>> Bikanervala | Eat the World NYC

21 February 2020



You would not know it when you see the bright colors and modern logo, but Bikanervala has over 100 years of history all going back to a simple shop that sold sweets and namkeen. That shop was just east of the present-day border with Pakistan in the small city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. The company now has almost 100 stores around the world and ships everywhere.

After expanding to Delhi in the 1950's and blowing up through the next few decades, the shop has stuck to its principles for the most part, still excelling with a good selection of sweets and namkeen. The menu has expanded somewhat, with more filling meal options, and the next time you are in Hyderabad, you can even stay at the boutique hotel that the company opened in Banjara Hills.

Pea samosa plate ($2.99, hard pass)

Despite its gloss, Bikanervala still sticks to an informal format. Small portions are served on disposable paper plates. Plastic cutlery is provided nearby. Place your order at the counter and wait for the robotic voice to call your number and say "Please take the meal."

While waiting, browse through their packaged goods section, just a taste of what you can have shipped just about anywhere in case you ever find yourself long distances from a branch.

At a normal dinner time, the bird's nest-like wonder tokri chaat was unavailable but the cashier recommended raj kachori ($7.99, above) as a stand-in. This worked pretty well, with all the flavors and crunchy textures you need from chaat. While in other parts of India, kachori is a spicy snack on its own, in Delhi it is usually served as a chaat dish, the namesake on top as a sweetened wet bread to add another layer than usual.

Having noticed the nightly special of a paneer kati roll, and many other dishes including cheese, this dairy product seemed to be a theme of the offerings. In this spirit and as a reason to get some naan ($2.99, below back), a bowl of paneer butter masala ($9.99, below) was added.

The butter masala had a nice and proper amount of heat to it and hit the spot, although the thin naan was unfortunately a bad companion. It will probably be a more wise move to stick to namkeen dishes on future visits and supplement these with orders from the large sweets case.

After all, this is the bread and butter of Bikanervala.

Bikanervala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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