New Delhi, IN: Dilli Delights

By Osama Jalali | The Hindu


After being rescheduled following the much talked about Delhi gang-rape , finally the much awaited week-long annual Dilli Ke Pakwaan food festival started with a spark this Friday next to the emporium hub of the city on Baba Kharak Sing Marg. In an increasingly globalised world where authentic flavours have been taken over by generic food there are still some gem of eateries in the bylanes and corners of the Walled City which still preserve the flavours of the past.

The festival organised by Delhi Tourism has brought such culinary delights of these age-old eateries out in to the open for everyone to enjoy. Nothing can get better for food lovers than have all the famous street food joints and vendors coming together and presenting their delicious master dishes. Be it the famous Daulat ki chaat, Khan ke kabab, Purani Dilli ki biryani, chicken Changezi, Dilli Ke Pakwaan has got it all together. I started the celebration on a sweeter note with the kulfi (Rs. 40) which most of the people were holding in their hands while roaming. Nice to see its various colourful flavours! Next, I moved on to the Dilli Chaat corner which was crowded by ladies and children. I somehow managed to place my order and enjoyed the water bursting golgappas (6 pcs for Rs.30).

Then I sat under a tree and watched a couple of cultural dance troupes from Rajasthan and a puppet show. But it was the group performance by quwwali singer Ustad Kamaal Sabri which mesmerised the audience. It was a mesmerising evening where people were enjoying both food and music. After the quwwali, now it was time to eat some serious food. Purani Dilli ka qorma (Rs.150/plate) along with roomali roti and mutton biryani (Rs. 200 /plate) seemed to be the best options. Qorma was fresh and biryani was served hot right from the degh. For vegetarians it was the soya chops (Rs.70/plate) served with two roomali rotis which were worth trying. But surprisingly it was the Nomadic Food Corner which had a good footfall. People in power suits were seen enjoying the village food where roti was made on a mitti ka tawa and subzi on a chulha. It was delicious, a must try. Before moving out, I regained my lost energy by having a spoonful of Daulat ki chaat (Rs. 50) and Ratan ki jalebi made inpure desi ghee.

One suggestion, as the way to a man’s heart is through stomach, try the delicacies with your spouses and celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Festival as 14th happens to be the last day to enjoy lip smacking food.