On a (Church) Mission to Fatehpuri Masjid

As the summer flexes its muscles over the subcontinent, the mind harkens back to a “field trip” to the Fatehpuri Masjid area of old Delhi in early February. On a cold winter Sunday, four of us intrepid foodies found ourselves at the Chandni Chowk metro station, with an appetite braced by the early morning drizzle.

I was sure we were in for a treat the moment Shashank led us into an obscure little back lane leading away from the station, with the confidence of a sherpa on the road to the Everest. Here was a man who knew his puraani dilli.
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North Campus Delights

On a sunny winter afternoon, led by our enthusiastic local guide Asmita, Harneet and I set out to try the many little gems tucked away in the by-lanes of Kamla Nagar, near the North Campus of the University of Delhi.

Our pilgrimage began, as it inevitably had to, with Chacha’s Chhole Bhature. Thanks to the holiday and an early start, we pulled off the unthinkable — a meal of surprisingly non-greasy Alu Bhature, with the lip-smackingly delicious chholey coupled with perfectly fried potatoes, fresh onions and green chillies, all without having to stand in a long line of drooling undergrads!
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Sona Sweets at Nehru Place

“Nehru Place?!” you ask. I know, i know. Hardly the most obvious place to look for fine dining.

But heck, if all of puraani dilli‘s food has evolved from lashkari khana (food for army encampments), we should probably not ignore the battalions of office-goers whose collective lunch appetites keep a multitude of eateries in Delhi in business.
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Unofficial Field Trip, 25 October 2006: Overview

The first unofficial EOiD field trip was undertaken by Abhik and me on October 25, 2006.

Having read great things about it from a newspaper column, we set out to locate Haji Noora’s Nihari shop in Bara Hindu Rao. This turned out easier said than done, for Bara Hindu Rao the area, is quite a distance away from Bara Hindu Rao the hospital, where we initially landed up. After getting misdirected more times than I’d care to remember, we finally blundered our way to the shop — only to be informed that the place was shut thanks to Eid the day before.

What followed was an impromptu jaunt all over town, of which I’ll post details over several posts. Briefly, here’s what all we sampled yesterday morning: Hing Kachoris at the Bara Hindu Rao, Momos at Majnu ka Tila, Daulat ki Chaat at Chawri Bazaar, Nihari at Rahmatullah Hotel, amongst other things. Daulat ki Chaat was definitely the discovery of the day, but everything contributed to making it one of the most memorable outings ever!