Posts filed under ‘Delhi-ghtfully Yours!’

Basking in the Blog’s Glory!

Some of you may have read it already, and for others here is a copy of the article that was recently published in Hindustan Times, HT City about the blog! Basically this once upon a time anonymous blog now has a face which happens to be mine.

Fishing for ideas in Kerala. Trip courtesy Vasundhra Sarovar Premiere

Fishing for ideas in Kerala. Trip courtesy Vasundhra Sarovar Premiere

My love for Delhi is no secret and there’s more than one reason that keeps it alive {despite the badly behaved men, rich- spoilt brats and beggars} . Colleagues here in Bombay fondly talk about the city’s food, greenery, chilly winters and warm afternoons. How about telling me what makes the city tick-click & happening for you.

PS: Going to be in Delhi again this weekend and looking forward to another fun-filled trip and some interesting experiences that I could perhaps share with you all.

September 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm 4 comments

Chalo Dilli

One year is a long time to not visit a city where you have family and home but to give it a feel of emotion and drama I admit it wouldn’t have been easy to leave the city again. Oh yes, I was excited to be in the city that describes my blog and its raison d’etre. So what if it didn’t have Bombay’s pleasant, refreshingly cool breeze. {Note to self; the post is about Delhi so no reference to Bombay}

I believe and tell me if you don’t agree that train journeys may be long but never boring and is a perfect way to see the beautiful countryside.

A click from the train window

Enroute to Delhi

Enroute to Delhi

 

After a long 21 hour journey in the slowest train between Mumbai-Delhi, Sampark Kranti Express, (efforts count), Delhi welcomed me with its muggy weather, no complaint because my first halt was discovering a ‘Green Mine’ in the heart of the city… It is a nursery adjacent to the Humayun’s tomb. What’s the big deal about a nursery? It’s so huge that you have to drive through it! Breathtakingly beautiful with lush green plants, blooming flowers, a historical architecture in the backdrop and peacocks walking past you….  It can happen only in Delhi.  Maintained by the the Municipal Corporation of Delhi the land is a part of the Aga Khan Foundation. If you haven’t made a trip already and plan to add some Hariyali to the house or just wish to breathe in pure air, do go.

The plan was simple ‘when visiting a city for a holiday do everything touristy’, catch-up with friends at Khan Market, shopping for artifacts at the state emporiums, visit to Delhi-6,  khana at Karims and Raj Kachori at Haldirams, Pineapple shake at Keventer, and metro yatra. While I don’t intend to write about the wrongs in Delhi in this post but the roads are in a deplorable state and most parts have been dug up. Back to the nice things; let me tell you about the two new finds. ‘Claridges ka paan’, drive to the lane behind the hotel and you will see a paan ki dukaan. 25 rupees for a nice tasty rich with katha and scents meetha paan is a must have. Happen to be in Daryaganj, don’t count this as an open invite to my place instead walk to the market, just a little ahead of the HDFC bank on the corner is a thela which has the one of the most delicious chaat you can get.

A trip to the national capital is not complete without a discussion on the state of affairs and politics and the conversations are not about BJP, UPA or RahulG but NaMo. My take, well that calls for another post.

August 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

Time Out reveals secrets behind Delhi’s Belly

Everyone is always interested to know what goes on behind the scene or closed doors or in the kitchen? Pick-up the latest issue of Time Out (Delhiedition) and you will know what I mean. For the un-aware Time Out is a fortnightly city magazine which is known for doing anonymous reviews and pays for them too.

 

They conducted a dipstick survey with the 30 top chefs in the city. So what if they haven’t made it public who those 30 are, it is a dhasoo survey with double dhamka results… Okay, Okay, I am getting carried away in the excitement but If you were in my place you wouldn’t react differently either if you read:

  • The world famous Dal Bukhara is Non-Vegetarian
  • Finally the word is out- Olive Bar & Kitchen is one of the most overrated restaurant. Ha! you don’t need to be a food blogger, critic or a chef to say this but then no one took my word on it…
  • Mamagoto- Serves the best bean salad– Now didn’t I tell you this as well http://wp.me/pyzGT-9P. Looks like I can claim to be a food blogger now 😉
  • Vikram Khatri, one of the best chefs in the making- I agree! He knows Japanese food at the back of his hand, understands a guest’s preferences, is media savvy and makes awesome food.  I have had a few meals prepared by him when he worked with a Five Star, his previous job. But Bakshish Dean as an upcoming chef, still? He’s been around for as long as I learnt F for food.
  • For more go pick-up your copy

All the questions in the survey are bang on; they have not worried about hurting sentiments or damaging top of the line restaurant reputations. I say, Time Out got its recipe right on this one. Right mix of spices is equal to a dish which appeals to all- senses!

Raghu Karnad, this issue of Time Out is answer to all awards, rewards, ratings, rantings,reviews, praises given till date to everything that has little worth, value for money or is over-hyped & priced in Delhi-NCRs F&B industry.

We want you to do a similar one on the media. Unveil its real face and unravel the mystery which makes these journalists believe they are no less than demi gods! Basically what makes ‘Media’ a dirty word today and don’t mince your words on this one either!

For all those 30 chefs, if I knew who you were I would make it a point to visit your restaurant.

July 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm 7 comments

Besharmi Morcha? A practical joke

In January this year a Toronto policeman’s remark that ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts to avoid being be victimized’ led to this international walk of shame ‘The Slut Walk‘ Till date it has been organized in US,Canada,UK,Australia,Africa,Asia andEurope. 

Nineteen year old Umang Sabharwal is now organizing this protest march of sorts inDelhinext month. To make it a mass movement and more ‘Indianized’ it has been renamed as ‘Besharmi Morcha’. So as the concept suggests; “dress-up the way you do or in a rebellious fashion and declare (as if it matters) that just because my clothes are too short or reveal; more than you can handle, I am subject to possible harassment!” 

The problem is not with the ‘why’ behind the walk-It’s obvious, duh! Clothes got nothing to do with uninvited sexual moves. It doesn’t matter what you wear because: 

  • Rape in marriage is not an unheard thing
  • Physical, verbal abuse happens in every one out of five houses inIndiaand is worse than being called a slut
  • Sexual assault on young children is reported so often ( in some cases by their own family members)
  • Women are killed for marrying a man of their choice- In the name of honor
  • Female infanticide is rampant
  • Uninvited advances by men in office has become a common worry factor

I haven’t seen a woman who breastfeeds her child in bus, train or in a public place get embarrassed or feel ashamed of her act.  

Get real!! Instead of taking out a besharmi morcha which says ‘I will wear a tank top; too bad if you can’t handle it’- we live with and witness many more ‘ how dare he’ issues, think about a walk, morcha, talk, even a mention about them???  Ah but that’s not what will make to the news, the walk has all the required ingredients to make for a page 1 picture or a 5 minute news clip!!

 I couldn’t care less about proving this point because I am no Slut …errr… Besharam! And for those who are participating, doubting yourself are you??

 

June 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm 13 comments

It’s a Hat-trick

Cricket is in the air and though I was very much off it till last year thanks never ending ‘this trophy and that league matches’. I too talk the language just for today as Delhi hosts the match between ‘India & Netherlands’.

With the last post on maxmayur.com I have achieved a hat-trick of guest blog posts!

Till my next; do read my contributions here:

I am The WomanA 55er for the International Women’s Day

The little DrummerA reminisce about my school days

 

March 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm 4 comments

Chatpati Batein

As part of Purba\’s blog anniversary celebrations I wrote about the ‘Street Food of Dillli’.  I read this ode, a 55er actually written by someone who is a foodie by heart & soul and thought it’s the right recipe to start my post which being with food and ends with it too.

“People eat out for various reasons: hunger pangs or for a change,

Some want to try what’s new while for a few it’s about taste,

There are also God’s chosen ones ‘who eat because it makes them happy’,

Food to live or food for mind; I chose the latter which adds zing to my life!”

First draft of this post was trashed, so was the second and third. I realized its time to bunk the gym and instead walk down to Sriram Sweets, Malviya Nagar (btw they have the best Gol Gappas or GGs in South Delhi) for some inspiration.

Six gol guppas, 2 deep fried aloo tikkis and a plate of shakarkandi ki chat later I was ready to write about the second love of my life, food!

Just like a wine connoisseur can differentiate between a Sula and a Vintage. A gg Gulper can tell a good guppa from a regular one… Take the whole filled-up to the brim guppa to your mouth, bite into it, did you hear the pucchak sound? A burst of flavors, sweet followed by tangy and then the teekha-pan tingles the throat and you have just sampled a perfect gg, go on don’t stop at one!

There was time way back in 1960s and 70s when street food vendors would come wandering to residential colonies offering all sort of grub from peeled and bite size sugarcane, to jalebis, bhel, chaat. Times have changed and vendors don’t come knocking at your doors now but every locality at least has one chaat wala of its own.  But momos, noodles with lots of tomato ketchup is not my idea of Delhi special grub.

What is Delhi’s street food then? It’s a treasure to be discovered, for this you have to be a slave to your taste buds, leave your concerns for ‘ hygiene’ behind and step out!  I say, Delhizens have the toughest immunity and it takes a lot to knock them out.  It grows from strength to strength from their culinary adventures of the thela types – no one knows or gives two hoots to how it’s prepared.

Delhi’s street food has a multi cultural influence some of my personal top favorites are:

  • Gol guppas, pani-puri, pani batasha, puchhka
  • Dahi Bhalla
  • Pappri chaat
  • Bhelpuri
  • kullas (scooped potatoes or tomatoes with a tangy stuffing)
  • Moong dal ki pakodi
  • Kebabs with roomali
  • Kathi- double chicken/mutton with egg,
  • Paranthas with a variety of stuffing from pappad to peas
  • Khurchan (scrapping of the sides of the kadai in which rabri is made)
  • Kulfi faluda
  • naan kathai ( biscuits)
  • samosa
  • kachori with aloo ki subzi  you can also try this combo with bedmi puri
  • Choley bhature or with kulcha
  • Sharwama ( Thanks Kartikay for this addition)

Mouth-watering is it? Already thinking, yes! I am going to eat all this and add more to the list? Well here is what I suggest….

Walk through Chandni Chowk from Ghanta Ghar to the tightly squeezed lanes, stop where you see a crowd that would of course mean the eatery is popular and will have fresh food. Just before you enter the Paranthe- wali gali there is a small shack which dishes out soft-crunchy moong pakodi served with pudina chutney.  Next bite? Obviously khasta paranthas. Try unusual combinations like dry fruits stuffing, rabri and banana, served with tamarind chutney, potato curry, and sitaphal ki subzi. Wash it down with a glass of refreshing nimbu masala or bunta as it’s more popularly known.

Then comes Jama Masjid, a food lovers delight and there is so much more than just one world famous Karim’s. Take a stroll and you will discover enough options on either side to tempt you. The bakeries there may look like dingy holes but bake the freshest rusks (round in shape). Close to Motia Mahal there is an exclusive shop for Afghani Rotis same in size as that of a plate made with a mix of wheat flour, maida and milk.  And that’s not all there is an interesting story behind them too. Everyone works hard to earn their daily bread and should get the exact or more for what they pay so the dough for each roti is weighed. You can even ask them to make sheermal (sweetened roti) and these can be kept for a few days, warm them before you want to eat and they will soft again.

Oh! How can I not mention the lunch of almost everyone in Daryaganj and around- choley kulchey, sweet lassi and karari kachori with aloo- tamatar ki tarkari.  Nah, they are not like what you get at the fancy sweet shops.  DG has a few who make the best of this lot and mind you after 3 pm you won’t even get a small helping.

I do step out of the ‘old-city charm’ only when the taste buds crave for a fluffy dosa, soft idlis and crispy vadas. 5 minutes from Jantar Mantar are these row of shops, each one offering a specialty from rajma-chawal to kadi-chawal. Don’t get tempted, you get better preparation of these at home.  Instead stop by at the South Indian self-service dhaba dishing out 50 dosas in 15 minutes served with piping hot sambar. The choice of dosas is the same as you would get at Sarvana Bhavan or Sagar Ratna but at less than half the price. Just don’t look at the way they wash the dishes.

I can go on and on about what and whereabouts of street food and my mind is already set to ditch the dinner at home tonight and head to the lanes laden with happiness!

Statutory warning: Discovering best places to eat out can’t be done with a guidebook in hand. After many trials you will find a place which offers a special something to come-by again.

 

February 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm 18 comments

Slurp! Slurp…

Okay, writing food reviews is not my bowl of soup and I am not offered any ‘free meals’ that excite me to do it either. Yet, I liked this not so new and not very old place in Delhi which deserves a thumbs-up!

Mamagoto (http://www.mamagoto.in/restaurant.html)

Locations of the two outlets are perfect (Khan Market & Select City Walk). Menu has a lot of variety to offer, it’s not crazily expensive, is colorful and the restaurateurs define it as a ‘fun Asian dining’. Will I go back? Of course, infact a plan is in place already… 🙂

Finally, last Sunday even though my watch said its 5 pm and past lunch time still I convinced my cousin for an early ‘drunch’ (in between lunch and dinner). We went to Mamagoto, it’s been on my list of ‘must eat at’ places for sometime now.  Much to my delight the place was near empty and I could enjoy my meal in peace and no hurry.

Mamagoto, in Japanese means ‘to play with food’. Though they don’t have much of Jap cuisine, except for tempuras, a Wasabi mocktail and an odd Gomai salad; there is plenty of Japanese art & graphics on the walls.

Skipped the cocktail and mocktail and small bites section and went straight for the salads and main course. Our picks-

(Cold salad)- Snow pea and green beans salad with a dressing of Thai coconut milk reduction, burnt garlic, onions and peanuts. It was crunchy, fresh, tasted delicious.

Beijing Seafood soup with fish and prawns– A meal in itself, it is wholesome, healthy and appetizing! And if like my sister you like it spicy they can do that too without killing the original flavors.

And I opted for, Mamagoto chicken broth for a hungry soul– A signature dish with a name which reflected the state of my starving for food tummy :). The aroma was good enough for me to ask my sis, ‘do I have to share this with you’? Huge dish of soup with lots of chicken, veggies, vermicelli noodles and three chicken wantons served with a tantalizing oriental sauce.

The portions  are good for two and the bill came for little less than 800 bucks inclusive of taxes.

It definitely deserves a visit and if you like it enough then a second one too….

PS: Apols for a post meant for ‘Delhizens only’!

February 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm 9 comments

Older Posts


Click-Clock

  • 33,615 hits

Posts from the past

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

Delhizen captures

More Photos

Dillizen

Feeds


%d bloggers like this: