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Delhiwale: The taste of Puri

Next to Jagannath Mandir is Shambhu Nath’s stall where you can get super-crisp vadas the Oriya way

delhi Updated: Feb 22, 2018 12:43 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Jagannath Mandir,Hauz Khas Village
Shambhu Nath at his snack stall near Jagannath Mandir.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Even if you choose the super-fast Purushottam Express it’ll take you a good two nights and one day to reach the great Jagannath Temple of Puri in Orissa.

Happily, there’s a shortcut. There’s another Jagannath Mandir right here on the Hauz Khas Village road in south Delhi.

And when you pop around on any given evening you might want to give the nearby snack stall a try for a truly authentic taste of Orissa. Just across the road from the temple, its super-crisp vadas are served a gravy dish of white peas, along with unpeeled potatoes — just the way they do in Orissa — you’ll rarely spot this preparation elsewhere in the city.

Of course, this stall is no match for the Puri temple in terms of age. But 26 years is a very long time for Shambhu Nath to hold forth. He is, quite simply, a vada expert — creating them only after setting up his cart at 6pm as the sun glints once last time on the adjacent Chhoti Gumti monument.

Now 38 years old, he was crafting vadas during childhood, and got his real start in Kolkata. Moving to Delhi a few years later, Mr Nath sensibly opened the stall just outside the capital’s biggest temple for the Oriya community.

This weekday evening his patrons are downing those piping-hot vadas amid quiet Oriya language chatter as the temple bells chime their own melody. Almost like being in Puri, we suppose.

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 15:26 IST