Tag Archives: street-food

Al Kauser (Outer Ring Road) 6/10

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The hunt for the kakori kebab led us from Khan Market (where Aap ki Khatir has apparently closed down) to New Friends Colony (where the nice man told us that Al Bake doesnt serve kakori kebabs) finally to this completely outdoor place on the Outer Ring Road (on the border of R.K. Puram) called Al-Kauser. Most motorists will remember this place for the cars that are usually lined up next to it- late into the night. Indeed, this is one of those places where you get to order-in from your car and get served there as well- just watch out for little Sunny on the backseat with the pudina chutney!

Al Kauser is more of a take-away joint, but now has tables on a raised platform between the shop and the road. Therefore, unless if you happen to enjoy diesel fumes and honking idiots as the cars, trucks and buses zip past, dont go there looking for a fantastic ambience. Do however, go there to look for some awesome Mughlai food.

Having dined there on a number of occasions in the past, we knew what to expect. The ubiquitous ‘chhotu’ bears down upon you- flinging a menu or two in the general direction of your table while at the same time serving the next one a full tray of biriyani. Do try the kakori here. And the Galauti. While the eatery does serve the regular assortment of kebabs- malai, tikka, tandoori and afghani- you’d probably be better off trying those elsewhere- like Al Jwahar perhaps. The kakori’s skin is slightly dry and firm to the touch while the inside is just how a kakori should be- smooth and homogeneous. The galauti is supposed to be softer than the kakori- however, perhaps an overenthusiastic chef had decided to keep them on the pan for a little too long.

Do try the biriyani there. They’ve recently started the ‘handi’ type- one where the biriyani is placed in an earthen pot, sealed with dough and then baked. Also, the korma is recommended.

Top Tips:

  • If you dont get parking in the service lane, park on the road itself. Dont worry about cops- they’ve probably been paid off.
  • These guys dont accept cards. Thankfully, there are a couple of ATMs next to the diner
  • These guys usually have a full house. And the waiters do sometimes forget your order. Patience!
  • If you need a cola or something- just go get it yourself.
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 2
Ease of access 8
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 7
Would I go back there? Midnight fancy for meat? sure!
Meal for two Rs 500 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards No

Paranthe Wali Gali (Chandni Chowk) 5/10

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Yet another sojourn into the Old City brought me to what could be one of the most difficult places to find. Its a tiny lane- three people would have trouble walking abreast, not marked by any signage and it leads out of a cacophony of cars, buses, carts, trucks and the occasional cow. This is Paranthe Wali Gali. After a look around the fairly well maintained (atleast in part) Red Fort at the beginning of Chandni Chowk, fellow foodie Rukmini and me jostled our way past Dariba Kalan and the Sisganj Gurudwara to come to a nondescript entrance to this lane (on the left).

The name says it all, of course. But while I was expecting a never-ending line of parantha shops on either side (ala the sweet shops on the lane from Vishnu Ghat to Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar), there are just a bunch of 4-5 shops making and selling paranthas. We tried to get a place in the first few and managed a couple of seats only after some waiting. Dont be fooled, there’s no maitre d, and tables are shared. While there’s no menu, the prices are displayed prominently in the restaurant. Parantha prices range from about Rs 20 (for a plate of plain paranthas) upto Rs 75 for the exotic banana and chocolate flavours. Two paranthas make a plate. We stuck to old favourites aloo (potato) and gobi (cauliflower). Here’s where it gets interesting. For what is a very reasonable price- you get a plate, some daal (lentil soup), subzi (mixed veggies) and achar (pickles) over and above the parantha. These add ons are refilled by the usual chhotu and are included in the price of the paranthas. Plus, you get as many refills as you like (much like a thali). We also ordered a bowl of curd to go with the paranthas.

The paranthas themselves were excellent. It easy to see why this place has established itself on the Delhi food circuit (and therefore earned a place on this blog!). Best of all, they lack the usual dollop of ghee or butter that is the hallmark of highway paranthas (an urban diet perhaps), making them relatively light, yet filling. We werent able to have more than a couple- which means that our total bill for lunch came to about a hundred bucks.

Here’s the downside. Hygiene is non-existent- this is street food after all. On a weekend, getting a place to sit can be an issue and its usually a free for all when it comes to seating- expect to share your table with strangers. A full complement of guests means that your order will take a while (upto 15 minutes)- which, on an empty stomach, will feel forever.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 2
Ease of access 1
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 9
Would I go back there? Not on a regular basis- but if I were in the area, why not?
Meal for two Rs 100!
Serves alcohol Are you kidding me?
Credit cards Again, joking or serious?


Top Tips:

  • The closest metro station is Chandni Chowk. This is important since you’d be mad to take a car/cab in that mess.
  • The walk from Chandni Chowk metro station to Paranthe Wali Gali is confusing and not for the faint hearted/ people with personal space issues
  • Do drop in at the shop selling fresh jalebis on Chandni Chowk at the entrance to Dariba Kalan on the left.
  • Speaking of Dariba Kalan, where else do you buy silver in Delhi?
  • Keep some tissue paper handy- you’ll need it- I promise