Eating Out in Delhi – 50 DISHES YOU MUST HAVE BEFORE YOU DIE – A List from Indiamike.com

A FED went crazy on the wall of FED page on facebook, and made multiple posts about what outlets he liked. I thought of compiling a list of the same for convenience of everyone.

However was informed that this data is available on IndiaMike, and there is more data there, so I copied the entire post from IM to this blog post for benefit of all the foodies.

STREETSIDE CLASSICS 

Peeli Dal at Shakahari, Chawri Bazar: Making good peeli dal is an art, but these guys excel in it, though the one at Karim’s is also to die for.

Fish Fry at Ganesh, Karol Bagh (Gurudwara Chowk)
: The queue of cars outside this beehive of activity is a testament to the drawing power of its menu’s main attraction.

Aloo Tikki at Natraj Cafe, Chandni Chowk
: The tangy tikkis served in a pool of creamy dahi and a medley of chutneys are enough to make you ignore the elbow power of passers- by.

Papri Chaat outside UPSC Building, Shahjahan Road : You may have had chaat all over, but this one has something that makes even your crashing dream of entering babudom seem fine

Kakori Kebabs at Aap Ki Khatir, Khan Market: The hole- in- the- wall restaurant has moved from Nizamuddin to Khan, but the quality of its kebabs hasn’t suffered.

Cream Chicken Kebabs at Salim’s, Khan Market: Even the Middle Lane dogs seem to love it – if they see you eating it, they’ll wait patiently around you for their turn to lick the plate.

Chicken Tikka Rolls at Khan Chacha, Khan Market: These rolls defined Khan Market for an entire generation of bunkers from Modern School – now the whole of Delhi goes to have them.

Chicken Changezi at Chicken Planet, Tyre Market, Near Filmistan
: Now, you can have this beauty in air- conditioned comfort, away from the confusion at the eatery’s aam admi side.

Poori Aloo of Ramchand, Chhota Bazar, Shahdara:
The pooris don’t get soggy because they are made with sooji and the aloo ki sabzi is drenched in imli chutney.

Chhole Bhature at Odeon Sweets, Bhagat Singh Marg, Gole Market:
Some people get very possessive about their favourite chhole bhature place. Our cholesterol- laden heart beats for this one.

Mutton Dish at Ashok Meat Dhaba, Shop No. 42, Subhash Chowk, Sadar Bazar:
You won’t get lost trying to find this hole in the wall. Just follow the aroma of shudh desi ghee.

ONLY AT 

CP Chicken Pepper Steak at United Coffee House, E- Block, Inner Circle: A chunky piece of chicken breast bathed in a creamy mushroom sauce and accompanied by lots of veggies is our idea of bliss.

Dal Meat at Embassy, D- Block, Inner Circle:
The hardy perennial has winner written all over it. The mutton pieces in it are like butter, as is the Dal. You must also have the Pindi Chana and the scrumptious Embassy Pudding.

Tomato Fish at Kwality, Regal Building:
Certain classics become a part of a city’s collective consciousness. This is one of them. The place also has the best caramel custard.

Double Egg Single Mutton Kathi at Nizam’s Kathi Kabab, Plaza Building: This is the best of their offerings, though you must also have their Pakhtooni Keema Kofta Curry.

SOUTHERN SIRENS

Set Dosa at Sagar, Defence Colony Market: You may keep complaining about the how Sagar has become a sprawling corporate enterprise, but certain favorites remain as good as they were.

Bombay Duck at Swagath, Defence Colony Market:
This is the only place in the city where you can get real Bombay Duck prepared in the way it should be.

Rice with Gunpowder & Ghee, Andhra Bhawan: It’s a treat that even people on a no- carb diet must indulge in once in a while. Before leaving the place, make sure you buy a bottle of gunpowder and gonkura pickles from the little stall outside.

Bisi Bele Bhath, Karnataka Food Centre, Karnataka Sangha, Rao Tula Ram Marg: Once you have had this scrumptious, soul-nourishing vegetarian meal-in-a-dish, you’ll want to book a ticket to Udipi.

ALL- TIME STARS
Chicken Pakodas at Moti Mahal Delux, Greater Kailash- I, M- Block Market: The restaurant’s signature dish is butter chicken, but the chicken pakodas win the popularity race by a mile.

Butter Chicken at Havemore, Pandara Road Market:
But don’t go for the boneless chicken; the meat can be fibrous. If you’re vegetarian, dig into the soya champ ki sabzi . Kashmiri Kebabs at Gulati, Pandara Road Market: There’s nothing Kashmiri about the kebabs. These are chicken malai tikkas quilted in chickpea paste and egg yolk.
Dab Chingri at Fire, The Park, CP: If you wish to win a Bengali heart, go for this seductive prawn in coconut milk and mustard curry that comes in a green coconut shell.

Gushtaba at Chor Bizarre, Hotel Broadway, Asaf Ali Road:
This is the closest you’d get to Kashmiri food as your mother-in-law would make it, though we personally prefer the rista made in the Pandit style. Veggies must have the Tamatar Chaman (tomato paneer).

Chicken Haldighati at Colonel’s Kebabs, Defence Colony Market:
Once you have eaten it, you’ll forget all the rarha chicken you’ve had in your life.
Nargisi Kofta at Karim’s, Jama Masjid: It’s difficult to figure out what’s the best at Karim’s, but this one scores because of the fineness of the preparation.

Veggie Cutlets at Coffee Home, Baba Kharak Singh Marg:
These oil drenched temptresses may just go out of circulation if the High Court decides in favor of the Coffee Home’s closure.

Pakistani Biryani at DeeZ Biryani & Kababs:
This biryani, we are told, is cooked in the Sindhi style. We suspect they use packed masala from Pakistan. Whatever it is, it tastes great.
Mutton Mince at St Stephen’s, Delhi University: Stephanians get misty eyed at the thought of this essential part of their callow youth.
Kosha Mansho at Oh Calcutta, Nehru Place: Kolkata’s favorite mutton dish takes on the zest of Delhi to become something special. Have it with loochis, or pooris made with maida .

Mutton Barra at Bukhara, ITC Maurya, Diplomatic Enclave:
People love the ones at Moti Mahal or Karim’s, but our vote goes to Bukhara’s barras because they are uniformly well- marinated.

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EXOTIC FLAVOURS

Pizzas at Flavors, Under Moolchand Flyover:
Flavors manages to deliver impeccable pizzas from its wood- fired oven at any time of the day. Our favorite is the Vegetarian Piri Piri.
Khao Suey at The Kitchen, Khan Market: It’s impossible to get into the restaurant and the guy at the door is rude, but this Burmese delicacy is Delhi’s winter must- have.

Patrani Mekong Basa, Indian Accent (The Manor, Friends Colony West)
: It feels like the fish has just popped out of the river — it melts in the mouth and the masala isn’t allowed to overpower it. Veggies must go for the paneer pinwheels.

Black Cod with Miso at 360 Degrees, The Oberoi:
When the fish is silken and the sauce is made to be perfect, you won’t miss Nobu, where it was invented.

Stalin’s Beard at Nanking, Vasant Kunj (opp. DPS Vasant Kunj):
Potato has never tasted better. Even among their brilliantly innovative dim sum, this one stands out.

Peking Duck at China Kitchen, Hyatt Regency:
This is justifiably the restaurant’s signature dish. The slivers of duck melt in the mouth, for the chefs prepare the bird by pumping air into it.

Hunanese Braised Prawns at The Chinese, Middle Circle, CP:
There’s something about the sauce that stays in your edible memory.

Green Tea Noodles at The Monk, Galaxy Hotel, Sec. 15, Gurgaon:
We thought it was impossible to get these noodles outside Sakura, but we were wrong.

Dim Sum at Tea House of the August Moon, Taj Palace:
Best for Sunday afternoons. Ask for bok choy in garlic sauce for a change of taste.
SWEET SOMETHINGS

Kadha Prasad at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib:
It may be blasphemous to go to the Gurudwara on a Sunday morning with the thought of food, but the stomach has its own logic.

Badam Halwa at Saravana Bhawan, Janpath, CP:
This temple of good vegetarian food serves the best badam halwa redolent of shudh desi ghee .

Kancha Golla at Annapurna Mishtanna Bhandar, Chandni Chowk:
This is the finest address for Bengali sweets. We could list many must- haves, but this the best.

Saffron Lassi at Kaleva, Bangla Sahib Road, Gole Market:
You can’t spend a summer without it. Nor can you let the winter pass by without their imarti and ghevar .
Chocolate Pudding at Angels in My Kitchen, Defence Colony: This is the mouth- watering reason why Def Col residents swear by Angels.

Jalebis at Old & Famous Jalebiwala, Dariba, Chandni Chowk:
The man playing video games on his laptop at the counter may not have manners, but people still queue up for the soft jalebis straight out of the vast kadhai .

Karachi Halwa at Chaina Ram, Next to Fatehpuri Masjid:
This is the last place you’d find this disappearing delicacy, and the near-extinct Sohan Halwa. They deserve to live.

Hot Butter Scotch at Nirula’s:
We are not being facetious, but this is one buttery treat that is worth every milligram of bad cholesterol.

Neembu Soda and Pan at Prince Pan, Greater Kailash- I, M- Block Market:
We can’t think of a better way to end one’s meal, or one’s life.
If you have any more suggestions, please mention those in comments section.

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Parmigiana Di Melanzane – A recipe by an Italian FED

 This is a recipe shared by Emanuela Cerri, a Food Enthusiast, who loves Indian Food, is an Italian and lives in Spain. 

Her hold over English is limited, however that should not hold us back from enjoying good food.

PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE

Weather in Granada it’s very hot in the last days (38/40º C.)..remembering me India….so I don’t usually cook too much. But yesterday I woke up very early..and start cooking…so I think to share what I did.
Italian food is very simple to cook, with no many ingredients…(apart if you want Indianised the meal..) 
I prepared : Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant parmigiana), An hybrid between a french omelette and a Spanish tortilla….and Milanesi di Tacchino (breaded turkey cutlet)..the favorite dish of every Italian child….
We are two people at home, so the quantity is for TWO.
Let’s start with:

PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE

Ingredients: 2 Eggplants, half onion, 1 clove of garlic, fresh tomato puree, olive oil, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper  basil..
(Behind  two typical earthenware jars from Granada)…

– Cut the eggplants in slices and grill…. 

…… a part,  prepare the tomato sauce… ( put in a pot olive oil, the half onion and the garlic chopped……

..fry for a while… add the tomato puree…little salt, little sugar (to take off acidity of tomatoes)..little pepper and a basilicum leave…cook for 20 min.

…now you can start build the “Parmigiana”. 
Put some tomato sauce in a baking pan

put the first floor of grilled eggplants, put on the top the tomato sauce, and again on the top sliced mozzarella and grated Parmesan..

….40 minutes at  200º C in the oven…..and it’s ready!

You can serve it hot..template..or cold…

Tee Pee O – A Personal Discovery

I guess it has something to do with the character of person, you develop a liking of certain type of thing and that starts defining your taste in everything in life. And if I have to define that certain type for myself, I would put it as heritage. Anything that comes with a lineage, heritage, a story to tell, attracts and hold my attention. And I say this after considering the kind of bike I ride, cars I like, music I hear and other similar things. And the best part is, it comes naturally to you.
Couple of weeks back I was in Mohan Singh Place, and when I was stepping out, a small shop caught my attention. Yellowing Marbles, metaled counters clearly showed some age and the on the counter was sitting a Paraat of Biryani. Though it managed to grab my attention however that day, and couple of other times, I managed to ignore the allure as it seemed to be place catering primarily to non-vegetarians and seemed to have very limited things, more of canteen style.
The Old School Vessels
Ready to serve

This Saturday, I was in CP area around 11am, and was planning on a brunch. Lot of options were coming to mind, Chhole Bhature at Odeon in Gole Market, a hike to Sita Ram Dewan Chand in Paharganj, Kachoris and Bread pakoras of Hanuman Mandir etc. Then suddenly Kwality came to my mind and I thought it would be a good opportunity to sample their Chhole Bhatures, and given the humidity that day, I could certainly have used an air-conditioner. However as my luck had it, I pushed their door at 11:30 am, and they were closed. So I was again left wondering where to eat, when I went to Mohan Singh Place.

Now I was again standing next to this eatery, that had managed to get my attention on every occasion I have crossed it, a cursory look around and I notice Dal makhani, Shahi Paneer, Kadahi paneer written on its walls, besides other non-vegetarian stuff. Still not the kind of food that I was looking at that morning. And then I got a better view, a view of their dining area, cramped seats with rexine on them, tables with wearing out mica, off-white walls etc. Something that might seem not much to you, however me, I was enchanted. 
Onions with Masala and Chutney looked absolutely fantastic
The menu had not much to differentiate on it from any of the thousands of Punjabi/Mughlai Dhabas all over the city. Their speciality obviously seemed to be Biryani, and I was quite happy to see Egg Biryani on their Menu. So I ordered Egg Biryani, Palak Paneer and a Butter Naan. Immediately after my order, came a small plate of onions and Chutney, with masala on them. Then came the Biryani, the Naan, and Palak Paneer. Being a vegetarian (or rather eggetarian), my experience with Biryani is very limited, however the color, texture and small of it made it seem very good to me. Palak Paneer was different from what we get at most of the Dhabas in Delhi. It was not light green because of use of excessive Cream / Milk / Curd in it, it was dark green and with pieces of fried paneer in it. Coming to naan though it looked small compared to normal butter naan, however it looked well made.
Biryani, I can still smell the Aroma
When it came to taste, I guess it would suffice to say that it was on of those places, which have a flavor of their own and have not been influenced by the richness brigade that has taken over the dhaba food off late. Biryani was non greasy, well spiced, aromatic, if this is what Biryani is supposed to taste like, then I am in love with it. Infact the chutney served with Laccha onion and masala, went very well with it. Naan was as well made as it looked, just the right shade of golden brown and tasted quite nice. Palak Paneer actually reminded me of the one served at Karim’s, I absolutely loved the flavor of it, and tried mixing it with Biryani, which went very well with it.  
Palal Paneer
Butter Naan
I stepped out, and found out this place is called Tee Pee O (though nothing to do with tea :P) and seems to cater to a market dominated by tailors, clothes merchants and their customers. Had a quick chat with Pradeep Arora, who is manning the shop since 1975, which was opened in 1960 by his family. He said that they were the first people to bring the Biryani to New Delhi (I guess earlier it would have been a specialty in walled city itself) and they were quite popular for their Chicken and Muttom variety of the same. Though I have no way of verifying the claim, however from whatever I had, I can surely recommend the place and I am definitely going back again. We might organize a Raid very soon, and bring a post about their Non-vegetarian food.
One of the better meals I have had

My Rating : 3.5 / 5
Prices – Paid around Rs.215 for whatever I had.
Location : Mohan Singh Place is between PVR Rivoli and Hanuman Mandir in CP. To reach this place, enter basement of Mohan Singh Place from the side of PVR Rivoli, and it is the first shop on your right.
 

Recipes for Vegetable Lasagna and White Sauce Pasta

What will happen to this world if we do not have people who love to cook and experiment with their food? People like me, who cannot cook to save their life, however are die hard foodies, would always be thankful to people like Poonam Batra and Gaytri Vyas, who have very kindly shared their recipes with us.
Poonam Batra shares this recipe for Veg Lasgna, with healthy option thrown in too.
Ingredients:
Stuffing
Mixed Chopped Vegetables (Beans, Carrots, Peas) 2 cups
Zucchini 1Cup – Chopped
Cottage Cheese 1 Cup
Onion 1 Piece – Chopped
Chilly Powder
Salt to taste
Olive oil to Sauté the vegetables
Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes 1 Kg
Sugar 3 tsp
Chilly Powder 1/2 tsp
Fresh Cream 3 tbsp
Oregano
Salt to taste
Topping
White sauce 1 1/2 cup
Fresh cream 3 tbsp
Cheese 6 tbsp
Salt and Pepper
Ready Made Lasagna sheets 10 no.s
Method
Boil the sheets in water with few drops of oil. Drain and keep it on a greased dish.
Stuffing
Sauté onions till pink. Add vegetables and cook partially. Add zucchini; make sure they are not very soft. Add the seasoning.
Tomato Sauce
Blanch the tomatoes, Peel the skin and mash. Mix everything except the cream and boil to make sauce. Add cream in the end. For healthy variation, skip cream and add milk instead. Keep aside.
White Sauce
Mix cream and grated cheese with the white sauce. For healthy variation, add grated cottage cheese and skip cream n cheese all together.
Assembling
Grease a baking dish. Line it with sauce and layer it alternatively with Lasagna sheets, vegetables and sauce. The top layer should be of the sheets. Cover with white sauce and bake till done.
_________________________________________________________________
Gaytri Vyas shares recipe for White Sauce Pasta.
Ingredients

1.     2 tbsp. butter
2.     2 cups milk
3.     1 and a half cup full cream milk
4.     1 cup boiled pasta of your choice
5.     1 small tbsp. all purpose flour (maida)
6.     Mushroom thinly sliced
7.     3 processed cheese cubes or more if you prefer
8.     Black pepper
9.     Salt to taste
10.   Oregano for flavor

Method
1.     In a pan add 1 tbsp. butter, and sauté the sliced mushrooms till they are brown and
        keep them aside.
2.     In another pan, add butter, flour, roast flour so that it cooks but make sure it doesn’t get 
        brown.
3.     Add milk to it and stir continuously so as to avoid lumps.
4.     Let it heat a little and add cheese cubes in it after grating it or cutting in small pieces
        so that it melts easily.
5.     Now cook it until it comes to a boil.
6.     Add pasta, and cooked mushrooms.
7.     Bring it to a boil and you will notice that the sauce gets thicker.
8.     Add salt and pepper to taste (do not add before as the milk may curdle)
9.     Add roasted oregano on the top and enjoy with your loved ones.
Tips

1.     You can add other vegetables also of your choice.
2.     I’ve cooked it without flour but then it is not that thick.
3.     Put off the flame when the sauce is not that thick. It becomes thicker while you eat it.
4.     Domino’s oregano tastes best as the topping.
5.     This sauce can also be cooked with only vegetables, which also taste yummy.

Again friends, no one claims to be an expert here, and we all are together just for love of food. So go ahead and try these out, I am sure you would have a good time. Feel free to post your inputs, feedback or changes to these recipes in the comments.

Can Sushi be Sushi without the fish? Most Certainly !

The only instance a Delhiite would feel stressed about being a Delhiite is when the Sushi craving strikes. Amidst heavy thoughts of locating a Sushi bar, the expense considerations and the gastronomical enemy “traffic”, the craving goes kaput. Not to forget that although it is healthful, succulent and simply beautiful, Japanese food in general is not “the thing” for vegetarians like me, not until recently when I took it upon myself as a challenge to come up with a Veg Sushi version. So, can sushi be sushi without the fish? Well I certainly think so.

This recipe is extremely customized to fit my Delhi taste buds. Like they say “You can take a Delhiite out of Delhi but not Delhi out of a Delhiite”

 

 

So here’s what I used:-
1 Sushi Nori Sheet (The Japanese Sea vegetable toasted and ready to use)
1 cup cooked Sushi rice (well any rice cooked with more water than needed to make it sticky)
1/2 cucumber (cut into thick juliennes)
3-4 Mushroom peeled and sliced
1/4 red capsicum juliennes
Any Stir frying Oil
Sushi Mat or tin foil for rolling sushi
For seasoning the rice :-
1 tbsp. Organic Rice Vinegar
Pepper powder, Salt, Garlic powder and Basil to taste

 

** I have also used a special homemade Cranberry Chutney on my sushi which is completely optional.

 

To cook rice soft and sticky, I added 3 portions of water to 1 portion of rice and cooked it in the microwave for 15 min. Once the rice is cooked and cooled to room temperature, season the rice with Organic Rice vinegar, pepper, salt, basil and Garlic Powder using cutting and folding movements with a Spoon.

 

Heat 1 tbsp. oil and stir-fry the mushrooms, cucumber and capsicum juliennes till they are slightly burnt. Do not add any salt yet else the veggies will ooze out water. Veggies should be seasoned with salt only after being removed from heat.

 

 

Now place the Nori Sheet on the Sushi Mat (or the Tin foil inside parchment papers as I did) the shiny side down. Spread the rice on the Nori leaving 2 cm clear at the top, wet your fingers a bit to spread the rice evenly.

 

Spread the cranberry chutney (or any other chutney as per your liking or omit if you wish) and lay on the fillings.

 

 

Begin Rolling the mat (or the Foil) from the near edge, roll firmly but do not press so hard that the rice comes out of the sides.
Once the rolls are formed, squeeze them gently but firmly whilst pulling on the far end of the mat to tighten. The moisture from the rice will stick the Nori Sheet together

 

 

 

Remove the roll from the mat and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Now Cut into 1 inch pieces with a wet knife using a steady sawing motion. Arrange on a plate with Sweet soy sauce like i did, or any soy sauce coupled with Wasabi and Ginger Pickle.

 

 

Experimenting with your sushi is the key; you can add roasted sesame seeds to your rice, roasted chicken or steamed fish (like i do for my non vegetarian husband) or add tofu/pickled soya chunks for more fun.
There is just one rule for making sushi that there is no rule 🙂

Sayōnara!!!!

Written by Deepti Kharbanda

PS (by Shashank) – Friends, would appreciate if you can share info on where we can get all the material used in this recipe in Delhi.

PS (by Deepti) – Yamato Ya in Safdarjang enclave, close to the CCD, has all the stuff one needs for sushi.. check out the sushi corner for Nori sheets, rice sheets, thick/sweet soy sauce, rice venagar and I think even Wasabi… 

The Carnivore Carnival – Ramzan Walk in Old Delhi

If you have been born and brought up in Delhi, chances are that the memories of evenings spent with family at the melas or carnivals of the “pre-mall” days, occupy a very important part of your childhood nostalgia. Remember the old feeling when your feet are screaming for a break from all the walking – but instead your eyes, filled with excitement, refuse to listen, and keep on pulling you towards the next attraction?? That was exactly how I was feeling today at Jama Masjid, and all the joy-rides were for my taste-buds.
Our gang of FED’s got together at the Chawri Bazaar metro station, and we started walking through the small eateries mainly catering to the Chawri Bazaar businessmen and the local residents. Until we reached the Jama Masjid area, the fare was only vegetarian, and rightly so, because had we gone straight to the other part, our vegetarian friends would have run away at the very beginning.
My narration starts forms the part 2 of our FED walk, or as I like to call it “The Carnivore Carnival”.
 
Ramzan or Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, during which, participating Muslims strictly refrain from eating food and even water during the daylight hours. It is only after sunset that they are allowed to take their first sip of water of the day. The fast breaking meal of the day is known as Iftar, which traditionally starts with the ceremonial eating of three dates, just as Prophet Muhammad used to do.
We were at the area called Matia Mahal which is the lane leading in towards the market opposite gate no: 1 of the Jama Masjid entrance. And since It is the holy month of Ramzan, we were there to join in on the celebrations. When we entered the lane, we couldn’t help being overwhelmed by the festive energy of the place. The joyful spirit instantly overpowers as you are drawn into the labyrinth of lights, colors, and best of all the succulent aroma of wonderful food.
Our first halt was at a biryani vendor, he had two different types of biryanis, the Chicken and beef (or as they called it “Bade ki Biryani”). Both of them tasted nice as they were cooked very well. But I must admit that this guy’s biryani was not the best one of the evening.
Twenty steps further into the lane was a grilled chicken outlet, I think its name was Aslam Chicken Corner. This guy is basically sitting on the street with a huge tawa, at-least 3 ft in diameter, full of marinated chicken breast pieces, and a small grill besides it. The Chicken was juicy and simply amazing, even though it was drenched in yellow butter, the taste was perfectly balanced with all the spices used in marinating it. At Rs. 65 for a skewer with 7 pieces it was just awesome.

 

Here, I met a few local youth, (who for some reason were convinced that I was from London and not Delhi ??) I asked one of them about his favorite food in the lane and he recommended a Chicken Biryani place and pointed out to the outlet. I’m glad I followed the dude’s advice.
The biryani here was out-standing, much better than the earlier place, it was cooked to perfection with each individual strand perfectly separated, and the aroma was a flawless melody of spices. The quality of rice they used was nothing like what I have ever seen before, each grain was at least half an inch long. The guy sitting at the Deg (the biryani vessel) told me that only a very special type of rice will make the biryani taste this good. This guy even had us try some of his Korma which was again great. I love mixing a little korma with my biryani.
 Also, adjoining this place was an outlet making Rotis and Sheermals. We were tempted to try the sheermal and they were superb. It is a flat bread which is mildly sweet and only slightly glazed and cooked in a tandoor. They too would have been a perfect accompaniment with the Korma.
All the food had me craving for a nice cool drink, and at that moment had I wished for something else, it would definitely have been granted. Just a couple of shops down the lane I saw something spectacular. This shop had a giant soda vending machine which had every flavor imaginable on offer. They had at least 15 different varieties of soda ranging from Leeche to Mango, Blueberry to Strawberry, you name it, and the taste was surprisingly commendable. We guys went crazy with delight. Seriously, I wasn’t kidding about the Mela part.
Up next I met the happiest food vendor I’ve seen in my whole life. This guy (who by the way had a striking resemblance with the actor Randeep Hooda.. see pic) was just so jubilant. He served us with an energy that was both entertaining and inspiring with a smile as big as the old city, and this was besides the fact that he was super-busy. He was selling this unique sharbat made with water, milk, Roohafza plus little chunks of watermelon added in the mix. It was only mildly sweet, delicious and totally refreshing.
Right next to this jolly fellow was a guy selling different curries out of a cart, now, how often do you get to see stuff like that? We asked him to give us a plate each of all his non-veg preparations. He set up a small table for us and sent us Hari Mirch Keema, Magaz (Brain) Curry, Mutton Korma, Dal Meat and Bade Ka Salan. We all had our favorites, mine was the Korma but the Magaz was the first one to be wiped off.

You have to pardon me for not giving you any names as these places are known more by their food and location. Most of them have been sitting at the same place selling the same food for decades without choosing any name for their outlet. In order to find them all you need to do is start walking into the lane and go on exploring.

To finish off, we decided to culminate the evening at the outlet which has made the Jama Masjid area food famous all over the world, we ended up at Karim’s. This place is an institution in itself. To reach there we had to walk back to the entrance of the lane where the very first Karim’s is located. It opened originally in the year 1918 (I think) and they have been putting smiles of people’s faces ever since.

We are all too familiar with Karim’s food, as any foodie worth his salt would be, so we just ordered a few of our favorites. In fact, I doubt if the majority of their visitors even look at their Menu card before ordering.

We had their Burra Kebabs, Nihari, Keema and Seekh Kababs. I even wanted to have the Raan which is the roasted whole leg of the goat but it was sold out, sadly.

The Burra is their most famous and popular preparation. It is made of pieces of goat meat marinated in their secret mix of spices and then slow cooked in the tandoor. The meat is soft and it melts in the mouth within a few bites, perfect. I could eat it all day.

The Nihari is again a goat meat preparation and is more popular during Ramzan. The gravy is very rich and creamy, again with a lot of spices added to create Magic. We finished off with the famous Phirni which is their version of kheer.

The food is no doubt very heavy with all the spices and Ghee, but, I feel, that is the essence of Mughlai food. After eating so much I’m glad I walked all the way back till New Delhi railway station, where I had parked.

When it comes to working with red meat, the Muslim chefs have definitely written the book on the subject. It will always be their art. I just hope their younger generation takes on the reins so we can continue savoring the delights as their art of cooking is passed on from generation to generation.
One last word on the prices. Karim’s by all standards is priced like any other mid-priced restaurant, Meal for two between Rs. 600 to Rs. 800 range. But the outlets outside on the street are all in the very affordable category, dishes range from Rs. 50 – Rs. 75 on average, and I reckon one can have a royal feast for well under Rs. 200.

Going to Jama Masjid for food is always joyful, but being there during Ramzan, is unlike any regular experience. The positivity, jubilation and the merriment that is so prevalent, just multiplies the flavor of the food fiesta.

The Day We All Got F.E.D. – An account by Kev Winchcombe

 

Here is an account by Kev Winchcombe, of the FED raid he attended, reproduced from his blog  http://monsoon-meandering.winchcombe.org

Last night we became temporary members of the Food Enthusiasts of Delhi, or FED for short.

The FEDs are organised by a guy named Shashank, whom I’ve got to know on the Internet – yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, it sounds dodgy! – over the last year or two. As the name suggests the FEDs are people who are passionate about their food and they’re passionate to try restaurants week after week to find the best that Delhi has to offer.

It’ll be no shock to people that know me to realise that I was always likely to get along very well with a group of people that adore food and love to meet up to try new dishes. Throw in some photography, a blog and a bit of Facebook and we were always onto a winner.

The FEDs have a web site and also a page on Facebook that I’ve been following for a while, every week tantalised by the pictures Shashank had taken of the previous FED meet up.

Often the FEDs go on a “food walk” where they pick a few places in a particular area to go to and then they sample the delights on offer. Other times they do a “raid” on a particular restaurant and sample pretty much everything on the menu. One such raid that grabbed my attention was the cheesecake raid where they ordered every type of cheesecake as a starter: how I would have loved that one.

I guess we attended something more like a “raid” but it was a very civilized one and boy oh boy there was plenty of food. For me this event was a great opportunity to meet another of my Facebook friends, Yogesh Sarkar, who runs many web sites, especially BCMTouring.com, which is a great site for anyone who’s thinking of going to Ladakh as we were originally. Yogesh is also a very good photographer as his pictures testify.

The restaurant, Swagath, is in the Defence Colony area, an area which didn’t look like a likely source of eateries, but out jumps restaurant after restaurant. Swagath clearly sits at the higher end of some of the places on offer and it is one of the few restaurants in this landlocked area that specialises in Mangalorean sea-food. Excitedly we were the second bunch of people to arrive and were greeted by Manish, a charming IT/BPM guy working for a government organisation – sound familiar (apart from the ‘charming’ part)?

It’s time to start ordering the food up and Shashank and a few of the South Indian food experts start ordering plate after plate of starters. Huge tiger prawns didn’t last long, the pomfret was gorgeous, so many dishes that I stood no chance of remember the names. It’s hard to gauge just how much was ordered but it was LOTS – yes I’m shouting because it was LOTS.

Sufficiently full from the starters the guys then order the main meals, with multiple paneer dishes, the strangely named but nicely spiced Chicken 65, roasted ghee dishes, squid, crab, the list went on and on.

Our resident blogger Shashank always took photos of each dish before people started digging in and it didn’t take the waiters long to realise just who they should give each dish to: Shashank. Strangely he didn’t want to take a picture of my lime soda before I drank it 😛

Shashank takes photos of every dishes
Shashank takes a photo of one of the dishes served.
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Chicken 65
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Tandoori Platter (non-veg)
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Paneer Koliwada
One of the dishes at the FED raid
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Pomfret Tawa Fry
One of the dishes at the FED raid
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Squid
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Prawns Ghee Roast
One of the dishes at the FED raid
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Tandoori Aloo Dilnaz
One of the dishes at the FED raid
One of the dishes at the FED raid
Malabari Parota