The World of Flavors : My Favorite Food…
Comfort Food, Junk Food, Special Local Flavors, Sweets…
“31 States, 1618 Languages, 6400 Castes, 6 Religion, 6 Ethnic Groups, 29 Major festivals and 1 Country! A proud Indian”
The above could be a great message to share with friends and well wishers for any festival/celebration in India. We do celebrate a lot in India, and food becomes the integral part of those celebration.
I constant used to hear the phrase “Do you eat to live or live to eat” from the food police around us – the people who are particular about food as well as those socialist types who abhor any kind of celebration of enjoyment in life. Well the answer I have for them is that probably we live to eat – and I personally believe in experimenting with the taste buds, within the dietary restriction that I follow being a vegetarian more by choice than by any religious or caste based compulsion.
One of the most hilarious jokes of 2012 was around the disgraced holy man Nirmal Baba who used to suggest eating of, distribution of simple food items as a part of worshiping the god. Even though the scam that he is running to cheat people is repulsive, I kind of love the idea of worshiping by eating sundry items.
It’s about those memorable snacks/meals/street food/junk food etc. from early childhood till now, always in the company of friends, relatives or family, as I hate to eat alone, I relish those memories, of the food and experience and would love to relive them again and again. It could be on a go at the Streets or at the road side Dhaaba or at Dine-in Restaurants, what matters the most is the taste, the quality of food, and the memories associated with them.
So here are some memories categories into comfort food in and around Delhi, the food that I got to taste in the nooks & corners of India as well as whatever little opportunity I got to get a taste of the world outside India.
- Can have it anytime, anywhere….
- The pakore wala at Sarojini Nagar serves the best Kamal Kakdi (Lotus Stem) Pakoras I have ever tasted.
- Hands down winner in the category of Kachori-sabzi is the one served in the Dariba Kalan market at Chandani Chowk, Delhi.
- The aloo-takki and bhalla-papri of the guy near SBI at Chandani chowk gives a really good fight to the papri-chaat/ bhalla-papri served near the UPSC (near India Gate), Shahjahan Road, Delhi. But our favorite Gol Gappa is served by the guy outside the Bengali Bakery Shop at Gol Market.
- Childhood memories consist of regular the famous Desi Ghee ki Jalebi… which was a must-buy any time one of our family member used to go to Chandani Chowk for shopping or for any other work. The shop is still there near Dariba Kalan. I still love to have Jalebi with a glass of warm milk :-)
- There are some food items that we eat on some rare occasions but can never forget the taste, that special feeling or flavor is hard to recreate in any other setting, it has to be in the specific environment, with some special friends…
- One of the favorite place for us friends to meet & eat Indian Mughalai food used to be at Kafila, Karol Bagh, Delhi but the restaurant there is closed now :-(
Best meals around India...
- Nothing beats the home-cooked food, prepared with love and its the emotions that do the trick to make it most memorable, more than any special ingredients.
- The normal Urad Ki Daal and Chawal transforms into the greatest delicacy for me, cant forget the one I had sitting under the clear blue sky, cooked on or before before the wedding day in the open fields of our village. This meal is special because the male member prepare it and the woman for a change, take a break and enjoy eating rather than cooking.
- On Being in Love with Delhi (thegirlwhotellstales.wordpress.com)
- Gobi Parantha (subudhi123go.wordpress.com)
- Chandni Chowk (2) [Old Delhi] by Samrat Mukhopadhyay (500px.com)
- Shenzhen / Street-Food (humanquarterly.wordpress.com)
- Oops, I Forgot About This (tandooriresearch.wordpress.com)
- A Successful Indian Breakfast Dish: Aloo Parantha (missadventuretravel.com)
- Paav Bhaji (priyalall.wordpress.com)
- A Day in India with a Healthy All-Day Vegan Menu (onegreenplanet.org)