Food Porn Delhi (Part 2): Chaat must be world’s best vegetarian street food

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.

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.

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India’s unique ice-cream variant – Kulfi with Falooda with Arun Agarwal Ji near India Gate
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.

 

I covered meals in Part 1 and beauty of fusion food embedded in Indian cuisine. In this blog I cover snacks and breakfast options. So here we go:

It’s unfortunate that world over breakfast is getting standardized to that same corn flakes, bread variants, fruit variants, butter and jam variants. Should we say, standardized or westernized? But for the charm of best and most unusual breakfasts (or snacks) of the world, welcome to India. The range is mesmerizing and what I put here is barely a small percentage. India has 30+ states and territories and 480 odd languages. Rest you can imagine!

Food on Delhi Agra expressway – Dosa, Idly, Poori with potato curry and sweet curd, Parantha with normal curd and achar – in breakfast choices, India are unbeatable globally
Sabudana items – Lovely Maharashtrian extreme light meals at Dilli Haat
Or Indian snacks – If there is a global poll on best street food snack in the world, I think Chaat will win hands down. For those who haven’t heard this term, their life is incomplete. India has chaat stalls at every corner of the country. Chaat’s concoction can range from curd, savouries, coriander, potato curry, namkeens, tamarind juice, chilli powder to pomegranate to what not. Taste it to experience India.

Raj Kachori Chaat – King of chaats!

Various types of Papri – raw material for chaats! Chaats as I said would be the world’s best vegetarian street food dish
If Raj Kachori is king of Chaats then Golgappa (a.k.a. Paani Puri, Phuchka) is Queen of chaats. We were guided to the famous Prabhu Chaat Bhandar (near India Gate) by Arun Agarwal Ji and had a lovely time.

The taste of chaats and gol gappas will differ from state to state, across India. but surely East India, Central and North India will score more in this domain than rest of India.

4 pic slide show below you can see the Prabhu Chaat Bhandaar in action, the delicious and organically made Aloo Tikki Chaat and my Daughter Arushi Das feasting on a spicy Gol Gappa.

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Gujarati delicacies – they mix sweet with salty and chilli as effective as none else!

The Gujarati Khandvi!
The Gujarati Dabeli – Sweey Spicy vegetarian burger with Pomegranate! move away McD
 

Besan (Gram Flour) Paneer (cottage cheese) Chilla (Whatever, tastes great) at Chandni Chowk outside Seeshgang Gurudwara

Parathas (fried flatbread) was extremely to the India Pakistan area, till now its become a global food. In South East Asia they call it Prata or Pranta, in South India they call it Paronta, in East India they call it Parota and so on. The best place to eat parathas in Delhi (well it’s a tough one, as they make it good almost everywhere) is at Parathe wali galli (alley) in Chandni Chowk. the outlets there are dingy, hot and crowded but with variants like Pudina paratha, Lemon parantha, Daal Paratha (in pic below) and many more it’s the place to be.

 

The Babu Ram Parathe Waala guy’s setup you can see in the slide show below. From where he rolls the dough to the oven is a good 1.5 metres, but he rolls, spins and throws every paratha straight into the oven, entire day. That act itself is worth admiring. Food even better – crispy, thin, low on oil and extremely satisfying. Costs zilch.

2 picture slideshow below of Babu Ram Devi Dayal Parathe waala with Daal Paratha and Lassi.

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India is fast catching up with western popular foods and in no time will surge ahead with their versions. This is subject to Indians respecting Indian food and coming out of slave mentality, stop blindly following anything western. It pains me when traditional sweet and snack shops are vanishing under name of unhealthy food and being replaced by American ice cream and donut chains!!!

Even standard western dishes like Garlic cheese bread are much better made and taste in India
Indian small eateries have started designing shapes with chocolates too!
Hope my two-part Delhi Food Porn blog helped salivate. You should do something similar too. Keep living life. Every minute. God wont be happy to see you later with you wasting your entire life in nothing but corporate slavery and failed friendships.

As mentioned in the first part, each of the dishes above were consumed by both my kids (6yrs and 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, 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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