Little Punjab – SDA Market
I recently moved back to Delhi, after completing my graduation and started working at the Indian Institute of Technology. Being new to this college and area, I did not know anyone and ate my home packed lunch alone. It had become monotonous for a foodie like me. A few days had gone by when I ran into a friend from school in IIT itself. He took me to SDA market to show me around and the first place he suggested we ate at was Little Punjab. SDA market has a variety of restaurants with a wide range of cuisines yet he took me to this small shop in a little corner, which did not even have chairs to sit. To my surprise, this little food joint was bustling with students and workers enjoying their meal and a hearty conversation with their friends. All those people were there for one simple reason, to eat delicious yet inexpensive homemade food.
Little Punjab was started by Mr. Gurmeet Singh in 2008, when he thought that making good homemade food available to students living away from their families was the right thing to do. He bought a small shop behind all the big restaurants in an alleyway at the market. Instead of following the traditional way of advertising like pamphlets and brochures, he chose to distribute handwritten coupons to students in that area. In exchange for these coupons at the store, the students received free lunch for the first two days. This attracted a lot of people in just two days who eventually became his regular customers.
The menu consists of merely five dishes but it is the only joint in SDA that always sells all its two hundred and fifty plates in a span of just 3-4 hours. The food is not cooked at the shop, but is brought pre-cooked from a base kitchen. The shop has a stove that keeps the food warm and fresh. This makes the food served by them taste delectable and after trying all the five dishes in the span of one week, I can say my personal favourite would be the good old Rajma Chawal. It is utterly delicious as it is always cooked well and has a balanced taste with no one spice overpowering the other. It looks colourful, tempting and smells heavenly. Even though, I was never a fan of rice, this dish is something that I could gobble up every day.
It has been 8 years since this food joint has been running and the price has risen by just 25 rupees after all this time. Even now, the customers from 8 years ago visit the store each time they are in Delhi to get their share of the heart warming and delightful food served by Little Punjab.
Cost for two- Rs. 150 approx