Dilli Haat – A Showcase of Cuisines of India

India is a diverse country and as they say there is nothing called Indian Cuisine as there is none. However India boasts of a collection on innumerable cuisines and hence the right way to say it is ‘Cuisines of India’. And I don’t think I have met anyone who has tried them all or come even close to it. What the heck, I do not even know how many exist forget about eating or trying them.
But then I am a man of spirit and if I cannot try them all, then I will die trying. I mean yeah! I will keep eating new cuisines all my life.. 😛
On a serious note a serious foodie can get a glimpse of various foods that India has to offer right here in Delhi by visiting the canteens of the state bhawan or making some visits to Dilli Haat near the INA market in South of Delhi. And this weekend we ended up there on our quest for legendary Raja Mircha, dishes based on this fiery chilly from North-East of India are available at the Nagaland Stall of Delhi Haat.
On this visit we ended up sampling food from Maharashtra, Nagaland, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and were surprised by the quality and authenticity of the food at all of them food stalls. While they may not be at 100% authenticity levels, however if they can serve reasonable food or 70% auethentic in Delhi, then for me they are a resounding success.
1. Nagaland Stall – Pork Raja Mircha, Chicken Raja Mircha, Bamboo Shoots and Mushroom, Fried Rice, Pork Steamed Momos, Chicken Steamed Momos, Veg Steamed Momos, Veg Steamed rice which are served with Dry fish and chilli chutney. Both the Raja Mircha dishes were awesome, we actually felt the power of the legend.

Chicken Naga Mircha
Chicken, Pork and Veg Momos with Clear Soup
Mushroom and Bamboo Shoots
Vegetarian Fried Rice
Steamed rice with Dry fish Chutney
Pork Naga Mircha

2. Maharashtra Stall – This is a Vegetarians paradise. Vada Pao, Dabheli, Sev Puri, Thalipeeth, kohlapuri Dhapata, Sabudana vada, Pao Bhaji, Kokum sharbat etc. you get them all and then some more. The pao they use was not your usual industrial Harvest Gold types, however something very close to its Mumbaiya counterpart. That said, they can serve industrial paos when they run out of stock.

Kohlapuri Dhapata
Kokum Sharbat
Ragda Pattice
Vadao pao and Dabheli
Sev Puri
Vada Pao
3. West Bengal Stall – I guess its run by Bijoli Grill and they seem to have another restaurant somewhere in South of Delhi. We tried Kosha Mangsho, Fish Orley, Radhavallabhi, Chonar Dal and almost all of them desserts including Rasogulla, Gur Rasogulla, Rajbhog, Sandesh and Malpua. Fish Orley stood out for me, Kosha Mangsho or Kassa maas is a Mutton dish and must try for mutton lovers. Radhavallabhi is a dish that I am sure would go down well with traditional Delhi Chhole Puri/Bhature and Bedmi Aloo loving janta. Its like a maida ki poori, stuffed with some dal, served with Dum Aloo with their own unique flavors… and its called Radhaballabhi.

Fish Orley
Mal Pua
Raj Bhog
Kosha Mangsho
4. Andhra Pradesh Stall – Ordered one handi each of Veg and Mutton biryani, mirchi ka salan is available as separate dish. Not sure how authentic it was, would be keen on hearing other opinions.

Handi of Mutton Biryani
Mirchi ka Saalan
Mutton Biryani
Handi of Veg. Biryani

5. Rajasthan Stall – On this visit has only kadha Doodh and desi ghee ki jalebi from their, however have earlier tried their Dal Baati combo, pyaz kachori and dal kachori too. Again not comparable to when you can get in Rajsthan, still very good.

Kadha hua Dhoodh in Kullad
Momos from Rajasthan stall
Mirch Vada
Desi Ghee ka Dal Halwa
Aloo ki Trikki

Besides that Delhi haat is very well known for its Momos and Fruit beer, available almost at all the stalls, have tried the combo several times, so decided to skip this time. 

Be careful on on Sundays and other holidays when they get extremely busy, the food quality might take a hit.
Would also be keen on hearing other food experiences from Dilli Haat, do share them in the comments.

Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

Rajdhani – Thali Restaurant : A review by Sahiba Gursahaney

Went to Rajdhani Thali Restaurant in Connaught Place (yet again) because my mom loves the place so much!
Date : 24th May
Time : Dinner
Food at Rajdhani Thali Restaurant

1st picture has the thaali. The kulhad has chhaach and the other glass has aam panna. The little katori on the left has raita. The katori in the middle(slightly bigger one) has daal baati choorma.

The 1st picture in the bottom row has the 3 desserts. The yellow one is aam ras, white one is cham cham, and the third one is lauki ka halwa.

The middle picture in the bottom column is for showing the rice and khichdi.

The last picture in the bottom column is the sauf, mishri, etc.

For whoever who’s not well-versed with the concept of Rajdhani, it’s a place which has an ‘all you can eat’ Rajasthani and Gujarati, spread across 3 courses-starters, main course and desserts. food given to you in big maharaja type thaalis with several(6-8) katoris placed inside that big thaali, accompanied by 2 glasses.
The moment you enter, they put a tilak on your forehead. You’re then escorted to your desired seats(desired, if the place isn’t full).
Their service is their highlight. Servers get you the food at the speed of lightning. The way all the servers and managers communicate with each other if someone asks for anything particular, and the person that is serving that particular thing is not to be seen around, is by snapping their fingers. They snap their fingers to grab the attention of the servers and then give gestures with their hands which always is a ‘number’. So each number denotes each dish/course.
As soon as you sit, a person comes and makes you wash your hands on the table itself. Its a golden coloured ‘Aladdin ka Chirag’ looking container which has water in it.
They then start the service.
First and foremost, you’re given the chutneys-green mint chutney and red saunth ki chutney. This time they even gave raita(don’t give it usually). Then comes the dhokla and an aloo cutlet(I always LOVE the cutlets here, no matter what the filling is). Occasionally, they also give dal bati choorma(which I absolutely ADORE), and this time, to my relief, I did get that!
Then they start giving you the vegetabes.
This time I was served a paneer dish, an aloo dish which had a very thin gravy, almost watery(the aloo dish is their patent, you will always find it in the menu), karele ki subji(slightly sweetened), gatte ki subji, a fine yellow dal, meethi kadhi, a sweet mango dish because of the ongoing mango festival(which is not there otherwise).
For accompaniments they have roasted papad, sliced onions, pickle, pickled green chilli and a red, mildly spicy, chutney.
Rotis were of 3 types-phulka, some parantha(made from something like bajra, but not bajra) and a very hard to pull apart(sakhat) roti. You can put desi ghee on your rotis if you like, and even savour the food with some gur(jaggery).
There’s plain rice and khichdi too, again with the option of putting ghee in it. The khichdi is a very good change from the junk food you eat almost everytime you dine out.
Chhaach was very very good! Though I don’t have curd myself, I can say its good because my mom praised it so much-had 4 glasses herself. Because of the mango festival, we got aam panna with the chhaach too. It was sweet and sour, mixed with masalas. Too sweet for my liking. And a third glass for water.
On the weekends they give you unlimited desserts, but during the week you will only be given one portion of any one dessert that you choose. So all those with a sweet tooth, only go on the weekends!
The aam festival gave the most blissful, heavenly and the most gorgeous dessert to this place-AAM RAS!! Spectacular! It was so so so good, so so refreshing, so damn awesome, that I have personally never had a better Indian dessert ever!! I had 4 katoris of that myself!!
Cham cham-a kind of rajbhog, but more stiff.
Lauki ka halwa-very surprising, I know, but surprisingly delicious! 
However good the other desserts might be, nothing beats the aam ras! It took the cake away!!
As you depart, you will find sauf, mishri, etc kept on a side table for you. They also have meetha and saada paan but that has to be paid for. Around 20/- to 30/- for each paan.
All this ‘unlimited’, on a weekend for dinner, including all taxes, was 395. What better can you ask for at this price?
For those of you who are hardcore non vegetarians and don’t like veg food, or for those of you who didn’t like the sound of these dishes which you normally get as homemade food too, go here if not for anything else, then just for the experience!!
400 bucks cannot burn a hole in your pocket!
You eat like a king and pay nothing as compared to that!!
A must-try place for everyone!
Written by Sahiba Gursahaney

Giving a ‘Marwadi Tadka’ to Delhi

I was at Netaji Subhash Place this noon to meet a friend and was looking around at food joints and what all options were there for food lovers. Lot of joints selling Pasta, Pav Bhaji, Chinese, Rolls etc, besides the usual suspects in such large commercial hubs : Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Haldiram’s, Subway, so on and so forth. Nothing seemed to fancy my attention and excite the hunger in me. 
We were walking towards Haldiram when we noticed a banner announcing a food outlet whose name was enough to excite the daylights out of me, specially in Delhi. Something called ‘Marwari Tadka’. Unusual.. right ?? 😛
The sign-board that excited us.

We ventured in the ‘shop’ (that is how small it is), basically a quick service, pure vegetarian restaurant, with only 8 seats divided equally on two tables. The owner himself welcomed us and started talking about his food, the first thing he did was made me taste his Aloo-pyaz ki subzi. But honestly speaking more than the taste of the subzi, it was the zeal of the guy that made me sit and order a Thali (Combo) with came with Aloo-pyaz ki Subzi, Tikkad and Lahsun ki Chutney. Also ordered a Chhaach and later a Pyaz Kachori.

The Thali, with Tikkad, Aloo-pyaz ki subzi and Lahsun ki Chutney.

Now most of it is strange food for us. Tikkad is a thick roti, made from mixing floors of 5 grains (and don’t expect to remember all five now :P). I have heard my friends who have family living in villages talking about it, however never got a chance to taste it. As mentioned earlier, it was served with Aloo Pyaz ki subzi and Lahsun (Garlic) ki Chutney.  The combo costed us Rs.100.

Closer look at Tikkad
Aloo-Pyaz ki Subzi
Lahsun ki Chutney

The food is prepared in Desi Ghee and honestly speaking was on the greasy side. On asked the reasons behind so much ghee, he said that he gets request to make his food with less ghee, however then the authenticity would be lost the masalas in the dish would just not taste the same. To maintain the authenticity of the taste, the water they use actually comes all the way from Jaipur or so I was told by the owner. 

Pyaz Kachori
The chhaach was quite refreshing and had a tadka of its own, do try it, there are some interesting herbs and spices in it. The aloo-pyaz ki kachori was pretty decent as well. 
Now I am looking forward to my next visit to this place as I am quite excited to try there Dal Kachori, which they serve with kadi, just the way they do it in Rajasthan. We also tasted some kadi and my decision to visit them again was based my appreciation of its taste itself. Complete with methi dana and other spices. 
All in all, the place is just 2 months old here, the owner says that they have 2 more outlets, one in Chennai and another one near Ajmer. Its a must visit for food lovers, some might love it, some might not. But its something that ought to be tried once, just because is absolutely different from what we usually eat in Delhi. 

PS : I was told that they serve Dal Baat Churma and Gatte ki Subzi on Saturdays. Otherwise the have a very limited menu however they make specific Rajasthani delicacies on order as well. They only have 2-3 items – Aloo Pyaz ki subzi, Lahsun ki Chutney and Shahi Paneer – All of them are sold on weight basis rather than plate or portion. 

Marwadi Tadka 
Shop No. G-7, Pearl Best Heights 2, 
Opp. Max Hospital, 
Netaji Subhash Place, Wazirpur Depot, Delhi