Bamboo Hut brings Naga Cuisine to North Delhi

Though I love Nagaland Kitchen in Uphaar Cinema Complex in Green Park and their Raja Chilly Bloody Mary is absolutely sinful, I have become a huge fan of Bamboo Hut. Bamboo Hut is located in the busiest lane connecting GTB Nagar Metro Station (Exit towards Mukherjee Nagar, Kingsway Camp)  to Batra Cinema, Mukherjee Nagar. A lot of interesting restaurants have opened in Outram Lines, Kingsway Camp, over the course of last few years. Two interesting Korean joints are my favourite haunts in this lane.

Bamboo Hut Restaurant has become a favourite haunt with the students who like Naga food. So, if you love Naga Food and stay in North Delhi you might want to skip the Naga food stall in Delhi Haat or The Nagaland Kitchen in Green Park. The Decor of Bamboo Hut is quite nice and the lovely wooden benches and tables are more than comfortable. The wooden cutlery and bamboo mats add a nice touch to the place.

As far as the menu is concerned their Pork Ribs Dry Fried (Rs 160) and Pork with Bamboo Shoot(Rs130) are best followed by Pork with Anishi (Rs 130). What adds to the kick is that they serve Red Rice all for Rs 60 and a wonderful Chutney of Raja Mircha Aloo Chutney for Rs 30. In the Pork section, you will get Pork with Kidney Beans, Pork with Axione, and I secretly wish that they should start Pork Robu (Dry Yam Leaves). They have similar combinations (Bamboo shoot, Anishi) in Chicken as well. For starters with Naga food, I would recommend the Naga Thali which comes at a price of Rs 200 with Choice of Pork, Chicken or Fish, Rice, Naga Dal, Boil Veg. and Chutney. And of course you will get Chicken, Pork and Veg Momos (Fried and Steamed) and finish off your meal with a fruit beer @ Rs 20.

Flipside: No alcohol is served.

Next time while you are in North Campus, try out this new place. A Must try !

Bamboo Hut

1598 Outram Lines (Near HDFC Bank ATM), Kingsway Camp, Delhi-110009. Contact :9560574772.

Break-fast @ Parantha Wali Galli (the lane of Paranthas), Delhi


Khurchan Paratha (Photo by Rajat Kanti Sur)

The lane of Paranthas tucked away at walking distance from the Chandni Chowk metro station has always fascinated me ever since I stepped my feet in Delhi some ten years back. As a student of North Campus, Delhi University the food ritual trips to Old Delhi was not uncommon. My tryst with Parantha Wali Galli began in one such food trips when my roommate had to shop some chiffon sareers from by-lanes in Chandni Chowk. Considering she was a Jalebi lover I bribed her with a plateful of jalebi from Jaleba and made her promise to accompany me to Paratha Wali Gali. It was late in the evening and the lane is dotted with the aroma of Ghee and various Paratha flavours coming out of the three shops of the twenty shops that existed at one point. I remember trying out the Papad ka Paratha and falling in love with the vegetable curry prepared of humble pumpkins in Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan Shop which was established way back in 1872.



I have visited this shop since 2000 and as of 2012 you can find almost 25 kinds of Paranthas in this shop. My last trip was with a group of friends from Kolkata who braved Holi to take a tour of the Parantha Wali Galli. As soon as I entered the lane, the man who served me three years back from Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan’s shop walked up to me and greeted me with a smile. He asked, “Papad ka paratha mein time lage ga” ( It will take some time to prepare Papad ka Paratha). My friends and I were left speechless. They asked me if I came here frequently. I was touched that the cook remembered me even after three full years.

My friends went crazy and started ordering Papad Parantha, Nimbu Parantha (Parantha with Lemon zest), Gazaar ka Parantha and the icing on the cake as always was Khurchan Parantha. Well, it’s a must try for people with sweet tooth. It’s a Parantha stuffed with Malai and dozens of dryfruits. Calorie Watchers should refrain from trying this. As soon as my friend dived into his plateful of  Khurchan Parantha the Malai came oozing out. My best picks from the Paranthas on offer are:-

1)      Papad Parantha (Parantha stuffed with Fried Papad)

2)      Nimbu Parantha (Parantha stuffed with Lemon Zest and it tastes wonderfully tangy and spicy)

3)      Khurchan Parantha (Stuffed with Malai)

If you want to savour a parantha breakfast in Delhi step out to this thriving Parantha Lane of Chandni Chowk and try it out. I have posted some links from fellow bloggers who have visited this lane and you can pick up your favourite pick.

Other blog posts on the lane of Parathas (Parathe-wali-gali)

Newspaper articles

K.R.N. Swamy. “Frozen paranthas posing a challenge to Paranthewali Gali fare”, 10 November 2002, The Tribune; Accessed on 28 August 2012.

Garima Sharma, “Bollywood’s favourite Paranthe Wali Galli”, 11 December 2010. The Times of India.


Why you might not get to cook Hilsa this season?

As the clouds descended on Delhi sky, I dreamt of my favourite fish of the monsoon – Hilsa(Ilish). Hilsa is the fish close to Bengali souls. It is also known as Ilish. But the exorbitant prices have forced many Bengalis to forgo their favourite fish.  Over the course of the past few weeks, I tried putting on my best smile to negotiate with the salesperson in Market No.1 , Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi and he politely replied, “Didi, hobe na. Hole Ditam Na. Maximum Discount dusho taka. Last price 1200” (Sister,Not possible. I will not manage. I can give you a discount of Rs 200. Last price Rs 1200).

Well Hilsa is available for Rs 1200. Yes, fish lovers if you are gearing up to have you favourite fish- Hilsa you should be ready to spend Rs 1000-1200. Not only in Delhi markets have Hilsa been priced at Rs 1000-1500 but this fish is also being sold in Kolkata from Rs 700-Rs 1000 depending on quality and size.  One of the reasons of the increase in price of Hilsa is the restriction of exports from Bangladesh in 2012. Hilsa is the national fish of Bangladesh. The Hilsa lovers will be acquainted with prefixes as Padmar Ilish, Kolaghat Ilish signifying the river belts and areas from where this fish is found in abundance on both sides of Bengal landscape.

Padmar Ilish or the Hilsa found in the waters of Padma river of Bangladesh is famous and if you happen to take the bus from Kolkata to Dhaka even in the wee months of December (off season of Hilsa) you might get to try a meal of fried Hilsa on the deck of the Barge that carries the bus. Significantly, this fish has played a key role in the economy of Bangladesh and approximately 2 million fishermen in Bangladesh depend on this fish for their livelihood.1 This year, Bangladesh imposed a ban during the holy of Ramdan on the exports of the fish. Did it help?

Well Iqbal Mahmud, in his article ‘Hilsa Dreams” alerts us that the reason for this ban was the escalating prices of Hilsa this season even in Bangladesh. There has been a sharp increase in the production of Hilsa in Bangladesh. The official statistics record production of 3.22 million tonnes (Fiscal year 2012), which is some 5.2 per cent higher than that of 2011.  Despite such huge production and record exports, the prices of Hilsa remain unaffected and the recent ban led to a mere decrease of 200-300 Taka in Bangladash. So, if the fish lovers were forced to pay Tk 1000 for a middle size fish after the ban they would pay Tk 600-700.  Iqbal takes us through some of the prominent fish markets and Fisher Association/s in Bangladesh, pointing the happiness as well as distress. For instance, representatives of Barishal Fish Merchants Association expressed serious concern and fear that Bangladesh might lose out on export of this fish to India and Myanmar. One of the fishermen also indicated that exporters are waiting to get payment from their counterparts from West Bengal for their previous exports. The report also alleges concerns from government officials and fish traders that illegal smuggling will continue and is the primary reason for the increase in prices.2

One of the commendable efforts of the Fisheries Department in Bangladesh is the Jatka Conservation project undertaken by the Department of Fisheries. What is a Jatka? The young Hilsa fish is called Jatka.  Jatka Conservation, Alternate Income Generation for the  Jatka   Fishers and  Research Project was sponsored by Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and the executing agency was Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI)3. It was initiated in June 2009 and wrapped up by June 2013 and in one of the conservation weeks held in April 2012 the BFRI claimed that the project has been successful.

BSS ( the national news agency of Bangladesh) in an article “Hilsa output may rise to 5 lakh tonnes” hails this project as successful. The Department of Fisheries alternative food and employment assistance given to fishermen since 2003- 04 (1.99 lakh tonnes) has led to increase of Hilsa production(3.40 lakh tonnes in 2011). What is significant to note is that considering Hilsa is a migratory fish and it continues to change its course very often not only do we need to preserve Jatka but also have transnational research agency and work towards a tri-nation agreement between Bangladesh, India and Myanmar to conserve this fish which migrates extensively . As a senior scientific officer Dr. Md. Anisur Rahman remarked on this occasion, ‘The country also needs to sign a tri-nation agreement with Myanmar and India for conservation of the fish through enhancing regional cooperation’.4

A similar effort on conservation of Jatka has been promised by Honourable Chief  Minister of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee. Since the past three years there existed a ban on catching the juvenile fish in West Bengal as well which clearly has been ignored. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has promised alternative employment and rice at Rs 2 per kg for 200,000 fishermen in West Bengal if they abstain from catching Hilsa during the breeding season April- May, October – November. Another reason for the decline in catch in West Bengal side is the decline in rainfall in Southern Bengal and the choking of various creeks in Sunderban delta due to emergence of islands and heavy siltation forcing the fish to take a new course.5

Apart from the low catch in West Bengal, even the yields in riverine tracts of Narmada have been low. Madhvi Sally and Sutanuka Ghoshal in their report on souring Hilsa prices in early August 2012 in Economic Times clearly points the decline of the availability of Hilsa in the rivers of Narmada. In this article , one of the fishermen in Bharuch Fish Market clearly indicated he decline in catch . The fisherman quoted in this article thinks that industrial pollution along Narmada river and increase in the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam is responsible for the less number of catch.6

As Hilsa prices reach rocket high it’s time we put a stop on Jatka catch if we want it on our plates in Monsoon and secondly considering the fish is migratory in nature its important the three countries (Bangladesh, Myanmar and India) come together to conserve this migratory fish because a lot of fishermen from these three countries depend on fishing as a living. May be it is also time to check ourselves to buy fish in the breeding season or avoid buying Jatka if you want to enjoy Ilish Machch Bhaja (Fried piece of Hilsa) with Bhuna Khichdi in monsoon.


1 Hilsa- National Fish of Bangladesh.

 Source:; Accessed on 27 August 2012.

2. Iqbal Mahmud, “Hilsa Dreams”. The New Age, 17 August 2012,

Source:; Accessed on 27 August 2012

For details on BFRI visit their web portal; Accessed on 27 August 2012.

4 For details see, “Hilsa output may rise to 5 lakh tonnes”, BSS, 12 April 2012

5 For details on this see Romita Datta, “Worried by falling Hilsa catch Mamata intervenes”, 16 August 2012,; Accessed on 27 August 2012.



6 For details see Madhvi Sally & Sutanuka Ghosal, “Hilsa prices soar to Rs 1,000 per kg as shrinking Narmada and Hooghly make breeding difficult”, 8 August 2012.; Accessed on 27 August 2012.



© itiriti

Iftari feast @ Jamma Masjid

Following the aroma of neatly arranged skewers gearing up to serve seekh kebabs and fluffy rotis for an iftari feast we headed towards the food lane near Gate No 1, Jamma Masjid. The beautifully lit Jamma Masjid stands tall amidst the bylanes that turn into a feast(y) place during iftari. As a dear friend later tells me that families break their ramzan in Jamma Masjid premises and the place is quite a sight. Keeping Jamma Masjid towards our left, we took an iftari trail. As soon as we reached near our favourite and usual haunts (Al- Jawahar and Karims), we asked if Haleem was available and to our surprise we were told that Haleem is available around noon. It was suggested that we could walk down to Meena Bazaar where we could find some carts selling Haleem. We were suggested instead to try Nihari and Roti at Shabraati by an old gentleman managing his garments shop.

Slightly reluctant to try out this breakfast dish in the evening we thought we should give it a try since we had never been to Shabrati. As we made our way through the jostling street lined with vendors selling dry fruit, sewaiyan, phirni, lassi, kulfi – faluda we reached Haveli Azam Khan Chowk from where we took a left turn. Finally we reached the famed Haji Shabrati Nihariwala where you will find Nihari from 7am to 11pm. When we reached Shabrati the cooks and helpers were breaking their fast and we waited for another 20 min for them to offer Namaz so that we could have hot rotis.

As we waited there, people lined up at their favourite place for takeaways in their tiffin carriers. As we were guided to the two sitter bench nestled in the fag end of the shop, I peeped into the hot pot of Nihari sitting pretty on the clay oven. The buffalo shanks were neatly arranged on top of the lid of the nihari stew. The person responsible for serving used a long aluminium ladle to scoop a nice serving of the stew and finished it off with a handsome helping of  the soft meat which was ready to glide into the plate/s from the shanks. We settled for a quarter helping of nihari with 3 rotis which costs us Rs 45.

 As Vandana Verma in her article Nihari in Time out Magazine1 points that Nihari is the slow cooked meat (beef or lamb) porridge and originated in the Mughal kitchens of Delhi. According to Vanadana, you can find a mutton version of this dish in Al- Jawahar and Karims. She also lists some of the places where you will find this breakfast dish and they are Al- Jawahar, Karims, Kallu Nihari, Saeed Nihari Baradari and Haji Qader Nihariwala.

As we headed out from Shabrati we settled for a helping of freshly prepared sheekh kebabs before hitting a sweet trail in a sweet shop bank opposite to Al Jawahar Restaurant. We ordered a generous helping of Shahi tukra ( a sweet dish prepared from bread deep fried and then coated with generous helpings of cream and lots and lots of dry fruits). For those who want to try out making this dish you can try out the following blogger’s link.2 We finished off our iftari food trail with phirni ( a sweet dish prepared from rice and milk) and kulfi- faluda.

That’s a little glimpse of iftari feast from Delhi? What did you have this iftar? Do keep me posted about your iftari trails and hoping you had a lovely feast (y) Eid celebration.


1.Verma, Vandana; Accessed on 21 August 2012.

2 See; Accessed on 21 August 2012.