One thing that stands out about Delhi, is its concentration of communities in particular localities. So Chittaranjan Park true to its name has a concentration of Bengalis or Bongs to be short. And the market an ideal sourcing ground for all things from Bengal – jhalmurs, shingaras, Mughlai paranthas, lovely cotton clothes and more…. There is another Part I market well it does deserve another separate blog. The market wears the most festive look during the Durga Puja. It is beautiful to see miniature idols of Saraswati, sold for the puja before Basant Panchami, in her finery bedecked and divine. It has the usual signs of modernity with branded franchise shops, ATM centres in their swanky “spot me a mile away” design. The flavour of the market is through the small shops which can take the nostalgic back to Kolkatta. For clothes especially sarees.. more and more cotton, silk…dhotis is Rama Krishna Bastralaya. Actually my parents, though the credit for discovering the shop in its earlier avatar in Gole Market goes to my father, have patronized it for years. The quality of the cotton is good, majority is handwoven and the colour does not run. The range includes – Jamdani (pure and jacquard versions), dhonekali, Tangail Dhaka, Dhaka jamdani, Mysore silk and more….it is a pleasure seeing the crisp starched cotton beautifully stacked. Aananda opposite to the market offers an excellent range of eclectic ethnic creation. Another well known eating outlet which locals swear by is Dadu’s Cutlet – offering vegetarian Shingaras (samosas), Mughlai paranthas, fish cutlets, fish chops…(being a vegetarian I have just tried the shingaras and egg paranthas both wonderful!) at very affordable prices.
Location – The market is in the middle of the residential colony. To be precise one should turn in right from Savitri Cinema, then the first cut to the left and another left from the red light. The market is towards the end of the road. Approximately 20 kms from Connaught Place
Timing – Closed on Tuesdays. Parking on the road, quite chaotic. Prone to terrible traffic jams from 6 pm onwards and in the morning. The market comes to life in the evenings and is quite dull in the morning. 4 pm onwards is an ideal time.
Highlight - One can get a variety of desi vegetables of Kolkata – banana flower, stem, raw bananas, spinach of different varieties…and more and more varieties of fish (my knowledge here is limited!)
Insider Tip – Dadu’s Cutlet opens in the evenings by 5 pm or so and makes only limited number of each item. He is sold out by 7 to 7:30 pm. His morning fare includes lip smacking Puris, Puchkas... Literally the early bird gets the worm!! Ram Krishna Bastralaya brings in new stocks in summers and before Puja (a month and a half before), however there is a good range throughout.