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Gole Hatti

CHHOLE-KULCHE

 Akshita Todi

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Gole Hatti ke Chole Kulche

Despite the crude line of political tension that divides the nations of India and Pakistan, it is impossible to negate the centuries-old shared culture that constitutes the throbbing centre of the societies that thrive in both the nations. The chhole-kulche that is served in traditional North-Indian and Pakistani style allows the youth to get a taste of the times when the subcontinent was united. The chhole are cooked in a special mix of spices which are prepared by the chefs in their own kitchens by grinding the raw materials into fine powder. The smell of garlic and onions, while they are sautéed in huge frying pans in liberal quantities, is sure to tease the passerby’s nostrils and invite one to get just a taste of this North-Indian specialty. The chhole are served with slices of carrot and tamarind chutney which has a sweet and sour flavour. The gravy is cooked without any oil, rendering it healthy while being delicious at the same time. It has a subtle taste tinged with the smell of bay leaves, cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Unlike the popular renditions of this dish, the chhole are not very spicy and the gravy is delightfully light and flavoursome. The kulche that are served with the chhole are light, fluffy white breads made of flour dough with baking powder. They are baked in large quantities in traditional ovens which are unwieldy in their sizes. A food-lover can well imagine the delight of tearing into the soft pieces of the kulcha and dipping it into the scrumptious gravy of the tender chhole.

Along with chhole-kulche, other popular Lahori-Amritsari dishes include Chhole-palak-chawal, Palak-paneer-chawal and dahi-bhalla. The chawal is not just plain rice. It is an aromatic dish whereby the rice is drenched in pure ghee and then flavoured with bay leaves, cloves, pepper, cinnamon and dry fruits. It is tossed with vegetables like peas and carrots and also with fried cubes of cottage cheese. This pulao is then served with varying combinations of gravy and side-dishes to suit the preferences of the diners. The dahi bhalla is soft and has a perfect blend of tangy and sweet flavours.

That the partition of the nation could never bring about a divide in the lifestyle preferences of those living on either side of the border, is exemplified marvelously by the Lahori-Amritsari dishes that are lovingly prepared in food joints established by Pakistani immigrants in Old Delhi.

Gole Hatti, which was established in 1954 by Shri Nathuram Kamboj, is once such food joint. They pack their dishes in clay containers for home delivery as they believe that the plastic containers are unable to preserve the authentic taste and smell of the food. The shop sticks close to tradition, to the point that the managers continue to use the ancient model of the telephone with the ring-dialer. The menu is small and the chefs prepare the food in an open kitchen. The shop earns its name from the circular shape of its structure due to its location at the turn of the main road. It is currently managed by J.P. Kamboj and Karthik Kamboj.

Address- 2, 3, 4 Church Mission Road, Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi- 110006

Phone number- 011 2252 0321

Timings- 11:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.

 

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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Bhaiya Lal’s Pineapple Burfi

Bhaiya Lal’s Pineapple Burfi

By Anubhav Sapra

 Being a self confessed sweets addict, I am constantly looking out for sweet shops. Some of my favorite sweet shops in Chandni Chowk are – Chaina Ram in Fatehpuri Chowk for Karanchi halwa and sev badam, Hajari Lal Jain in Kinari Bazar for rabri and khurchan, Ghantewala near Fountain Chowk for sohan halwa, Tewari brothers near Town Hall for motichur ke laddu, Annapurna Sweets opposite Seeshganj Gurudwara for Bengali sweets and of course, Dariba Kalan’s famous jalebi.

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I was walking down the Dariba street when I spotted a mithai wala selling varieties of colorful mithais beautifully decorated with chandi vrak in separate trays. These trays were laid on the stairs of one of the Jewellery shops in Dariba Kalan. The owner, Naresh Kumar evenly spread sheets of edible chandi varak over the sweets, sprinkled pistachios burada, and covered the sweets with nets to keep flies away.

Naresh Kumar sells the sweets opposite Gali Kunjas in Dariba Kalan between Ramtaur Jewellers and Swastik Jewellers shop from 5 pm onwards. He learnt the art of making sweets from his father, who is well-known as Bhaiya lal. Bhaiya lal started the sweet shop in his name in 1936 at Shop no. 3459, Hauz Qazi, Subzi Market and Naresh Kumar took over in 1962. He has been selling the same variety of sweets.

IMG_20150530_174602The menu consists of Bengali mithai Rasbhari, Parmal stuffed with khoya, cham cham, lauki burfi, Pineapple burfi, nariyal burfi. All the sweets are prepared in a more or less similar way – with khoya as the main ingredient. All of them costs Rs 400/- kg. The sweets are weighed by using a tarazu (balance scale).

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What intrigued me most was the Pineapple burfi, which I had tasted for the first time at this sweets shop. It turned out to be excellent because it was just the right amount of sweet. It was prepared adding pineapple syrup to roasted khoya.Another Bengali sweet, Rasbhari which are small rasgullas were different from the ones we usually get. Rasbhari was not soaked in sugar syrup, it was dry from the outside and the centre was filled with thickened sugar syrup so that as soon as one bites into it their mouth fills with the sweet syrup. Other sweets, cham cham, lauki burfi, and nariyal burfi were equally amazing.

 I am delighted to add Bhaiya Lal’s sweets to my list of favorite Sweets shops in Chandni Chowk!

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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GIANI’S

 

GIANI’S

ADDRESS: Church Mission Road, FatehPuri, Delhi- 110006

CONTACT NO: 9210318644

For all the figure conscious people, let me tell you Old Delhi is not the place for you. Why so? Let me tell you!

An abode of the heavenly gods of taste, delicacy and food!This is what Old Delhi is all about.Simply after every 5-6 shops in the area, you will find an eating joint. Your shopping can never be complete without munching some or the other street food here. You will walk for a metre or two and you will find chaat- waalas, kachoris, jalebis and so much more all around the place.

Chandni Chowk shopping area is one such place where you can’t help but dig in some great food. From sweets to snack, it has it all. Giani’s food corner is a small eatery en route Fatehpuri. One has to turn right from the T-point at Shahi Majid, Fatehpuri. This outlet is the original Giani’s and it has many branches all across Delhi. Giani’s originally started as an ice cream corner, but now they have extended their menu to Chole Bhature, Chole Chawal, Lassi and a few more things. Not a very long menu to choose from though, but whatever the joint offers, it is worth it.

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The most popular thing offered her is the rabri falooda, which is actually vermicelli floating in rabri and a lot of crushed ice in a large glass.

I started my meal with a plate of lip-smacking chole bhature and with a glass of lassi. The bhature were crispy outside and soft inside. They were stuffed with little paneer(cheese) and that certainly added to the taste. The chole were not very good, they were a little undercooked. Lassi was served in a kulad, i.e. a container made of mud. The lassiwas outstanding, with the thick layer of cream on it and the smooth texture. It was cold with the perfect amount of sweetness.

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For those who have a sweet tooth, there is more that Giani’s offer. You can choose to have ice cream or Rabri Falooda or both for that matter! I preferred the much talked about rabri falooda, which was nothing less than heavenly. They give a big glass full of rabri. Rabri “is a sweet, condensed milk based dish made by boiling the milk on low heat for a long time until it becomes dense and changes its colour to pinkish. Sugar, spices and nuts are added to it to give it flavour. It is chilled and served as dessert”.

The prices, like most restaurants in Old Delhi are economical. The chole bhature cost around Rs. 60 per plate, the lassi is around Rs.30 and the rabri falooda cost nearly Rs.60. A nice and filling meal for two can be had within Rs.400.

The ambience is not very luxuriant, but a decent one. It can get a 7/10. The chole bhature would certainly get a 7.Lassi was 10/10 for me. The creamy texture is still there in my mouth. And the rabri falooda of course, it would score an 8.5 on my scorecard.

The overall experience was good, but I would highly recommend the rabri falooda for all the sweet lovers.

Happy eating!

 

Foodie Correspondent:Kashish Badar

Photo Credit:PiyushNagpal

 

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.