Cover image courtesy Palak Mittal

Up in the Northern part of Delhi is Majnu ka Tilla, a small yet vibrant community of Tibetan people, most of whom are refugees. They’ve carved out a space for themselves and bring to our city a new cuisine, and a whole new and unique aesthetic. We recommend exploring the area at least once and we’re showing you how to do it within a day. Ready?

Follow the Tibetan prayer flags to the entrance of the community. A narrow lane {with a smattering of stores} will lead you to an open courtyard with a temple. Along the fringes of this space sit a few vendors, all of whom sell a Tibetan street-food by the name of ‘La-phing‘. It’s a type of flat noodle made from flour {usually mung-bean}. The vendors do two varieties – one dry and one with soup, with the spice content of your choice {go for very spicy, if you dare}. The dry one is rolled up with the spices and becomes individual pieces, while the soup is full of flat, spicy noodles and is served with a homemade flat bread. We vote the elderly, kind looking ladies’ dishes.

Moving on, up on the left you will find a place referred to by the local residents as the Courtyard. Run by a couple – Reena and Darchen – in their own front yard {that’s where it gets the name!}, the spot is known for their special vegetarian momos, which contain a mixture of pakchoi {chinese cabbage} and spring onions. Trust us when we tell you – they’re divine. You can indulge in a game of carrom while you wait. Near by is Dolma House, where you can sample Gyuma, a homemade sausage, made from a variety of meats.

Further along the way, take a break from eating and indulge your inner shopaholic with a spot of retail therapy at Hot Yak {adjacent to TeeDee’s}. They carry all sorts of casual clothing, from dresses, to tees and cutoffs. There’s a selection of shoes as well, from the dressy to the daily wear. We’ll have you know that a bunch of our friends shop here, and are always head to toe chic, so you should definitely check the spot out. Just a little before Hot Yak you’ll find Akama – The Tibet Shop, which is a one stop shop for all handicrafts, tapestries, books and shawls.

Finish off your jaunt with a glass of pineapple beer at Big Apple, and their spinach and cheese momos – the best we’ve had in Delhi. If you’ve vying for something a tad sweeter, the Coffee House is known city wide for their coffee and baked goods. The banana bread earns top points from us.

There’s plenty more to see and do along the way, and we’re sure you’ll come back with your bags full, stomach’s happy, and many stories to tell.

Where: Majnu ka Tilla, New Aruna Nagar {near ISBT Kashmere Gate}


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