Have you being to Delhi? Have you checked out the street food? No, then you have certainly missed something.
It cannot be conveniently said that street food in Delhi is hundred percent hygienic. But if you haven’t tried out gol gappas and other spicey stuff then you have certainly missed something. Each region of Delhi has its own variety, and its own specialty. Go to Nehru place, one of the largest computer markets in Asia, you would certainly relish the Biryani and cholle chawal. Go to Chandni Chowk in the Old Delhi, well then you are at the mecca of street food. Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Connaught Place, Darya Ganj, ITO, you name them and they have their own specialty.
Today I am writing about the meal I had at Shankar Market, near the outer circle of Connaught Place (or Indira Chowk, if you go by the government nomenclature), last Sunday. This shop does not have a name, but for thirty years, it’s providing delicious food North Indian food to its customers the employees at the adjoining office complexes. Every afternoon the place is thronged by people, from every walks of life, office goers, college students for their lunch, clerks for packing lunch for their bosses, other people who came to Connaught Place for some work and cannot afford its pricey restaurant. For them it is a Mecca of afternoon. You can even find some BMW or a Merc standing by and owners inside with their plates.
The shop primarily provides for types of North Indian dishes, quintessential ‘Rajma Chawal’, ‘Curry Chawal’, ‘Cholle Chawal’ and ‘Puri Chawal’, sometimes every ‘palak paneer chawal’. Quantity of food in a single plate is enough for two; a plate will have apart from the main course, salad, raita and papad. But there is a catch, do not expect them to serve, you fetch the plate and everything will be mingled in them and there is no sitting so try to get yourself a better place to stand or sit. The food usually gets exhausted by 4 PM during weekdays. Since I went there on Sunday 3 PM, there was no problem. But if you go there on any weekday, brace yourself for the queue and crowd.
Thirsty! Then there is water vendor just on the premises itself or there are other shops to get ‘bisleri’. And even if you don’t like going there, there is always a McDonald, Nirula’s, Rodeo’s, Wimpy’s, Pizza hut or any other restaurant nearby. But this place is surely a try. I have being there since my college days, it has never disappointed me, even when it sweltering May, the food has being always good. But you always have right to your own opinion and tummy.
© Tarun Mitra