Tried and Tasted: Head to Paharganj to have the best samosas in Delhi
Sri Bankey Bihari Samosa Wallah in Paharganj is a special samosa shop that hard-core samosa lovers of Delhi swear by. Here’s why.more lifestyle Updated: Jan 21, 2018 09:56 IST
It never fails to amaze me what kind of happiness a small triangular snack can bring to our lives. All it needs is a bit of stuffing, a casing of maida, some oil –and you have a delicious samosa.
I don’t belong to that school of thought which says a samosa is a samosa is a samosa. You get all kinds of samosas in Delhi. In some parts of Old Delhi, you’ll find some delightful keema samosas. Jalebiwala in Dariba is known for its crispy samosas. The fillings are also of various kinds. Janta Sweets in Multani Dhanda offers moong dal samosas, while a shop in Kolhapur Road near Delhi University sells small samosas filled with peas.
Some of the best samosas are to be found under a tree behind Scindia House. The samosas fried by Duggal in Mayur Vihar Phase 2 have become so popular that people come from long distances just to try them out. And the Bengali singaras of Annapurna are of a different kind altogether, with a stuffing of diced pieces of potatoes tossed with peanuts.
But I wanted to visit a special samosa shop that hard-core samosa lovers of Delhi swear by. This is a shop in Paharganj called Sri Bankey Bihari Samosa Wallah. The address is 3177-79 Sangtrashan , Paharganj.
I went there after some 15 years, so I got a little confused. But the samosa shop is so well known that all I had to do was ask a panwallah. “Oh, Bankey Bihari,” he said, and gave me precise directions to what’s clearly one of Paharganj’s landmarks.
The shop was opened in 1960, and is now run by the grandson and great grandson of the entrepreneur who set shop in Delhi after the Partition. Sanjay Soni and Sunny open the shop at 6 am, and bring the shutters down only at around 10 pm or so.
What’s special about the samosa there is the fact that it is crisp, has a light stuffing of potatoes, and comes with a melange of tastes. The potatoes are flavoured with a pinch of garam masala, green coriander leaves, green chillies and just a hint of red chillies.
It is served with a runny aloo-chholey gravy. On top of this goes a dollop of a tart chutney, and some sweet saunt. The tart and sweet tastes go well together, and complement the lightness of the sabzi. And in the midst of all this is the crispy and crunchy samosa. Each serving is for Rs 12.
The samosas are fried at the back of the shop. Cauldrons of aloo-chholey sabzi are placed on a counter in front. They also sell gulab jamuns and shakkar parey. There is ample space inside for people to stand and eat. But the place is so popular that it’s a big crush.
I had one samosa – and loved it. I enjoy samosas of all kinds – especially the mini minced meat and cauliflower floret ones that we make at home. But the large newly fried samosas, with their soft potatoes fillings, are a particular favourite of mine.
Like Arnie, I’ll return. And phooey to the three men who jostled me and ran off with my mobile phone when I was walking down Paharganj. They may keep it – I had the samosa.
Recipe: Phulkopir singara, as made at home
Cut cauliflower florets and potatoes into small pieces. Sauté in a bit of oil, temper with salt, turmeric and cumin powder. Add some shelled peanuts and stir. Keep aside. Make little balls of dough with maida, softened with ghee. Roll one ball out and halve. Take one half, stuff it with the florets and potatoes, seal the ends with wet fingers, into a triangular shape. Each samosa should be about an inch long. Fry and serve hot.
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