Studded with famous food stalls, the maze-like alleyways and marketplaces of Old Delhi have been luring foodies for centuries, but there’s more to Delhi’s street food than the jalebis and parathas of Chandni Chowk.
Street food legends-in-the-making have mushroomed across the capital, especially in South Delhi, where markets are dotted with kerb-side kiosks doling out rich servings of deliciousness. Here is our pick of the tempting street-food treats squirreled away in the southern suburbs.
A plate with crunch at Bombay Bhel Puri
Citizens of South Delhi have been patronizing the small kiosk known as Bombay Bhel Puri in Sundar Nagar Market for decades, and with good reason. A short hop south from Pragati Maidan and Purana Qila on Mathura Road, the food stand run by Bhajan Lal has transplanted Mumbai’s favourite street snacks – bhel puri and sev puri, to the nation’s capital, winning ample praise from pernickety Punjabi palates. These crunchy delights are a light-on-the-stomach, any time treat and Delhiites are often spotted making a beeline for Bombay Bhel Puri late at night as an extra pick-up after dinner. Also on offer is jhal muri and batata puri, the owners’ ode to Kolkata.
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Breakfast bonhomie at Baba Nagpal Corner
Residents of Lajpat Nagar, just one flyover across from swanky Defence Colony, rise at the crack of dawn to flock to Baba Nagpal Corner for a serving of their famous chola bhatura. Doled out daily while stocks last, this hearty north Indian breakfast staple has been luring people to the road-side stall for decades. Throughout the day, you’ll find droves of school, college and office-going regulars hankering for their share. Samosas also contribute to Nagpal’s brisk business, especially in these winter months.
Anytime eating at Khandani Pakore Wala
The perfect pairing for a steaming cup of masala chai, hot pakoras are an old Delhi favourite, particularly in the cold and damp months. Those in the know make a beeline for Khandani Pakore Wala in Sarojini Nagar. Subject to season, all manner of Indian vegetables are chopped up, batter-wrapped, and dunked into a cauldron of bubbling oil, delivering the crisp crunch so loved by Delhiites. Weekends see a rush of eager patrons toting bags of cauliflower, spinach, potato, onion and cottage-cheese pakoras.
Meaty morsels at Qureshi’s Kabab Corner
A famous destination for carnivores, Qureshi’s in South Extension II, sees a great rush in the evenings, as commuters stop in for a home-time treat. Regulars swear by the varied chicken grills as starters, favouring mutton rogan josh or korma as a filling main course. The accompanying chutney is legendary, its rich flavour providing the perfect foil to Qureshi’s aromatic kababs.
A taste of Tibet at Dolma Aunty Momos
It’s not just shopping bargains that draw the inhabitants of south Delhi to Lajpat Nagar’s bustling Central Market. Tucked away in sector 39-B is one of the best spots to sample an authentic taste of Tibet in the form of Dolma Aunty Momos. The same family have been serving up these freshly steamed vegetarian and non-vegetarian dumplings for thirty years, and the quality of the output can be judged by the crowd of customers waiting patiently for a turn. Pocket-friendly prices allow for double helpings if you are in more than just a nibbling mood.
Something to chew on at Prince Paan & Chaat Corner
Once a tiny kiosk vending cigarettes and betel nut, Prince Paan, in Greater Kailash I’s M Block market, has blossomed into the capital’s best-loved stop for paan and chaat. Regulars and rookies gather daily for the signature flavoured paans – strawberry, butterscotch, mango – and rounds of gol gappe. Other street-side favourites include aloo tikki and Mumbai-style bhel puri.
This article was first published on www.lonelyplanet.com