Little Tibet, Big on Taste
They say that in every cosmopolitan city, you will find a China Town. However in Delhi, the city of Djinns, you can explore another oriental tradition, that of Tibet . Not everyone knows that a significantly large Tibetan ghetto can be found a few kilometres away from Delhi University’s North campus. The refugee colony gets its name form a Gurudwara right beside it, Majnu Ka Tilla, or in short, MKT.
A man born a Muslim, according to local lore, was lost in his quest to know the divine to such an extent that he was given the name, Majnu, the crazy one. He then began transporting people across the Yamuna on a boat, free of cost, whilst preaching the word of love and compassion, of the devotion and commitment to the ultimate reality. It is said Majnu transported Guru Nanak over the Yamuna in his boat and was blessed by the saint. The Gurudwara was built in his remembrance, Majnu ka Tila.
Apart from the rich and gratifying cultural experience, MKT offers a wonderful potpourri of culinary delectableness. One can find a wide range of items from the Tibetan cuisine at very cheap prices and one restaurant here serves Korean delights well. Here are top five dishes to try out, for the adventurous and accepting at heart.
As one enters the colony hub, after crossing the over-bridge, one spots the laping stall run by a Tibetan lady. Laping is a kind of street food, a noodle dish that is served cold and spicy (contains a lot of salt). Another stall can be found in the Buddhist temple square.
This dish would take the most adventurous of foodies to make peace with. Gyuma is a kind of blood sausage that is typically made with yak or sheep intestines. One can find it in almost all the restaurants in the colony including Ama’s Restaurant.
Thukpa, Thenthuk and Momos
These are the more popular, regular Tibetan dishes that most people are more generally familiar with. Thukpa and Thenthuk are both Tibetan noodle soups with the difference that Thenthuk is hand-pulled noodles. They come with chicken, buff, pork or just vegetables. Momos are dumplings made of white-flour-and-water-dough. They are stuffed with chicken, vegetables or beef and are either steamed or fried.
This spicy dish can be found in Dolma’s, a small restaurant on the main lane, where most of the restaurants including Ama’s Restaurant are found. Trust the reports that claim they taste really good and approach food without pre-existing notions or prejudices and you will certainly enjoy this dish.
A nice little café byname Coffee House situated at the end of the lane serves the most filling pancakes one can find in Delhi. This one is challenging because it’s very difficult to finish eating an entire pancake, for the sugar rush that comes with the honey, maple and chocolate syrups is dizzying. They are available in the breakfast menu and is served only until noon.