Street food that’s ruling the mind of Delhi-NCR foodies
Delhiites have been craving fast food for comfort, for long. And this is evident in the increasing demand for delectable foods such as momos, chole bhature, shawarma, rolls, and the likes.
Delhiites have a soft spot for street food, and how! This is evident at the quick queues (with social distancing norms) that have been mushrooming at popular eateries in the city, as soon a place announces that it’s reopening. There’s little doubt that people missed street food during the lockdown. And now that the markets are open and abuzz with din and delicacies, denizens aren’t missing out on the chance to savour their favourite street food at the roadside stall — be it chaat or kebab.
“Chole bhature is the most iconic representation of Delhi’s food culture. And everyone truly missed that during the lockdown, which is visible in our sales that have thankfully picked up again after a lull post the lockdown,” says Puneet Kohli from Sita Ram Diwan Chand in Paharganj, which is synonymous with chole bhature.
If monsoon is here, how can pakode be far! And a rainy day in Delhi-NCR is incomplete without chai and pakoda. “People are coming to buy our speciality, fish pakoda because they know we use fresh fish, always,” says Deepak Kumar, owner, Ganesh Restaurant at Karol Bagh. Vouching for the variety of non-veg pakodas he makes, Kumar adds, “Keeping in line with safety measures, we are preparing food in front of our customers, sanitising our premises every day, and recording the temperature of all employees. Log jaante hain ki hum unki safety ke sath compromise nahi karenge.”
When it comes to gorging on momos, even a pandemic can’t stop a foodie! “People are once again coming from far off to order momos, and some eat here and also get them packed for later,” says Dolma Tsering aka Dolma Aunty, from Lajpat Nagar Central Market. “Since I’ve restarted business, I’m unable to produce as per my maximum capacity because there are not enough hands, but the response of customers has been great... Some people came to tell me they tried making these at home during lockdown, but couldn’t get the same taste and were missing these; this was heartening.”
With chat vendors back in action, although equipped with face masks and hand gloves, the golgappa fans are rejoicing! Even chowmein and other fast foods now seem to be the “current favourite”, says Varun Puri, owner of IMLY. “During the lockdown people got bored of eating plain simple home food and the chatpata-ness was missed badly it seems. Also, fast food or street food is quick to eat and convenient for customers to takeaway. Our top selling dishes of late are desi chowmein, dahi kebabs, jalebi rabri and tandoori momos.”
Foodies in Gurugram are thronging the popular Galleria Market. “People don’t mind sitting on benches and relishing their fav roles. Even biryani and shawarma are being lapped up like anything,” says Anas Qureshi, owner, Lazeez Food informing that they are packed on most of the days. “When people see that we are using sanitisers, gloves, caps, etc toh customer ko lagta hain na ki sab theek hai, fresh bana hai. Jo trust bana hai customers ka humare liye, woh iss wajah se hai ki everything is cooked live in front on them. Barbeque is also live rather then koi backyard mein kitchen hai, aur woh dhaka hua hai... And customers can also see their order getting packed in front of them,” he adds.