In January this year we travelled to the city of Chandigarh to explore the street food scene out there. Deemed as India’s first planned city, modelled by the renowned architect Le Corbusier, Chandigarh manifests itself a unique blend of urbane architecture and natural beauty. Let's see what flavours we discovered over here along with our gracious host Dr Avika Khawas from the organization Walk Around India.
We started the tour of the city's most happening destination i.e Sector 17 or Sector Satra as it is locally called. Our first destination was the iconic Indian Coffee House where we tried their classic veg cutlet, a classic fare that most of the regular visitors prefer when they drop in casually. Due to an affordable menu and an old world charm, this place draws a huge eclectic crowd.
The second destination Ghazal restaurant was again a renowned family dining place that has been around for a long time. The name refers to a popular genre of Indian music. So here you can enjoy your food listening to the soothing melodies of ghazal. We tried their mix sizzler which is one of their best selling dishes. Both taste wise and proportion wise it was great.
Our third destination was Gopal's in Sector 15, market. This place is known for the popular North Indian sweets and snacks. We tried their classic choley bhature and atta panjiri. The former dish was quite delicious and hearty.
While strolling down this busy general market place in search of more flavour we got attracted to a popcorn seller and that was our four destination. What caught our attention was the specially designed enclosed container inside which the treats were being freshly roasted. It was light and hearty.
Our fifth stop was a humble shakarkandi cart where a genial aunty was serving a quick chaat made of the same. The boiled and roasted shakarkandi topped with two basic chutneys and rock salt was fun.
After a short drive we reached our sixth destination Garg Chaat in Sector 23. The mixed chaat that we had ordered was served in a leaf bowl. The balanced use of different ingredients made it quite delicious. We were fascinated by the kala chana in it which was an unusual addition.
Next we had some fennel and cardamom flavoured tea at our seventh destination called Khokha which was a small yet popular stall in sector 9.
After the tea break we drove to the celebrated Pal Dhaba, our eighth food stop . As recommended by the genial and warm owner Pritpal ji, we tried their mutton rara. It was a rich, buttery and flavoursome mutton curry that had assorted mutton pieces and keema. This place is much celebrated for their non vegetarian fares.
From there we arrived at our ninth destination named Pic n Move in Sector 8 market complex. Here we decided to have some chicken shorba soup to further the digestion so that we can adjust a couple of more places before calling it a day.
Next we reached Panchkula where our tenth food stop was Naidu South Indian Food Centre. Avika told us that it is one of the best places in the area to have South Indian fare.The vada sambar that we tried was quite decent and value for money.
The eleventh destination over here was Ice Cream Dot Com, a place popular for desserts and soya chaap. We had ordered their malai soya chaap and it was brilliant.
The twelfth and final destination of the day was Chilli Chaats. It is a famous place for classic North Indian snacks and sweets. We tried their aloo tikki, paneer pakoda, jalebi and gajrela. Everything was yummy but it was the crisp and moist paneer pakoda that won our heart. Here we met one of our subscribers and all the heartwarming exchanges simply enhanced the eating experience.
It was indeed a day of gluttony but we were elated to experience the hospitable atmosphere and the outstanding flavours. We are extremely thankful to Avika khawas for her guidance.