Food Porn Delhi (Part 1) – Best food cities of the world

The term ‘Food Porn’ would be justifiably applicable only to a select few cities of the world. It has to be a city which has a diverse range of cuisines, as organic preparation as possible, as tasty, edgy and memorable, like no other. I covered Barcelona, Bangkok and Costa Del Sol already so it was time to look closer to home.

India is the only country where after meals restaurants serve a wide variety of complimentary digestives

Naturally an Indian city is more likely to feature in such a category – much as Indian food is branded (unfairly) as too spicy, unhealthy, oily and excess masala, it’s a fact that Indian food is one of the world’s most respected and loved cuisines. Even detractors end up hogging on Indian food.

Or complimentary mocktails as unique as rose curd juice!

Our Delhi trip itinerary had adequate food joints, hidden gems and corner shops bookmarked in it. But Delhi surprised us further at every meal. There was not a single meal which I can say was a ‘wasted meal’. That makes Delhi a food porn city.

Here’s some of the best dishes we had during our stay. Am covering only meals and beauty of fusion food embedded in Indian cuisine in this blog. In the concluding part I will cover snacks and breakfast options. So here we go:

Momos in Burgers! China sandwiched in West! Heard anywhere? Chinese food sold in India itself is most unusual to the world and even to India. Its our favourite cuisine. But fusion of Chinese food with western styles takes it to another level!

Momos in Burgers – heard ever, anywhere?
Fusion of western sizzler concept with Chinese momo and noodles!

North Indian food – heavily influenced by the Mughals, Pakistan, Afghanistan and beyond. Our best north Indian meals ranged from ‘Rang De Basanti Dhaba’ at Hauz Khas Village (with Dinesh Chandra) to street food in vans at Gurgaon!

Two feet long thick mutton seekh kebab! Anyone? My kids loved it too. With Dinesh Chandra
Bhayankar Mutton Achari at Rang De Basanti Dhaba! Spicy mutton curry with raw mango pulp

 

Ok, this one is Mexican nachos fusion with Pakistani style mutton keema (mince)

This one below we tasted at Kerala but couldn’t help putting it as it was the best fried chicken we ever had.

Spicy fried chicken at Nila outlet of Lulu Mall food court, Kochi. KFC tastes a poor distant useless relative compared to this

 

Panjiri is the heavy metal of food – Originating from North India/Pakistan its dried fruits moulded with wheat and ghee. It’s often given to just delivered mothers to recover fast. We tasted it first time courtesy Rashmi Raman Chugh.

Panjiri – first time we tasted. Thanks to Rashmi Raman Chugh

 

Coolants – Lassi and Chaas. While exploring hot and humid India, one thing you need most if fluids. Tasty, nutritious, cooling effect and ease of digestion fluids. Lassi and Chaas are two drinks we gulped in glasses every day amidst the heat. And they help us be the foodies we long to be!

Butter Milk – Light and cool on stomach and extremely helpful for digestion. This one courtesy Rashmi Raman Chugh

Thalis – off course you have the option of Thalis – that is set meal. But the set meals you get globally and ones in India (or muslim countries) are worlds apart. India being a country with 30+ states and territories, you have option of 30+ types of thalis. But each such thali will be tasting different in different states, to cater to local flavour. That makes a 30*30 combination. And I have just started.

Rajasthani Thali at Dilli Haat with Kumar Sambhaw Sultania

We opted for two vegetarian Rajasthani Thalis at Dilli Haat (with Kumar Sambhaw Sultania) and another at a posh Gurgaon Cyberhub restaurant (with Raman Chugh and Rashmi Raman Chugh). They both had almost the same dishes, but had extreme range of taste. The upmarket CyberHub one was more normalized and lighter on stomach. The Dilli Haat one was spicier and harder on the knuckles!

Rajasthani Thali at Panchvati Gaurav with Raman Chugh

Desserts – Am not detailing on Indian desserts, as it will take a separate blog. In short India make two types of desserts – Towards East India is primarily fresh milk products with low shelf life. Sweet shops there mostly have white as the predominant colour. Rest of India are more in making sweets off clarified butter and sugar. The predominant colour in sweet shops there is yellow-brown. We have cut down on sweets intake so didn’t have much.

Rasmalai – One of the best Indian desserts.

I must also add, all the above dishes were eaten by my family of two adults and two kids (6,10 yrs old) and not one day did we have any stomach bug. We ate from street side stalls, tiny dingy famous joints to upmarket malls and restaurants. The trick was to ensure you always eat in moderate quantities, walk and sweat a lot and off course be careful of water.

But the bigger mantra is to eat all types of food, preparations and tastes. The more rigid and limited you get early in life, more your stomach gets accustomed to only certain types of food and ingredients. This means any new dish, upsets the system. So eat everything, eat good and live life like a king.

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