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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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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Momo’s affair

Zero is not India’s greatest contribution to mankind, it’s the Manchurian. What, with all the jeera, dhaniya, and even garam masala it seems right from the heart of the Guangdong province, doesn’t it?

The Nepali kancha cooking chowmein in that pseudo-wok (essentially a kadhai) isn’t all that bad, I’ve realized. I’ve had the ‘real’ Chinese – and no, House of Ming isn’t the absolute Chinese-Chinese — and I’ve had the Indian-Chinese. I’m a sucker for both, but it’s the Indie-Chinese that leaves you with that strong aftertaste of dark soy, chilli and garlic — reminiscent of the yum that was.
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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.
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On a (Church) Mission to Fatehpuri Masjid

As the summer flexes its muscles over the subcontinent, the mind harkens back to a “field trip” to the Fatehpuri Masjid area of old Delhi in early February. On a cold winter Sunday, four of us intrepid foodies found ourselves at the Chandni Chowk metro station, with an appetite braced by the early morning drizzle.

I was sure we were in for a treat the moment Shashank led us into an obscure little back lane leading away from the station, with the confidence of a sherpa on the road to the Everest. Here was a man who knew his puraani dilli.
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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!
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