Posted on

Daulat ki Chaat

THE INEXPENSIVE WEALTHY CHAAT

By Prakriti Bhat

As Delhi’s winters give way to the scorching summer heat, we are all left to reminisce about the chilly months that went by. Dilli ki sardi is quite popular for its spine chilling (literally) dip in the temperature that forces you to snuggle inside a cosy blanket with a cup of tea or coffee. However, come winters and Delhites venture out of their homes to gorge on seasonal delicacies like Kadhai ka Doodh, piping hot Jalebis and Gajar Ka Halwa.

But what I, as a foodie, want Delhi to be famous for is Daulat Ki Chaat. A lesser known delicacy available only in winters, Daulat ki Chaat will make you fall in love with it instantly. Available exclusively in old Delhi, it is nothing like your regular chaat that tickles your palate with its spicy and tangy flavor. This one is sweet. Yes, Daulat ki Chaat is a dessert whose job is not to tease but to please! It is extremely light and can be eaten after a heavy meal. Unlike other Chaat items, this one soothes your senses.

Literally translating to ‘The wealthy chaat/snack’, Daulat ki Chaat is a product of hours of toil. The process is quite cumbersome as it takes several hours of manual labour. Milk and cream are churned together for 3-4 hours continuously. This causes a thick layer of foam to accumulate on the top which is carefully removed and collected in a separate dish. To a few parts, saffron is added which lends a yellow colour to it. This large dish (like a gigantic thali) is placed on a wooden stand as customers drop by to devour it.

daulat ki chaat
Daulat ki Chaat

In a plate this foam is taken, both the plain white and the saffron one, which are topped with Khoya and powdered sugar. After trying for 2 months, I finally got to taste this dish. All it took was a spoonful and I instantly knew that I had Nirvana on my plate! The texture is extremely soft. In fact, soft would be an understatement. The frothy texture melts in your mouth and the khoya and sugar make it a sweet and toothsome delight.

From November to mid March, Chandni Chowk hides several vendors of Daulat Ki Chaat in its sly and narrow alleyways. I tried it in two places in Chandni Chowk. One was in Katra Neel, outside Chanda Fashion. Anil Chand Kumar, the vendor prepares every plate with great care and expertise. Anil claims that 40 years ago his dadaji (grandfather) was the first one to bring Daulat Ki Chaat on the streets of Delhi-6. From November to March, he sells Daulat ki Chaat in Katra Neel and the rest of the year he works at his family’s shop- Baba Chaat Corner in Jogiwara, opposite to the Bhairon Temple. He served one plate for 50 rupees.

Another vendor, Hukum Singh stands bang opposite to Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala from 9 a.m. every day. Hukum Singh hails from Moradabad, U.P. and learnt the art of making Daulat ki Chaat from his mamaji (maternal uncle) who has been selling it in Kinari Bazaar since the last 25 years. He started selling Daulat ki Chaat about 9 years ago. With a happy and content smile he says, “The process of churning goes on till about 3-3:30 in the morning. After holi, it becomes too hot for Daulat Ki Chaat as the foam begins to disintegrate. So I go back to my hometown where farming keeps me busy till the next October-November.” Here, one plate was for around 35-40 bucks.

Chandni Chowk has many mouth-watering dishes to offer. But things like Daulat ki Chaat go unnoticed. I hope this dessert does not fade away into oblivion, swallowed by the stiff competition from popular restaurants.

Another article on Daulat Ki Chaat – http://www.delhifoodwalks.com/blog/daulat-ki-chaat/

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Desi Roots

Desi Roots

By Anubhav Sapra

There are very few restaurants in Delhi which have a “pull” factor. Desi Roots seems to be one of them. It is delightful how the dishes are experimented with and yet have their “desipan” intact. Its ambience which has already been talked about a lot is worth mentioning here for its creativity and how it instills a re-learning of the childhood days. It does make you observe how things have changed since then.

Here, you will be greeted with the relaxing sound of a bell. The ambience reminds you of your past especially if you were born in the late ’70s or the ’80s. The wall is painted beautifully with children’s games – which today seem to have been lost somewhere – like lattu, kancha, stapu and many others. I can associate with this very well; I remember how I used to play lattu the whole day under the scorching sun outside my house. Another corner of this place has a trunk that consists of comics like Champak and Chacha Choudhary. Reminding me of my early days again, it gives me immense pleasure to share it here that I had a large number of comics which I used to lend to my friends. I acted like a little librarian, keeping records in a notebook. On the other side of the café, are big milk cans, a sewing table, a coal iron, a headlight of “Humara Bajaj” scooter- all bound to make one nostalgic.

IMG_20150506_131519Coming to food, Desi Roots has an interesting desi menu with a modern twist. The guests are treated to a complimentary medu-vada, which is a dal pakoda served with coconut and mint chutney. It is important to mention here that the staff was very welcoming. Personally, what matters to me more than the food is the warmth with which it is served. On the recommendation of the chef, I started with lamb galauti paate with ulte tawe ka parantha. The galauti kebabs are grounded in to a spreadable paste. Galauti which means ‘melt-in-mouth’ comes with a twist where you relish a ‘bite-sized ulte tawe ka parantha’ with its pate and mint chutney, topping it with some spiced onions for an extra edge.

IMG_20150506_143435After this I had chipotle chicken tikka with avocado raita. The dish was served over a smoldering bed of iron. This was simply delicious; succulent pieces of chicken were perfectly marinated. This was served with thick avocado raita. I was amazed to see ‘kulle ki chaat’ on their menu. This chaat is an Old Delhi specialty and you get it only at a couple of places in Chawri Bazaar, the most famous ones being Hira Lal Chaat Corner and Jugal Kishore Ram ji Chaat Corner. I had the kulles of cucumber and watermelon which were no less than the ones you get in Old Delhi. The kullas were filled with masaledaar chickpeas; the tinge of lemon juice to it was just perfect. I also had deconstructed samosa with aam papad chutney, served with a golgappa. It had four layers of papdi filled with cooked potatoes, dry mango sauce, sev, yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. However, I did not like this dish much.

IMG_20150506_141841In the main course, came a mini toy truck loaded with Ambala Cantt. mutton curry accompanied with tikona parantha, mukka pyaaz with lemon and kumquat achar. I was disappointed with the quality of the mutton since it was a bit chewy for me. However, the curry was flavorful and the paranthas were amazing with their apparent soft and triangular layers. In the vegetarian section, the chef served four different varieties of khichdi – classic, juvar, quinoa, and bajra, in small clay pots and mini pressure cookers. All of them were mild in flavor and tasted more like ghar ka khaana. It was delicious!

IMG_20150506_150915In the desserts, I was served “Jamaulddin ki kheer” famously known as “Bade Miya ki kheer”. Every morning, kheer is sourced from Jamulddin’s shop in Lal Kuan to Saket and served cold. Another dessert which had a nice twist to it was badam halwa– baklava with shrikhand. Shrikhand was sweet and sour in taste and went well with the badam halwa.

Overall, it is a great place to be at where eating is such a visual treat. Treat yourselves with Ambala Cantt. mutton curry, chicken tikka, and the varieties of dishes along with the ambience which is ought to take you down the memory lane.

Address: G-16, Ras Villas Mall, Saket.

Meal for two: ₹ 1200.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

‘CHAT’-TING ALL DAY!

DSC04706

‘CHAT’-TING ALL DAY!

You will not even have to exit the Chawri Bazar metro station and the heady aroma of the dahi – bhalle, papdi and saunth would be there already in your nostrils. It is so overwhelming that it will attract you and you would be left with no option but to join all the people savouring the sweet and sour gol gappe and papdi chat. . Yes! I am talking about the much talked of Ashok Chat Bhandar right outside the Chawri Bazar metro station exit ( Chitli Qabar side) which attracts more than 700 people daily.

The place is almost 70 years old and continues to be one of the favourites among dilliwalas. Though they don’t have a very large menu to choose from, but there are just more than enough options for your tummy! Owned by Mr. Padam Singh, this small chat corner is one of the most successfully run outlet in Old Delhi and being right outside the metro station, its clientele has drastically gone up during the past many years.

Kalmi vada chaat and aloo masala are the most popular snacks served here and the other options available include dahi bhalle, papdi chat, aloo masala, masaledar pani pakodi, kalmi bada chat and gol gappas (with various stuffings). The menu is quite different from the regular chat corners and this makes Ashok Chaat Corner a distinct one among hundreds of Chaatwalas in old Delhi. The prices are not very high and worth the taste.

I had wanted to try the aloo masala and the masaledaar pani pakodi, but it was already finished due to their popularity among the people. Instead, I tried the  kalmi vada chat with papdi. Kalmi vada is a dark brown flat pakoda like thing made of chana daal, gram flour, coriander and other spices. A dough is made of the mixture and cut into small pieces and then the pieces are fried. This delicacy is enjoyed both with coriander chutney as well as part of the chat.

The spicy and crispy kalmi vada with curd and saunth was a flavoursome indulgence. The plate is quite filling and worth the price. The masala sprinkled on the top added to the delish essence. The Kalmi vada chaat would get a 7.5/10 from me. The gol gappas that I tried there were also a hit. The tangy and spicy water was the best part. The freshness of the water is still there in my mouth. I would rate them at 8/10.

DSC04713

 

Almost all the snacks are priced between Rs. 20-60. So the snacking at Ashok Chat Corner won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

There is another good thing about the place that all the things are home made. From the papris and kalmi vadas to the masala, everything is prepared at home by the owner and his family. He resides near his own shop so the transportation of the material is not problematic. All the things are freshly prepared, so you don’t have to worry about the food being stale.

So the next time you visit Nai Sarak to buy your books or stationery, don’t forget to pamper your taste buds with Ashok’s chat.

If you want to know anything further, kindly contact

Mr. Padam Singh – 9811467238

Address (shop) – 3488, Hauz Qazi Chowk, Delhi -110006.

 

Till then, happy burping! J

 

By Kashish ( Foodie Correspondent)

Photo Credit- Piyush Nagpal

 

30th August,2013

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.