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HAZARI LAL JAIN KHURCHAN WALE

HAZARI LAL JAIN KHURCHAN WALE

By Akshita Todi

ADDRESS- 2225, Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi,

TIMINGS- 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Sundays half day)

 

As I ventured into the winding streets of Chandni Chowk- Delhi’s throbbing market center which was first established during the Mughal rule, I experienced an overwhelming impact of the old Delhi charm. It was a bright summer morning, and the shops at Kinari Bazaar had not opened up yet, rendering the market quiet and unpeopled- a state which is diametrically opposite to its usual crowded, bustling atmosphere. Sequestered within the quiet narrow streets, a lone sweets’ shop was buzzing with activity, infusing the air with the smell of sweet condensed milk.

555547_337747299642491_1117331318_nThe shop was established in Kinari Bazar by the late Mr. Hazari Lal Jain 76 years ago and is currently managed by his son- Mr. Sunil Jain. It specializes in a variety of traditional milk-sweets like khurchan, malai laddoo, rabri, kalakand and gulab jamun. It also sells samosas with a filling made of a combination of peas, cashew nuts and raisins, as opposed to the usual potato filling for this is considered to be healthier. The shop is tiny and allows space for two stoves where large quantities of milk are boiled and condensed while 3-4 lungi clad men constantly engage themselves in the process of preparing the dishes. One of these men- Mr. Kalyan Singh- who has been working here for the past 26 years volunteered information about the shop freely, taking great interest in telling us about the preparation method for the shop’s speciality- Khurchan (meaning scrapings in hindi).

 IMG_20150527_091000Khurchan is prepared by boiling milk for around 1- 1.5 hours. While the milk is boiling, the men use a thin twig to scrape off the layer of malai from the surface repeatedly. These scrapes are then layered with powdered sugar in a metal container. Khurchan has a very soft texture and the powdered sugar causes it to melt in one’s mouth. 3.5 liters of milk are required to prepare 0.5 kg of khurchan. The shop prides itself on using undiluted buffalo’s milk for making and selling dishes which form an essential part of the country’s traditional cuisine.

In the end, Mr. Singh decided to impart to me a precious few words of wisdom about my responsibility to the nation as an aspiring writer while he skillfully pulled out the malai off the surface of the boiling milk. His words brought home the reality of our country’s cultural condition whereby, men like him who strongly hold on to their tradition and make a living by selling the taste of this beloved tradition are simultaneously capable of an amazing sense of adaptability which allows them to endorse the idea of a strong nation with powerful women writers.

 

 

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.