City Food - Shri Sai Pickle Store, Old Subzi mandi, Gurgaon

City Food – Shri Sai Pickle Store, Old Subzi mandi, Gurgaon

The achar lane. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The entire lane in Gurgaon’s Old Subzi Mandi in the National Capital region is smelling deliciously pungent. And why won’t it be? After all, it is lined on both sides…

City Food - Nirula's Hot Chocolate Fudge, Hawker Street, Ambience Mall

City Food – Nirula’s Hot Chocolate Fudge, Hawker Street, Ambience Mall

Lost taste, regained. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Futuristic City of Gurgaon is in truth weighed down with a lot of past. Like this Nirula’s outlet in the tidy Hawker Street in Ambience Mall. Millennials might be…

City Food - Kailash Kumar Sharma's Rajma Chawal Stall, Gurgaon

City Food – Kailash Kumar Sharma’s Rajma Chawal Stall, Gurgaon

The taste of hard times. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Consider the setting. A table on the sidewalk, along with two or three chairs. Some three or four dishes, and tree leaves falling down like a slow drizzle….

City Food - Railway Station Chai, Gurgaon

City Food – Railway Station Chai, Gurgaon

The romance of the platform tea. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Frothy, extra-sweet, moderately milky, ginger-flavoured and aggressively invigorating. Such is the chai you’ll find on platform No. 2 in the Gurgaon railway station. The tea, however, is…

City Food - Chacha's Sheermal Rotis, Around Town

City Food – Chacha’s Sheermal Rotis, Around Town

The magic roti. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This sweet milky roti is usually found only in certain neighbourhoods—Okhla in south Delhi or at the Matia Mahal Bazaar in Old Delhi, for instance. Sheermal is said to have…

City Food - Tea Stall's Account Book and Chai, Roshanpura, Gurgaon

City Food – Tea Stall’s Account Book and Chai, Roshanpura, Gurgaon

The ecosystem of chai. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Each pavement chai stall looks alike in its extreme modesty—there’s the pan, or kettle, the stove and the gas cylinder. But each chai stall is unique, its character coming…

City Food - Manjeet Singh's 'Car-Restaurant', Sham Nath Marg

City Food – Manjeet Singh’s ‘Car-Restaurant’, Sham Nath Marg

The karhi chawal consolation. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] They always look old. No matter how recent they may be, street food stalls always seem dated, deeply rooted to their hyperlocal address. Often, they look like they’ve been…

City Food - Mathew's Masala Dosa, RK Puram

City Food – Mathew’s Masala Dosa, RK Puram

The real dosa. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It’s tough to find a masala dosa in Delhi that isn’t compromised with the city’s over-spiced aesthetics — the dosa served in the Indian Coffee House has a potato filling…

City Food - Snack Cart Pots, Mathura Road

City Food – Snack Cart Pots, Mathura Road

The great Indian pateeli show. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] You would expect to find this kind of huge brass container on display in the museums on Rajasthan kings instead of a Delhi pavement stall. This pateeli for…

City Food - Mathura ka Peda, Kucha Pati Ram

City Food – Mathura ka Peda, Kucha Pati Ram

The charm of an out-of-town delicacy. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Some of the most universally loved Indian delicacies are identified with towns and cities where they were probably invented or given a special treatment — Agra ka…