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Dahi bhalla

Dahi bhalla from Natraj in Delhi, India.

What: The perfect cooling chaat—and stomach soother—on a hot Delhi day, dahi bhalla consists of creamy dahi, or yogurt, and bhalla, bready fried lentil fritters (usually of urad dal). The peppery bhalla get soaked and smothered by the yogurt, then topped with pink pomegranate seeds, chewy yellow raisins, and sweet tamarind chutney. The creamy result, as with the best chaats, is a spicy, sweet, tangy amalgam of flavors, in a snack-size portion. 

Where: At the end of a narrow alleyway leading to the Chandni Chowk metro station in Old Delhi, the streetside counter of Natraj (9811167400; 1396, Chandni Chowk, near Central Bank, map) is always swarming with people—much like the rest of this area. But secure your bag and elbow your way in for some of Delhi’s most beloved bhalla, 70-plus years running. Even the locals who complain about Natraj’s price increases over the years still order the bhalla here.

Good to know: Natraj is located just across the street from the famous Parathewali Gali, or lane of paratha-makers.

When: Daily, 10am-11pm

Order: Bhalla (30 rupees) is what you come for, although they serve spicy aloo tikki at the street counter as well. Dig into the tin foil bowls with the flat wooden spoons provided.

Alternatively: Dahi bhalla is relatively common at chaat shops around town, including Nathu’s Sweets (multiple branches including 23, 24, 25, Bengali Market, map) and Satiram's BTW, or Bitoo Tikki Wala (multiple locations including G-46, Aggarwal Millennium Tower, Netaji Subhash Place, Pitampura, map). Popular kulfi (ice cream) joint Roshan Di Kulfi (2872-4230; 2816, Ajmal Khan Rd., Karol Bagh, map), a short walk or rickshaw from the Karol Bagh metro stop, is rumored to make a mean one too.


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