The Streets of Old Delhi : A Veg food guide to Chandni Chowk
I adore the streets of Old Delhi, Chandni chowk, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate, Darya ganj. The charm they hold, the world they transport me into a world where everything is good, everything is so pretty. I know I sound mad when I say that, that most people dread going there saying its too crowded, its too dirty but for me in the middle it holds a charm. A magic that just can't be explained, only felt and experienced.
Growing up, I really never went to that part of the city. Mum wasn't too big a fan of crowds and hence I wasn't exposed to it during childhood, then I grew up went to college and did a Nayi Sarak trip with friends to buy some books. And I think it was love in first sight for me if that's possible with a place. The tiny narrow lanes with boards in all colors, the small food joints here and there, the simple people, the fact that life is possible like this too. It was magic for me. Since then I love visiting Old Delhi as and when given a chance too, however one big issue with Old Delhi was the access to it. The fact that parking is a huuugeee issue there always discouraged me to go there every week (which is good thing considering the amount of money I blow up everytime I visit it) but with Metro coming there that problem is solved too. So this time when I was visiting Delhi, I decided to take N and O for their maiden visit to a part of Delhi I love. This time we stuck to Vegetarian food since mum was with us and she is a vegetarian, also old delhi has clear pockets if you ask me - the veg pocket and the non veg pocket.
So today I will take your through the delicious memories of that day and yes ofcourse there are pictures, whats a food post without pictures tell me?
We started the walk just when we got down from the Metro on a healthy note, with a nice ripe and sweet Guava, for the sins that we were going to commit ahead atleast some fruits should do the detox ;)
Just at the exit of the Metro station is a standard sandwich, burger, pakora shop that you will find on most Metro stations in Delhi, yes we promptly ignored it and went ahead though I must admit that I have had stuff from one of the similar shops in another station and its not bad at all. Next thing we attacked were the golgappas, this isn't any famous shop or anything just a thela we found on the side of the road and had but seriously it had mouth watering paani... spiced to the right levels, I actually drank three extra servings of it.
While we were walking to find our next food destination, I spotted such good and fresh kachi haldi that I couldn't help buying... I have made an achar out of it, grinded and kept some and use it in my regular sabzis instead of haldi powder, great flavour and its supposed to be good for health too.
And then it was the turn of the quintessentially Delhi street food the Kulcha Chola, this is one thing I miss the most in Bangalore, most of the Delhi Street food has made its way in Bangalore in some way or the other but somehow this is still not seen much, some people give u the kulcha (not the exact same though) and some give u the chola that is not even 10% of what you get in Delhi, mostly this is the first thing I eat out when I go to Delhi.
Ok I'll admit, I didn't eat this one but that's because I had already eaten kulche chole twice in my delhi visit till then and I wanted to keep space for more that was coming :P[/caption.
The next stop we did was at Nathu Ram Kachori walla, I have fond memories of this place from when I was in school, yes yes I know I told you that I wasn't exposed to Chandni Chowk whild growing up but that doesn't mean I wasn't exposed to the food right ;) the yummy food was regularly brought home for us he he. So the nathu ram kachori was one of them. That day we tasted the bread pakora with aloo sabzi and the bedmi poori, we ordered just one plate each thinking there will be a lot to eat ahead and N actually went back to get another plate of the bedmi.
Right next to Nathu Ram is another guy called Gupta Ji, which sells chola bhatura, kadhi chawal, chole chawal and the famous imarti also known as jhangari in the south, we had it fresh and hot right out of the kadai and O was so fascinated by it that he stood there for 10 minutes watching it getting made.
After the yummy imirati we moved to another childhood memory, my dad was posted in Chandni Chowk branch of Central bank for some years and right next to the bank is the famous, Natraj Bhalla Corner. Every Saturday when dad had a half day he would come home with these dahi bhalla's for all of us to relish. Mom will make some more chats and many a time that used to be the dinner, else we would have dahi bhalla as the evening snack :)
I am not kidding when I say these are by far the best ever dahi bhalla's I have had in my life. Every bit of the plate was perfect, the dahi, the spices and the chutney. I can close my eyes and taste it yet again :)
The Natraj now also does aloo tikki with yumm chutneys, I so loved the green chutney that I think I could finish the bowl just licking it.
And more coming up in Part 2 of the Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk Veg Food series :) Stay tuned... u actually thought the awesomeness could get over in one post?