Wednesday, September 18, 2013

South Indian Snacks Corner, Jantar Mantar

Important - Please note that this place is not open on Sundays.

For my first 2-3 visits to this place, I never asked the name of the place at all. Food is so yummy that you forget everything else. But then, during a visit, when I asked the name of the place from the guy who stands there taking the orders most of the times, he just said 'South Indian Snacks Corner'. The most generic name (and maybe most apt) one can have for such a place.

For once, this could be just another fill-in-my-food kind of place but run out of a small kiosk and its adjoining one for past many years - some say around 20 years, this place dishes out amazing flavors through its hot South Indian snacks on dirt cheap rates. I think the most priced item on the menu would still be of 70-80 rupees only. Even the parking in some of the malls cost more than this in Delhi. Dirt cheap does not mean low on taste. The preparation of food is awesome here - I have never ever eaten any hard Idlis here or over-fried Dosas here. Move over Sagar Ratnas...

The place does not have a sitting area at all and you can see utensils being cleaned in a corner. It is like an half open kitchen with a huge boiling cauldron of Sambhar just outside of the kiosk. If you are too much into ambiance, move on to CP. But if you want to enjoy Delhi food where it is best then this is the place to be. The popularity of the place can be seen anytime you go there with sufficient enough attendance but during lunch hours you can see hordes of loyal office goers from the neighbourhood for their value-for-money meals. The service is amazingly fast and you can enjoy coffee/lassi/shakes from other shops around.

Coming back to food, I do not know where to start from and where to end. You can pick any item from the menu and it would be wonderful in taste. Everything here comes with pure coconut chutney (no dal chana in there), hot Sambhar and the Red chutney. All of them are just rightfully spiced - nothing over the board. On the main dish front, Dosas are just appropriately filled with stuffing and are never over-fried. Idlis are appropriately steamed and soft to enjoy them being dipped in Sambhar. Dal Vadas are not much interesting but till now I have never eaten Dal Vadas which can just blow my mind. Sambhar Vada is one of my favorite here since they are appropriately fried and make wonderful combination with their Sambhar. And this is the only place, where I do eat Upma. Yes, the Upma is just amazing - no fancy ingridents there - just the mix of coconut and dal. They do have other varieties of Dosas and then there is a dish of the day as well. Maybe someday, I will get bored with their regular fare and would move to more dishes but as of now the regular fare is keeping me engaged. Having said that, Rava Kesari is a good way to end the meal here - no fancy stuff but an honest home-food feeling.

And I think "home food feeling" is the best description of this place.

Average cost for two would not be more than 120 rupees

South Indian Snacks Corner
In front of designated protest area, Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar Road
New Delhi


VJ Sharma said...

Thanks for sharing this Akshaya !

I personally prefer such places, which add more value in food they serve as compared to fancy services. This place is target for coming week and will write back here about our experience.

btw, recently I visited Laxman Dhaba for paranthas and it's again a lovely place for breakfast after a peaceful jog at Sanjay Van. It's just in front of IIFT, Qutub Institutional area. Try whenever you get time and share your experience.

Vibha said...

After you told us about this place, we tried to go there, but were out of luck...I think some protest was about to start and the police were blocking the roads. Will try again soon. Thanks for the review. Do keep sharing such things on your blog...they are very helpful for foodies like us!

Akshaya Saxena said...

VJ & Vibha - Thanks for the comments. You should surely try this one.

The irony of the place is to have a designated area for protests and fasts while people enjoying good food in front of them :)

VJ - I will try Laxman ka Dhaba some day. Have heard about it earlier as well.

Komal Desai said...

Nice post Akshaya... I have been to this place many times. Its like going back to roots!!!

There is another such south indian food place - Karnataka Bhavan Canteen in R.K.Puram.

Vaishali Ahuja said...

Thanks Akshaya for sharing this. It's on my list too now :-)

@VJ- Maggi and chai is awesome too at Sanjay van. I love that place. Simple and peaceful!

Akshaya Saxena said...

@Komal - thanks for the comments.

Looks like I need to try Karnataka Bhavan Canteen some time. Thanks for the information.

Akshaya Saxena said...

@Vaishali - you should surely try it. I am sure you would love the food there.

Anita Duggal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kunjali said...

Have been to this place for the first time in 1993. Back again in 1997. The food tasted the same on both occasions and the taste still lingers on after all these years!
BTW, the place used to be run by a chap called Kesavan from Kannur in North Kerala. Not sure if he still owns it.