Cod Fish Sperm and Lamb's Testicles - We explored Delhi's oddest foods!

    Given the flurry of food properties in Delhi, we can expect the weird to follow. Here, we weigh in on our oddest picks across restaurants in the city. Who’s joining us for a plate of testicles?

    Eest, The Westin – Shirako {Cod Fish Sperm}

    Eest, the Pan Asian restaurant at The Westin in Gurgaon, is heralded for a balance of traditional and innovative Asian cuisine. Once a year, Chef Hashimoto gets hold of ‘Shirako’, sourced from a single prefecture and for a period of about 2-3 months only. Shirako is essentially ‘cod fish sperm’ and before you gag, it’s technically the male version of fish roe or even caviar, which we don’t mind eating! It is literally translated as ‘white children’ {ya we know, right?!} and apart from Cod, you could even find Salmon, Squid and the scary, Fugu Shirako. It is served with a hot pot, dump in the ‘Shirako’, wait 15-30 seconds for it to cook through and come together, and dig in. It tastes like egg whites by the way!

    Where: The Westin Hotel, 1 MG Road; Contact: 01244977777

    Jama Masjid – Lamb Testicles

    Jama Masjid

    Chandni Chowk, Delhi

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    Though you may not find these on the menu across the route most people take to sample food at Jama Masjid, but for those in the know, ‘kapuras’ are available both raw and cooked, and have plenty of takers. Kapura or goat {or sheep} testicles are a delicacy that date back to the times when Mughlai food was taking form and it was believed they had the powers to enhance strength {read: performance!}. These pink, fleshy blobs {for the lack of a better word!} have the texture of hard boiled eggs, but once cooked, they can be rather meaty yet have a distinctive taste of ‘organs’. Kapuras are made tava fried, curried, and even as skewered kebabs. Best time to find them would definitely be ‘Ramzaan’ time!

    Where: Jama Masjid, Chandini Chowk

    Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid – Lamb Brain

    Jama Masjid

    Chandni Chowk, Delhi

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    Ever had Karim’s ‘bheja curry’? That’s the best way to get initiated into the many offal foods available in the ‘old’ city! Quite like cottage cheese, crumbled and curried, goat brains or ‘bheja’ is another power food pitched as a delicacy. Available raw and cooked, old Delhi is the best place to sample ‘bheja’; again if you happen to go at ‘Ramzaan’ time you could even find crisp brain cutlets and pakoras. Goat brain isn’t very easy, but it’s as quick as cottage cheese; the best way {we were told} was to boil, devein and then cut or crumble to cook. To add to the entire flavour profile, which by the way is less organ-y than other organs, lamb brain is high in anti oxidants so it’s good for you too!

    Where: Chandini Chowk

    Guppy by ai – Black Rice


    Lodhi Colony, Delhi

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    Imagine all things black… now apply it to food! Sinister? Or delicious? Forget the Black Burger, which has slight potential to repulse; how about ‘black rice’? History has it that black rice was mainly for royalty and was also called ‘forbidden rice,’ but today it’s considered a health fad and a big part of nouvelle Asian cooking. One of the few kitchens that source black rice is Guppy by ai; they get it a couple of times a year and it’s best to track their social media handles to see when it’s available. Chef Vikram Khatri does sushi with it; the taste is more pronounced but very rice-like; it is the colour that’s startling, and makes for gorgeous Maki Rolls!

    Where: 28, Lodi Colony, Main Market; Contact: 01124690005

    Majnu Ka Tila – La Phing

    Majnu Ka Tilla

    Majnu Ka Tila, Delhi

    Majnu ka Tila or Delhi’s own ‘little Tibet’ is a treasure trove of unique foods and if you know the right people, crazy good rice wine as well. The cafes there have built menus that appease the locals, so you will see a lot of momos and thukpas, but we suggest you eat out on the street before you enter a café. The streets are dotted with ‘la-phing’ vendors, which is a cross between a stew and a soup. The catch is that it’s all-vegetarian. The faux chicken in the bowl is made with flour, more precisely, boiled flour; originally it was moong-bean flour, but local stalls use ‘white flour’. Rolls of steamed pancakes are sliced to make flat noodles like kwey tiao, topped with the faux chicken, flavoured with soy sauce and garlic and spiced with chilli paste. Yum!

    Where: Majnu ka Tila, Old Delhi