A World Heritage Greasy Spoon

Entrance to the canteen at Humayun's Tomb

Entrance to the canteen at Humayun's Tomb

They say you should breakfast like a king. I think we’ve gone one better and found a place to breakfast like a Mughal Emperor.

Our local world heritage site, Humayun’s Tomb, has always been the loveliest spot in Delhi, a tranquil world away from the Sufi pilgrim chaos on our side of Nizamuddin.

Until recently, though, Humayun was definitely on the ‘to do’ list of Delhi’s heritage custodians, with an overgrown charm and lots of potential. Now, following a comprehensive renovation programme by the Aga Khan Humayun’s Tomb has been transformed into a serious rival to the Taj Mahal and for us, a beautiful place for a morning stroll.

The building is immaculate, the lawns manicured and the complicated water channel system restored to full Mughal splendour, but the main reason we’ve been taking advantage of the resident-rate 10 rupee entry charge so much recently is the new canteen.
Tucked between the outside wall of the tomb and the Afsarwala mosque, a tiny bamboo hut sits under the Semal trees.

Anand Singh at the Humayun Tomb canteen

Anand Singh at the Humayun Tomb canteen

The menu is limited – from the floor of the hut Anand Singh rustles up masala omlet and chai – but the service more than makes up for it. Yesterday we asked Mr Singh if he had anything apart from Omlet and he offered to share his own lunch tiffin box.
The other day we were still a bit peckish on the way back home and stopped at the man serving up buttery kulche and chickpeas outside Sunder Nursery. With his engaging moustachioed charm, this particular cyclewala was doing a roaring trade with the Sunder gardeners and local police

mobile chole-kulcha wala

mobile chole-kulcha wala

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