Sin-A-Mon Tales

A chronicle of my kitchen experiments, a little healthy a little indulgent

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 😉

Don't you love the way this looks

Don’t you love the way this looks

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

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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

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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

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 😛

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

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Bedmi Poori - slightly spicy with a little dal filling inside

Bedmi Poori – slightly spicy with a little dal filling inside

The yummy aloo sabzi, I don't know what makes this sabzi what it is. I have tried making it many times but never comes just like it. Love it

The yummy aloo sabzi, I don’t know what makes this sabzi what it is. I have tried making it many times but never comes just like it. Love it

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

If this doesn't make you drool.. I give up :P

If this doesn’t make you drool.. I give up 😛

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 🙂

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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 🙂

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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

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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?

30 comments on “The Streets of Old Delhi : A Veg food guide to Chandni Chowk

  1. hitchy
    December 25, 2012

    😀 😀 😀 😀 This is so so much a my kinda post !!!!! Totally sadist and full of yummy dishes !!!!! :mrgreen:

    • hitchy
      December 25, 2012

      No wonder I am the first one on this post !!!!!!!! Buhahaha 😎

    • monikamanchanda
      January 4, 2013

      sadist? why u call my post a sadist huhn 😉

  2. hitchy
    December 25, 2012

    That actually is a sinful post completely !!!!

    You know I love the old Delhi as much although I have been there only a few times and always on short time notice… still 🙂

    Almost all the things you mentioned there I have feasted upon and ofcourse the parantha’s ! 😀 😀 😀 Awesomeness in food and I can completely understand what you mean by that charm… something that came through Delhi-6 which was so nicely captured 🙂

    bout that Haldi… we get two types of haldi here a slightly whiter one and the orange one and we generally mix both of them together and make small slices of it and mix it with lemon and salt and its a sort of a salad with food in winter very healthy and tangy 😀 😀

    • monikamanchanda
      January 4, 2013

      oh yes Delhi – 6 one of the reasons I loved it so much 😀

      and yeah I have been told of that must try that soon but for that I need kachi haldi again which we dont get in bangalore 😦

      • hitchy
        January 4, 2013

        parcel karu kya ??? 😛

  3. Swati Raman Garg
    December 25, 2012

    this is torture .. 😀 but thanks for that photo tour, u know i do a transit via delhi to mansa na, there are times, gurudware mein samaan rakhke we go on a food tour 😀 old delhi has its own charm, gyaanis and chole kulche to hone hi hain

  4. Aparna
    December 25, 2012

    Ok I just had a pretty yummy lunch, and yet my mouth is watering looking at the photos and reading your descriptions!! Definitely hope to explore this place at some point in the future :).

  5. pinksocks
    December 26, 2012

    There are days when pics like these just lift your mood 🙂 I need my dose of Dilli now.

  6. Winnie the Poohi
    December 26, 2012

    Droools!! I want to visit Delhi now and have all of these! Just yummmmmmm

  7. Food for Swaps
    December 26, 2012

    Brilliant post… makes me want to go there and eat all this ASAP 🙂

  8. Anusha
    December 26, 2012

    Lovely write up Monika… the spirit of street food rightly captured! And how come no insights into Paratha gali…. Loving the pics totally… awww… made me drool all the way…

    • monikamanchanda
      January 4, 2013

      Anusha paranthe walli galli coming up in next post, part 2 of this 🙂

  9. Smita
    December 26, 2012

    Drrrooooooooool! Slurrrrrrrrrrp!!

    Having all this more when I go there next year!

  10. themadscientistskitchen
    January 1, 2013

    Droooooling here. Miss all this

  11. Sohni kitchen
    January 2, 2013

    i am hungry after seeing pics and going through your blog Monica… missing best side of delhi….

  12. facebook fans
    January 4, 2013

    Chandni Chowk Area
    When you are in Old Delhi, you just can’t miss the food there. The streets buzz with activity and are filled with the aroma of food. For the connoisseurs, there are restaurants like Karim’s. For the food historians, there’s a chance to taste Butter Chicken at Moti Mahal.

    Chandni Chowk, often called the food capital of India, is famous
    for its street food. The variety consists of snacks, especially chaat.
    If you wish to enjoy it, shed your high-brow attitude to soak in the flavours and delicacies. Come on, everybody… Yes, it’s a kind of celebration in congregation. Chandni Chowk resembles a fair everyday. The streets are lined with halwais (sweet-sellers), namkeenwallahs (sellers of savouries) and paranthewallahs
    (sellers of rich, flaky breads soaked in ghee).

    A good idea would be to start with the Paranthewali Gali. It became a famous gourmet locality when the parantha shops moved here in the 1870s. This lane has been the haunt of many celebrities of India. In the years after Independence, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and his family members – Indira Gandhi and Vijaylaxmi Pandit – came here to take their parantha meals. Jayaprakash Narayan and Atal Behari Vajpayee were also among the regular visitors.

  13. facebook fans
    January 7, 2013

    last time when i had been to delhi i have tasted pani puri and peru. it was yummy.. my mouth is watering now. next time i ll try other items ..

  14. hitchy
    June 4, 2014

    Sigh… I just relived this post in Delhi and now again today! 😀

  15. indiafoodclub
    March 1, 2015

    Reblogged this on India Food Club.

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