Street food is a big thing in India, but I admit that when I travel there, I am always careful with what I eat, especially avoiding this kind of food, my westerner's stomach not being used to it. So, I enjoyed it in restaurants either in Mumbai few years ago, or in New York City. So I was excited when Dilli Junction opened a month ago in Hoboken, replacing Fresh Tortilla Grill, a Mexican restaurant not unknown to us.
This place is the dream of the Karati family and I have to admit that they created a beautiful casual space there, with beautiful pictures from India, such as the illuminated India Gate in Delhi.
Their menu at this point has three different categories: the appetizers, the kati rolls and the platters. We went twice and the only thing we did not try is the latter. As far as appetizers are concerned, we first tried their Dahi Puri, that are round puffed puri filled with potato, chickpeas, tamarind, spicy chutney and yogurt. This is to be eaten in one bite, otherwise, it will go all over, because of the yogurt. And for sure, one bite can be challenging, some of the puri being slightly big...But then, you get an explosion of flavors in your mouth, both sweet and salty, as well as very refreshing, without forgetting the crispness of the puri itself.
The second appetizer we tried was Papri Chaat, fried dough wafers mixed with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, tamarind, spicy chutney and yogurt. This was also delicious, with a nice underlying refreshing taste and an interesting texture, both soft and crispy, thanks to the fried dough. In term of presentation, it might be more appealing with a bit of tamarind and yogurt on top. Otherwise, I recommend it.
Then, we tried their Kati rolls, these wraps made with indian flatbread (roti) are proposed both vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
Both times we went to Dilli Junction, Jodi got their Paneer Shashlik, a roll made with cottage cheese (paneer) soaked in a marinade (secret family recipe) and served with onions, peppers and tomatoes. They also add their special green chutney for an extra kick. She also added an egg.
She loved it, but, the second time, she forgot to ask for mild as the chutney add more than a kick if you are not used to spicy food. It is a great roll, tasty, even for a non-vegetarian, but I admit that I was looking forward to try their lamb rolls. They have two: the shami kebab and the shish kebab. The shami kebab is a slow cooked lamb mixed with lentils and spices, forming like a patty that had the texture of mashed potatoes.
I liked the taste as the lamb was coming through, but I preferred the shish kebab kati roll, made with lamb marinated overnight, must more flavorful for sure and with a nice char.
I should mention the drinks: mango lassi that was delicious, as well as Aam Panna, a drink made with green mango and mint leaves, prepared fresh. This was an interesting beverage, but a bit too tart for me. Next time, I will go for the mango lassi!
We had two great meals at Dilli Junction and I will certainly go back there. I think it is a good addition to Hoboken culinary landscape and I hope people will not be shy trying something different. The only thing missing on their menu is dessert, so hopefully they will add some soon!
Enjoy (I did)!
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