Monday, April 25, 2011

Street Food

{Easter Dinner in Satkar Market}

P. and I have been cooped up all day in our apartment, laying low in the shadows like geckos seeking respite from the intense heat of the late desert spring. Finally at sunset we set out by foot across our neighborhood to a row of South Indian and Chinese street dhabas that serve up their fare in the sweltering hundred degree heat. For fifty rupees (a dollar twelve) we got the best chow mein I've ever had, plus a plate of delicate steamed Tibetan momos with a geographically-incongruous but out-of-this-world peanut-chili sauce. And you'd better believe we're going back for the hubcap-sized coconut-onion dosas ASAP.

Just as we were leaving, a curious grandfather with an artfully-trimmed mustache (alas, Rajasthan; always the mustache) inquired what brought us to Malviya Nagar, a bustling neighborhood that rarely sees Westerners. We told him that we live here, and he opened his palms in surprise and delight: It is my honor that you are guests in my neighborhood, and in my country. Please, welcome. We thanked him in our best Hindi, bowed, and smiled the whole walk home.

Hope you had a great holiday weekend.


  1. That first noodle photo is ON FIRE! I've gone back to gorging myself on street food. Screw Delhi belly.

  2. YUMMMMMMM! My favorite type of food is street food ... in Portland I can't get enough of the foodcarts. MMMM!

  3. "It is my honor that you are guests in my neighborhood, and in my country. Please, welcome."

    and That is why I love this country so very, Very much! Warms my heart to the very core~~~

  4. That food is keeeeling me! We live with a girl from India and she will cook us up some mean vada-talk about some serious sock rocking!

    "Please, welcome." adorable.

  5. God I wish I had the temperament of an Indian Grandfather. How do they stay so balanced, happy, generous and giving? What's they're secret I wonder?

  6. wooooowzer!! That food sounds AMAZING!! Cheap, GOOD, street food! We have expensive, "ok," food-trucks here. NOT THE SAME. And we have a restaurant in LA called "Street" and it features street food from around the world.. BUT IT'S SOOOO PRICEY! Can't beat the real deal! Eat as much as you can while you're there!!!!!!!!!

  7. Amazing photos! I love Indian food, especially at that price! Yum!

  8. What a lovely (slightly late-ish) welcome to the hood! The food looks incredible. Happy Easter

  9. Good chow mein is my weakness, but it's so rare! (I do eat bad chow mein regularly, on my search for good, and even bad chow mein is thoroughly enjoyable).

  10. Street food makes me so happy. We were recently in Mexico and ate our weight in street tacos.

  11. om nom nom. When looking for potential travel destinations, my husboy and I always scrutinize the street food as a large deciding factor.

  12. James- Your mother will never forgive India for taking those twenty pounds away from you. But those Lajpat worth it.

    Caro- um, I *still* haven't been to Portland. Can you believe it? But I'm taking the CDL city guide with me as soon as I finally do.

    Tracy- and that's why India loves you back. xoxo

    Julie- can I have your roommate?

    Jen- here's the secret: Because their wives take care of all the hard stuff. By the time you're a 70-something Rajput grandfather and you've had your underwear ironed and every meal cooked for you for the past fifty years, it's possible to attain a patient, loving, generous state of being. And the amazing thing is that those grannies? They're even MORE caring and loving. It's amazing.

    Amanda- we'll have to check out Street when we get back to LA (maybe they'll take rupees?) xo

    Ana- seriously, you can't beat 50 rupes.

    Amy- you too! Happy easter!

    Rache- I know, how often is chow mein totally mediocre, but we eat the whole thing anyway? This stuff is so fresh it's made in front of you, and I think that's why it's so out of this world.

    Meghan- STREET TACOS!!! God I miss good fish tacos. That's like our number one food we miss from SoCal.

    Liz- "Husboy" = genius. Made me gurgle my morning coffee. Have you guys been to Bangkok? BEST STREET FOOD EVER.

  13. Yum! That is the very best way to eat. Lordy, I ain't got nothing cool to say. Just sitting here drinking my coffee, wishing I could jump into the photos like Harry Potter and hang out in India for a wee bit. If I wait a few weeks, I can grow my own mustache and join in on the fun.

  14. What a charming story of the older gentleman. And man, that food looks good. I'm jealous.

  15. The food looks amazing!! And a great story to top it off!
    Oh what delicious fun!


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