Food, Festivals and Events

The World of Flavors : My favorite food…

The World of Flavors : My Favorite Food…

Comfort Food, Junk Food, Special Local Flavors, Sweets…

Spice it up...

Spice Up Your Life

“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.

The Comfort Food : MaggiParanthaGolgappa and much more…..

  • Can have it anytime, anywhere….

Golgappa - Atte wala is my favorite @ Gole Market in front of Bengali Bakery shop

Golgappas @ Gole Market in front of Bengali Bakery shop

  • 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…

Cutting chai (half cup tea) near Shivaji Stadium or by the road side vendor near the Chanakya Hotel, Patna, Bihar

Samosa with Chhole at Birla Mandir

Bread-Pakora/Samosa with sabzi at Delhi Gate, Delhi

Famous Indian version of Chinese 'The Chow-mien' (wok fried noodles) - my favorite joint include one near my college (Desh Bandhu College) in Kalkaji Market and a small restaurant  in Khan Market.

Matar-Kulcha at Dilshad Garden, Delhi

South Indian Thaali at Udupi, Munirka, Delhi

Karachi Halwa from the China Ram Sindhi Confectioners, Chandani Chowk (https://plus.google.com/112546100845063437946/about?gl=in&hl=en)Karachi Halwa from the China Ram Sindhi Confectioners, Chandani Chowk

Rabri Faluda near Golcha Cinema, Daryagunj, one can get great rabri faluda & Kulfi-faluda or just plain Kulfi at  places in Chandani Chowk, Nai Sarak, Khari Baoli, all around Old Delhi.

Kulfi at Chandani Chowk

  • 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 :-( 

Karim's Old Delhi

Mushroom patties at the Bakery in New Rajendra Nagar market

Freshly deep fried Vada with Chutney near Bombay Guest House  at Karol Bagh, Delhi

The Paneer Dosa & Lassi at Punjab Sweet House, Karol Bagh
Nimbu Lemon/ Masala Banta, Shop opposite Townhall, Chandani Chowk, Delhi
There are many places in Delhi where on can have really great Chhole Bhature –  Nai Sarak, Chandani Chowk, Bengali Sweets, Bengali Market and Sita Ram ke Chhole Bhature at Pahargunj are my favorite, but the one at Odion Sweets, Gole Market are something really special.
Chhole Bhature...
South Indian Delight - Sarvana Bhavan, Janpath, New Delhi

South Indian Delight – Sarvana Bhavan, Janpath, New Delhi

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.

Mega size Aloo ka parantha at Neelkanth, near Rishikesh, Uttarakhand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neelkanth_Mahadev_Temple)
Kathiawadi Thaali at Ahmadabad

Kathiawadi Thaali at Ahmadabad

Pastry at the Bakery in McLeod Ganj main market, Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh

Pastry at the Bakery in McLeod Ganj main market, Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh

Hot Cappa Coffee - Indian Coffee House, Near T Nagar, Chennai

Hot Cappa Coffee – Indian Coffee House, Near T Nagar, Chennai

Crispy Dosa at Murugan's - Chennai

Crispy Dosa at Murugan’s – Chennai

A simple Veg meal at Punnuswami - Chennai : For non-veg delight this restaurant is the best in Chennai...

A simple Veg meal at Punnuswami – Chennai : For non-veg delight this restaurant is the best in Chennai…

Andhra Thali at Bheema's :  Bangalore

Andhra Thali at Bheema’s : Bangalore

MTR : The place hasn't changed in more than 100 years...

MTR : The place hasn’t changed in more than 100 years…

Lemonade at Bheem Taal, Nainital, Uttarakhand - Nectar of pahari Nimbus

Lemonade at Bheem Taal, Nainital, Uttarakhand – Nectar of pahari Nimbus

Santushthi - Delicious Kathiawadi Thali in Rajkot, Gujarat

Santushthi – Delicious Kathiawadi Thali in Rajkot, Gujarat

The very best of Indian Street food - Banarasi chaat at Kashi chaat bhandar, Varanasi

The very best of Indian Street food – Banarasi chaat at Kashi chaat bhandar, Varanasi

Pasta, really nice...

Great pasta at Pizzaria, Varanasi (Near the Assi Ghat)

The best Italian Pizza in India, not joking at all...

Claimed to be the 2nd best pizza place in the world! Pizzaria at Assi Ghat, Varanasi. The Italian has left the place but the taste is still very much there.

Out of the world Apple Pie with Vanilla icecream

The best apple pie I ever had, Pizzaria near Assi Ghat, Varanasi

The traditional oven at Pizzaria, Varanasi

The traditional oven at Pizzaria, Varanasi

Paneer Kassa at Zaika, Chapara :-)

A bit too buttery but it was just divine to have such a tasty paneer in Chapra while we were starving…

Best meal in Bihar, Zaika @ Chapara...

Best meal we had in Bihar, Zaika @ Chapara…

Saag and makke di roti at the Haveli...

Punabi Delight – Makke ki roti and sarson ka saag : The Haveli near Jalandhar

Italian punjabi style : Pasta in white sauce with Paneer...

Italian punjabi style : Pasta in white sauce with Paneer…

Italian Punjabi style : pizza with pineapple, pyaz and yes paneer...

Italian Punjabi style : pizza with pineapple, pyaz and yes paneer…

The best Daaba in Punjab

Pal Dhaaba in the City Beautiful, Chandigarh, Punjab

Gobhi Parantha with lots of butter at Deepak Dhaba, Sangrur, Punjab

Gobhi Parantha with lots of butter at Deepak Dhaba, Sangrur, Punjab

Excellent daal tadka

Oh what a Daal it was! Tastiest Daal Tadka I ever had. Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh

There is nothing better than a Meal at Hill View, Dhaulachina in between Almora and Pithoragarh

There is nothing better than a Meal at Hill View, Dhaulachina in between Almora and Pithoragarh

Kiyani Bakery at Pune have got the amazing Shrew-berry biscuits

Kiyani Bakery at Pune have got the amazing Shrew-berry biscuits

lAlways crowded with customers, the stuff gets over very quickly - Kiyani Bakery at Pune

Always crowded with customers, the stuff gets over very quickly – Kiyani Bakery at Pune

Custard Apple Milkshake - It was truly yum at Cream Corner, MG Road, Pune

Custard Apple Milkshake – It was truly yum at Cream Corner, MG Road, Pune

The sweet tooth : Maalpua with Kheer at Patiala

The sweet tooth : Maalpua with Kheer at Patiala

Pao Bhaaji at Shiv Sagar, Pune

Pao Bhaaji at Shiv Sagar, Pune

Maxican meal at La Cocina, Downtown Chicago, USA (http://lacocinamexicangrillchicago.com/)

Maxican meal at La Cocina, Downtown Chicago, USA (http://lacocinamexicangrillchicago.com/)

Bakery items from the shop next to the pharmacy at Dongdaemun Gate (Great Eastern Gate), Dong Dae Moon market, Seoul (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294197-d554533-r3910648-Dongdaemun_Gate_Great_Eastern_Gate-Seoul.html)

Bakery items from the shop next to the pharmacy at Dongdaemun Gate (Great Eastern Gate), Dong Dae Moon market, Seoul (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294197-d554533-r3910648-Dongdaemun_Gate_Great_Eastern_Gate-Seoul.html)

Street Food at Dong Dae Moon Market

Street Food at Dong Dae Moon Market

9 thoughts on “The World of Flavors : My favorite food…

  1. You’re making me miss Indian food so much! I had never tried it (surprisingly) before I went to India, but now it remains my favorite food in the world. I’m going to try to make either potato curry or samosas this weekend. Or perhaps the breakfast potato chapti (what’s that called?). Any good recipes to share?

    • :-) thank you… thats stuffed Parantha for breakfast, I guess what you are referring to. The filling inside the parantha could be anything from boiled and massed Potato to minced cauliflower or onion or cottage cheese mixed with spices. I am not cook, just a foodie, but here is how we make the Potato parantha at home, Prepare the dough (mix water and wheat flour), Boil and mash potatos and add salt, finely chopped green chilly (if you want to make it spicy), you can also add just a pinch of carom seeds if it is available, it is suppose to be a good herb for health. roll the dough on a flat surface, add the spicy mashed potato filling, bring together the dough from all sides to cover the filling in between, again roll the dough on the flat surface, the potato filling will now be in between two layers of wheat flour dough. Toss it on the griddle with little bit of oil, cook from both sides until the surface is crispy golden brown. Serve with some butter tossed over and have it hot – tastes yummy with melting butter on the top and a steaming hot cup of Indian style tea (boiled with milk and sugar). Alternatively you can also have it with coriander chutney or pickles. There is a very famous street in old Delhi named Paranthewali Gale (the street where you can get Paranthas), you must visit it next time you are in India, just to soak in the atmosphere over there.

      • Yes, parantha! Thanks so much for explaining in detail how to make it. I ate aloo parantha almost every day for breakfast when I was in India, and I miss it. I think I’ll try to make it tomorrow night, and I’ll link back to this blog on my post. I also have a bag of spices and a bag of chai I brought back from India and have been carrying around ever since. It’s about time I put them to good use ;-)

    • I would recommend you start off with Naan (Indian bread) and Daal Makhani (lentil) . Its the most basic stuff and if the place you are eating at wins you over with these, then you can try the other stuff on their menu. The non-vegetarian stuff tends to be a bit too hot for western taste-buds so ask them to go slow on spices.

      • Hey, thanks for the suggestions! I tried them out today, and I liked it so much. I love spicy, and went with extra spicy today. I also got some lamb masala. I will definitely be trying more soon!

  2. Pingback: A Successful Indian Breakfast: Aloo Parantha : TEFL Bloggers

  3. Pingback: A Successful Indian Breakfast Dish: Aloo Parantha | MissAdventure

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