Lajpat Nagar Central Market Food Walk ft @LIT I CHINESE CHAAT + Ram LADDU + Momo + Banta + KULCHE
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After a prolonged gap of over six months, Anubhav is back on the streets of Delhi to take stalk of the street food scenario post lockdown. He has been badly missing the street side delicacies and have been anxious about the well being of the vendors who have been battered by the pandemic. In this fascinating gastronomic journey he is being joined by one of city’s popular food host Abhishek Thakur from Living Trends and together they are out to explore some of Abhishek’s favourite eating places in Lajpat Nagar’s Central Market locality. Let’s see what all did they try.
Our first destination was Ram Laddu Food Corner, where you would get perhaps the most irresistible Ram laddus or moong dal fritters in the city. Prior to the pandemic it was a makeshift stall that drew huge crowd but now they have shifted to a spick and span shop and have extended their menu as well. The mask clad vendors were dishing out crisp and spongy fritters from the hot oil. We tried some fresh ones without the regular accompaniments due to safety concerns. They were quite delicious and fun.
Next we tried chole kulche from Siyaram Chole Kulche Wale. We were excited to try it for two reasons. First it is Delhi’s most famous snack and second unlike at most of the places, here it was being available during the evening. It was such a delight trying the hot and zesty yellow pea mash with soft and fluffy kulchas. The vendors were maintaining the basic safety guidelines in which they had created a barricade around them and were frequently using sanitizers.
From there we went to Avantika food corner that specializes in Indo Chinese style treats. Our pick was steamed chicken momos because we wanted to ascertain whether they fared well in making this simple dish. They were very basic and decent. The chutney was phenomenal. No wonder it is Abhishek’s favourite momo joint in this locality. The shop had maintained substantial distance between the vendors and customers.
We then went to Waffle Point to satiate our deep craving for some Indo Chinese fare. So we ordered a Non Veg Chinese Chaat which is a zesty ensemble of some very popular dishes like noodles, chilli chicken, chili kebabs and chicken wings. This tasty combination was peppery, tangy and garlicky. The portions were quite decent. And the place was serving hot food. The place was crowded but the ambience was quite hygienic and clean.
The last stop of this brief food tour was Rajesh Banta Wala. We were drawn to this place because of the nostalgia associated with this lemon flavoured drink served in Codd neck bottles. The refreshing drink marked a perfect end to that heavy snacking. Rajesh bhai sanitised his hands before serving us the same.
This quick food tour gave us a first hand idea bout the safety changes that the vendors have adopted in their businesses in the wake of the pandemic. After the heavy blow to the street food industry, things are slowly becoming better and optimistic. We truly admire the relentless spirit of these unsung heroes. They have been battered by the catastrophe but they know how to rise with renewed spirit. We were also happy to see most of them following the safety guidelines.
About the host – Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid culinary explorer who loves to travel and explore different cuisine primarily the street food, not just for the sake of gustatory pleasure but also for quenching his deep thirst for nurturing new cultural connections through the kaleidoscopic canvas of food. He believes that the vibrant and delectable street food tradition across the globe has the power to bring communities together and foster harmonious human existence.
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Design and filmed by Rahul Singh
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak