Among a few of the great friends I have had in Delhi so far, I spent my last three years in college mostly with these eight people I am about to mention here. Though all of them deserve to be talked about for a thousand reasons maybe (they are beautiful people, immensely talented, brilliant entertainers in their own ways and very lovable no matter what) but I am going to focus here on the food they like to eat.
I am going to go alphabetically.
Anjali: Be it succulent dahi bhallas or vadas dripping with oil, I can’t possibly imagine Anjali without chaat. I was never really a big fan of the typical Delhi chaat(s) (only when I realized I ate at the worst places), but she changed my perception. It’s just wonderful to have chaat with her and see her eat. She is definitely one of the happiest persons I’ve ever met! Even tasteless aloo tikkis topped with ridiculously explosive chilli spread, synthetic colored chutney and bland dahi can make this happy one even happier. On another occasion I remember once complaining about too much oil in the vadas I had ordered. She said that’s what makes them delicious (Well I don’t agree with that). But for her I started taking street food more seriously and I think the street food needs a lot of research in terms of getting out the taste of every spice being used in the chaat. If done properly, it has the potential of making McDonalds a thing of the past (yes, I believe it can revolutionize the way people eat not just in India but throughout the world)
Drishty: Expect Drishty’s party to have a free flow of sangria and the banofee pie to be the highlight!
One of the very few who used to get lunch from home which everyone loved having. I normally don’t like running after food, (I like it when someone serves it with a smile) so I always missed out on the good food she used to get in most of the occasions. I have always had glimpses of her empty and wiped cleaned lunch box. But we bonded over tandoori rolls and also once a week she used to get bhindi rolls (which no one used to eat and I was always offered those with a smile, I never declined). I probably haven’t troubled anyone else in my life as much as I have troubled her. It’s fun! 😉
She is doing her grad project in food styling. She definitely earns more respect for that.
Gazal: This wonderful lady is a blast of positive energy and love. Expect loads of chips n dip & mac n cheese at her party. She never gave me the food she used to get from home! (I even asked her once. She wasn’t interested! Wicked!) Though she has stopped talking to me (for a reason I am yet to discover) but eating with her is like getting a tight hug from someone you dearly miss. You can’t possibly hate a hot chocolate dripping brownie even if it burns your mouth, so despite the innumerable number of punches and shirts she has torn I can never possibly not like her.
Mashun: I don’t mind paying a fortune to get a lifelong supply of Mash’s brilliant rice and pork curry (with explosive north eastern chilli). I call him up whenever I feel like, hoping to taste the pork and he hasn’t disappointed me till date. I open his fridge finish off his drinks, sit with his laptop and blabber while this pork wizard creates magic in the kitchen. He is just too good, no one can deny that. He is fearless when it comes to experimenting with food and that’s where he earns an enormous amount of respect from me. My dream is to work with him in a food lab in the future (with a microscope and liquid nitrogen). Also what do you say a chaat wala when you want to buy some chaat? I think I once heard him saying “Bhaiya chaat dega?” (Well I am not that fearless)
Rupal: Rupal has the capability to leave you dumbstruck with her otherworldly voice and she swoons over country friend chicken! Give her that and you would probably get to see a million dollar smile. Well, when I met her for the first time I felt like she is someone who loves experimenting with food. But I was quite wrong, she is basically a vegetarian who eats chicken and I’ve hardly seen her enjoying a meal, so I like seeing her eat whenever I get to. Her shawarma stories are enticing and she is great person to drink with. Give us a bottle of decent rum and coke and we are sorted. Tacos, crispy honey chilli chicken/potatoes are just like so Rupal! I would probably write more here after she treats me with magical fares from the Middle East. I have high hopes…
Saumya: English breakfasts! Fluffly cinnamon pancakes dripping with rich honey and butter, a block of beautiful Parmesan, french fries and a long bottomed glass with thick butterscotch milkshake; laid out nicely on a table covered with gingham printed table cloth with sunlight coming in through thin flowing curtains. Meet the little nerd! Saumya is really funny, even when she is irritated, her prolonged rhythmic whines are just too good (Sorry if I sound mean). I can finish food off the plates in no time, while having a chat with her. Hi5 little brother. Aunty (her mom) is a brilliant cook. A bunch of Michelin stars for her from me.
Shruti: Those wonderful brownies which Shruti gets from home, deserves a mention in the chapter of any book which talks about why food is one of the reasons why it is worth living. Fried pork ribs and prawn in coconut milk gravy would make you see the biggest grin ever possible on her face. Shruti loves eating and that’s what makes her a great person (going by the quote which says the best people are the ones who love to eat). She has designed the identity of Speedy chow (An Asian fast food joint in GK). As I keep telling her. She is “the man!” It’s a joy to sit and eat with her.
Viniyata: More than the food when I think of her the first thing which comes to mind is the expression. The glint in her eyes when she eats good food is something I love noticing. She truly appreciates the food worth having, with just expressions! It says a lot and makes me really happy when I make her eat something good. I’ve seen her being happy while savouring on samosas to spicy Kerala beef curry with dosa. As I’ve promised her last week, I actually wouldn’t mind treating her (for the rest of my life) and see how food can make someone really happy. I like going to her place to eat, everything tastes good. Though her culinary skills right now are probably restricted to over/under cooked maggi but there will a time soon, when she would dish out the best fish cry from the kitchen.
So if you look back and combine all I’ve mentioned here, you’ll probably have everything starting from appetizers to desserts as a sumptuous spread laid on your table. Isn’t that just brilliant?
It’s good to have such great friends and sitting with them to eat is probably the best thing ever!