In Delhi, India, you may walk down the street and be offered a piping hot sweet jalebi dripping with hot sugar syrup, or be enticed by the intoxicating aroma of curries cooking in a back alley dhaba. Wherever you turn in this bustling city, there is a feast for your senses and your belly.
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Delhi will be hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and in preparation for the grand event, the Indian Government is trying to modernise the capital (and get rid of Delhi Belly) by shutting down the 300,000 food stalls that are ubiquitous on its streets. Why is this considered such a tragedy in the making? On a teeming street corner in Chandni Chowk market, in Delhi, Dipankar Das deftly flips a paratha on to a metal plate and piles it high with steaming vegetable curry.Next to him, another street vendor stirs a giant pan of succulent jalebi — bright orange, pretzel-shaped morsels of batter soaked in syrup.For thousands of years, food stalls such as these have been an integral part...