People have been looking forward to the Metro for different reasons. Some find it fast, some think it is inexpensive. But I love it for something else altogether. To me, the Metro is an easy map to good food. Some people think that a food-writer's job is all fun and games.
On the contrary, I can't tell you what all that I have to do to get to a small shop in Old Delhi. I park my car somewhere, take an autorickshaw or sometimes a rickshaw, then I walk some kilometres, carefully making my way between a row of stubborn donkeys (I mean the real, four-legged ones).
And then I finally reach that little shop which sells the most magnificent chaat.
Of course, I love all this, but the Metro does make travelling to Purani Dilli easier for me. This week I took the Metro from Rafi Marg and got down at Chawri Bazar. It took a few minutes, and I was whistling happily to myself when I reached my favourite chaat shop. I got a lot of stuff packed, and then headed back to New Delhi where a horde of hungry marauders awaited me. But I didn't know that I'd have to stand for half an hour at the ticket counter. By the time I reached Rafi Marg, the chaat was all soggy.
So, the next day I decided I had enough of chaat and Chandni Chowk, and went to Connaught Place instead for a carnivorous meal. There was a cool breeze blowing, and my soul was crying out for some good biryani.
Way to Ahmed's
I landed up at Ahmed's Foods to see what was cooking. The address is 1, Kashmiri Market, opposite Shankar Market. It is the first shop on your right when you turn into Shankar Market. Ahmed's is basically a takeaway.
I packed some mutton biryani, mutton stew and three rumali rotis, and paid Rs.120 for the lot. The biryani was excellent - the long-grained rice had been cooked to perfection, and the tender mutton pieces were of good quality. The gravy (salan) to go with the biryani was spicy and tasty. The stew was good, too - the meat was juicy and the gravy, thick and aromatic.
It was a good meal. Now, I plan to go back to Purani Dilli one of these days to find out what my favourite bawarchis there are up to. I shall take the Metro, but will wait out the joy riders. Let them have their fun!