Chidambaram’s New Madras Hotel – The Old Guard of Lodhi Colony

Lodhi Colony is changing. Or alteast its markets are. The sleepy colony made in British Raj to house central government employees and staff members is fast becoming home to some of the ‘finer’ restaurants in the business today. From Chez Nini, Kunafa, Elma’s etc in Meher Chand Market to Guppy by Ai, Tres, and Ploof Deli in its main markets – its now home to some of the most suave & chic food joints in town.
But then there are people like me who would visit something as fashionable as Tres Bar & Kitchen, order first course of small plates, but then feel suffocated with all the prim and proper things and manners. Waiters talking in an accent just does not leave much scope for me to stay there. So what does a common man like me do? Head straight to Chidambaram’s in Khanna Market of the same colony.
Now this is as South Indian as they come, not your typical Dosa-idli-vada joint. Though you get that too, plus some Chinese and Italian however I would rather stay away from those things.
I have not tried a lot of things there, plus I am not really an expert in South Indian food, however I still know that what I eat at Chidambaram’s is quite satiating for my soul
Rasam (Complementary)

 

Papad
My absolute favorite has to be Masala Idli – Simple ubiquitous Idli coated with a paste that is made our ghee and gunpowder. Now this is one combo for which I can shoot someone for, as long as I have enough gunpodwer. Ok! bad joke, but I hope you got my sentiments. They also serve a combo of Idlis, which has one each of Vegetable waali Idli, Fried Idli and Masala Idli. You try it and take your pick.
The Idli Combo

 

Masala idli

 

Fresh vegetable idlis ready to be served.

Another thing that I love about this place is their Rasam and Papad. Not sure about the padad however Rasam is complementary and is quite delicious as well, though cannot say how authentic. Have also tried Pongal which I guess is a very popular Tamil dish for breakfast down south is something like khichdi. Again cannot comment on authenticity, however loved the different type of khichdi and would be trying it again for sure. Besides Kesari Bhaat, which is like our Suji ka Halwa’s South Indian cousin and there is no reason for me or you not to like it, have also tried Tarmarind rice or Puliyogare as they are originally named.

Kesari Bhaat
Pongal
Puliyogare

When it comes coffees I am a big fan of Filter Coffee, after that comes your coffee shop coffee and then Instant coffee at the last. And when it comes to Filter Kaapi, the one they serve at Chidambaram’s, does a fabulous job for me. One of the best that you can get in Delhi/NCR atleast.

Kaapi, Filter Kaapi

They have quite an elaborate menu and I am sure I am gonna try more of it with time, however till then their Masala Idli and Filter Coffee is what I can absolutely recommend. Dilliwaala’s would love these two things for sure.

Coming back to Lodhi Colony in general – MI Meats is another desi joint that I appreciated in Meher Chand Market, however my last visit left me disappointed and its a pure non-veg. joint anyhow.
While you are in the area or at India Habitat Center and are in not a mood for All American Diner or other Angrezi options mentioned in this post then Chidamram’s is the best option you have for desi food. Besides that if you are a food lover then make sure you visit this South Indian Dhaba once for sure, you will not regret it.