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May 24, 2012 01:56 PM

Safe Delhi Chaat?

I'm arriving in New Delhi, in 2 weeks, for the first time.
I want to try the street foods.
Any suggestions of typical street foods to try, and any safe places to try them?
I want to be adventurous, but I have a Euroamerican stomach, but I like spice.

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  1. Chandni Chowk:

    One tip - *always* patronize a stall with a long queue: it meant the food served would be fresh. Never, ever buy from a deserted, quiet-looking stall.

    1. I'm a chaat lover, and laugh away warnings about health risks, but after seeing some close acquaintances down with trichinosis, I'd advise against breaking the rules:

      Avoid cut fruit, uncooked food, raw salads.

      Water sources are stretched and contaminated water has been detected being used for vegetable farming.

      Not being alarmist, but this is a recco board...

      1. Yeah - i say this as someone who has spent nearly 4 months of the last 3 years in india: dont patronize a street stand, even one with a long line. Especially with chaat (over, say, friend things) there are loads of ways for contaminated water to get into your euroamerican stomach (all of the sauces and things, few or any of which will have been boiled before service).

        That said, you dont have to write off chaat altogether, as there are a number of places offering chaat indoors in conditions much less likely to bother you. A personal favorite (though not likely on your route) is Evergreen sweets and restaurant in Green Park. They have a sweet shop downstairs (my grandmother in-law promises its the best rasgullah in town) and typical, fast-food style chaat and such upstairs. The samosa chaat is killer. If your traveling for pleasure and have any reason to be near Haus Kaus village or Dili Haat, this is a nearby eating option to consider (better than the stands at Dili Haat, for sure).

        There are a number of other fast-food style chaat chains - including Haldiram's and Bikanerwala. Ive eaten at both, and enjoyed them, if somewhat less than Evergreen (and between the two id give Haldiram's an edge, but depending on what items you want they are both clean and offer a wide array of street-type foods).