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The army of small stalls around the city keep the chaat flag flying. There’s one unwritten rule of chat sellers: the grungier the stall and the grottier the surroundings, the better the chaat. So leave the Merc at home!
Raju Chaat Bhandar
On an open drain in Ashok Vihar Phase 2, has grown from strength to strength with just one product: Bhalla Papdi. A perfect combination of hot, sour, spicy and sweet, thanks to the thick, creamy dahi that has made him famous.
It is inside Kinari Bazar is a narrow lane called Baraf ki galli. The father-son duo who sit there serve some of the most delectable gol guppas and kalmi vadas in the gastronomic wonderland that is Chandni Chowk. Notice the style of service which is a welcome departure from the brusque manner of the rest of the city.
Vaishno Chaat Bhandar
This is Kamla Nagar’s gift to the universe of street food, though you may not think so to look at it. Nobody has ever been able to replicate the seemingly uncomplicated spice blend of their iconic gol guppas. Does it have a touch of hing in it? You tell us.
It is a small family-run corner store that has become a classic because of the heart-shaped aloo tikka smothered with a spicy, sour sauce with just a hint of sweetness. Get through the melting mashed potato via the crisp crust and join its legions of fans.
Natraj Dahi Bhalla
On the main road of Chandni Chowk, Natraj has become too famous for its own good. Their arrogance has gone through the roof, but incredibly, the dal for their dahi bhalla is still coarsely ground, the sweet ginger chutney is a small puddle in a sea of cool dahi and the sprinkle of dry spices tastes exactly as it did 50 years ago.