Kumar Samose Wala – The Samosa is not so humble anymore.

Ashish Tulsian : kaun kaun se samose hai bhaiya?
Kumar Samose Wala : ji Pizza Samosa, Chowmien samosa, Pasta Samosa hi hai abhi to. Aap kaunsa lenge?
Ashish Tulsian :Pasta waala de do bhaiya…
Kumar Samose Wala – red sauce or white sauce??
Ashish Tulsian : :O :O :O :O
Yup! that is how the conversation went. This guy is selling good old samosas with a twist or rather lot of twists. Some of thme unimaginable combos like Pizza samosa, Chowmien samosa, Soya keema Somaosa, Red sauce Pasta Samosa, White Sauce pasta Samosa, Chilly Paneer Samosa and what not, the list I am sure goes on and on. But then all of them varieties might not be available all the time, as they keep coming fresh and selling fresh. 
Have tried a few of them and can say that all of them are well made, one might appreciate the different flavors or not, but all are made with care. Which for me means that fillings are not stop gap arrangement, each filling has its unique flavor and stands out from other. Besides that they are very well fried and have an even shell around them, no haphazard job or quick fixes here. 

Pizaa Samosa – not sure why its called that, but not back at all.
Chowmien Samosa.
Red Sauce Pasta Samosa
And the best part is that the humble Aloo ka samosa is one of the best I have ever had. In all the sheen of fancy samosas, this all time classic has not lost its charm. Among all those western and oriental sauces, the the mix and flavor of spices in the Aloo samosa was captivating enough to capture all my senses. And honestly, they gained a lot of respect by doing this one right
Aloo Samosa – Loved it.
Cost varies from Rs.10 -20 per piece depending on the type. Like the aloo was for Rs.10 and pizza one was Rs. 15. The paneer ones ought to be pricier. 
Location : Impossible for me to explain, however find Milan Cinema in New Moti Nagar / Karam Pura area and then ask around for Kumar Samose Waala. The shop is a non-descript one in residential area. You are in 500 meters radius and asking around would lead you there for sure. Well known name out there. Or you might check google maps, it is marked there by name of Kumar Samose Wala. 
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Sampling Kachori and Samosa at Hira in Shahdara

Yesterday I was scouting the bazaars of Shahdara, looking for a quick bite for my combo of breakfast and lunch around 12 in the noon (brunch, as the more enlightened lot calls it), when my eyes settled on a shop which looked extremely crowded. And then I realised it was Hira sweets, a name quite popular in Delhi’s traditional food scape, particularly for their Balushahis. Couple of shops away was Hira Namkeen Bhandar, which I was told was part of Hira Sweets only, however later realised that Hira Sweets and Hira Namkeen Bhandar have different owners, albeit they are brothers. 

Kachoris @ Hira Namkeen Bhandar
I spotted Kachoris at Hira Namkeen Bhandar, and started to drool :P. I did not bother to look at anything else on offer. They have a separate counter outside the main shop was serving Kachori and Samosas, which at Rs.20 per plate were quite steeply priced. I was with my cousin and we started with a Samosa first, which I am glad they serve with Aloo Subzi and Methi ki Chutney. I have always liked my samosas with Subzi or Chhole rather than Chutney, cannot tell you why, but its the way it is. And then it was turn of their Kachori, which I found to be surprisingly small for the price.
Samosa with Aloo Subzi and Methi ki Chutney
The samosa’s filling was mixed with proper spices, and Subzi mixed with Chutney gave some contrasting flavors, which I thought were lovely. In kachoris the Pithi stuffed tasted fine, however a soft white layer of flour under the crispy crust suggested that they should have been fried on a slower flame for a bit longer. That Layer is a big turnoff in kachoris and for me, it separates the best from the rest.

My rating – 3.5/5, though the food was really good, however in Delhi we get much better Kachoris and Samosas at several places. That said, if I am in Shahdara or surrounding areas, then I would make sure that I go back to Hira Namkeen Bhandar to sample the goodies once more.

PS : Pics shot from Mobile Phone camera, so please pardon the quality.

Mr. Dutt is still frying those Samosas

I shared an older post of mine on Facebook couple of days back, which was about an age old samosa maker in lanes of Karol Bagh, here is the one that was shared : Samosa from Karol Bagh
If you see, I added few lines at the end of it, and with in few hours I got a response saying that our old guy was still alive and kicking. However the post made Sandeep Rathore, a fellow FED, go a step further and actually visit the place, and he reports that out Mr. Dutt is doing fine, and still frying his samosas.  And the best part is, he shot few pictures, and very kindly shared the same with me to post them here.  I am sure these pics would bring a smile on many faces
 
Mr. Dutt

 

Exploring Street Food, Bengali Style in CR Park -> Photolog

Bengali and vegetarian in the same sentence? Something just does not sound right, does it? However Barnali Ganguly and Moumita Rudra insisted that their is plenty to offer in terms to street food, and offered to take us to Chitranjan Park (CR Park for some) Market in south of Delhi to do some exploration, and FEDs jumped on the offer. Around 10 of us assembled in CR Park market no. 2, for what was a delicious and fun filled evening. Here are some pics
FEDs in Chitranjan Park market
FEDs in CR Park market, with yours Truly in the pic this time.
 We started at Dadu’s Cutlet Shop, which accounted for most of the food we had in our stomachs that evening.

Non-vegetarians kick started their evening with Egg Devil and Fish Cutlet
While the Vegetarians enjoyed the Samosas and Pyazi

Here I must point out, though Pyazi felt like the Bhajiya I had in Mumbai, however the masalas in Samosas were different than what we are used to having in Delhi. Rate list made for a happy reading, as most of the things were reasonably priced.

Veg Chop and Mocha Chop

The highlight of the evening for me was the veg chop, and Mocha chop was one of the most interesting things. Mocha (pronounced with Ch in Chai) is Banana flower, and it has a bit bitterness in the taste. I was told that it was quite good for health, but I feel its going to be an acquired taste, something you would get to like after your have it a few times.

Samosas

It was still around 7 pm and people at Dadu’s were still making Samosas, however Barnali was literally not eating anything. On being asked, she said that they started serving Aloo Chops at 7:30 pm and she was waiting for them. A hard core non vegetarian, waiting for Aloo Chops, we were intrigued.

The Delightful Aloo Chop
Stack of Aloo Chops

And when they started making it, they were just not able to make enough. Every round was immediately lapped up by the crowd.  From the looks of it, its similar to Batata  Vada or Aloo Bonda, as the basic ingredients remain the same, however there was a distinct difference in spices and this lens the chop a unique taste.

Sandesh or Sondesh
Now with Annapurna Sweets next door, desserts came in a little early.
Chanar Jilipi or Chhaina jalebi
 More Chanar Jilipi
Mishti Doi
Jilipi was introduced to me as Chhaina Jalebi and somehow I was expecting it to be hot, which ofcourse it was not. I was left wondering if it would taste better if served a bit warm. Then the ubiquitous Sondesh was there, however I was more keen on Mishti Doi. Have heard great things about it, and I was not disappointed.  I was told that this mishti doi was as good as what they serve in Bengal and the packaged ones, do not even come close.
Already feeling full, we were wondering what we can eat or rather handle next. However when the name Puchka came up, we all agreed in unison.

 

The Puchka Stall
A mix of Potatoes and Chana, used to stuff Puchka

Now this was really different, first many Delhiites, including myself, like to have their Gol Gappas or Pani Puris or Puchkas made of Suji, however the Bengali Variety only comes in Atta. And then Aloo and Chana that they stufff in it is mixed with various spices and herbs, unlike Delhi, where they just put boiled potato and/or chana.

Unfortunately this turned out to be disappointment, no one enjoyed it, including our Bengali ladies. Who later explained and this was a specially bad day and their regular guy was not there. Well, we live to try them some other time.

Other major attraction of the area is the fish market, which most of us had no intention of going with our stomachs full. I guess even for non-vegetarian North Indians, the stench is unbearable. However Barnali did point out couple of vegetables at the grocer which were used  in Bengali cuisine and would be hard to find anywhere in Delhi.

Lal Saag, cooked and eaten with rice
Lau or Bengali Ghia, well not my cup of tea
Stem of Banana tree

Now we were done with the market no. 2, however Ghugni was still on agenda, and we trekked to market no. 1 for that.

Ghugni
Non-vegetarians in the group were delighted with what they had, however me an Ashish (vegetarian) were indifferent to what we had. very similar to Chana or Chhole, and nothing very interesting.

Well, there are no conclusions to this one, however as mentioned earlier, it was an evening well spent, eating what most of us had not eaten before, meeting old and new faces, laughing and having fun.

Also read :

Exploring Street Food, Bengali Style in CR Park – Part 2 

Conncet with me on Twitter – @Sh_AGer

Samosa from Karol Bagh..

I heard about this Samosa walla in Karol Bagh area through EOiD (Eating out in Delhi) community, and was curious to try it out, since I live quite close to the area. I was there yesterday evening with Neeraj Kumar, a close friend, and we decided to give it a try, as per the directions reached the front gate or Jessa Ram Hospital and with our back towards Pusa Road, took right into the street opposite it  (Technically the service lane of Pusa road, this shop is behind house no. 14 Pusa Road), and spotting the shop was not a challenge then. As there are hardly 2-3 shops there, and spotting the halwai was an easy job.
The shop looks quite run down and old, I doubted the quality of the stuff after first glance. I was told that there were some really old guys managing it, however I saw couple of young guys manning the counter. They said that samosas were being fried and we have to wait for 10 minutes, decided to sink our teeth into a Ras Madhuri sitting on the counter in the meantime (cannot say much about it, as was too sweet and syrupy for me, but texture seemed nice). Later on we were told that even those guys were customers and and the famous old man was busy making samosa on the backside. This establishment enjoys tremendous loyalty, so much so that people wait patiently for 15 minutes, while samosas are being made.
Now coming to the samosa, the main reason why it is famous is because they do not fill the mashed potatoes, but they cut them into small pieces, roast them and then fill them. It was lovely to eat, the old man had taken his sweet time to fry them, this ensured that the crust was nice and crispy. The potatoes had subtle spices, nothing over powering the flavor, every bite was an experience in itself.
Mr. Dutt, or Pandit ji
We were quite satisfied with the samosa and started chatting with the old man (Mr. Dutt or popularly known as Pandit Ji), he said that shop was originally owned by his Mama Ji and he worked for them since beginning. it opened in 1942 and the owner was staunch follower of Nehru-Gandhi school. In-fact Nehru Ji himself has visited this shop on several occasions.
He also made us sample some Sandesh made from “Khajoor Ka Gud”, which comes straight from Bengal and a type of Mathri.
The Menu
Sandesh
News Paper Article
Original Owner
 

Other Pictures
PS (Dated : 27th June, 2011) – There is something about such places that go beyond food, something that brings a smile to your face and satisfaction to your heart. The simplicity, the charm, the stories gives them a character, which can only be experienced when you are there. Not sure if they are still surviving, would have to visit them again, in the meantime if you have some update or intelligence of the place, kindly share with us in the comments section.