Devouring the Streets of Delhi

This man had the most popular stand I saw. He was churning out this crispy, yummy, fried form of bread.

For the first half of my stay in North India, I was very careful about what I ate.

I diligently made sure that food was cooked over a fire in front of me.  This ensured that any potentially harmful bacteria was destroyed before corrupting my bloodstream and intestines.

I carefully inspected stalls, trying to judge how long food had been sitting out.  I didn’t eat raw veggies or fruit that may have been hanging around.

I still haven’t eaten flesh food including fish or chicken.

I purposefully ate at stands and little restaurants that seemed to attract a lot of locals.

I was careful of juice made with bad ice; bad for a foreigner who hasn’t yet built up and may never build an immunity to bacteria on the subcontinent.

Then,  about a week ago, upon returning to Delhi, my system had been working very well.  The worst problems I’d had were a couple of stomach cramps that water chugging seemed to easily flush out.

Back in the mega capial, I decided to treat myself to a feast on the streets.  This is where I walked around and sampled much of what I saw.  Street feasting is one of my favorite things to do on earth. Following are photos and descriptions of food that I was fortunate to be able to devour while drifting the streets of Delhi again:

This is the final product of the stand in the photo above. This was one of the best dishes I’d tried in India. The bread is now broken up into pieces. This crunchy bread goes splendid with the various veggies and potato. Mingled in is a wonderfully spicy flavor making this an ultra flavorful dish. The stand is very close to the New Delhi Railway Station on the same street and same side of the road on the sidewalk. If you’re looking at the Railway Station from the Main Bazaar, go left. You can’t miss it.

Piping hot Ghana(pronounced Chana) Masala: Ghana means ‘beans’. Masala means ‘mixed’. This flavorful concoction seems safe and satisfies your daily requirement for legumes. I love the exotic green chili pepper display on top of the dish.

This Ghana Masala stand was right next to the one above. I wholeheartedly recommend this North Indian wonder. Yum!

Veg Samosas and Tempura. I admit that they aren’t healthy. But, while drifting the streets of Delhi you must sample food.

The most ubiquitous thing to India could be the rich and yummy Chai. It’s not possible to walk very far before coming across this boiling mass that consists of tea leaves, freshly ground ginger, milk and WAY too much sugar. I’ve been drinking far too many of these energy enhancing elixirs.

I had no idea that this dish was sweet. Due to a language barrier there was virtually zero communication between the vendor and me. It tasted like potatoes with dough and lots of brown sugar. I tasted cream and apple. This one could have been dodgy. I’ll never know.

This vendor was pleasant while selling his deep-fried, artery-clogging, veg sandwiches.

There were other things that I ate on these same streets.

I ordered a mango shake and didn’t say ‘no ice’ in time.  The safety level of the ice was 50-50 at best.

I ate Indian sweets.  I find these to be hit or miss. They can be very good, very bad or somewhere in between.  They come in huge, often rounded balls, are sold in small specialty shops and stored behind a window that’s sometimes chilled.  These treats are sweet and rich, and are sure to satisfy the sweetest of all sweet tooths.  These stomach gouging treats seem safe to eat in moderation.

I won’t go into detail about what happened to me in the middle of the wee morning hours after I’d been sleeping on an extra-full stomach from the gluttonous street feast. Let’s just say that I blew colossal chunks.  I think it was the mango shake that did it.  But I’ll never know for sure.

While getting sick I thought: The moral of the story: Stay on your guard in India by staying focused 100% of the time.  Don’t make the mistake of being mindful only 95% of the time as I have been.  🙂


6 responses to this post.

  1. PRU: Yeah, so much fun to try new things. It’s sometimes hard to know what you’re getting as there can be a HUGE language barrier when dealing with street vendors in India.
    DARREN: I’ve just arrived at the BKK airport, waiting for a flight to Chiang Mai. The street food in Thailand could very well be eminent when comparing it to the road food of other lands. Expect reports on feasts from the east in the near future. I’m excited to bring on the spice! Thai style! Yeah!


  2. Posted by Darren on July 19, 2011 at 22:44

    Feast in the East, I’d like to catch the next flight and join you for some street dining.


  3. Posted by Pru on July 19, 2011 at 22:39

    Great photos of the food. Looks tasty.


  4. ANNIE: Definitely enjoyed the makeshift feast, most of which was legit, all it takes is one mistake. Also, gluttonously overdoing devouring everything doesn’t help the cause either. 🙂


  5. Posted by Annie on July 18, 2011 at 14:47

    I’m sure you enjoyed your feast as it went down! 🙂 The crispy bread looks very good!


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