Mandir wali gali Delhi

Mandir wali gali in Yusuf Sarai

The Mandir wali gali is a quiet lane tucked away behind the Yusuf Sarai market. Yusuf Sarai is an extremely busy place and on a very busy road, but behind the flashy-new-famous exterior, the mandir wali gali is in stark contrast – locked in a time warp.

The Mandir is an 80 – year old Sanatan Dharma Shiv Mandir and the gali concentrated with shops, hotels / inns, morning stores and restaurants, owned mostly by the marwari community. Food is a big focus in the gali with lots of restaurants, all of them vegetarian and good value for money, looking newly renovated, neat and clean, with a couple of exceptions. The presence of many hotels/inns in the Mandir wali gali probably explains the multitude of eating joints.

Mandir Wali Gali in New Delhi

Mandir Wali Gali in New Delhi

Street food at Mandir wali gali

But my focus is not the restaurants, but the spectacular street food at the mandir wali gali. The most famous shop in the gali is the Balaji Pitthi Wala, which sells pakoras of many different kinds, sweets and some limited lunch items. Its right opposite the mandir and gets very busy. The mandir wali gali was also famous once upon a time as a place to buy bhang, bhang-laced thandais and pakoras. Nowadays, you don’t get get it all round the year, only during Holi and Mahashivratri. Personally, I don’t like the stuff, but for those who do. Well, now you know. The most exciting find for me in MWG was Señor Dhan Singh’s kachoris.

He established his shop some thirty five years ago and does a mean kachori. Light-crisp-tasty. The stuff is addictive and very very good. It definitely falls into one of the “No one can eat just one” categories.

Kachori at Dhan Singh’s, New Delhi

Kachori at Dhan Singh’s, New Delhi

The kachori is served with an aloo curry. High on spices, with a mast hing-ka-tadka, the curry is tasty and a superb accompaniment to the kachori. Dhan Singh and now his son Sanjay, who does most of the frying nowadays, also do a nice bread pakora and some kickass jalebi. He puts in a layer of saunth chuntney within the bread pakora and the crispy fried-slightly sweet-with a slice of malai paneer-potato filling is super nice.

Dhan Singh ki kachori and bread pakora, New  Delhi

Dhan Singh ki kachori and bread pakora, New Delhi


Bread pakora and jalebi at Dhan Singh’s, New Delhi

Bread pakora and jalebi at Dhan Singh’s, New Delhi

Dhan Singh has two shops in Mandir wali gali, the first one near the mandir and the second one at the end of the gali. Athithi retaurant, which is in front of Dhan Singh’s second shop serves a heavenly kadhali-wala-doodh. Dinesh Gupta set up Athithi restaurant some twenty five years ago. It now become a sort of convenience store and the only remaining food element is the kadhai-wala-doodh. Its a mixture of cow and buffalo milk, nice and thick and just a hint of sweetness.

Dinesh Gupta serving the kadhai wala doodh, New Delhi

Dinesh Gupta serving the kadhai wala doodh, New Delhi

If you haven’t been there, a visit to the Mandir wali gali is a must.


Location of Mandir wali gali on Google maps

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Happy hunting the Mandir wali gali and chow-chow!

Join the Conversation

  1. mmmmmm….. yum!! And Gautam Nagar brings back so many memories from ITDC mgmt training phase! Fantastic post!

  2. did you get to savour Babloo’s stuff? he puts up a rehri/stall every evening at 7pm and stuff (tikki, tikki burger, bhalle, chaat..) vanishes within 2 hours. I discovered him about 17 years ago as i had recently moved in the vicinity and while returning from office noticed a North-eastern looking young man standing near the mandir close to the t-point of the gali every day. That made me curious. One day I was a little late and I saw this young man gorfing on gol gappas at a rehri, I hadn’t cared to notice before. To check my theory I arrived a few minutes late for the next 4-5 days and bingo…everyday this man was enjoying his gol gappas! Not being such a chaat-papri person my self, this induced great confidence in me to try his stuff out…it was superlative. It still is. I find the relatively recent trend of sugary dahi in dahi bhallas and papri not to my taste. Babloo maintains the old style and comes up with delicious stuff. try him….

  3. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Awesome Shalini! I’ll check out Babloo ji when I’m next in saddi Dili.

  4. Restaurants in Gurgaon says:

    It’s amazing blog. I will go there to drink karadhi wala dhudh..