A few weeks ago, when I saw Delhi Food Walks’ poll on Delhi’s best Street Food, I was excited. Considering my love for street food, and my apparent knowledge about it, I was certain, I would know every place on the list. What I discovered however was very different. I did not even know a fraction of the places mentioned. Now this could mean only two things: 1) I did not know enough about Delhi’s Belly; 2) The list was bogus.
Since the list could not have been bogus (DFW has been doing this for a living), I had to concede my defeat. As disapointed as I was, I decided to book myself on the next walk with Anubhav, the foodie-in-chief, at Delhi Food Walk, the man behind the event. I needn’t have worried though, for, Anubhav seemed to have read my mind, and in just a few days, I was at the American Center attending the award ceremony.
The venue of the event, however, sounded a little awkward — you expect the US convention center to hold talks and discussions on policy and politics, not a food fest on Delhi’s street fare. But the reason unfolded soon enough. U.S. Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Officer, Craig Dicker, along with a host of his colleagues, happen to love Anubhav’s Food Walks. Craig, in fact, also did a cute quiz on the street food of his home city, New York, and served us the famous American Pretzels post the ceremony.
Apart from Pretzels and mustard, the post ceremony snack buffet had some of the winning items on the menu. Lotan ke Chole Kulche, Balaji ki Papdi Chaat, KureMal ki Kulfi, Ashok Chaat Bhandar ke Golgappe. Each item was food was cooked with love, served with love, and eaten with love.
As I bade farewell to the sweet guys manning the counters, I was reminded of what Anubhav says about them. “These unsung heroes toil away through all weathers on the street to bring us inexpensive and lip smacking treats.” And I am so glad he could fulfill his dream “to recognize street food vendors present in the narrow alleys of Delhi and honour them for their delightful service over the years.”
Here’s hoping we see many, many more editions of “The Street Food Awards”
P.S. I will do a post on the Awardees soon. Keep reading. Meanwhile, if you want to explore the scrumptious cuisine of Delhi’s streets, do get in touch with Delhi Food Walks.