Chowing down in Chandni Chowk (part 2)

When I last left you in Chowing down in Chandni Chowk (Part 1), I was in a food coma somewhere in Old Delhi.  But I have since recovered for another showcase of the amazing things you can eat in this incredible part of town.  Without wasting any time, let’s jump into the first thing I ate on this tour.

New Dogra Snacks Shop

Dogra Snacks - Old Delhi - Ram ladoo

The “new” Dogra snacks!

I heard about this snack shack from a couple of sources online, but I’m not sure if this is the right place.  Nobody ever shows photos of the buildings, just the food.  So here is where I ate, and hopefully this “new” shop is the same place I was looking for.  I read about purple carrots online, but my plate lacked purple carrot, or anything exciting for that matter.

Ram Ladoo from Dogra's

Ram ladoo from Dogra’s

Ram ladoo is a preparation of ground moong dal that is deep fried as little balls that are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.  The closest thing I can think of from my American diet would be a hushpuppy.  They can be served either savory or sweet, but I only had the option of the former.  There wasn’t much in terms of spices in the preparation and the toppings are the same radish and chutney you can get anywhere.  This was something I’ve never had before and it tasted fine, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there again.

Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala

Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala

Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala

Some people have said this place is amazing and a must try, and then many people told me it’s a tourist place and not that good.  I’m one to believe that Natraj is excellent and definitely worth a try.  It’s easy to get to just outside of the Chandni Chowk metro stop on the main road, and the guys there were much more friendly than some of the other places I was eating at.  They chatted with me, posed for photos, and I’m glad I gave them my money.

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Dahi Bhalle – Natraj

Similar to ram ladoo, dahi bhalle starts with a base of ground dal that is cooked up to form a ball.  The texture is softer in the bhalle though and instead of being served with fresh vegetables, it’s covered with yogurt and a sweet tamarind chutney.  Both of which added a great flavor to the bhalle.  It was so good, that after I ate the solids, I drank the liquid before leaving very impressed.

Ghantewala Confectioners

Ghantewala - Chandni Chowk

Ghantewala – Chandni Chowk

This place has been around for over 200 years and is being run by a 7th generation family member.  Mughal emperors used to come here and taste its treasures.  I was really excited to try it out, but became very disappointed very quickly.  I went in and looked around and saw many of the sweets I have seen in many of the places I have been to in India.   I asked the man behind the counter to give me something so amazing that it has kept them in business for 200 years.

He gave me a samosa.  It wasn’t even fresh.  It was boring too.  And it was expensive (20 rupees).

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I should have eaten this.

There’s no photo of a samosa because they all look the same and you’re going to have to make something revolutionary to impress me with a samosa.  This wasn’t it.  I had more food to eat so I left without getting to have anything of significance from Ghantewala, which was a huge disappointment.

Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Old Famous Jalebi Wala - Chandni Chowk

Old Famous Jalebi Wala

The name kind of speaks for itself in regards to what this it’s about.  This establishment has been a part of the Chandni Chowk landscape since the late 1800’s and is regarded as one of the best places to try jalebi in all of Delhi.  Just the looks of jalebi has always kept me away, but I decided I better try it at least once and at least I was in the right spot for it.

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This is Jalebi!

Jalebi is a sweet that is enjoyed all over the Indian subcontinent and parts of the middle east.  It is a fried batter that has a somewhat crunchy outside with a soft interior.  After the frying process it is bathed in a sugary syrup that WILL end up in your beard despite your best efforts.  It can be served either warm or cold, but I prefer warm.

Since this was my first jalebi, it also ends up as the best jalebi I’ve ever had in the history of the universe.  Well done Old Famous Jalebi Wala!

Amritsari Lassi

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Amritsari Lassi

Welcome to Amritsari Lassi, the last stop of my second day of gluttony in Chandni Chowk.  I love a good lassi and figured it would make a nice desert after my jalebi.  I’ve heard good things about this place and had been looking forward to it ever since I walked past it on day 1.  I was just saving it for the right moment, and the moment had come.

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A rose flavored lassi.

This place may not offer up much in terms of decorations or ambiance, but it sure as hell delivers a good lassi.  For those who don’t know, a lassi is a quintessential drink in India loved by everyone.  It is made from yogurt or buttermilk base mixed with water.  They can be sweet or savory and contain spices, fruits, nuts, and even bhang!  The one here at Amritsari Lassi is definitely one of the better ones I have had.  They serve it with the spoon sitting on top to show you how thick the lassi is.

It was a wonderfully flavored end to another day of feasting!