Ashoks the Great

Once upon a time there ruled over twentieth-century Indraprastha, not one but two Ashoks, whose empire stretched as far as the eye could see, and their fame even beyond.

Okay, granted that the eye couldn’t see very far at all in twentieth-century Indraprastha, but you get the gist.

Every day when the sun would set on their bonny kingdom, the Ashoks would collect their tithe, and transform it into a toothsome treat of mutton and chicken, curried in the richest of gravies, replete with desi ghee and the finest dry fruits their minions could muster.

Continue reading “Ashoks the Great”

A Hog Walk

The idea of a late evening walk originally came from food buff Monali, an Orkut friend who works for CSE (those obsessive warriors against pesti-colas). Last winter, we had taken a long walk through the bylanes of Old Delhi, sampling a variety of meaty and vegetarian fare dotted between Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Since another walk was long due and summers had arrived, Monali had suggested that we conjure one late evening stroll and turn it into a Hog Walk (her coinage). As luck would have it, Hemanshu popped up on my screen an evening later and floated an outing in Old Delhi. Things fell into place soon thereafter.
Continue reading “A Hog Walk”

Ten out of Ten!

[update: Ten has been closed since September 2007. This article may now be considered an epitaph.]

I used to think I knew every little nook and corner of central Delhi better than the back of my hand. So you can imagine how piqued my curiosity was, when Harneet first told me that right under my nose — presuming my nose hovers like a benevolent alien saucer somewhere over Lutyen’s creation — was possibly the best restaurant Delhi has to offer.

However, it is a sad testament to my scepticism that it took another glowing recommendation from Abhik before I finally went to try out Ten, the restaurant on the campus of the YWCA International Guest House, at 10, Parliament Street.
Continue reading “Ten out of Ten!”

The Original Moti Mahal

As the appetite wilts under the summer sun, I’m once again reminded of the exciting outings the EOiD gang have had over the past winter.

For instance, the arrival of a friend from the US occasioned an impromptu EOiD field trip in early December. For ideas on where to go we looked to Harneet, who recommended his childhood haunt, Moti Mahal in Daryaganj.
Continue reading “The Original Moti Mahal”

A Night Stroll near Jama Masjid

Delhi’s answer to Lahore Food Street

[ed: we are thrilled to present our first guest column, by journalist and fellow foodie Pankaj Molekhi. Hopefully, this is the first of many to come!]

1900 hours: This is a time when shopkeepers in Delhi begin to pull down shutters; treetops get abuzz with homeward-bound birds; and Blueline buses are packed to capacity with sweaty human bodies. A time when nearly everybody is calling it a day. Nearly everybody!
Continue reading “A Night Stroll near Jama Masjid”

Mughal Darbar

If the name conjures visions of sheesh mahals, viziers, courtesans, and exotic aromas, you’ve come to the right place.

Mughal Darbar, close to Tapti hostel in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus is the Indian communist’s homage to Persian indulgence. As you pass myriad expressions of youth culture (that are best left unelaborated), you spot a twinkling light in the distance, behind which the yellow bulb hides a proletarian shack. A decidedly Big Brotherly sign at the entrance advises: “Pay in Advance”.
Continue reading “Mughal Darbar”

Haji Noora ki Nihari

Abhik and I decided to revisit the Bara Hindu Rao area today in our quest for Haji Noora’s Nihari, a quest in which we had been stymied once before, when we had gone the day after Eid-ul-Fitr only to find the shop closed on account of the festivities. The whole area was much more lively today, and it took much resolve and thick skin to resist the temptations on offer on the way to the intended nihari shop — several little shops selling everything from tea-and-rusks to khastaa kachoris to poori-aloo to haleem teased our senses from every direction. Continue reading “Haji Noora ki Nihari”

Unofficial Field Trip, 25 October 2006: Overview

The first unofficial EOiD field trip was undertaken by Abhik and me on October 25, 2006.

Having read great things about it from a newspaper column, we set out to locate Haji Noora’s Nihari shop in Bara Hindu Rao. This turned out easier said than done, for Bara Hindu Rao the area, is quite a distance away from Bara Hindu Rao the hospital, where we initially landed up. After getting misdirected more times than I’d care to remember, we finally blundered our way to the shop — only to be informed that the place was shut thanks to Eid the day before.

What followed was an impromptu jaunt all over town, of which I’ll post details over several posts. Briefly, here’s what all we sampled yesterday morning: Hing Kachoris at the Bara Hindu Rao, Momos at Majnu ka Tila, Daulat ki Chaat at Chawri Bazaar, Nihari at Rahmatullah Hotel, amongst other things. Daulat ki Chaat was definitely the discovery of the day, but everything contributed to making it one of the most memorable outings ever!