City Food - Poet Ghalib's Daal, Somewhere in Delhi

City Food – Poet Ghalib’s Daal, Somewhere in Delhi

On the poet’s birth anniversary. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Happy Birthday, Ghalib! You turn 226 today. It’s not easy to crack Delhi’s greatest poet. The most sophisticated Urdu intelligentsia find his poetry formidable, for Mirza Ghalib is…

City Food - Tasty Trinity, Gurgaon

City Food – Tasty Trinity, Gurgaon

Gaalis in the galis. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] In foggy December, one of the few consolations during the gloomy thandi can be the company of jalebi, pakori and adrak chai. Every pincode in the big wide Delhi…

City Food - Gajar ka Halwa, Around Town

City Food – Gajar ka Halwa, Around Town

Carrot tourism. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] The Red Fort looks red from the outside. But a lot of it is white from within. Gajar halwa sports this very same red. Carrot is red after all, most of…

City Food - Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation to Indian Cooking, Around Town

City Food – Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation to Indian Cooking, Around Town

A city’s suisine. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] All cookbooks contain recipes. Only a few give insightful glimpses into a culture. Only a very few of those manage to propel a cuisine to worldwide fame, Some such books…

City Food - Gur or Jaggery, Gurgaon

City Food – Gur or Jaggery, Gurgaon

The gur of Gurgaon. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Gurugram’s name traces its origins to the ancient days of Mahabharat and means guru’s village. Its former name of Gurgaon too implied the same. Even so, it is possible…

City Food - Daulat ki Chaat, Paharganj

City Food – Daulat ki Chaat, Paharganj

The winter season delicacy. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] His uplifting smile is the rich icing to the sweet lightness of his daulat ki chaat. Namaste winter, and salaam to the season’s first sighting of Old Delhi’s cold…

City Food - Morena Gajak, Old Gurgaon

City Food – Morena Gajak, Old Gurgaon

The Morena affair. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Murano in Italy is famous for its glass work. Morena in India is famous for its gajak work. Time to return to a sweet indulgence of the year past. Head…

City Hangout - Blue Chai, Kale Tea Stall

City Hangout – Blue Chai, Kale Tea Stall

The street of the tailor’s needle. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] Winter in, blue out. Neela aasman kho gaya—the blue sky is lost. Soon the air above Delhi will be all grey, dusty, smoggy, cold. Indeed, in our…

City Food - Black Halwa, Ballimaran

City Food – Black Halwa, Ballimaran

A dessert changes its name. [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] It is one of Old Delhi’s most iconic desserts, but Its name is a racist slur, the Hindustani equivalent of the N-word. And now the owner of an…

City Food - Kamlesh Kumar Saini's Lunch Kiosk, Ajmeri Gate

City Food – Kamlesh Kumar Saini’s Lunch Kiosk, Ajmeri Gate

A moveable feast [Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi] What to do when one’s village is midway between the bustling urban centers of Motihari and Muzaffarpur? You accept them both as your homelands. That’s why Kamlesh Kumar Saini named…