Zero is not India’s greatest contribution to mankind, it’s the Manchurian. What, with all the jeera, dhaniya, and even garam masala it seems right from the heart of the Guangdong province, doesn’t it?
The Nepali kancha cooking chowmein in that pseudo-wok (essentially a kadhai) isn’t all that bad, I’ve realized. I’ve had the ‘real’ Chinese – and no, House of Ming isn’t the absolute Chinese-Chinese — and I’ve had the Indian-Chinese. I’m a sucker for both, but it’s the Indie-Chinese that leaves you with that strong aftertaste of dark soy, chilli and garlic — reminiscent of the yum that was.
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!
Abhik and I decided to revisit the Bara Hindu Rao area today in our quest for Haji Noora’s Nihari, a quest in which we had been stymied once before, when we had gone the day after Eid-ul-Fitr only to find the shop closed on account of the festivities. The whole area was much more lively today, and it took much resolve and thick skin to resist the temptations on offer on the way to the intended nihari shop — several little shops selling everything from tea-and-rusks to khastaa kachoris to poori-aloo to haleem teased our senses from every direction. Continue reading
… and at Defence Colony
Having been stymied in our quest for Haji Noora’s Nihari, Abhik and I were racing past ISBT en route to Chawri Bazaar, when it struck him that we should stop at the Tibetan colony at Majnu ka Tila. Abhik was in quest of Sukuti, or strips of dried buff fried in onion, garlic, and green pepper.
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!