When I moved to my neck of the woods in east Delhi in the mid-nineties, there was not much to look forward to – gastronomically speaking, that is – in the neighbourhood. The area had no restaurants or small eateries worth a visit, and I had to trudge to Mayur Vihar Phase I when I wanted to whet and sate my appetite. There was, however, one hole in the wall which made life worth living – and that was a mom-and-pop outfit selling samosas.

I first noticed it because there was a huge crowd around the shop. People who had gathered there had a hungry look in their eyes. I was wondering what it was all about, when I spotted a gentleman frying samosas in a big kadhai. I ate one, and heaved a sigh of relief. Mayur Vihar Phase 2, I realised, had something that the neighbourhood could be proud of.

Some days ago, I went to buy samosas from the same little shop and found that it was no longer there. But there was no cause for despair. A helpful passerby told me that the little shack had moved to the main market, and had now turned in a pucca shop. I went to the market and found a brand new yellow board proclaiming the name Duggal Snacks (G-5 Abhishek Plaza). This was the new avatar of the nondescript shop that wooed me with its samosas 15 years ago.

How to reach

To get to this shop, you need to get into Phase 2 from the Delhi-Ghaziabad highway. The moment you enter Phase 2, you'll find a sprawling arcade in front of you. Duggal's is at the back of the market, occupying a tiny room right next to Subways. When I went there last week, I found the shop as crowded as ever. Since the samosas there get sold almost as soon as they are fried, I was convinced that I'd have to go back home empty-handed. As luck would have it, two women, busy gorging on samosas with chutney, had asked for 12 to take back home. Since they were only four left (and since the two indomitable ladies had eaten their share) they decided not to buy them. And I stepped in just at that moment, picked them up, paid Rs.28 for the lot, and went home whistling happily.

These samosas are good. First, they are very fresh. Second, they are not oily. Third, the casing is nice and crisp. And fourth, the filling is a delicious mix of potatoes and peas, cooked with the right amount of masalas. The best bit is that Duggal's samosas don't give you heartburn or any of the other stomach-related problems that generally come with samosas. I suppose that's because they don't use leftovers. The shop usually opens at 11 in the morning, and shuts the moment the potato mix gets over.

It's nice to know the Duggals have done so well that they now have a proper shop to sell their stuff from. They also make fresh mathris and namakparas, which are just the right things to eat on a sunny winter's day with a cup of hot tea. As for the samosas, they rock!

Keywords: samosa shops

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