Delhi is famous for its street food or ‘chaat’ which means ‘snacks’ in Hindi -and there is chaat everywhere.
We turn a corner and an ordinary bicycle has been turned into a Heath Robinson style machine which makes candy floss and other unlikely creations. On another street, men are wheeling a cart of the city’s famous ‘chole bhatura’, a buttery soft spicy chickpea dish served with bread. Next to them there is another set up serving up a seasonal Winter dish called ‘sharkarkandi’, which is roasted sweet potato served with a dressing of fresh lime juice and a sprinkling of spice. It is divine. Everything is divine and we are navigating Delhi lead only by incredible smells. (I can’t read maps anyway).
The next day we decide to go on a pilgrimage to find the best kebabs in Delhi. Aside from chaat, Delhi is equally famous for it’s kebabs and we’re are told to head towards Bukhara, one of India’s best restaurants which counts Obama and Clinton as previous guests and, some time ago, was awarded the grand title of ‘Best Restaurant in Asia’.
We are met by Head Chef, J.P Singh who orders us a selection from his menu which has remained exactly the same for the past 32 years. Our kebabs are presented simply and we have no cutlery to eat with, it is as though everything else has been stripped away so there are no distractions. It’s just us and the kebabs.
They are beautiful and perfect, moist and succulent. Our favourite was the ‘murgh malai’ which had been marinated in green chilli and coriander, overnight and finished off in the charcoal tandoor. But we also fell in love with Bukhara’s Dal Makhani which is an earthy, creamy black lentil dal cooked in a giant pan for 18 hours. Whichever chef passes it, picks up a 4ft ladle and gives it a stir. We leave humbled and fat. We wave goodbye to Chef Singh who takes great delight in telling us that Clinton asked for a stretcher after his meal there.