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In India, which is a land of myriad cuisines and flavors, North Indian food has a special place. And, in Delhi, which is not only national capital, but a converging point for the north Indian culture, the popularity of North Indian food is unrivalled. The Japanese, French, Italian and Chinese food dominates awards, but North Indian cuisines are not left far behind. Here are the top five restaurants that serve best North Indian food in Delhi.

  1. Dum Pukht

Dum Pukht specializes in the Awadi cuisine of Lucknow. The meat is marinated with herbs and spices in a pot, which is sealed with dough and is cooked over very low flame for hours. Once cooked, the meat is extremely tender and has a rich taste of spices and its own juices. The aroma of the cuisine is extremely tempting and the presentation of the dishes is exquisite. Such has been their service that they have won place in many prestigious lists. The ambiance of Dum Pukht’s dining room draped in black and silver and decorated with crystal chandeliers also enhances the eating experience.

Biryani Presentation At Dum Pukht

  1. Karim’s

Established in 1913, Karim’s is arguably the most popular traditional style restaurant in Delhi. They specialize in the cuisines which were prepared in the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Sultanate. It is located near a popular local landmark and tourist hotspot, the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. It gives the customers an authentic experience, which is enhanced by their sumptuous and rich dishes. If you happen to be in Old Delhi, then do try Karim’s trademark dish Burra kebab and famous Tandoori chicken.

Seekh Kebab At Karim's

  1. Indian Accent

Last year, Indian Accent was named as Traveller’s Choice restaurant by popular travel website Tripadvisor and has also won the ‘Vir Sanghvi’ Award which declared it as the best restaurant in India. Head Chef Manish Mehrotra has impressed many by his fusion dishes in which combines elements of traditional Indian cuisines presented in contemporary style. Some of their most popular dishes are butter chicken with roasted peanuts and peanut butter and Galawat lamb kebab stuffed with Foie Gras and served with strawberry and green chili chutney.

Galauti Kebabs At Indian Accent

  1. Moti Mahal

Situated in Daryaganj and established in 1947, Moti Mahal is one of the oldest and famous eatery joint in Delhi. The restaurant has remained true to its roots with simple elegant premises that have an interior courtyard. The atmosphere at the famous restaurant that is famous for traditional North Indian food is authentic and relaxed. The popular dishes served at restaurant include tandoori chicken, butter chicken, burra kebabs.

Moti Mahal

  1. Punjabi by Nature

As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in traditional Punjabi food. Because of their success and popularity, they have expanded their business and have opened joints at various locations in Delhi. Their non-veg specialty is Raan-e-Punjab – lamb’s leg slow-roasted in a tandoor and veg specialty is dal makhani, which is to die for.

Punjabi By Nature 2

Some of the pictures have been sourced from the restaurant Facebook page

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Rasgulla, Rasogulla or the Rôshogolla. You might call it anyway you like, but the unofficial national sweet of India has been in a center of fight between the Bengalis and Odias. I’m not going to get into the history as written already on Wikipedia. It’s recounted to have originated from the temples of Lord Jaganath in Puri. Every time someone posts about rasgulla on a public forum, the Bengalis and Odias have been ready to get on with the tussle, to claim it as theirs.

A Typical Shop At Pahala
Being from Cuttack, I have been bordered by the two phenomenal cities on either sides, from where rasgullas are said to be the best. Pahala on one and Salepur on the other. Everytime I drove down to Bhubaneswar, along the NH-5 a stop at Pahala was guaranteed, for having some of the piping hot rasgullas. Unlike the ones from Bengal, these aren’t spongy, but more melt in the mouth. They are mostly preferred had piping hot.

The Pahala Shops
The modern version of the Rasgullas, considering it’s been around for more than thousands of years is a very recent phenomenon. Having added, semolina to it and making the syrup thicker, Nobin Chandra Das went on to give this delicious sweet a better shelf life. And his son went a step further on canning them, so that people all over could relish it without having to think much of having to gobble down as soon as cooked.

Rasgullas 2
This time wanting to get into the history with the locals on a visit to Odisha, I drove down to Pahala again for primarily two reasons. One to have a plate of the piping hot rasgullas and two to actually hear out their version of the story. Some say that Pahala has been a recent phenomenon. But the shops say otherwise. Some of the shops making the rasgullas, have been doing it for more than a 100 years.

Rasgullas Being Made
You’ll find the shops at Pahala named quite funnily after relatives. While one simply translating will be “Aunt’s Son” while the other will be “Grandma’s Grandson’s shop”. All of them though have been very consistent with their sweet-making.

Chenna Used In Making Rasgullas

The use of chenna (a form of cottage cheese) is abundant in most of Odisha’s sweets and is used quite extensively in the Rasgulla too. Ranging from really small to much larger, they come in different price ranges. The bigger ones have a hidden cashew, elaichi or raisin fitted in them. The Rasagullas made at Pahala have a thinner syrup to it. They are best had hot once out and tend to spoil in a good 10-12 hours. Once refrigerated, their taste decreases over time and subsequently spoilt. They are mostly off-white to cream color and very different from the ones made at Salepur.

Hidden Inside Is A Surprise
Salepur can literally be called the place where you get the most delicious of sweets ever. Period. Like almost the best in all of India. A few 10-15 kms from Cuttack, Salepur was made famous and put on the sweet map of India by the Kar Brothers. As I rode over to Salepur one fine day, I couldn’t help but notice that rasgullas were part of almost every meal of theirs. They love having it with rotis, puris and just like that too. The Rasgullas at Salepur are thick, with a denser syrup and completely brown-ish. They are a bit sweeter than their Pahala counterparts.

Salepur Rasgullas
If not for Bikalnanda Kar, the rasgullas would have remained restricted to the temples of Puri. He is said to have been the one who perfected the art outside of temple premises in the town of Salepur. This is one reason why the Salepur version of the rasgullas have a longer shelf life than their other counterparts found in Orissa. The Bikalnanda shops have now expanded out of Salepur and have opened up many outlets in the capital city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Rasgullas 4
Rasgullas have always been a part of the Odia meal from ages ago. From marriage parties, to birth ceremonies, to just plain binging on them, Rasgullas hold a special place. Everyone has their own version of the rasgullas that they are attached to. The Bengalis love theirs, while the Odias love their version. But for India, this is one of the best sweets that a person can’t get enough of having only one.

Below is a video of Rasgulla being prepared in Pahala.

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We love indulging in the finer parts of life during our travels. We are talking about the ones that have taste, aroma and a body to them. Nope!! Get your thoughts together now. We are talking about Beer here. Bangalore had been the place to be, when it came as a part of weekend getaway for some chilled non-bottled fresh brewed beer off from Hyderabad. But who knew I’d be stunned by Pune all the same. A weekend away to celebrate (a hush secret thingy) and the plans no doubt did involve a bit of a drinking nonetheless. So here we are back with the second post on this heavenly frothy drink after the Bangalore Diaries handcrafted in the best of outlets right in the Pune.

Handcrafted Dollaly Beer

Being huge beer aficionados ourselves, we couldn’t not let the ‘Tap’ be far from us. Let’s get to the small rants first. Beer tastes best fresh. Full Stop. There’s no argument to that. Go guzzle up a gallon at a brewery and sip from a bottled off your local liquor shop, and you’ll know the difference. You’ll want to go back to that tank of freshly brewed beer and think to yourself what I’ve been doing wrong my entire life. Very few beers get better with age, so the maturity with age and wisdom certainly doesn’t apply to beer.

Outdoor Seating At Corinthians

A beer revolution has been brewing in Pune for quite some time. We crib and wane at times that being in Hyderabad, all those cities with their pishposh breweries lie far away. But what we also love is they all are just an overnight journey away and this time it was headed straight for Pune.

The 1st Brew House

The Corinthians – The 1st Brewhouse : I’ll give them naming the place extra brownie points. When you are the 1st brewery to be set up, name yourselves the 1st brewhouse, so beer lovers like us know where beer history was initiated in the city of Pune. What’s with the Corinthians then? Well the hotel itself designed as Corinth, with it’s Greek architecture, distinct columns and statues, this is the perfect place to relax and sip away some of the best golden ambrosia.

At Corinthians

Set in the city outskirts, their best offering has to the Apple Cider Beer. The beer offerings here at Corinthians is Dollaly Beer. They also have Beer Cocktails on their menu which is a definite standout. We tried the Apple Gin Fizz (Apple Cider and Gin with Cinnnamon Syrup), Brewjito (IPA Beer and White Rum with lime and mint) and the Beeramisu (Kahlua, Beer and Vanilla Vodka). Considering that the Apple Cider Beer was the best of all the Dollaly Beers that we tasted here, the Apple Gin Fizz was outstanding. We were left licking the foam of our lips with each heavenly sip.

Beer Cocktails

TJ’s Brew Works : TJ’s at Amanora Mall has been attracting beer lovers by the hordes. If Corinthians set up the first brewery, then TJ’s wasn’t to be far in opening up Pune’s second microbrewery. Started by TJ Venkateshwaran who had years of experience in the brewing industry having worked with SABMiller.

TJ's BrewWorks

TJs is well spaced out, with both indoor and outdoor seating combining the mix of relaxed and casual seating. As you walk a little ahead, are the huge shining steel vats. They have four beers off the tap – Regular Lager, Premium Lager German Wheat and Roasted Barley though all of them being surprising light. We had ordered for samplers and found the Premium Lager suiting our tastes the best, but nothing like Dollaly. The beers did feel stale, with no fuzz and freshness in them.

At TJs

The food on the other hand had to be turning a disappointing experience. The Chicken Nuggets and Fries combo had more fries with 2-3 nuggets hidden in between the stash. This visit to TJs sure did turn out disappointing for us, but one friend did tell that this was just an off day. So a revisit to TJs as soon as we go back to Pune next time and hoping for the beer burrp (excuse me) to be better.

Beer Samplers At TJs

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There are same places in Pune which have that old-world magic about them. They are crowded and brimming with people, the ambiance will not always blow you away but once a service waiter places a cup of Irani Chai in front of you and you then realize this is what you’d come for. Also lest you forget that ‘Bava’ behind the counter who’ll give you such a scolding of your life if you ask for a recalculation of the bill, that you’ll regret the very moment of even approaching him. The shouting isn’t the only thing they do, as you wait for your table, know that you’ll have all the news of the world discussed and gossiped as he ponders over a newspaper and fills you in on his opinions. These are the gem of places that have stood the test of time and churn out from their kitchens delicious food consistently.

Cafe GoodLuck

We’re talking about the legendary Irani Cafes of Pune. These typical Parsi-style cafes have had people grow abound them. Memories been established over a cup of tea and love affairs started. They hold a lot of history within those walls, but the best thing about them. They never cease to amaze and consistently dish out of great food.

Café Good Luck: To be able to tell the worth of Café GoodLuck will be to tell the auto driver to take you to GoodLuck Chowk. It has a street named after it’s won location. That’s how proudly it’s been serving the denizens of Pune. One of my friends had once commented “You’ve never been to Pune unless you’ve had the Bun Maska and Irani Chai at GoodLuck”. Now that’s some serious quotation to be attaching to an eatery.

Bun Omlette

The prices are reasonable and you’ll find scores of people chit-chatting over some great Irani Chai. The best of menu has to be the Bun Maska. The bread is extremely soft and with a filling of both butter and cream you have attained food heaven. Don’t forget to leave a bit of your manners behind and dip in a piece of the bun maska in the chai as you enjoy with company.

Bun Maska Cafe GoodLuck

The Biryani can be quite good too. But the place works best during the breakfast and high tea timings even though open throughout the day. Desserts have to be a must have and the Bread Pudding and Fruit Funny (Funny names for a dish!!) are must haves.

Bread Pudding & Fruit Funny

Vohuman Café: Vohuman means “Good Mind”. This dingy Parsi place has stood the test of time and is located on the right between Jahangir Hospital and Courtyard Mariott. Life around Vohuman revolves around one fundamental thing and that’s the Egg. Egg Burji, Egg Boiled, Egg Omlette and lot more albumin preparations that will have you’re mouth running wet.

Vohuman Cafe

Vohuman serves the best Cheese Omlette in all of Pune. And when we say best, it literally means hands down best and no questions asked. The Double Cheese Omlette is an artery blocker and the Irani Chai, out of world. Ask for the toasted bread slices to be served alongside the Omlette and you’ll be served along with a dollop of butter that might leave in happiness before it all melts away and is soaked off by the bread.

Bun Maska Vohuman

The best part about the place apart from the food has to be the old man sitting at the desk. Ask a simple question of taking a parcel or not. He’ll give such a dismissive look that you’ll regret your entire moment for ever putting forward the question. We made the mistake of waiting around after the food on our tables had been completed. The waiting wasn’t for time-pass but that we actually couldn’t get up after such a satisfying and cheese heavy meal. And out comes a shout from behind the cashier “Uthav Unko, Table 5 ka hogayela hai” which had us jumping to our feet.

Double Cheese Omlette And Butter Toast

These ultimate legendary places are always welcoming. The best food in entire of Pune is reserved in these Irani Café joints, scattered all over Pune. It’s where people of all cultures, people of all sections of society are all equal. Influence doesn’t matter, everyone is treated the same and everyone is served on in ‘First Come, first serve’ basis.




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For a city where every resident, from all walks of life thrive on one dish and can have it for all breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is difficult to argue as to where do you get the best Dahibara Aloodum. Every resident has his/her own personal favorite. It might be the one in his street, the street where his/her crush lives, right outside the school/college they’re studying at or maybe 15 kms away so that he can make the ride simply to enjoy a dish of awesomeness.


Cuttack is one hell of a labyrinth for the people who aren’t accustomed to it’s lanes. If you are a newbie around and have pushed your car into one of those narrow lanes, chances are you would have already caused a roadblock with every one trying to cut through or giving you the hand signal to help you drive through the narrow roads. But the bonding of every Cuttackian has happened over a plate of Dahibara Aloodum. The love for it encompasses any other food item they would have ever had and they might just be born with the gene to already love it by default.

Spicy Aloodum

So what is it about this simple dish that has a 1000-year old city crazy about it and licking their fingers? The bara’s are soaked and left in Dahi so that all the marinating seeps into the bara’s making it a lot softer and flavorful. And add to it the Aloo Dum and Guguni piping hot with the garnishing of sev, pudina and coriander and you have got one hell of a dish licking your fingers.

Kanika Chaaka Dahibara

The numerous Dahibarawalas can be found in plenty of spots in the 52 streets, 53 lanes city. Driving to houses in cycles, setting up stalls under trees and parking their lot outside of popular places, it’d be hard not finding one every 100 metres away.

The most famous ones:

  1. Raghu Dahibara – In Bidanasi, this guy has been around for so long that people even travel from other cities all the way to have his yet. He doesn’t believe in the concept of spoons, so better be licking the spiciness off your fingers and then asking for a sweet peda to douse that spiciness off your tongue
  2. Kanika Chaaka Petrol Pump: Has since shifted base to a shop adjacent instead of opposite and you can follow the crowd to his stall
  3. Deula Sahi: One of the few places where the mitha Dahibara is as good as the savory one. Personal favorite and swear by the guguni
  4. Ishuwar and Other ones outside Barabati Stadium: Used to be good and still attract the crowds though have lost some of the sheen in my opinion

The Various Stalls Outside Barabati Stadium

So after having some of the lip-smacking Dahibara Aloodum in the city, don’t forget to ask to fill up on some of the dahi to drink up, that’s your mocktail alongside and a handful of sev to go about then after.

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