I came to Delhi to eat samosa, well actually that was just one of the reasons. Let’s me start from the beginning and explain my first impressions of this intense, yet beautiful city.
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If you have a few minutes, click play on the video above to watch me eat and review these Samosas.
Or you can watch it directly on (YouTube Here).
Walking around Delhi, I could have sworn I was in the Middle East. The sky is filled with clouds of dirt, the temperature is scorching, the air is dry and makes scales out of your skin. The streets are noisy, chaotic and filled with absolute madness, something a person ridden with jet lag is a bit hesitant to embrace straight off the plane. But if there is one thing that Delhi has going for it, it’s the absolutely incredible food scene that is highly unrecognized and dually undiscovered.
After arriving in Delhi at 1am on a Sunday night and sleeping for a few hours, the jet lag woke me up early in the morning. I was able to get a head start on the day which was much needed since I had a million things I wanted to do during my short stay. There was a nasty tempered monkey who had a penchant for hanging out on my balcony and terrorizing me in my pajamas, so I was extra eager to get out my apartment and explore what the city had to offered.
Mainly on my agenda, was eat, eat, and eat some more.
How I was going to fit so much dining in with so few days would undoubtedly be a challenge. I was willing to forfeit seeing a few tourist sights so that I could sit down to a good meal or enjoy a street food snack on the way to my next adventure.
My love for samosa
What did I want to try more than anything? The famous and highly coveted samosa.
Eating samosas in Delhi is like eating pizza in Italy, it’s a must.
Walking down the narrow streets of Delhi with the traffic swimming by me, I stumbled upon a place called Anil’s Snack Corner. What caught my eye were the pile of golden triangle-shaped samosas laying on a newspaper. There was steam rising from them, and I could tell instantly that they were delicious. I was ready to try a couple and let the oily goodness sink into my hungry stomach.
Best street food in Hauz Khas Village
Anil’s Snack Corner is located at the end of Hauz Khas Road in Hauz Khas Village, a 16th century town nestled between an archeological site and a massive park. There is a string of little shacks serving fast food varying from fresh pressed juice to halal curries. It’s a very discreet little place with a small awning with faded letters and a hoard of loyal customers standing at the high tables dipping samosas into a shiny foil plate filled with green chutney dipping sauce.
Culinary history of samosa
Before we dig into my experience, I think it’s quite fascinating to talk about what it is exactly that I ate.
Although samosas are typically thought of as being Indian in origin, they are actually from the Middle East and referred to as sambosas. The first written evidence of samosas dates back to the 10th century when historian Abolfazl Beyhaqui mentioned it in his book Tarikh-e Beyhaghi detailing Iranian history.
The deep fried pastries were carried into India during the 13th century by traders who ventured from Central Asia to sell their goods. I can mentally picture spice route traders wearing rags with cracked and wrinkled sun kissed skin carrying leather pouches full of day-old samosas.
Not only are there many different names for pastry, but there are also many variations of the filling. Fillings range from potatoes to meat and can include other ingredients such as walnuts, pistachios, almonds and onions.
So what makes Delhi samosas taste so wonderful? It’s all in the masala.
Masala is a mixture of Indian spices toasted and then ground into a fine powder. It normally includes coriander, cumin, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, mustard seeds, cloves and red chill peppers. In this particular samosa, all of these spices were prevalent and really shined through creating a remarkably delicious flavor that lingered and danced to an ancient hymn.
Interesting fact: Some Indian samosas include dried fruit such as pomegranate seeds or mango pieces to add a slight sweetness.
Best samosas in Delhi India
Anil’s Snack Corner serves up a couple different items that can be eaten out front or taken on the go, but I was solely interested in trying out the samosas. I ordered two samosas and they were served on a shiny aluminum plate typically used in Delhi for street food. The cook ladled some green sauce from a giant pot onto another plate and I was ready to eat.
The taste of authentic Indian samosas
Holding the samosa in my hand, I was surprised that it was piping hot. I thought that because I had been served ones that were sitting on a newspaper that they would be room temperature, but these were extremely fresh! There were many people that stopped by this joint while I was eating there. This ensures that there is a constant churning which ensures it was just cooked minutes ago.
I first dipped the samosa into the green chutney sauce and the gold and jade crescent shaped pastry glistened in the sunlight, sexy as ever.
When I bit into it, the wheat crust was crispy yet flakey which reminded me of phyllo dough. I was told that the way to get the perfect samosa pastry cover is to fry it first in high heat and then immediately reduce the flame. This technique prevents any air pockets and also allows for the samosa to not absorb too much oil.
The flavor was incredible! The inside was filled with a beautiful and flavorful potato mixture tinted yellow from turmeric. I could taste green peas, onions, lentils, and crushed green chilis as well. Steam rushed out of the samosa rising into the air and I had to wave my hand in front of my mouth to cool down my throat from the heat.
The mint, coriander and tamarind from the green chutney sauce, the savory and rich potatoes, and the donut-taste of the crust.All this mixed together on my tongue like an explosion bursting with Indian spices. My tongue was overwhelmed with the abundant aroma of cardamom pods which I adore. I was sad when I took my last bite and felt my stomach grow full. My potato-diet in India was full-fledged and going quite well!
I really loved these samosas. They were simply perfect.
They were the perfect snack when I was craving something small, but not hungry enough to eat an entire meal. Since these are a popular street food snack in Delhi, you can find these everywhere, but I suggest going to a place that has a crowd of locals around it.
It seems as thought you can eat samosas anytime of the day, but I noticed that tuk tuk drivers were grabbing armfuls of them for breakfast. It’s too bad I didn’t grab some masala chai across the street (I was a bit worried about giving myself Delhi Belly from all my adventurous eating), but I highly recommend pairing the two if you want an extra authentic experience.
At the beginning of Hauz Khas Road on the way to the village (cross street is Aurobindo Marg)
Hauz Khas Village Information
Directions: Across the street from Aurobindo Place (a shopping mall located on the corner)
Price: 20 Indian Rupees ($0.30 cents USD)