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Bhaijaan Kebabs

Bhaijaan Kebabs

By Anubhav Sapra

Last Sunday, Delhi Food Walks conducted its first community food walk of 2015 – the Kebab and Biryani Trail in Old Delhi. The food walk started with galouti kebabs and ended with the famous sutli kebabs of Bazar Matia Mahal. The highlight of the kebab trail was Bhaijaan Kebabs. The name of the shop itself will arouse the curiosity of anyone visiting the shop. When I first visited the shop, I was expecting a well-built, husky fan of the Bollywood star Salman Khan. However, I met the rather gracious owner, Mohd. Shamim, who started selling kebabs three years back just out of his passion and love for kebabs. The shop is run by his son, Ubaid, and his cousins, Javed and Ameen.

WP_20150110_18_43_17_ProLet me tell you the location and directions to reach his shop. Keep walking straight in Bazar Matia Mahal until you reach Chitli Qabar Chowk, then take a right turn from there, and ask anyone the directions to the famous Flora Bakery. Bhaijaan Kebabs are right opposite Flora Bakery. The complete address is shop no. 2202, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Opp. Flora Bakery, Delhi-6. The shop is closed on Tuesdays. You can contact Bhaijaan Kebabs on the following numbers – 9811020272, 9899145777.

The shop is named Bhaijaan (literally, brother) Kebabs because the age difference among the siblings in Mohd. Shamim’s family was not much and everyone in the family started calling him “bhaijaan”. Bhaijaan, originally a contractor for painting work, used to invite his family and friends for daawat back at home. His kebabs were so delectable that the guests who tasted his kebabs in dawaats convinced him to take his passion of cooking to the next level and open a kebab shop. He opened a small shop selling chicken shami kebabs in a narrow alley in Chitli Qabar.

WP_20150110_18_31_22_ProAn interesting part of the most of food joints in Old Delhi is that they specialize in a particular dish and pass the recipes from one generation to the next without tweaking the recipes. Keeping alive the Old Delhi tradition, Bhaijaan Kebabs sells only one kind of kebabs – shami kebabs. The keema of shami kebabs are made with chane ki daal, dried red chillies, green chillies, and Bhaijaan’s secret spices. A piece of kebab costs Rs. 10 and a kg of keema for shami kebabs is Rs. 200. The kebabs are half fried and kept in a glass box. On order, the shami kebabs are deep fried, chaat masala is sprinkled over it, and is served with green chutney and onion in a dona. The kebabs are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The uniqueness of his kebabs are the fibres which one can experience in the first bite. The taste of the kebabs was delicious, and the spices and whole red chillies added to the interesting mix of flavours.

The kebab lovers moved in to another lane of Chitli Qabar for sutli kebabs after relishing the taste of Bhaijaan’s fibrous shami kebabs.

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.
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Ever heard of a Gajar Parantha?

Ever heard of a Gajar Parantha?

By Kashish Badar

Paranthewaligali

It’s a rare site to see a woman managing a restaurant in Old Delhi, but I was lucky enough to witness it myself. Owning one of the most famous shops in Paranthe Wali Gali, Mrs. Sakun Sharma is a middle aged woman handling Babu Ram Devi Dayal Paranthe Wale.

Set amidst the hustling and bustling locality of Chandni Chowk, Paranthe Wali Gali, as the name suggests, is a hub for parantha (Indian flatbread) lovers. There are almost ten shops in the street which specialise in different types of paranthas. Out of these shops, almost half are owned by Mrs. Sharma’s extended family’s members. Not all of these shops serve paranthas though; one of them is a sweets shop having khurchan,lassi (churned curd) and other sweets on their menu.

The shop was established in 1889 according to the board outside, but Mrs. Sharma claims that it is much older than that. The shop belongs to her in-laws and she is the sixth generation handling this work. She feels proud to tell me that!

I had gone there with family, so we ordered a variety of paranthas ranging from the plain parantha to the mixed vegetable parantha.  The shop has a large variety to offer. Banana parantha, lemon parantha, parat parantha, bhindi parantha, kaju parantha,karela parantha and so much more. You just have to name it and they have it. We ordered a paneer parantha and badaam parantha to start with. While two men prepared them for us, one boy served us thalis each. The thali had aloo subzi, sitaphal subzi, aloo matar, pickle and saunth in it. The saunth had slices of banana floating in it. We were served the paranthas a little later. Let me tell you a very interesting thing about these flatbreads. Unlike the usual paranthas which are pan fried on a tava, these paranthas are deep fried in a pan of hot ghee/ oil.

We were served the badaam parantha first which had a filling of chopped almonds, salt and red chilli flakes. It tasted fine with the sweet saunth. But the different elements in the parantha could have blended together better. After the badaam parantha, we had the parat parantha (layered parantha). It had thin layers of wheat inside which could be separated easily. This looked interesting to me. Though it did not have any stuffing, but it tasted well with the rabri that we had ordered. We also had a mixed vegetable parantha. It had chopped cauliflower, chillies, potato and a few other vegetables in the stuffing. Our paneer parantha and plain parantha were served soon. These paranthas tasted well with the aloo subzi (dry) and the pickle. There’s one more thing that always manages to add flavour to the north Indian cuisine and that is lassi.  We north Indians just love this combination of paranthas and lassi.

Aloo parantha was last on our plate and I liked it second to the paneer parantha. The other paranthas had too much salt in them. Though the paranthas were golden brown and crisp but the stuffing in most of them was not up to my expectations. The subzis provided along the paranthas were fine but nothing exceptional, but I really liked the paneer parantha and parat parantha with the rabri. I would certainly recommend you to try it.

I would rate the badaam parantha 5/10, the paneer parantha 7/10, aloo parantha 7/10 and the mixed vegetable parantha would only get 4/10 due to the salt.

The paranthas  cost between Rs. 30- Rs. 60. So it is not an expensive deal. You can try out the other stuffings and probably ask the man who prepares them to add salt according to your taste.

A meal for two can be had within Rs. 200 – Rs. 300 very easily. Mrs. Sakun Sharma also told me that all her paranthas are equally popular.

From my personal experience, I would say that Paranthe Wali Gali  is slightly over rated. The variety they offer is the only attractive factor, but the taste and quality can certainly be made better. I think they can expand the variety by introducing non vegetarian paranthas. This will be a great addition on their menu.

With all the popularity and fame that Paranthe Wali Gali enjoys, it is worth a visit for all those who don’t hesitate in experimenting with their food.

And yes! Don’t dare to ask the recipe of your favourite parantha from Mrs.Sakun Sharma because she is quite secretive about it. She will look at you and say “Kuch cheezein bataane ke liye nahi hoti!”

Photo Credit- Piyush Nagpal

 

 

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.