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10 June 2010

New Delhi

4 pages

There aren’t too many things Dilliwalas take more seriously than their food. Cooking, eating, discussing the meal after wolfing it down; they’re all part of the ethos of food we grow up with. Relationships are made and unmade over a meal in this city. In that vein, the best way of getting to know Delhi and its people intimately is through the city’s foods. It’s a truism by now that Delhi is a melting pot of

Idli Do-sa Idli Do-sa...In Rajasthani/Marwadi dialect the title of this article means idli do (give) sa (a mark of respect while addressing someone). So after playing up with the phonetically challenged side here, lets now get back to the business… of gluttony. While wondering about ‘Where to Eat’ South Indian food, Sagar Ratna might come up to your mind as an easy option but you may want to look for something different. On a rather warm summer afternoon, the need for some time with the self, the need to be in a rather quiet corner of the city, enjoying what you love the most (food), Naivedyam in Hauz Khas Village would just turn out to be PERFECT! At this place by the time you order your food and fix your eyes at the kitchen door, the waiter would get two papad and a glass of hot and tangy Rasam (all complimentary). And by the time you finish the complimentary items, your food would be right in front of you and as you taste them your mouth will experience a burst of flavors. Not to forget, your food will be complemented if you just take a glass of fresh lime soda.

looking for value for money and plain good taste. Consequently, most of us don’t even get to hear about the many unpretentious places which thankfully, still abound in Delhi, and which offer a truly rewarding experience to the foodie who is willing to venture away from the beaten path. Delhicious is thus an attempt to discover and share some of the hidden gems of Delhi’s food scene.

Delhicious is here to digest the emergencies of your gastronomical nature.

North Campuswith the lip-smackingly chholey couDelights delicious pled with perfectly fried On a sunny winter afternoon, you can 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. The pilgrimage can begin, inevitably, with Chacha’s Chhole Bhature. There you can pull off a meal of surprisingly non-greasy Aalu Bhature,

cultures, and it isn’t hard to trace down fairly authentic versions of regional cuisines. These days even fantastic Italian or Thai restaurants have started, much to the relief of the big diplomatic crowd. While Delhi offers a bewildering array of eating joints, there is a tendency in the media to focus on those which make commercial sense to the media mogul, but which regrettably often make little sense to those

potatoes, fresh onions and green chillies, all without having to stand in a long line of drooling undergrads! You can then saunter down to your next destination — Brijwaasi Sweets, in the Chhota Golchakkar area near the Khadi Bhandar. In the lane towards the shop, you may first stop at the corner for a capable plate of aalu chaat, after which

the hot gulab jamuns from Brijwaasi will taste even better (especially the round variety, which can win hands down over their elongated brothers). Serving the discerning throngs of Gujaratis and Marwaris that reside in the neighbourhood is the Gujarati Namkeen Wala right next to Brijwaasi. Here you get farsaan (namkeen) the way they were meant to be — gaathiya and phaaphra accompanied by a pickle of green chillies, bhelpuri

mixture with an attached sachet of powder to make chutney from, and of course the mandatory khakhra in several flavours, straight from Gujarat. The next stop has to be at Bille di Hatti, originally of Lahore. If all the talk of Gujarati farsaan makes your inner Punjabi groan with phrases of the oonth ke munh mein jeera variety, fear not, you’ve come to the right place. Bille serves lassi in steel tumblers, and before

you have licked the cream off the top of the glass, you’ve already separated the men from the boys. But beware, if you want to sample Bille’s lassi on a regular college day, you must get here early enough, or you’ll have to fight your way through the throngs of young studs for whom downing a glass of Bille’s lassi is nothing short of the Holy Grail of reckless courtship displays. Now the next shop in question was Ajay Kumar

Tamura Japanese food in “Saadi Dilli” is a bit of a rarity. In a largely vegetarian world, the demand for such food is low to begin with. Add to that the “eek” factor associated with raw fish, and then being affordable largely by the urban bourbondrinking page 3 hip and plastic crowd, and you have a cuisine on which the exclusion factor has been really high. At Tamura in D-Block Market, Poorvi Marg, Vasant Vihar, a typical japani diner awaits you in the basement with both traditional and western style seating. Traditional seating essentially implies sitting on legless chairs placed on “tatami” (chattaai) flooring with space to lower our feet under the table. Shoes need to be taken off after descending the stairs, as is appropriate on entering any Japanese house. Alternatively, you can sit on a table and a chair and this may be a better option for people who are worried about straining their muscles. Price-wise this restaurant is really a good value for money, though clearly not an option if you are going out on a budget meal. On the whole, a good home away from home for the Japanese and an excellent place to start experimenting with Japanese cuisine if one is new to it. In terms of a recommendation, I think if Mr. Tamura were to offer a little Japanese food appreciation service, nothing more than like a little 5 minutes pre-order chat for people still in their early stages of experiments with Japanese food, then it would make the entire experience very solid. Otherwise people may be left wondering why the sushi came before the soba soup noodles and what exactly to do with the wasabe. particularly for the uninitiated.

Vijay Kumar Garg Gajjak Wale of Agra, a true ragsto-riches story built on the solid foundation of quality gajjak. The elderly gentleman who now presides over no less than two outlets in Kamla Nagar and another in Agra, started life selling his wares on a cycle in Kamla Nagar, at the very location where he now owns a shop.


ST FE

Jolly Rogers 1002, 10th Floor, Time Tower, Opposite Gurgaon Central Mall, MG Road, MFG Metropolitian, Gurgaon, Delhi.

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Corporate Lunch at Jolly Rogers May 18, 2010 - Jun 30, 2010 Meals include salads, choices of vegetarian & non vegetarian main course along with accompaniments and desserts to finish with.

Mongolian Lunch at Wildfire restaurant May 13 2010 - May 31 2010 Enjoy the chefs cooking wonderful Mongolian delicacies with choice of sauces. Pricing Details: Rs. 650 (inclusive of taxes). Crowne Plaza Today Tulip Hall, Gurgaon Delhi.

Karim’s

By looking at the place, you will feel it is a total mess. Seated on the first floor, the place is no frills added ride. The menu you are offered has a huge pic declaring it as one of the TIME magazine’s top eatery in Asia. Now this is something. The items are fairly priced. The food here is definitely not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the cholesterol watchers. But, if you are the one to gorge, then Karim’s is just the place. Karim’s mutton nihari and paaya(trotters) are probably some of the best in town.

Carelessly flung in the middle of Karim’s menu, the Tandoori Bakra will arrest your eye with its price. Rs.4500 reads the entry, or roughly ten times the price of any other dish on the list. We’d only heard whispered legends of the Bakra: a full goat, roasted to perfection in an underground oven, and stuffed with biryani, chicken, eggs, almonds and pistachios, the Tandoori Bakra is a feast that feeds up to 15 people. Location: Gali Kababian, near Jama Masjid Gate No. 1.

Daulat ki Chaat THE WORLD, as far as one can tell, is divided into two. There is one section - the overwhelming majority, who have never heard or had Daulat Ki Chaat. But, then there are some - a tiny lot, who have never been the same ever since they had their first spoonful of this exotic delicacy. Daulat Ki Chaat is not a sweetand-tangy preparation, as the name suggests (and before you hygiene freaks turn up your snotty little noses, the platter is well covered with a muslin cloth). It is actually a sweet dish, a tradition of

North India that’s slowly disappearing with time. There are some interesting legends about this sweet. It is mostly made in winter, and old-timers believe that Daulat Ki Chaat should only be prepared at night. This incredible little dish is made up almost entirely of air: it is essentially just milk froth. A spoonful of it just vanishes in the mouth, and has a very sophisticated, understated sweet taste to it. Yet in the by-lanes of Shahjahanabad, a dona of Daulat ki Chaat sets you back by exactly 10 bucks!

Italian T.L.R. Cafe & Kitchen at 31 Hauz Khas Village, near Green Park and Aurobindo Place in South Delhi. The Big Chill in Khan Market East of Kailash and Select Citywalk, Saket. Slice of Italy (various other locations in Delhi). The West View at Maurya Sheraton. Italian food. San Gimignano, at Imperial Hotel. La Piazza at the Hyatt Regency. Satoria located in Vasant Vihar. Little Italy in the Defence Colony Market. Diva, at Greater Kailash Pt.2. Olive, near the Qutub Minar. Flavours of Italy is located near the Moolchand Flyover.

Jalebis

Dilli’s Delight, It seems so, but isn’t light, Let the sweet tooth dig into a sinful bite, It will set your taste buds tickling and tune them JUST right...

It is aptly named ‘Old and Famous Jalebiwala’. Having a tradition of making and serving Jalebis running for over 100 years, what better name could the shop possibly have? Even more fascinating and dramatic is the location of the

shop, for it is located right at the beginning of the famous Dariba Kalan (Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi). The entire set-up is bound to make one high and nostalgic. Best dessert and best silverjewellery shops. They also serve samosas but who cares to taste them because Jalebis RULE. Don’t be greedy else you may burn your tongue. Kailash Jain, the owner of the shop, has been running the shop for the past 30 years.

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana.

Chinese

After Indian Cuisine, Chinese is Delhi’s second most popular fare. For a long time, only Indianized Chinese was available, but extremely highquality options are available today. Some of them are: Mainland China in Greater Kailash Part 2. Yo! China in Greater Kailash Part 1. The Yum Yum Tree in New Friends Colony. Chopsticks in South Ext Part I Drums of Heaven in Green Park. Berco’s in Connaught Place. Zen in Connaught Place.

The basics to good nutrition We all know what healthy foods are. The problem is we all lead busy lives. Between jobs, kids, and all the stresses of life, we simply don’t make

the time to eat as healthily as we know we should. The illustation shows you the amounts of each type of food you should eat to have a balanced

and healthy diet. Healthy eating does not have to mean giving up foods you like best, just learn to balance the food choices you make. You can enjoy snacks and meals while still keeping yourself in good health.


Your complete food guide of the city over the next seven days Monday: Delicious Muffins: Indulge in muffins like chocolate, cherry, marshmallow and toffee fudge. BAGELS & BROWNIES 14/185, Shivalik Road, Malviya Nagar Tel: 32984606

Best of the menu: Treat yourself to tabak maas, giashtaba, gazab ka tikka, haaq, tamatar chaanam et al. Drift, Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec 44, Gurgaon. Tel: 0124 2715000

Tuesday: Kullas Treat: Savour kulla (scooped potatoes or tomatoes stuffed with a mix of vegetables) and relive the taste of Old Delhi. Chutney Restaurant, The Metropolitian Hotel Nikko, Bangla Sahib Marg, Connaught Place. Tel: 42500200

Sausages Galore: Dig into an array of sausages like Thuringer, Portuguese Red Devil, and Bratwurst etc. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Crown Plaza Surya, New Friends Colony. Tel: 26835070

Treat yourself to 12 types of sumptuous biryani. Zaffarani Zaika, first floor, Yashwant Place, Chanakya Puri. Tel: 24121520

The chew-chew ride across Delhi

Shaken or Stirred: Choose from over 18 blends of shakes from various chocolate and candy bars. Urban Café, first and second floor, 70 Khan Market. Tel: 43597127

Friday: Wok with Chef Sam Leong: Delve into traditional Chinese Dishes presented by Chef Leong 21, ITC Maurya Hotel, Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakya Puri. Tel: 26112233

Saturday: Chocolicious: Savour new chocolate flavours this month. Cocoa World, M-69, Greater Kailash-1

Sunday:

Marwar Food Test: Indulge in Marwar delicacies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kachori Jodhpuree, 6/67, Near Gate No. 1, Near Tilak Nagar metro station. Tel: 9871593669

Sample over 25 varieties of beer along

Thursday: Biryani Fest:

Market. Tel: 32560605

Wednesday:

Beer Café:

with interesting Indian and Continental cuisine. CDB café, first floor, 30-31 Raja House, Nehru Place.

Super Sunday siesta: Enjoy delicacies from around the globe like tortilla, escalivada, clalmari, croquettes and flan Tapas The Lounge Bar, Jaypee Vasant Continental Hotel, 44, Community Centre, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar. Tel: 26148800

The original Moti Mahal

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Moti Mahal is a landmark in Delhi’s culinary history. Set up shortly after independence in 1947, it boasts of having introduced the recipes for everything from tandoori chicken and butter chicken to burra kabaabs. The restaurant is a curiously mixed highbrow and lowbrow experience. As you step inside, you come into a sumptuous courtyard — where the arrangements involve sitting on plastic chairs. And as you settle down and

All time hits Bukhara, Maurya Sheraton

Chor Bizarre, Hotel Broad-

Punjabi by Nature, 11

– Regularly tops the charts as India’s best restaurant (and certainly among the priciest). In the 20-plus years since this restaurant opened its doors, it has become legendary. The cuisine is traditional “Northwestern Frontier” Indian, which is a style that focuses on meats cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor. The house specialty is the dal. The chicken kebab marinated in cream cheese, vinegar and coriander is also exceptional. Vegetarians should sample the tandoori salad with vegetables and pineapple, with a side of homemade roti.

way, 4/15A Asaf Ali Rd. The name of this restaurant, means “thieves’ market,” and the mish-mash of nostalgic décor and furnishings echoes the sentiment. You might dine on an old sewing table or sit in mismatched chairs. The salad bar used to be a 50s vintage Fiat. Don’t let the fun decorations distract you from your wonderful meal. The specialty here is Kashmiri cuisine. This style of cooking tends to be a bit milder than much of Indian cooking. Try the lamb meatballs flavored with cardamom or the mutton stewed in yogurt, cardamom and anise.

Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. One of Delhi’s bestknown Punjabi restaurants. This family-friendly spot serves traditional Punjabi cuisine in a festive atmosphere. Request a table on the ground floor where you can watch the excitement in the kitchen. For a quieter experience you can choose the dining room upstairs, and there is a bar on the top floor for after dinner drinks. Traditional golgappas are fried dough filled with spicy water. This restaurant became famous – or infamous – for filling them with vodka instead. Try fresh lobster cooked in a tandoor oven or the house chicken curry.

daintily dip your fingers into the proffered warm bowls of water, your ears quail at the sounds of the ghazal singing. They serve everything from Paneer Shashlik, Bharwaan Aloo and Makhani Daal for the principled vegetarians to the Reshami Kabaab, Burra Kabaab, Rogan Josh, Butter Chicken, and Tandoori Chicken for the rambunctious carnivores. The service is surprisingly quick and the food is unsurprisingly deli-

cious. This original Moti Mahal of Darya Ganj has no branch! I have a feeling there has been a split in the family, because at least some of the other places (usually called Moti Mahal Delux) are, I believe, run by the descendents of the original. I will leave it to those better-informed to decide whether the food elsewhere is up to the standards of the Daryaganj one.


Haji Noora ki Nihari Haji Noora’s nihari shop is not a “family-oriented” place. If you take your aged relatives along, their joints will protest as they are forced to squat on the dari on the ground. An arrangement lacking tables, however, is only a favor to the teeming nihari connoisseurs who land up at the crack of dawn at Haji Noora’s door — how else could so many fit into so small a space? Nor is this shop one to take bosses from your “reputable multinational” - they are likely to balk at the sight of less than spic-and-span seating places. Which is just as well, because only the discerning foodie whose taste buds and nose reigns supreme deserves to partake of the food concocted by Haji Noora’s son and heir.

The nihari is quite literally, sublime. Spicy, as good nihari ought to be, it will seem to turn from solid into liquid into a mere scent in your mouth in the blink of an eye. Like all great things, this too was something not much money is needed to buy. I’ll say no more; you have to go and have it yourself. So wake early on the morrow my friend, and hasten to Bara Hindu Rao! For as Kabir had said, (surely after a mouthful at Haji Noora’s ancestral haven) “jo sovat hai, so khovat hai”! Location: The Bara Hindu Rao area is a five minute cyclerickshaw ride from the Pul Bangash metro station.

The best ices in Delhi? The Kuremal family has been making kulfi in the old city since 1908 when Pandit Kuremal left his ancestral village in Haryana at the age of 8 to seek fame and fortune in the big city. He learned the kulfi business in an Old Delhi Halwai and by the time he was 14 had his own pushcart selling just one flavour: plain rabri. Word spread and over the next 40 years Kuremal built the business to a multi-cart affair. When Kuremal’s son Mahavir Prasad took over in 1975, he moved the business off the street and into its present shop, tucked in amongst the old havelis of Kucha Pati Ram, off Bazaar Sitaram. Today the family makes

over fifty varieties of kulfi, including pomegranate, tamarind, rose, and custard apple. There are even ices made from fruits like phalsa. They’ve also expanded the business, and regularly cater to some of the largest hotels and resorts in Delhi, including the Hyatt, the Radisson, Tivoli Gardens, and so on. Their orange and mango kulfis are particularly delicious. The stuffed mango kulfi is made by taking out the mango stone and most of the flesh and filling it with rabri, or plain kulfi mix. When frozen, the skin is peeled away and the ice sliced to give a fabulous combination of rabri and frozen mango flesh. The orange one has a tantalizing,

almost-there flavor, achieved when the rabri becomes infused with the orange zest during freezing. Kuremal still produces their kulfi in exactly the same low-tech fashion as they have always done. Everything is done by hand and the only thing that has changed since 1908 is the arrival of giant chest freezers. They use the best ingredients. Their creamy milk comes from dairies in Hapur, They use only intensely-flavoured Alphonso mangoes. They use a very specific type of ‘Peshawri Pista lot number 101′ and their long saffron stems come from Kashmir or Afghanistan.

Amritsari Kulche in Rohini Born of a thick dough of maida layered several times over with ghee, stuffed (typically) with spicy mashed potatoes, grilled in a clay tandoor, and then generously smeared with butter, the amritsari kulcha lands on your plate as a piping hot, crispy, flaky flatbread that goes perfectly with sour

tamarind-and-onion chutney and a gravy of mildly spiced chhole. It’s no wonder that a breakfast of kulche at the neighborhood dhaba is about as much of a daily ritual in Amritsar as a visit to the Golden Temple – the latter probably made all the more necessary by the concomitant anxiety over

Are you eating it? Or is it eating you? Sitaram Diwan Chand When conniving Mughal upstart Aurangzeb imprisoned his father, Emperor Shah Jehan, in Agra Fort in 1657, he told him he could choose just one thing to eat every day for the rest of his life. The old man chose chick peas because the prison cook told him he would be able to make something different every day of the year. Until recently, I would have snorted in disbelief at this – chick peas? But

came Chana Bhatura and I discovered I could actively crave something involving chick peas. There are very few deepfried foods I can resist and I admit what first attracted me to this dish, in places like Evergreen in Green Park and Nathus in Bengali Market, were the magnificent balloon-sized puffed-up bhatura. But Sita Ram Dewan Chand in Paharganj, offers you one of the finest bhaturas along

with unlimited chana. From their small shop in Chuna Mandi near the Imperial Cinema, Sita Ram makes what many Delhi-ites believe to be the perfect Chhole Bhature. I strongly urge everyone to visit the place sometime soon and take a moment to give thanks for what’s going on in your mouth. I bet those 8 years in Agra Fort just flew by.

your arteries. Break Fast Point, a modest shop located in the Prashant Vihar market in Rohini. Run by Mukesh, the shop is devoted purely to catering to the neighborhood’s burgeoning demand for amritsari kulche. Despite a constant stream of phoned-in orders, Mukesh does a good job of

Thai food EGO Thai, Friends Colony Market. Culinaire, Greater Kailash 2. Chilli Seasons, Lodhi Colony market. Ban Thai, Oberoi. Thai Wok, Mehrauli. The Kitchen, Khan Market. Turquoise Cottage, 81/3 Adhchini, Sri Aurobindo Marg.

giving his walk-in customers personal attention, and after a short wait for a table, service is prompt. The kulche themselves are reasonably priced and delicious. Location: A-76, Shop No. 5, Prashant Vihar. Ph. 9810080082. The nearest Metro station is Rohini East.


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