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.
Continue reading “On a (Church) Mission to Fatehpuri Masjid”
Delhi’s answer to Lahore Food Street
[ed: we are thrilled to present our first guest column, by journalist and fellow foodie Pankaj Molekhi. Hopefully, this is the first of many to come!]
1900 hours: This is a time when shopkeepers in Delhi begin to pull down shutters; treetops get abuzz with homeward-bound birds; and Blueline buses are packed to capacity with sweaty human bodies. A time when nearly everybody is calling it a day. Nearly everybody!
Continue reading “A Night Stroll near Jama Masjid”
If the name conjures visions of sheesh mahals, viziers, courtesans, and exotic aromas, you’ve come to the right place.
Mughal Darbar, close to Tapti hostel in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus is the Indian communist’s homage to Persian indulgence. As you pass myriad expressions of youth culture (that are best left unelaborated), you spot a twinkling light in the distance, behind which the yellow bulb hides a proletarian shack. A decidedly Big Brotherly sign at the entrance advises: “Pay in Advance”.
Continue reading “Mughal Darbar”
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!
Continue reading “North Campus Delights”
“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.
Continue reading “Sona Sweets at Nehru Place”
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 “Haji Noora ki Nihari”
… 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.
Continue reading “Momos at Majnu ka Tila”