colony Market: You may keep complaining about the how Sagar has become a sprawling corporate enterprise, but certain favourites remain as good as they were.
Bombay Duck at Swagath, Defence Colony Market: This is the only place in the city where you can get real Bombay Duck prepared in the way it should be.
Rice with Gunpowder & Ghee, Andhra Bhawan: It’s a treat that even people on a no- carb diet must indulge in once in a while. Before leaving the place, make sure you buy a bottle of gunpowder and gonkura pickles from the little stall outside.
Bisi Bele Bhath, Karnataka Food Centre, Karnataka Sangha, Rao Tula Ram Marg: Once you have had this scrumptious, soul- nourishing vegetarian meal-in- a- dish, you’ll want to book a ticket to Udipi.
ALL- TIME STARS
Chicken Pakodas at Moti Mahal Delux, Greater Kailash- I, M- Block Market: The restaurant’s signature dish is butter chicken, but the chicken pakodas win the popularity race by a mile.
Butter Chicken at Havemore, Pandara Road Market: But don’t go for the boneless chicken; the meat can be fibrous. If you’re vegetarian, dig into the soya chaamp ki sabzi .
Kashmiri Kebabs at Gulati, Pandara Road Market: There’s nothing Kashmiri about the kebabs. These are chicken malai tikkas quilted in chickpea paste and egg yolk.
Dab Chingri at Fire, The Park, CP: If you wish to win a Bengali heart, go for this seductive prawn in coconut milk and mustard curry that comes in a green coconut shell.
Gushtaba at Chor Bizarre, Hotel Broadway, Asaf Ali Road : This is the closest you’d get to Kashmiri food as your mother- in- law would make it, though we personally prefer the rista made in the Pandit style.Veggies must have the Tamatar Chaman ( tomato paneer).
Chicken Haldighati at Colonel’s Kebabs, Defence Colony Market: Once you have eaten it, you’ll forget all the rarha chicken you’ve had in your life.
Nargisi Kofta at Karim’s, Jama Masjid: It’s difficult to figure out what’s the best at Karim’s, but this one scores because of the fineness of the preparation.
Veggie Cutlets at Coffee Home, Baba Kharak Singh Marg: These oil drenched temptresses may just go out of circulation if the High Court decides in favour of the Coffee Home’s closure.
Pakistani Biryani at DeeZ Biryani & Kababs: This biryani, we are told, is cooked in the Sindhi style. We suspect they use packed masala from Pakistan . Whatever it is, it tastes great.
Mutton Mince at St Stephen’s, Delhi University : Stephanians get misty-eyed at the thought of this essential part of their callow youth.
Kosha Mansho at Oh Calcutta, Nehru Place : Kolkata’s favourite mutton dish takes on the zest of Delhi to become something special. Have it with loochis , or pooris made with maida .
Mutton Barra at Bukhara , ITC Maurya, Diplomatic Enclave: People love the ones at Moti Mahal or Karim’s, but our vote goes to Bukhara ‘s barras because they are uniformly well- marinated.
Pizzas at Flavors, Under Moolchand Flyover: Flavors manages to deliver impeccable pizzas from its wood- fired oven at any time of the day. Our favourite is the Vegetarian Piri Piri.
Khao Suey at The Kitchen, Khan Market: It’s impossible to get into the restaurant and the guy at the door is rude, but this Burmese delicacy is Delhi ‘s winter must- have.
Patrani Mekong Basa, Indian Accent ( The Manor, Friends Colony West): It feels like the fish has just popped out of the river – it melts in the mouth and the masala isn’t allowed to overpower it. Veggies must go for the paneerpinwheels.
Black Cod with Miso at 360 Degrees, The Oberoi: When the fish is silken and the sauce is made to be perfect, you won’t miss Nobu, where it was invented.
Stalin’s Beard at Nanking , Vasant Kunj ( opp. DPS Vasant Kunj): Potato has never tasted better. Even among their brilliantly innovative dim sum, this one stands out.
Peking Duck at China Kitchen, Hyatt Regency: This is justifiably the restaurant’s signature dish. The slivers of duck melt in the mouth, for the chefs prepare the bird by pumping air into it.
Hunanese Braised Prawns at The Chinese, Middle Circle , CP: There’s something about the sauce that stays in your edible memory.
Green Tea Noodles at The Monk, Galaxy Hotel, Sec. 15, Gurgaon: We thought it was impossible to get these noodles outside Sakura, but we were wrong.
Dim Sum at Tea House of the August Moon, Taj Palace : Best for Sunday afternoons. Ask for bok choy in garlic sauce for a change of taste.
Kadha Prasad at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib: It may be blasphemous to go to the gurudwara on a Sunday morning with the thought of food, but the stomach has its own logic.
Badam Halwa at Saravana Bhawan, Janpath, CP: This temple of good vegetarian food serves the best badam halwa redolent of shudh desi ghee .
Kancha Golla at Annapurna Mishtanna Bhandar, Chandni Chowk: This is the finest address for Bengali sweets. We could list many must- haves, but this is the best.
Saffron Lassi at Kaleva, Bangla Sahib Road , Gole Market: You can’t spend a summer without it. Nor can you let the winter pass by without their imarti and ghevar .
Chocolate Pudding at Angels in My Kitchen, Defence Colony: This is the mouth- watering reason why Def Col residents swear by Angels.
Jalebis at Old & Famous Jalebiwala, Dariba, Chandni Chowk: The man playing video games on his laptop at the counter may not have manners, but people still queue up for the soft jalebis straight out of the vast kadhai .
Karachi Halwa at Chaina Ram, Next to Fatehpuri Masjid: This is the last place you’d find this disappearing delicacy, and the near- extinct Sohan Halwa. They deserve to live.
Hot Butter Scotch at Nirula’s: We are not being facetious, but this is one buttery treat that is worth every milligram of bad cholesterol.
Neembu Soda and Pan at Prince Pan, Greater Kailash- I, M- Block Market: We can’t think of a better way to end one’s meal, or one’s life