Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazar in Delhi 6 are known to those who like their food cooked and served in a certain way. Meat lovers go there for Nalli Nihari, biryani and the melt-in-your-mouth kebabs. Those who crave for something chatpata head to Daulat Ki Chaat and dig into Aloo Tikki, Kachori, Tikki Chaat and the crunchy Gol Gappe! And of course, one can also indulge in sweets like Jalebi, Halwa, Laddoo, Malpua, and ask for a second helping, perhaps!
If you are a Delhite, you have the option of taking the metro to Chawri Bazar station and eat to your heart’s content. But now even Puneites can savour the fare at Purani Dilli Food Festival at Momo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott Pune, Hinjewadi. The festival, which continues till July 27, has been curated by executive chef Rounak Kinger.
Originally from Mumbai, Kinger has worked in Lucknow to master the culinary style of the region. “The cooking style in Purani Dilli has influences of Lucknowi/ Nawabi, Punjabi and the Muslim community of UP region. And North Indian cuisine is specially known for its breads — kulcha, parathas, rotis etc,” explains Kinger, as we tuck into Chhole-Kulche.
Unlike the strong flavours and spices that are mostly associated with North Indian cooking, at this festival, your palate is teased with subtle flavours and rich, creamy textures. The Chhole we had was soft and cooked to perfection in a gravy that had the right amount of spices and the Kulchas were studded with white and black sesame seeds.
The chaat too was delicious. But, Puneites who usually love their Pani Puri on the sweeter side (because of imli-khajur chutney) will find the Gol Gappe with a predominant pudina flavour. The Tikki Chaat and Dahi Bhalle too were lip-smacking. Talking about the chaat items, Kinger says, “The chaat items originally come from Dhaulpur in Rajasthan and UP. The migrant labour from these two states created the chaat in Mumbai. Of course, there would have been some local variations. But the best chaat comes from these two regions. Also, the chaat up North is cooked in ghee, which is not the case here.”
New additions to the street food available in Purani Dilli include fruit sandwiches. At the festival, you can choose from a platter of Pineapple Cheese Sandwich, Strawberry Sandwich and Nutella Sandwich. We tried the Pineapple Cheese Sandwich — cheese spread over white bread, topped with fresh slices of pineapple — which was sweet, filling and tasty. If you are always on the move, this can be a very filling option. Those who crave for chocolate can try Nutella Sandwich. And those who like desi sweets can try Hot Jalebi served with Rabdi and Chena Murki. The latter is cubes of cottage paneer with a crispy, sugary layer. Delicious! Then, there were Motichoor Laddoos, Soan Papdi, Sohan Halwa and even Falooda with Ice Cream.
Having satiated ourselves with Dahi Parantha, Chhole Kulche etc, we skipped the main course. But if you like, you can have Steamed rice, Dal, Paneer Bhurji and Palak Saag. Those who like their meat and fish, Kinger recommends Aslam’s Butter Chicken, or you could try Lamb Goulash, Chicken Kebabs etc.
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Purani Dilli Food Festival is underway at MoMo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott Pune, Hinjewadi, till July 27 from 7-11.30 pm