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TDG: Delectable Delhi from Dusk 'Til Dawn


Monica Bhide
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Come with me as I take you into the heart of Delhi in the midnight hours.

Join me From Dusk 'Til Dawn in a delightful city that never ceases to amaze

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Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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That "cutting board" is fascinating. At first I chuckled when I saw it, but then after dwelling on the photos for a bit I realized it's a pretty sensible piece of equipment, what with the way the onions land in the bowl no matter which way the pieces fall.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Come with me as I take you into the heart of Delhi in the midnight hours.

Join me From Dusk 'Til Dawn in a delightful city that never ceases to amaze

+++

Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.

monica,

i take it you didn't grow up or go to college in delhi? if you want to do a follow-up on your next trip let me know and i can suggest a number of places to go to that fit the general bill you're working with here. i enjoyed the photos and the log but couldn't help but notice the absence of certain essential elements of the non-restaurant delhi food scene: the matka-pir biryani folks; all of parathe-wali gali; the ubiquitious roadside kabab and tikka-walas in every delhi colony; and above all the heavenly anda-paratha and alu-parathas with chai at the dhabas next to the petrol pumps off the dhaula kuan crossing (where the jaipur highway begins). this last is the non-moneyed delhi-ite's answer to the 24 hour coffee-shop of the 5-star hotel. not sure what they're like now but back in the day it was usual to find a fairly motley crew of delhi-ites gathered here after midnight (when all the restaurants are shut)--from hardcore truck-drivers to westernized but financially challenged college students.

i'd also hesitate to characterize the delhi food scene in terms of the poles of five-star restaurants and street vendors. there's an entire world in between as well, and many of the best pleasures of delhi food come from here: the chaat-houses etc.

cheers!

mongo

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I did not grow up in Delhi. I left India when I was about 6 years old. We did visit parathewali gali and I have tons of pics from that -- for another piece :smile:

I did not see any anda paratha guys -- sounds yummy though

I will take you up on your offer.. next time around.. send me to more such places..

We really had a ball doing this... we were sort of wandering around and eating what came our way. I did not go to any particular area

The guys who served us our meal were Bengali's -- such sweet chaps.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I thought that was fascinating. Did you ask your cousin how he felt you did in your search? And I know that alu means potato, but what does anda mean?

I can't escape the thought of whether you'd like to do similar explorations of stalls in other cities like Kuala Lumpur, for example.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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He is still recovering :wink: He did alright and is excited to do it again. Delhi is so huge, we merely scratched the surface -- i know

Anda means egg

Yes -- I would love to do it in other places.. what an adventure that would be.... Ellen Shapiro are you reading this :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Wonderful article - the pictures and descriptions left me literally drooling. I'm now craving a good dal and cursing the fact that it's almost time for bed.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Wonderful article Monica

When in Indian, I travelled extensively being interpreter for a French television team doing documentaries (around 5 times a year for 2-3 weeks). We’ve had the most unusual meals at the most unusual places… Every city must have such hidden treasures. Good examples are the highway dhabas; they tend to showcase the best of local fare – always simple and marvellous!

Thanks for bringing back a flood of memories. A lot of us identify to what you’ve written, especially in terms of emotions food procures you.

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Thanks Monica, as bague25 said, for bringing back a lot of wonderful memories.

What an interesting story line, very origional. I loved all the pictures, of course some have more appeal. I like the stick chopping board too but my favorite was the last one, of the jalebis, with the dhoop (incense) burning on the side. was it to ward off the insects? did you try the jalebis? did they have any aroma of the incense?

It may not be possible to cover evrything in one article so I hope you are going to continue the saga with future visits.

You ARE brave Monica to try all those street foods. What medication were you on?

bhasin

Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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Wonderful article - the pictures and descriptions left me literally drooling. I'm now craving a good dal and cursing the fact that it's almost time for bed.

Thanks so much. It was just such a joy to be able to do this. I had my young son with me so eating out at "diverse" (ahem) places in the day was out of the question.. but once he was in bed.. I was free to do what I wanted.. that is why we chose to do this at night!

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Wonderful article Monica

When in Indian, I travelled extensively being interpreter for a French television team doing documentaries (around 5 times a year for 2-3 weeks). We’ve had the most unusual meals at the most unusual places… Every city must have such hidden treasures. Good examples are the highway dhabas; they tend to showcase the best of local fare – always simple and marvellous!

Thanks for bringing back a flood of memories. A lot of us identify to what you’ve written, especially in terms of emotions food procures you.

Thanks for the kind words. You must have had a ball with the French documentary people. Would you please please please tell us about your experiences in a new thread... any memories you can share would be welcome

I really tried to stay away from the known and standard places (like parathewali gali -- which I know is good) -- this really was an attempt to see what the common man eats. Delhi has so much more to offer than kebabs and parathas and I hope that I have atleast scratched the surface of this multifaceted city

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Thanks Monica, as bague25 said, for bringing back a lot of wonderful memories.

What an interesting story line, very origional. I loved all the pictures, of course some have more appeal. I like the stick chopping board too but my favorite was the last one, of the jalebis, with the dhoop (incense) burning on the side. was it to ward off the insects? did you try the jalebis? did they have any aroma of the incense?

It may not be possible to cover evrything in one article so I hope you are going to continue the saga with future visits.

You ARE brave Monica to try all those street foods. What medication were you on?

bhasin

I was told because of the size of the jalebis that they were actually JALEBAS -- dont know if they were humoring me or if its true.

The funniest thing happened here.. a lot of young folk surrounded me and insisted that I should forget the food and take their pics. I did and they paid for my jalebas. Man.. THEY WERE GOOD --- dripping with sugar, hot out of the kadai (cast iron pan) and just melted in my mouth

My medicine.. repeated chants of "I can do this, nothing will happen" -- the power of positive thinking .. :laugh::laugh: Funny thing is I was fine, it was my Delhi bred, Delhi born, Delhi raised cousin who got an upset tummy!!!! :raz:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica,

Thank you for that! I am printing it out to read with my husband over dinner at Zaika tonight!

Akiko -- I want to eat at Zaika :sad: -- maybe my next visit to London you will guide me as to where to eat there!

I am sure you will fall in love with Delhi. If you get a chance, visit Mumbai as well.. food and people are both fab

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica,

Very nice article and pics. Now I have to have those Moong Chawal Kachoris. Low carb can take a back seat this weekend.

I wish you had taken the photo of the grand old Lalaji type guy who makes those Moong Chawal donas (Leaf bowls) sprinkled with Multani Khatta Masala...Yum Yum..Yum..

Keep it up..

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Lalaji was on vacation -- canyou believe it! I do have pics of the kachories being fried.. let me see if I can find them and yes -- they generously sprinkled the khatta masala ( tangy spice powder) on the dish .. this place has been around for over 50 years and its amazing how they churn out the same thing each day. Since Lalaji ( who by the way uses the most foul language I have ever heard) was not around, we were allowed to peek in all the utensils and even got a tour of the back of the kitchen..

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Wow, that was fun to read. Very well written and with a great sense of humor, your forays into the adventures of Indian street food made me feel like I' m watching Bourdain's "Cook's Tour". I wonder if he read it yet?

Like FatGuy I was fascinated by the yard stick "chopping board" guy and I also examined it for a few seconds and sure enough...it makes sense.

I love the way you told it like it is also Monica, you did not make seem urealistically poetic and perfect, I'm talking about the insults from people, the questionable food and the purveyors hygiene or lack there of. So why were you insulted anyways? Did they feel like you were patronizing them?

Looking forward to the next piece

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I think they were insulted because they want to earn a living by giving us a ride in their auto rickshaw and my asking them questions on where they eat seemed irrelevant to them

I always hope that when people read my pieces, they see a reality and not some fiction that never happens

thanks for looking at the piece.. I value your feedback and comments

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica:

The piece is fantastic and the spirit of adventure refreshing. I think I'm going to call you theh "Indiana Jane of the East"

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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