iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Sidhartha Roy and Anubhuti Matta, Hindustan Times
New Delhi/Mumbai, July 26, 2013
Congress leaders Raj Babbar and Rasheed Masood firmly believe that you can have a ‘full meal’ for Rs. 12 and Rs. 5 at Mumbai and Delhi, respectively. Babbar and Masood, however, didn’t clarify where and when they last had their lunch for the stated amount at Delhi or Mumbai.

Even the humblest of roadside eateries anywhere in Delhi, doesn’t serve any kind of a meal at anything less than Rs. 15. That is, of course, if you are not hell bent on paying just Rs. 5 and then plan to run away with the meal.

“Why Rs. 5, you can have a wholesome meal for free at a Gurudwara or the Gauri Shankar Mandir at Chandni Chowk,” said Sanjay Bhargava of the Chandni Chowk Sarva Vyapar Mandal. “I don’t understand why people who are not from Delhi and haven’t seen it outside the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone comment on the city.”

Himanshu Verma, who conducts regular food walks in old Delhi and is an expert on the walled city’s gastronomic delights, said that though the area has a lot to offer, it can’t offer even a snack or kulfi for Rs. 5.

There are, however, options available at Rs. 5 if you consider a small packet of namkeen, peanuts or gram as a meal. If you have Rs. 12 and you are in Mumbai, your stomach would growl a little less though.

A meal for Rs. 12 in Mumbai? Here’s what you can really get for that sum.

The snack that typifies the city’s streets, the sustenance of its downtrodden – bhel puri – is now Rs. 15 a plate. In other words, out of your reach.

For Rs. 12, you can get a plate of sookha bhel, basically puffed rice and a fistful of roasted gram sprinkled with a little garnish.

Likewise, bhajiyas – which typically contain onion or methi – are out of your reach, at Rs. 15 a plate, but you can sup on a single, carbs-only vada pav or samosa pav (a full serving contains two and would be out of your reach, at Rs. 20).