Open-air Markets in Delhi

Subzi is the common Hindi word for vegetables. Your local subzi mandi or open-air vegetable market is the best place to get fresh vegetables in Delhi. In upscale locations popular with expats, the vendors will often stock a few select vegetables not common in Indian cuisine, such as broccoli, rocket (rucola), and bell peppers.

Fresh dairy products, including milk, yoghurt, ice cream and probiotic milk drinks, can be purchased from the state-owned Mother Dairy. It has outlets in all residential areas.

INA Market (Aurobindo Marg, north of AIIMS) is another place to buy fresh “exotic vegetables” (such as asparagus and artichokes) and imported ingredients. Hop into any of the stalls and you are likely to find the shop-boy conversing animatedly in a foreign language (many have even mastered spoken Japanese) with an equally excited customer. Many of the shops inside the covered part of the market accept credit and debit cards, although the vegetable vendors generally won’t. Most of the shops in the market are open daily from around 10AM to 10PM.

For seasonal fruits and vegetables at reasonable rates, head to the Sarojini Nagar Vegetable Market. At first you will be astonished by the din in the market—vegetable vendors shout at the top of their voice to attract customers, some sing in a rhyming way to attract customers, a cow might get into the market and disrupt the shopping. But with a little practice you will soon be haggling with the vendors.

Vegetables are displayed in heaps and priced by the weight and bargaining is a norm if you are buying large quantities of produce. Most vegetable markets are open seven days a week, from sunrise to around 9pm. Make sure to carry cash as these traders will not accept other forms of payment (except at select shops at INA Market).