Sure Delhi has some iconic food joints, but the capital also boasts of some really loyal foodies who would travel lengths to enjoy their favourite meal. When in the year 2014, my brother was working at Shangri-La Eros Delhi, he introduced me to this small south Indian joint near Jantar Mantar. I was amused; after all, there is no dearth of good south Indian restaurants in the periphery - what was so good about this tiny eatery? A few months down the line, I saw my parents frequenting the place, they would get some snacks packed for me - as a mandate, and finally, when I visited the joint, there was no looking back. Hundreds of people who flock the eatery every day, from office-going people, the visitors and protestors at Jantar Mantar to the shoppers who come down from CP only to relish authentic South Indian fare. The fan-base of this south Indian joint by Kesavan Kutty is a versatile one.
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Started in the year 1987, the 32-year-old eatery offers a variety of south Indian dishes. Crispy vadas, puffy idlis, paper-thin dosas, this stall makes everything fresh and in-house. Mr. Kesav Kutty, owner of the joint tells us, "We prepare our masala all by ourselves. Our location has helped us draw the attention of a variety of people. All these years, I have seen political leaders, students and family come to us from all across the city."
"We sell all popular south Indian snacks like vadas, idli and dosas but some of our hot-selling items are Mysore Masala Dosa, Onion uttappam and Paneer Masala Dosa."
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Back in the day, they started out by selling a vada for two rupees and dosa for all of three rupees. "Now, we sell a plate of vada sambhar for 40 Rupees and dosa for 60 Rupees, but it is still one of the cheapest places in Delhi to enjoy true south Indian Food," adds Mr. Kutty.
Kesav Kutty's stall starts fairly early around 9:30 am, so if you are anywhere near central Delhi, you know where to head if you are craving a wholesome south Indian breakfast. The stall shuts at 9:30 pm in the evening. You may have to brave a long queue to place your order, but fret not, for they are very quick with their service and practice good hygiene. There is no place to sit here, except a long stone slab that planks the stall, and then there are worn-out stools. If you are driving down here, you can enjoy the piping hot fare in your cars too, or get them parcelled.
Pro Tip: Ask for as many helpings of sambhar as you can. The soul-stirring preparation is rare to find.
Where: South Indian Snacks Centre, Janpath, New Delhi- 110001
Cost For Two: INR 150