Ten On Tuesday -1 – Favorite Street Food Joints and Dhabas In Delhi

I came to know of Ten On Tuesday from Swaram‘s blog but I think the original idea came from Shilpa‘s blog. So it is kind of chain I guess. I am just doing it to fill the cracks between my ‘seriously writing’ and ‘thinking about seriously writing’ 😀 .The idea is to post ten things every Tuesday on one particular topic or even randomly. I am still cocooned nicely in the foodie love circle so the first post will be about some awesome places for street food and dhaba style food in Delhi. Some places that are in everyone’s budget.. well almost everyone. You can of course add more places to the list in the comment section. So here we go..

1. You think of street food and the first place that anyone will say is, Purani dilli (Old Delhi). The place is heaven for everyone who loves street food of any kind from chaat to kulfi, to rabdi faluda to chole bhature or parathas for that matter or the sumptuous kebabs and such mouth-watering delicacies. Not really a place for those who are on some sort of fancy diet or watching their calories. You need to be hopelessly devoted to food if Old Delhi is your choice to savor Delhi’s best authentic cuisine. The places I am fond of are Daulat ki chaat(kinari Bazaar). Oh, this is not the usual chaat you know. This is sweet malayi makkhan as it is known in UP. A delicate treat made of milk froth, khoya, boora cheeni and khurchan decorated with pistachos and silver vark dished out in a dona(leaf plate). Must have in my list. For the tangy chaat you can go to Heeralal chaat wala in chawadi bazaar or jugal kishor’s chaat or Ashok chaat bhandar natraj dahi bhalle wale, Jang Bahadur kachoriwala, Bishan Swaroop chaat wala (fruit chaat and chole kulche), Shyam sweets for bedmi poori, Jang Bahadur kachoriwala (chandini chawk). I can go on forever. There are vendors who sell awesome chaat in sitaram bazaar, kinari bazaar, farash khana that you can explore.

For foodies who love to venture out in the night, area near Jama Masjid (Urdu bazaar and side street of Matia Mehal comes to life with makeshift eateries selling, kebabs, fish, fried chicken, tikkas.biryani, qorma, jalebi, phirni and a lot more. Go discover yourself and tell me what all you loved. Beef, chicken, mutton, name it and you have it along with delicious sweets. Everyone knows parathewali gali, don’t we. The name says what you will savor there.

Sweet lovers can also go to Chaina Ram and annapurna sweet shop. Don’t miss Gyani’s di hatti for best rabdi faluda and dal halwa. There are so many great place that it will take me many posts to do justice to them so just head out to purani dilli and explore. 🙂

2 Paharganj is also full of fantastic eating joints that serve different kind of cuisine but we are here just talking of street food. Staram Diwanchand (chole bhature.. yum), Junta sweets, Geeta kulcha, Kashmir sweets( I think it serves veg food only), Banke Bihari samosewala, soni sweets, lassiwala neat Imperial cinema (don’t know if it still exists), Pappu Delhi sandwich stall (must try). Then there is German bakery, Sam’s café and many such hidden gems all dotting the Paharganj market. There are nankhatai sellers and Afghan food joints too.

3 Mandirwali Gali in Yusuf Sarai is for street food lovers who love samosas, kachoris and pakodas. The place has some very good eating joints. Tucked away in this busy market place is Dhan Singh’s kachori shop which sells delictable kachories, bread pakodas and jalebi, if you love kadhayiwala doodh then head to Atithi restaurant. There is also Balaji peethiwale, panditji naanwale. There are some other pakodewale and little food joints one can explore here.

4 Pakodas remind me of one of our favorite joint near Nauroji Nagar market. Khadani pakodewala, The shop offers a variety of veg-pakoras to choose from including Paneer, Potato, Spinach,onion, Lotus stem, Cauliflower, Eggplant, fat green chilli, and Bread Pakora served tangy green chutney. There is an awesome lassiwala next to it. Not to be missed. There are many good places for pakoda lovers and for non vegetarians the best choice is Paramjeet’s fish pakodas (near Motinagar metro station). There are some good pakoda shops in Karol Bagh too.

5 Poori sabzi – bedmi kachori etc- Poori sabzi at Arihant Sweets Dariyaganj best for a nice hot breakfast of nagori poori, aaloo sabzi and halwa. Sohan lal’s eatery in mehrauli bazaar, shiv kachori near Dilli Gate, Dariyaganj, Gopal snacks, Kamla Nagar, Jain Sa’ab’s bedmi kachori (near Golcha cinema- Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg T junction).

6 Nizamuddin Basti street food – The area around the Dargah Shareef is a delight for food lovers especially during festive months of ramzan and Eid. At other times too one can get a vast variety of sumptuous food here. One such shop is near the dargah and is called Muradabad ki biryani (old shop), a must visit place. There is one famous shop for nahaari on Mirza Ghalib road but I cant remember the name just now. Ghalib kebab corner, a place for the softest delicious kebabs. For sweets head to nasir for yummy kheer ( I have yet to taste it :p) or some other small shops that sell imarti, jalebi etc. The entire area near the dargah is dotted with small food stalls that sell anything from biryani to kebabs, tikkas, qormas,and various mutton, chicken, beef dishes. One just has to explore and experiment with food here.

7. Around HT House- Pappu Chaat Bhandar- Okay, I know I am going a bit heavy on chaat business but then I love it and what is Delhi without various kinds of chaats. There are many places famous for chaat in Delhi but I am talking about only those I have visited. Pappu Chaat Bhandar is right in front of HT House. My son introduced me to the awesome chaats he makes. (Kid1 works for HT City).  The guy sells best aloo chaat ever. I also like the fruit chaat he sells. Buy the simple salt and lemon seasoned one or the spicy tangy masala one. Both are a treat. Yes, the place sells Rimzim too. Added bonus. Behind HT  House you will find a lane full of food vendors. A small shop near the underpass on KG Road sells small samosas worth eating. Prabhu Chaat Bhandar ( next to UPSC building) is an old favorite.

8. Bhel puri – Bombay bhelpuri on Janpath and Bombay Bhelpuri at south Extension -1 are my favorite but you get nice one at Maharashtra stall in Dilli haat too. (Dilli Haat is over rated by the way but the Nagaland stall is awesome.)The north campus is another world of street food that one needs to cover in a separate post but I can not talk about bhel puri without mentioning Mohal lal bhelpuri wala (outside Hindu College, DU North Campus)

9. Here is a list of some good dhabas that I can vouch for – Pehlwan ka dhaba (Mehrauli), Rajender ka dhaba,Ajit Khalsa ka dhaba (Love this one opp Trivoli Garden, Chattarpur), Ashok and Ashok (Sadar bazaar), Break Fast Point ( near east Rohini metro station), kapashera and Delhi gurgaon border has some good dhabas you can explore. You can check out dhabas near Naraina Metro Station and Uttam Nagar flyover.

10. Some other places I can think of are kuldeep Parathewala 9usuf sarai), Baba Nagpal Corner for chole bhature ( Lajpat Nagar), Munnilal samosewala ( Gole Market), Dilli Haat for all kind of local cuisine from different states (near INA Market), Keema parathas near Qutub institutional area(Laxman fast food), there used to be a famous parathewala at Moolchand but I am not sure if he is still around. ( Kid 1 says he is near the metro station now. Must check.) He made awesome egg parathas. Matthew’s cafe in R.K.Puram for awesome masala dosa, dal wadas, parotta veg qorma , veg pulao, set dosa, and filter coffee.

I will add more names as i remember. 😀  This is just a trailer. Delhi has hundreds of local joints tucked away in colonies. Please feel free to add more names so that we can have a good list here. One can always talk about Karol Bagh but what I am looking for are undisovered places.

Delicious Dilli Nights

Winter is the best time to explore and enjoy the night life of Delhi. For foodies like me winter brings an opportunity to relish the dizzying range of street food. Imagine having a hot ” kadak” chai with anda parathas ( egg parathas) of Moolchand paranthewala near Moolchand flyover close to vikram hotel at 12 in the night or for that matter any parathas at Jain ka dhaba in CP. The piping hot parathas with a dollop of butter is the best sight on a cold foggy winter night. The only other warmth that one feels is that of friends.

It is an amazing experience to drive along the dark roods of the capital with a few close friends amidst laughter, jokes, music and chitchat. I can never forget the amazing time we used to have all covered in colorful woolens, with a pre mix ready in the car ..(BTW a premix is either rum n cola or vodka and 7up) 😀 stopping by the roadside dhabha and eating scrumptious Dal makhani, parathas , tandoori chicken and many such sinful delights.

The night adventures are not for the diet conscious. I remember heading for Dhabas at Murthal (on NH1 after sonipat). Though they serve only veg food it is worth the drive. In fact there are quite a few very good dhabas that are open all night near Delhi Gurgaon border and Kapashera Border. At one time the Kapashera border dhabas used to serve ‘bater'(quail) also which is banned now.

Our favorite joint used to be “Chinar” at Delhi Gurgaon Border. The food, ambience and service is great. We had some memorable late light gatherings there. It sure is a big hit with BPO crowd and hoteliers who head for a relaxed meal after a gruelling work shift.
The remembrance of the trips made to places outside indian oil building for parathas still make me nostalgic. For anda parathas green park was the favorite place. we also went to Comsum just outside Nizamuddin Railway station. Though it doesn’t qualify in the street food category but when you want food at 3:30 am that’s the place to be in.

Nizamuddin area is heaven for those who love non- vegetarian food. For mouth-watering mutton tikkas, shammi kebaabs and seekh kebaabs and sweet Phirni in a clay platter is worth a try. There are so many great food joints here that one should really brave the rush and find the one which suits our needs. On Thursdays apart from great food one can even catch some Qawwalis session at Nizamuddin Darghah along with sinfully delightful qormas, biryanis etc.

One place I loved to go and still do is “Ganga Dhaba ” at JNU campus. Like my friend used to say ” this dhaba is world-famous in Delhi “. 🙂 It sure is my kind of place.A battleground for all sort of intellectual debates, a hot spot during university elections, a perfect relaxation joint for friends. The place has it all. The wholesome parathas, endless cups of chai , Alloo bonda, pakodas and shikanji ( sweet or salted lemon water) in summers under the night sky is an unforgettable experience.

A trip down memory lane takes me to the galees and kuchas of Chandini Chawk. Kareem’s( since 1913), Parathewali gali, and many of Delhi’s oldest and most famous food joints are in the walled city and in the days of Ramadan the place is buzzing with food lovers. The sight is enough to put you in a dizzying aromatic experience. Parathewali Gali has the most amazing concoctions of a paranthas ranging from Plain paranthas, salted or sweet paranthas, dal (pulses) ka parantha, gobhi ka parantha (minced cauliflower), radish parantha, pudina parantha (mint), popadom parantha, cashew nut parantha – the variety is endless. One even gets a sinful 16 layered paratha with butter and dahi or lassi .. Nirvana for someone who loves her food.

A night stroll near Jama Masjid can get you to some amazing food places.The place warms up for a long evening at the time when birds are returning to their homes on the lush trees in the area and shopkeepers, tired from their work, are pulling up the shutters for the night. The aroma of sumptuous fish tikkas, kebabs,mutton qormas, biryanis, Haleem, and in sweets jalebis, firni(rice pudding) in earthen bowls and sevion ka muzzaffar fill the night air, luring you to the hundreds of hand carts and small shops with 300 watt bulbs and colorful banners. The hustle bustle refuses to die down even at the mid night hour. By 1:30 slowly and unwillingly the foodies bid farewell to this place and the silent shadows of night take over the streets.

I feel nostalgic writing this post. Some of the most memorable moments of my life were spent roaming the lanes and by lanes of Delhi with friends , an experience which is etched in my heart forever.