Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fooooooooooooood Morning Delhi!!!!!

Rain-soaked, shivering, chilly Delhi. 
Tuesday morning, yawning lazily, rubbing its eyes as it slowly takes over from Monday night. The weather and the early morning making you crave for something unhealthily tasty. 

The ideal time for some Delhi-type gallivanting!

A trip to The Pracheen (ancient) Hanuman Mandir (Temple of the Hindu-God Hanuman) near Connaught Place or CP, is sure to get you food, both for the soul, and the tummy, all days of the week, but especially on such a wet, hungry, full of craving, Tuesday Morning.

Located on Baba Khadak Singh Road, the temple comes alive at about 4 in the morning (yes you read it right! 4 am), with a long queue forming for the Aarti or morning prayer. Tuesdays are particularly busy and full of excited energy. 

The temple complex, right opposite the long lane of State Handicraft Emporiums, has interesting flower and prasad shops, the typical offerings for the "Monkey-God". His favorite sweets 'Boondi' and 'Ladoos' are in ample supply, catering to the needs of the hungry souls and stomachs! 

In addition to the "sweet-tooth addict's dream come true" yummilicious Boondi (see picture above), the complex also offers some very interesting options like fresh and piping-hot bread pakoras, sinfully fried with besan (gram flour) on the outside and deliciously tender, with melt-in-the-mouth stuffing on the inside!

However, the star-attraction of the morning, in addition to Hanuman-ji, is not the bread-pakora but another deeply fried, oh-so-awesome, eagerly-awaited, snack, that has a long line of contenders waiting for it at the halwai-shop (sweet shop). 

While the batter gets literally battered, to get molded into these part-round, part-UFO  shaped delicacies, the crowd grows. People on cycles and in Audis, on foot and in Mercedes,  on Scooters and in rickshaws, stop and eagerly count the people standing in front of the shop, mentally estimating the time it will take for them to get their hands on some of the beautiful, golden-brown, fried awesumness. 

And then the wait ends. 
A huge basket of too-hot-to handle kachoris or fried flattened balls made of fine flour stuffed with a heavenly mixture of pulses and aromatic spices arrives. The excitement and eagerness is palpable, with all conversation ceasing, and everyone waiting to count how many are being bought by the people ahead in the queue. Hoping, and silently praying that all the hot ones wouldn't finish before their turn comes. 

The speed and efficiency in distribution is amazing. Out comes a small disposable bowl, in goes one kachori, on it goes a huge spoon of some spicy potato-gravy, and you are good to go. Oh, take-away is possible too. Some take 30 kachoris, with the potato-gravy packed separately, evidently to feed a waiting-in-anticipation family back home!

It is impossible to eat more than two! 

Heavily stuffed and smoking hot, the Kachoris are a perfect match for the rainy Delhi morning. Interesting, spicy, full of flavor and character, and perfect with a hot cuppa of tea, the snack is a reflection of everything Delhi is. 

So, while the homeless sleep on the footpath in the complex and ask for food as Tuesdays usually witness many people offering free food to those sitting around temples, people drive down in big cars to enjoy Kachoris and bread pakoras. 
The same contradiction that silently lives in all our cities.

But we overlook it. We are untouched by it. It is almost like a shadow, one that we can avoid.

We are happy to come for Aarti and bread pakoras, for tea and Kachoris, for peace for the soul and the stomach. We are happy to feel bad for "them", feel the correct amount of sadness while we devour the snacks and sip the tea. 

We go back, to come again another Tuesday morning, looking for God and food...for peace and satisfaction, and for the best Kachoris and tea in Delhi. 


Radha J Joneja said...

We need not overlook it. We need not treat It as a shadow one that we can avoid.
If each of us just spared the time from our cosy existence and thought of doing something to Better the lives of those not as privileged as us the opportunities are unlimited.
The question is how many of us want to do it....????
It's easy to look aside......... It is difficult to do.....
Once done if you choose to do the satisfaction to the heart and soul is an experience that nothing else can replicate.....

makethebest said...

Yummy descriptions.

drhimangi said...

A very big question, indeed. I so agree with you Radha Ma'am, wish more of us thought like you :)

drhimangi said...

Yummier food :)

Jeromie said...

That looks like Sambhar Idly...

drhimangi said...

He he he! I guess, "The eyes see what the mind knows" or in your case for the heart wants!! :) They do look similar on closer inspection, though!!