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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Amritsari Kulche in Rohini

We economists have a dirty secret. We’re quite clueless. No, really.

Take for instance, the case of amritsari kulche. The kulche are about as closely related to their Delhi counterparts as the average barrel-chested Sikh is to your wiry daalkhor UP baniya.

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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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Sitaram Dewan Chand

It’s true. We men don’t ask for directions.

A couple months back, having heard one too many recommendations for Sitaram Dewan Chand’s Chhole Bhature, I googled their address, found the rough location on an online map, and went down to Paharganj. I reached the street I was looking for, but despite driving as slowly as the traffic behind me allowed, couldn’t spot the shop. I could’ve stopped and asked just about anyone, but no sir, I’m a man.

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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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