Best Momos in New Delhi_Yashwant Place.

I was apprehensive of coming back to Delhi for a break; May is a mind-numbingly hot month with hot winds, locally known as loo. These loo winds are hot heavy winds which rob you of your vitality, and leave you feeling dry, weak and really sleepy.

Luckily, the rain gods smiled and blessed Delhi with a slight shower on Sunday evening that I headed out. I was going for a Couchsurfing Delhi meet at Lodhi Gardens, a beautiful park located in central Delhi. Couchsurfing is a great concept; basically you can reach out to travelers in your city or the city you plan to visit (India or abroad) and request to stay or hang out. Read all about it here. The members in different cities keep having fun get-togethers and meetings.

It was a pleasure driving to the park in a light rain, with music on the speakers. Though I didn’t see it, there was a double rainbow visible, which others showed me later:

Double Rainbow. Can you see it?

Double Rainbow. Can you see it?

The Delhi Couchsurfing meeting was nice, with a lot of different travelers from different countries. Organized by Karan and Charan, two enthusiastic and cheerful guys, everyone had fun. And of course, I carried a large box of Alphonso mangoes from Goa to share with everybody. Later, I was even quoted for a Couchsurfing article written by a Hindustan times journalist who’d come to cover the event :)!

After the meeting was over, I got talking to a girl from Hong Kong, Melody. She and a few of her friends were working in India, and had come to check out the CS meet.

So of course, I suggested going for some of the best momos in Delhi, before we all went back home. Momos are considered to be a Chinese fast food; they are little meat dumplings inside dough that is either steamed or fried. Very popular in Delhi. However, Momos are originally called Dim Sums in China. Like Chow Mein noodles (tasty noodles sold as fast food in almost every neighborhood of Delhi), there are certain foods which have become “Indian-ised”, and have names which you’ll never find in the original country. There are no Chow Mein noodles in China, as far as I’ve heard and confirmed from Chinese friends.

Melody and her friends enthusiastically agreed, and we all set out for Yashwant Place. Everyone bundled in my car, and we were on our way. We reached Yashwant Place in 10min, as it was not too far from Lodhi Garden. Here’s the map, giving easy directions from the closest Metro station:

Google map to Momo Heaven: Yashwant Place

Google map to Momo Heaven: Yashwant Place

Though there were a lot of guys inviting us in to their specific outlet, I went to my favourite one, “Bawarchi’s”.  Bawarchi means “Cook” or “Chef” in Hindi. The owner greeted us warmly, and we went inside.

Chi and Jay with pork momos

Chi and Jay with pork momos

I placed an order for 1 plate chicken momos and 1 plate pork momos. 1 plate had 8 momos. So we could order more of which we liked.

The momos arrived and we all devoured them. There was a delicious red hot sauce which tastes amazing.

Perfect Combination = Momos + Red Chilli Sauce + Chilled Coke

Melody and her friends loved the pork momos, and we ordered another 2 plates. These took time to arrive, so one of Melody’s friends Chi, asked us how to ask the waiter to bring the food faster in Hindi. So when he came past our table, she said “Bhaiiya, mujhe khana khana hai” (Bhaiiya, I want to eat food). The look of bafflement on his face was priceless.

Momos and us!

Momos and us!

We had a good time with momos, and conversation. Steer clear of too much chilli sauce; delicious though it may be, it can cause trips to the bathroom the next day if taken in excessive amounts.

Yashwant Place is well known for its momos. Many embassies are located in the nearby area, and they cater to them for lunch/dinner. Do check it out if you happen to be near Central Delhi.

Susegad! – About Goa and its flavours

Susegad!

That apparently does not mean good sausage, as I thought when I first came about it.

Derived from the Portuguese word ‘sossegado’, it is understood to mean a state of relaxed contentment which is often attributed to this beautiful land of coconuts, cashew trees and beaches.

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Lazy Sunday at Candolim beach

It has been nearly a month since the inception of this blog and I have not yet introduced you to the amazing state of Goa. It is my humble privilege to bring the best of this coastal area to your attention.

In ancient times, this place was called Govarashtra, which is a Sanskrit word for “Nation of Cowherds”.  It was ruled by emperor Ashoka as part of the Maurya empire in the 3rd century BC. It came under Portugese rule in 1510 and finally became a part of India in 1961.

This is a short version, and glosses over much of the history of wars, conflicts that inevitably happened here.

Today, Goa is known as a destination for fun and relaxation. Around 2 million people visit Goa every year, drawn by its laid back pace. Most Indians consider it a party destination, ideal for weekend getaways from Mumbai, Delhi and other metros. Foreigners consider it a backpacker destination which is easy on the pocket.

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FTV party at Candolim beach, Dec 30, 2012. Entry US$ 40 and unlimited beer.

Goa is one of the smallest states in India, with a population of only around 1.2 million people. The infrastructure and quality of life are rated as one of the best in all of India. Konkani is the local language, however almost everybody understands English. Important signboards are also in English, and it is very easy and cheap to rent a bike/car/jeep and roam around. A decent bike will cost like US$5 (INR 270) per day to rent. And you can negotiate for a cheaper rate if you are hiring it for a longer period.

May is the hottest month, with temperature reaching a peak of 35 °C (95 °F). You can see more weather related info on links given at the bottom of this post.

So nearly 500,000 party goers descend on Goa every year, with the top markets being UK, Russia, Germany, Finland and France. I had a little fun with the latest available figures given on the Goa tourism website (www.goatourism.gov.in/statistics) and put them down for you over here.

Top 5 nations of partying tourists coming to Goa and the total tourist arrivals in Goa from 2006-11:

Goa partygoers 2010-11

Nations partying through 2010-11

Visitors to Goa from 2006-11

Visitors to Goa from 2006-11

Kidding about the partying, many people come for yoga, relaxation and meditation as well. In fact there’s a great place called Yogamagic which I can’t wait to check out. It is an eco retreat offering yoga packages and healthy food. Check out their website here.

Goa is easy to get to from Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. I had no problems booking a flight here from Delhi, and nowadays you can get air tickets really cheap, there are a lot of promotional offers going on. Check them out here.

I will be going to Bangalore this weekend from Goa via bus, so will let you know how the connectivity and service works out. As per redbus.in (online bus booking service), the fares as of March 2013 are around US$10-15 (INR 500-900) for a one way trip. A guy’s gotta rest from all the partying!!!

This blog is under constant evolution, and I am going to keep adding useful updates about everything Goan.

Do let me know if you have any questions regarding stay, travel, and I will do my best to assist you as per my personal knowledge and experience.

Some useful Goa links:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/goa

http://www.goatourism.gov.in/

http://www.goatourism.gov.in/statistics