Calcutta Chaat Corner
By Anubhav Sapra
Where – 94-A, Kamla Nagar, next to Yadav Namkeen Shop, behind Brijwasi Rasgulle wala lane
Ring them at – Vinod (9716161330), Pramod (9540672310)
It has been a while since I last wrote. Caught up in the hustle bustle of life, my writing took a backseat. But, one short trip to this delectable chaat corner in Kamla Nagar tempted me to get back to my computer.
Being majorly populated by the Baniya and Marwari community, most of which are vegetarians, Kamla Nagar is a hub of varied vegetarian delicacies.
In my college days, I remember, I used to frequently visit Brijwasi restaurant, where all the dishes, ranging from appetizers like tikkis and samosas, to rajma and kadi are cooked without onion and garlic. Another small eatery near the gol chakkar – ‘Miglani Dhaba’ created a blast in our taste buds with their paneer bhurji and dal fry, with soft tawa rotis, bringing us a tasty escape from the torturous culinary experience at the hostel mess.
The other day, as I walked around the by-lanes of Kamla Nagar in search of new hunger joints or addas, I stumped across a small eatery by the name ‘Calcutta Chaat Corner’, serving puchkas, masala toast, kacha sandwich, aloo chaat, churmur, jhalmuri, munglet and some super interesting drinks like masala thumbs-up, rose soda and soda shikanji. The best part? All the dishes range from Rs 20/- to Rs 60/-
The shop is co-owned by Mr. Vinod and Mr. Pramod, who used to work in the same shop 15 years ago as employees, and later took it over from the owners 8 years ago.
The puchkas are a bit different from the regular gol gappas. Puchkas are made of wheat flour, and are filled with a spicy mixture of mashed potatoes and kala chana, and topped with tamarind water, while gol gappas are mostly made up of semolina or only wheat flour.
Even though gol gappas have their own charm, puchkas seem to have made a special place in my heart. As mentioned, puchkas are filled with masala aloo chana and served with imly ka paani, giving a real punch to the taste buds. Another unique variety of puchkas that we encountered were onion puchkas – where chopped onions are added to the normal aloo masala, giving it an oomph factor.
After the delicious puchkas, I moved on to the next popular snack of Bihar and Calcutta, churmur– which is a sort of hybrid of puchkas and aloo chaat. It’s a tangy, crunchy and sweet concoction featuring chickpeas, tamarind water, boiled potatoes, crushed puchkas, green chillies, and black chana. Quite the delicacy!
Another dish that made us drool at Calcutta Chaat corner was the kacha sandwich. First, a piece of brown bread is cut into 6 small pieces. Then a mixture of sev puri is spread evenly over the bread. Finally, this is garnished with small pieces of coconut and coriander leaves.
The pieces of bread are cut such that they fit into the mouth perfectly. The soft bread and the crispy masala sevpuri with the tangy sauce makes it a combination like no other.
In the drinks, I ordered the most unusual sounding masala thumsup served in a big lassi kulhad. In a shaker, thums-up is mixed with masala – mainly a mix of grounded cumin seeds and black salt with some lemon juice, giving it a very different flavour.
With the appetizing variety, coupled with the pocket friendly prices, I am sure Calcutta Chaat Corner will emerge as a hot favourite among the students of Delhi University, who are always looking for an affordable yet scrumptious destination to eat at.