Faqiri Muamalaat

EOiD trips are always an adventure, but the vegetarian excursions are a particular delight. Not because we’re all militant meat-haters. Quite the reverse in fact. However, despite the fact that most of us believe a meal without meat is no meal at all, our leader, Hemanshu, is committed to providing an equal opportunities dining experience.
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Karim’s

It’s been written about ad nauseum. Throw a stone, and you’re liable to hit a foodie in whom it inspires a religious zeal the Imam at the Jama Masjid next door would envy. If you hear my friend Nishant talk about it, you’d think he’d been to the Rapture – and got an autograph.

Like a tutu-clad elephant in the room, Karim’s has hitherto been respectfully ignored by this blog. But what better time to make amends than just after having held a record-breaking EOiD gathering there?

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Kulle in Chawri Bazaar

Chalk another one up for Shashank.

Several months ago, when the delicate evening chill meant you could look forward to winter rather than mourn its passing, we’d done a wonderful Navratra trip to Bazaar Sitaram and its precincts.

That’s when he’d dragged us to his favourite chaatwaala in Chawri Bazaar to show us something quite special.

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Sandwiches in Raghuganj

Some fruity sandwiches?” asked Rahul Verma several months ago, and I promptly put my hand up.

We’ve mentioned how Delhi’s food is often descended from that of the mediaeval lashkars garrisoned around the forts of the capital. Today Shahjahanabad is home to an army of office-goers and shopkeepers who trade in everything from spices to bridal trousseaux to electrical fittings.

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Kulfis at Sitaram Bazaar

Shashank wasn’t impressed.

I was gushing on about Roshan di Kulfi of Karol Bagh, a place I’ve been visiting since I was that high, but it left Shashank cold. You see, Shashank runs a jewellery business of his own, with offices in both Karol Bagh and Chandni Chowk, and his appetite only exceeds his turnover. To put it mildly, he knows a thing or two about good food in both places.

So when he told me about his preference for the kulfi at Sitaram Bazaar, my interest was piqued. And when I heard the establishment called itself Duli Chand Naresh Gupta, I knew I just had to try it out.

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Iftar at Jama Masjid

It must be the age.

I can’t think of any other reason it took me a whole fortnight to figure out why I’d been looking at the world with such a jaundiced eye of late. Life had been toodling along quite nicely, until an EOiD plan in mid-September to visit Haji Noora’s had to be cancelled at the last moment — Ramzaan!

Most unfair, if you ask me, this whole business of fasting for a month, especially on us kafir carnivores. Rank deprivation from sun-up to sun-down for a whole month, without even the compensation of heavenly favours. Grrr.

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Kallu Nihari

Talk about Nihari in Delhi, and somehow the name of Kallu Ustad invariably crops up. Rahul Verma mentions him in a column, the occasional website includes his fare in one of its old Delhi walks, and every other nihari lover counts him in her favourites.

Little wonder then that I had been wanting to visit Kallu’s shop for quite a while now.

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