Chop, Cutlet and More…

Today I met a friend briefly in the corridors of University. Commenting on my interests in life she wished me good bye with an exclamation Bhalo theko (Stay well) with Machh, Mishti and More (Fish, Sweets and More). She was recollecting about her latest trek to Chittaranjan Park Market from where she picked up Lal Shak ( a type of greens which we chop and cook with a tempering of garlic, ajwain and finish it off with a drizzle of poppy seeds. Please add garlic after you hear the crackling sound of dry red chilly!!!), Morola Machch/ Mola Carplet ( a finger –sized shape fish found in rivers, some varieties are also know as Gang- Morola and the explanation is its origins in the Ganges…) and much more. For Morola Recipes visit the following link

http://eso-bosho-ahare.blogspot.in/2012/06/morola-macher-jhal.html

Despite our mutual allergy of people calling us “Bongs”, the affection for all things seemingly Bengali gets more attractive when you move out of the comforts of home. After I shifted to Delhi I missed the chotomachch ( small sized fish) that I  hated as a kid.  As I long to go back home in a week’s time I look forward to a generous sized portions of all sorts of dishes that could be prepared with Morola Machch ( from fries, to mustard curry to chutney with tamarind pulp). Slurrrpp!!!

Such cravings for Bengali food and food items have led to niche markets in every city across India and particularly Delhi. Chittaranjan Park credits with selling food items, fish, vegetables, sauces, oils, spices and everything “authentic” that should make its way for a “Bengali” kitchen at an above average price. But we don’t seem to mind. After all phish, phood and phoodball are our passion(s) and we live by it…  Market No. 1 and Market No. 2 claims to house some of the popular eating joints serving Bengali food. I will dedicate a separate post on sweets and will list of must have/s of sn(e)cks in Market No. 1, 2 and 3. Spare me if I forget to add your list of favourite/s from these three Markets.

My five top picks

1. Maa Tara … (Market No.2)

Anybody who wanted their simple fare of veg and non veg thali or exotic vegetable dishes would brave waiting in the queue for a generous helping of Mochar Tarkari,  Fish Curry with a generous layer of oil staring at you and some runny alu posto. Despite its flaws I continue to adore and love the food of Maa Tara.  Every time you have surprise guests and you want to take a break from cooking chores “Dial Maa Tara” and they won’t disappoint you.

USP:  Simple, delicious and moderately priced.

2. Kolkata Biryani House (Market No.1)

Kolkata Biryani House: For all those who love meat, potato and egg in their Biryani, please try out their Biryani. Their Chicken and Mutton Rolls are good as well. Though they have started serving south Indian breakfast I have not tried it.

USP: Best Chicken/ Mutton Biryani. Warning : Do not order via Just eat. Last time they messed up an order at a friend’s place.

3. Ashirbad Caterers and Snack Corners( Market No.3)

Are you a fan of Fish Fry and Mochar Chop? Head to this shop where both these items are sold at Rs 10 each. This shop is open from 10am -11pm and sells rolls, cutlets and fries. My favourite picks are Fish Fry, Fish Chop, and Mochar chop. A party at my house is incomplete without Fish Fry and Mochar Chop. Manipuri Friend of mine treks down at least thrice a month to savour their delicacies. Need I say more!!!!! I am quite a fan of their simple egg rolls.

USP: Tasty and moderately priced.

4. Phuchka

Time and again I have wondered about how semolina is used to prepare this item in Northern India and  how atta ( wheat based flour) is used in West Bengal and Eastern parts of India to prepare this savoury dish. You will like Phucka across any C.R. Park stall if you like water prepared from tamarind pulp, green chillies, kagchi lebu ( a special variety of lemon). Best kick is the phucka with mashed potato stuffing with lots of tamarind pulp, green chillies and a squeeze of lime …. Yummmmm…

5. Tea

If you miss you Lemon Tea served in tiniest possible plastic cups back in West Bengal, head to a tea stall in Market No. 2 who makes the most amazing lemon tea with rocksalt and lime.

If you want all of these, you have to hit the den of Bengali food in New Delhi- Chittaranjan Park.

Nearest Metro Station : Hauz Khas  and Nehru Place.

Please memorise the market no.s you have to head before stepping into your vehicle as people use Market No./s for local navigation…

©itiriti

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In quest for “Bengali” food in Delhi

On a cold evening, while I was unpacking, I received a call from my friend that they have discovered a place close to C.R. Park which serves “authentic” Bengali dishes and not too overpriced. Considering it was almost month end and we could spare Rs 250 per head we decided to opt for the home delivery option of this place. A quick search on google led us to the world of City of Joy- a restaurant tucked away in Aravali Shopping Complex, Alaknanda. After a listing of the menus which comprised of Bhetki Paturi, Railway Mutton Curry and Chicken DakBanglow we settled for Maa er hater atar roti ( thats what the Menu card calls Roti/ most commonly known in North India as Tawa Roti). A friendly voice listed the orders and took exactly 45 min to home deliver.

We were highly impressed by the taste and the quantity. Paturi tasted divine. The cynic that I am I thought this would be a one time performance and yesterday on a note of emergency  I called them up to check around 2.30pm if they would home deliver after 3pm since I was expecting a friend who had missed her lunch. They agreed to take the order around 3pm and the lunch spread was usually grand. I kept my fingers crossed as I unwrapped the Paturi and Aloo Posto ( Potato and Poppy seed paste) hoping that nothing should go wrong since this was practically the last order and the chefs must be retired souls. To our amazement the greenpeas stuffed kachoris were done to perfection. I could visualise the fluffy texture it might have had if I had eaten it in their restaurant. My friend was highly impressed and like a good foodie she said she does not think if any of the leftovers would make its way to my dinner. Content and relieved I said to my mind thank you City of Joy for being there.

I would recommend this place to anybody who is willing to explore Bengali cuisine as they offer quite a variety of vegetarian and non- vegetarian options which usually does not find its way to the Menu cards. Dishes like Posto Narkel Bora (a fried preparation of Poppy seeds, coconut), Data Chachori,  Echorer Guli Kofta ( Kofta of Jackfruit), mouri foron diye kalai er dal ( a lentil preparation with sauf), the list is endless and I would suggest you could browse their website www.cityofjoydelhi.com for details. 

You can also visit their restaurant which is quite cosy in its own way. So, next time you want to dig into some Bengali delicacy you can explore this place. Usual disclaimers apply: Some items are seasonal and subject to availability, particularly items to be sourced from West Bengal.

©itiriti