With the moot court competition turning out to be much less satisfactory than what we expected, my teammates and I were left with almost two and a half days in Delhi (well NOIDA actually) with nothing to do but explore its culinary delights.
Though like any true blue Mumbaikar I believe with all my heart that Bombay/Mumbai is the single most awesome city in the whole wide world, after a couple of days of sampling Delhi street food, I must admit that Delhi street food does hold its own or even slightly outdoes the VadaPav-PavBhaji-Bhel dominated Mumbai street savouries.
Chole-Kulcha / Chole Bhature
To start off with, Delhi has a lot more variety in even vegetarian street food. Apart from the samosa and pani-puri (which the Delhites call Gol-Gappas) vendors who are probably ubiquitous all over India, Delhi (and much of north India, I presume) also has a lot of paratha and chole-bhatura / chole-kulcha vendors everywhere. Every street that we travelled to had atleast one of these chole-kulcha carts with their unique copper (or brass maybe) vessel full of chole placed at an angle!
Mr. SV and I sampled and completely enjoyed both the dishes! The chole served with the kulchas were mashed together with onions and chillis into a thick paste which managed to achieve that just right level of spicyness. Though I enjoyed the dish I do admit that I was hoping for the freshly baked type of kulchas (i.e. the type that restaurants in Bombay serve) and was disappointed to see that the roadside kulcha was simply a special bread heated on the tava and served. The chole bhature combo however was just perfect and left no room to complain. I am dreading the moment when I shall have to have the college mess chole again. I am sure they are going to fall way short of my increased expectations.
Connaught Place Momos!
Momos! This is another north and east Indian street food delicacy that you would be hardpressed to find on Mumbai streets. When we went to Connaught Place, which by the way no one can find on a metro map because it is officially called Rajiv Chowk (Read This if such things anger you). The momos were tasty and interestingly served with not just a a spicy red sauce but also with an additional mayonnaise dip! (unfortunately not photographed) While we waited for the steaming hot momos to get ready, Mr. SV also managed to get a bowl full of fried potatos and masala which is another simple dish which I haven’t seen on Mumbai streets. He also chose to have a bowl of bhel but that is an area in which, Delhi can’t match up with Bombay. We also had the Keventers Milkshake at CP which tasted pretty good. I am told that it isn’t as legendary anymore as it used to be in its heyday. I can only imagine how good it must have tasted then …
Rolls – Nizams and Rolls King
Since Ms. AM had raved about the place so much, Mr. SV and I also visited Nizams which in addition to their awesome tender soft mutton rolls also had this interesting sign saying -
Regional, Racial, Religious Discrimination, Apartheid & Outside Food is prohibited in the restaurant.
While Nizams rolls are delicious, I must say they are also slightly expensive and lacking in quantity. Value for money and awesome quantity we found at Rolls King in Noida!
Non Vegetarian Delights – Tangdi Tandoori and Gulati Kababs
Indirapuram’s famous Winsdor Market reminded me of Food Courts from Singapore with a lot of stalls/shops selling various delicacies. I opted for the Mutton Gulati Kababs and Ulte Tawe Ka Paratha, which is again something that I have never seen in Bombay. Watching the vendor make it was also very fascinating! Apart from it we ordered Tangdi Tandoori but due to some miscommunication we were served Tangdi Stuffed Tandoori which wasn’t bad either.
Good Food tastes better with good company!
The Delhi food hogging journey was especially fantastic because of the company that I had. In search of the best street food they travelled with me by air, rail and cycle rickshaw. Ms. AM and Mr. SV - you guys rock! Hope we get to go hog more often!
Delhi is so full of culinary delights that I am sure I haven’t tried even close to all of the good places yet… So please comment and do let me know which are the other great places in Delhi and I shall cover them the next time I go there!