An outsider perspective to the food world of Mumbai and Delhi is like a Kaleidoscope. Having spent three years of my college life in Mumbai and then marrying a dilliwala and making Delhi my new home, I have fallen in love with the food that both these cities have to offer. But that is not the case for someone born and bred in Mumbai or Delhi who are the loyal flag bearers for their cities. Delhi and Mumbai have always had a love hate relationship. I love it when you are low; I hate it when you are high. This feeling also extends to the food that both these metros have to offer.
Now a look at the contrasts:
Tarala Dalal Vs Neeta Mehta
Kulfi opposite Girgaum Chowpatty Vs Ice-cream during a cold winter evening at Indian Gate
Vada Pav Vs Channe Kulche
Pav Bhaji Vs Chole Bhature
Gateway of India Vs India Gate
Bandra Shopping Vs Delli Haat
New Delhi Vs Town in Mumbai
Kala Ghoda Festival Vs Suraj Kund
Mela Pritvi Theatre Vs The Kingdom of Dreams
Mumbai Rains Vs Delhi Winters
And the list is endless. The two unique and beautiful cities, that I have made home hold some very fond memories.
But what I want to focus upon is my unbiased love for the food both these cities have to offer.
The food culture of Dilwalo Ki Delhi is a mix of Mughlai and Punjabi cuisine. The Mughals, who ruled the country with this city as there capital, have left, a very deep impression on the citizens’ palate. Chandni Chowk is the life blood of all authentic mughlai food in Delhi. Every famous shop has existed since time immemorial and boasts of having served the Mughal kings.
The Parathe Wali Gali with its range of parathas from the basic gobi and aloo parathas to the exquisite nimboo and karela parathas is a treat to the taste buds. A meal at the Parathas Wali Gali is accompanied by a sweet and refreshing lassi which you drink out of a mud vessel or kullar. For the non-vegetarian what can be better than a meal at Kareems’ or Moti Mahal, situated in a small lane opposite gate 4 of Jama Masjid and on the main road of Dariyaganj respectively. Both these haunts are any foodie’s fantasy. The meal has to end at the famous Jalebiwala’s shop situated at the end of the lane named Daribe Kalan. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Words from a very famous song, a great poets’ ode to all things beautiful and royal. Yes this lane does exist amongst the many by-lanes of Chandni Chowk. The jalebi’s are sweet to perfection, fried in ghee and as porous as a well fermented idlli. The cherry on the pie is a visit to Prince Pan situated on the main Dariyaganj street almost opposite Moti Mahal.
The baarf ka gola’s at Lajpat Nagar Market, the jalebi’s of Bangla Sweet House and the chole bhature at Odeon at Gole Market, the delicious and juicy kababs from Gelena, the Mughlai food at Brahmaputra Market in Sector 26 Noida, Sawgath at Defence Colony, Big Chill, Side Wok, Salim’s Kababs and Khan Chachas Kabab Corner at Khan Market, Gola, Qash Qai, Bercos at Connought Place, Momo’s and Fruit Beer at Delli Haat, Oh! Calcutta at Nehru Place and Mainland China at Greater Kailash II are the places that will keep you going back for more.
Now to Mastano Ki Mumbai.
The food culture of Mastano Ki Mumbai is a mix of the Konkani and Malwani style of cooking. The local cuisine is hot and coconut is one of the main ingredients. One of the best places for a good maharastrian meal is Highway Gomantak situated in BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex). If you are in need for more variety, head to Trishna at Kala Ghoda for an assortment of the most delectable seafood. Diva Maharashtracha, Mahesh Lunch Home and Gajalee Coastal Foods Restaurant are a few more options that can be explored. For a Parsi adventure head to Jimmy Boy for its delectable patrani macche and dhansak. And for a taste of Delhi in Mumbai, what can be better than Crystal opposite the Girgaum Chowpatty. Once the meal is over head to the New Kulfi Wala right at the corner opposite Girgaum Chowpatty and choose from a wide array of Kulfi’s. if something so cold is not your cup of tea just ask for a falooda rabri instead. T
he bhelpuri, sevpuri , golgappa and gola’s at Juhu beach, Irish Coffee at Prithvi Theatre, Tiwari’s samosas at JVPD, China Gate, Just Around The Corner, Out of the Blue in Bandra, Oh! Calcutta in Worli, Café Mondegar and Leopolds Café at Colaba Causeway, Yoko’s Sizzlers in Khar. The roadside bhelpuri’s, vada pavs, dabeli’s and tea are a must have for the Mumbai experience.
Two beautiful and flavourful cities through my eyes. And the story has only just begun …