City Food - Sunny's Sattu Ghol, Chitli Qabar Bazar

City Food – Sunny’s Sattu Ghol, Chitli Qabar Bazar

A hawker’s summertime life. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The light is so white that it makes the eyes hurt. The market street, here in Old Delhi’s Chitli Qabar Bazar, is always packed — but this afternoon the…

City Food - Mukesh's Roasted Bhuttas, Anand Vihar

City Food – Mukesh’s Roasted Bhuttas, Anand Vihar

Taste of monsoon. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Are summers ending and monsoons knocking at the door? Yes. That’s what Mukesh feels. Three days ago this street food vendor started winding down his summertime business of icy chuskis,…

City Food - Kailashji Samose Wale, Kotla Mubarakpur

City Food – Kailashji Samose Wale, Kotla Mubarakpur

Small town taste. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The bazar is a haze of moving faces. A sense of stability is gained by focusing on the unmoving landmarks rooted to their spots—Chhabra Bag House, Hans Furniture, Intimate Laundry…

City Food - Khajla, Ameer Sweet House & Elsewhere

City Food – Khajla, Ameer Sweet House & Elsewhere

Season’s delicacy. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] It looks like a giant golgappa, or an extra-large raj kachori. Some might confuse it with the enormous bhathura served in a landmark Connaught Place restaurant. But it is neither of…

City Food - Jaggery Sherbet, Pahari Imli

City Food – Jaggery Sherbet, Pahari Imli

A rare drink. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] But why can’t he give us his recipe? Aqeel Ahmad turns his head towards the blurry bazar crowd, smiles like an enigmatic visionary and says nothing. A very special institution,…

City Food - Summer Mulberries, Munna Bhai's Shop

City Food – Summer Mulberries, Munna Bhai’s Shop

In search of the elusive berries. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There are papayas, grapes, apples, bel, pomegranates, guavas, bananas and even the early mangoes. But mulberries are nowhere to be seen, here in the Old Delhi lanes….

City Landmark - K & R Pickle and Murabbas, Matia Mahal Bazar

City Landmark – K & R Pickle and Murabbas, Matia Mahal Bazar

Pickle with monthlies. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The pungent aroma is heady. This is Ali Baba’s treasury of pickles —mango, karela, carrot, lemon, ginger, garlic, shaljam, amla, bamboo, lesua, tela, green chillies, and red chillies. Each red…

City Food - Dolly Sharma's Lunch Van, Shankar Chowk

City Food – Dolly Sharma’s Lunch Van, Shankar Chowk

From the world of rajma chawal. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] Tej patta leaves are floating underneath the thick red gravy. Whole roasted lal mirchi too can be spotted. The dish is so hot you can see steam…

City Food - Bittu's Moong Dal Samosa, Tiraha Bairam Khan

City Food – Bittu’s Moong Dal Samosa, Tiraha Bairam Khan

An unusual samosa. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] There’s more than one Eiffel Tower in the world. They are in Hangzhou, Slobozia, Tokyo, Les Vegas, Blackpool, and there’s one in our Delhi too. The purists however insist that…

City Food - Muhammed Hafiz's Biryani, Chitli Qabar Chowk

City Food – Muhammed Hafiz’s Biryani, Chitli Qabar Chowk

A culinary landmark. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] This gentle soft-spoken man is like the Jama Masjid. He’s always seen here, like he’s part of the landscape. Day after day after day, Muhammed Hafiz stands behind his giant…