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Cool Point

COOL POINT

Address- 973, Bazar Matia Mahal, Matia Mahal Road, Jama Masjid, Matia Mahal, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006

Phone Number- 9953833786, 9350217460

Timings-  12:00a.m. – 11:59 pm

Mango Kulfi
Mango Kulfi

 The scorching summer heat of the Indian Capital is renowned for its capacity to exhaust the most tenacious of tourists. Places like the Cool Point near Jama Masjid provide a most welcome relief from the energy-sapping climate. Sticking close to the obvious implication of its name, Cool Point is an eatery which boasts of a wide variety of sugary sweets, desserts and refreshing drinks which are sure to rejuvenate the exhausted tourist or citizen.

shahi tukda
Shahi Tukda

Established twenty five years ago by Muhammad Zahid, the place is currently managed by his son, Zohaib. It opens at noon and closes just before midnight, offering a world of sweet delight to all those with a perennial or occasional sweet tooth. Cool Point is mainly famous for its Shahi Tukda and Phirni.

Shahi Tukda is a traditional Indian dessert which traces its legacy to the Nawabs of Lucknow. It is made of bread which is deep-fried in pure ghee and then dipped in thick cream and sugary syrup. Layered with khoya, dry fruits and cherries, the dessert is sinfully delicious. The texture is a perfect combination of creamy and softly crunchy. The huge pan that one encounters right at the entrance of Cool Point, keeps warming the shahi tukda on a constantly low flame, luring in a large number of people with this bewitching display.

phirni
Phirni

Phirni is another beloved dessert which is made of milk and crushed rice. Served in clay containers, phirni has a milder flavor as compared to shahi tukda, but is nonetheless mouth-watering. The condensed milk dissolves quickly in the mouth while the soft sweet grains of crushed rice linger on the tongue, ensuring that the flavour of the dish is sufficiently absorbed by the taste buds.

Apart from these items, Cool Point is also known for its kesar milk, badam milk, lassi and mango and vanilla ice cream. All the items are prepared daily with fresh ingredients by the chefs of Cool Point. The desserts and drinks offered by this treasure trove of a place give sweet relief to the tourists after they feast on the heavy and spicy cuisine that Old Delhi is famous for.

 

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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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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Noor- The flickering light of lost recipes of the Mughals

Noor- The flickering light of lost recipes of the Mughals

                                                                                                            Saira Mujtaba

Baat niklegi toh bahot dur talak jayegi… This couplet from the famous ghazal echoes in my head whenever I have a conversation on Mughlai food with someone. The city which was once an epitome of grandeur and royalty, the remnants of its magnificence are still seen in the astounding monuments dotting the city’s skyline. But Mughlai food being a very important part of the city’s royalty seems to have got influenced over time and one can’t really find the authentic taste and aroma that once emanated from the Royal kitchens of Shahjahanabad. Not only the taste of some popular dishes like qorma and biryani has got influenced by traces of other places (Moradabadi biryani being one such delicacy that has fused in the so-called Mughlai platter of Delhi), some of the dishes that were once served to the Royalty are now probably lost…or so I thought. This was the lament that I was living with until Fate made me acquainted with Mohammed Noor who traces his roots to the Royal chefs of Shah Jahan.

Nestled on the bustling road in front of Gate No. 1 of the grand Jama Masjid, Noor’s kitchen is a meek one room with a tandoor in one corner and 2-3 ‘chulhas’ with copper ‘degs’ sending out wafts of aroma into the air that tingle the tastebuds. The soot covered walls of the kitchen withholding so many secrets of lost Mughal recipes too.

_DSC5276Noor stands out from the rest of the Mughlai cuisine chefs as he’s got the knack and art of preparing Mughlai food in his genes, for his forefathers served the Mughals seven generations ago and passed on this culinary magic to their progeny of which Noor is a flickering lamp in the city of glittery lights and glamour. Noor is the man behind the lost recipes of Mughlai kitchens. But in his own words, “ Mujhe English bolna nahi aati (I don’t know how to speak English language), and hence he feels that some big names who hog the limelight and organise food festivals in snazzy hotels exploit his talent and don’t give him much credit.

Noor considers Haji Kallan as his Ustaad. His ancestors used to work under Haji Kallan while serving the Royals and even today Noor is associated with Haji’s family as a part time cook.

Name any dish of the Mughlai cuisine and Noor knows it on fingertips. Ever heard of ‘gosht ka halwa’? Yes, I couldn’t believe that mutton could be served as a dessert as well, but Noor is adept in preparing all these unique dishes.

Kaancha Kofta, Mutanjan-Utanjan, Tumba Biryani, Mutton Barra, murgh musallam- bakra musallam and the list is endless. But it’s a travesty that people like Noor whose fingers possess the magic of preparing exquisite Mughlai foods, have to strive hard to make their presence felt. “Bade bade hotel mein ladke khaana pakaate hain par unke paas hunar nahi hai, sirf degree hai…mere paas hunar hai par degree nahi hai, isi liye main maat khaata hun (All these big hotels employ young boys who don’t have talent but they have degrees….I’ve got talent but don’t have a degree and that’s where I lag behind.)

Noor plans to pass on all the secrets of these lost recipes of Mughlai cuisine to one of his sons, but only time will tell if he will get his due in a world where degree sans true talent and refined English language overshadows real worth.

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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Delhi 6 se 19

Delhi 6 se 19

Street food festival at Singh Sahib, Eros Hotel

By Anubhav Sapra

Singh Sahib at The Eros Hotel is one of the few five star restaurants in Delhi which has a loyal fan following. I visited the hotel on a weekday and the restaurant  was bustling with patrons. I got to know there that the restaurant is hosting a Street Food Festival by the name of Delhi 6 se Delhi 19. The name signifies the food it intends on celebrating : The old Delhi street food which covers the areas of Delhi 6 (Delhi 6 being the postal code of Old Delhi) and Delhi 19 (Delhi 19 being the postal code of Nehru Place).

To exhibit the flavors unique to the old Delhi street food palate, live counters of the dishes have been put up in the ongoing festival. On offer are the popular street food dishes – golgappe, chaat, desi drinks, sweets, kebabs, omelets, biryani and quintessential chhole bhature. The dishes are being served on disposable plates to provide an authentic experience of eating out in the streets.

I began with aloo tikki and papdi chaat. Both of these dishes were made with the right interplay of spices and served with saunth and dhaniya chutney.  Next from the chaat counter, I had golgappas which were served with pudina ka paani (mint flavoured water) and saunth.

After trying small portions of chole bhature, rajma chawal and kadi chawal, my carnivorous drive got me straight to the kebabs and biryani counter though the first iem I tried was egg bhurji. The biryani looked distinct, different from the regular mirch masala biryani which we get on the streets of Jama Masjid. The other mutton biryani was surpassed by any other that I have had. It had tender pieces of meat, cooked in basmati rice which was mildly flavoured.

A lot of effort has gone in to conceptualizing the street food festival; as the presence of a variety of snacks and sweets are ensured. from the Halwai counter. The sweets on offer are balushahi, milk cake, besan laddu, burfi, jalebi, and halwa parantha. I was surprised to see parantha being served with sooji ka halwa. This shows that the Chef has really travelled to the interiors of Old Delhi to bring out the best of the dishes. Halwa and parantha is a popular delicacy in Nizamuddin and Jama Masjid. I have seen evenings in Chitli Qabar, when Halwa Parantha walas on pushcarts cut paranthas into small pieces and serve halwa on them. Although the halwa was a bit sweet for me, I really enjoyed Jalebis which were thin, crisp and slightly flavoured with saffron.

My street food journey ended with a rabri kulfi stick. Indeed, it appeared to be a good attempt to showcase the variety of street delicacies under one roof. The festival is on till 6th August and priced at Rs 1650/- per person without taxes.

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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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Ghaseeta Pehalwan Pakodewala

Ghaseeta Pehalwan Pakodewala

By Anubhav Sapra

It has been my observation that Pehalwans are generally obsessed with food. And due to this inclination, they turn out to be real food entrepreneurs. Majority of them have opened restaurants and food joints across Delhi. I remember, Pehalwan Lassi Wala in Vijay Nagar, who offers their patrons a big glass of lassi with a thick layer of cream on the top, at just Rs 25.  I used to rush to him after examinations at Delhi University. The Lassi was the only respite from the hangover of reading political philosophers day and night. In addition to its cooling effects, it also causes drowsiness and made me sleep for hours after that.

At Churiwalan, in Old Delhi, Pehalwan’s Changezi Chicken is a well known name. The most famous Butter Chicken Shop in Matia Mahal, Aslam Chicken Corner is owned by Aslam Pehalwan. Another shop owned by a pehalwan in Old Delhi – Ghaseeta Pehalwan sells amazing pakodas. Recently, rains became  an excuse for me to visit the pakoda shop to savour some Kalmi Vada Pakoda.

IMG_5390Making one’s way through Paranthewali gali, one can arrive at the junction called Tiraha of Gali Paranthewali, Nai Sadak and Kinari Bazar. There, at the corner of Gali Heeranand is a small shop which tends to attract everyone with the delectable aroma of freshly made pakodas. The shop is famously known as Rajesh Pakodewala where the portrait of Ghaseeta Pehalwan in his traditional attire hangs on its wall. He is the third generation owner of the shop. His grandfather, 70 years ago, was the purana ghaseeta pehalwan. Interestingly, he started a new venture along with his wrestling profession, which was the pakode ki dukaan.

IMG_5389I tried moong ki dal ke pakode and kalmi vadaAlthough the chaat of Kalmi Vada can be found at many chaat joints in Old Delhi, the kalmi vada pakoda is quite rare to find. All the doubts are laid to rest right from the first bite. It is prepared using urad dal, ginger, green chillies, black pepper and other important spices. Kalmi vade ke pakode are made from chana dal. You also get amazing mix pakodas, stuffed with aloo or gobi, at Rs 20 per plate.

The pakodas are served in a dona with dhaniya and amchur chutney and aloo ki sabzi, with a heady aroma of heeng. Heeng is widely used as a substitute for Onion in Old Delhi. So, the ingredients at Ghaseeta Pehalwan’s shop include no onion, no garlic. The pakodas were crisp and fried to perfection. The batter of chickpea flour with spices was a perfect concoction that can be relished at the Pehalwan’s shop.

If you know any food joint owned by a wrestler or a pehalwan, do write to us at delhifoodwalks@gmail.com

 

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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11 Old Delhi Eateries You Must Not Miss This Ramzan

11 Old Delhi Eateries You Must Not Miss This Ramzan

By Anubhav Sapra, Founder, Delhi Food Walks

Published in Huffington Post. Here is the link to the post- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/anubhav-sapra/11-musttry-iftar-eateries_1_b_7685156.html

In the holy month of Ramzan, Muslims from all over the world fast from dawn to dusk to come closer to God. Abstaining from food and drink during the day, the faithful Muslim may eat two meals a day – the pre-dawn suhoor and iftar at dusk.

During iftar, Old Delhi becomes a paradise for food connoisseurs. The lane opposite Jama Masjid – Bazar Matia Mahal – is filled with heady aromas from big heaps of keema samosas, vats of buffalo biryani, grilling botis and kebabs and hot paneer jalebi. To cool down, there are drums filled with Rooh Afza sherbet and dishes of dahi vada.

But with so many choices, where will you find the best feast? Here are 11 of my favourite iftar joints (some essentially nameless and known only by their specialities) in Bazar Matia Mahal.

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1. Kallan Sweets
Studded with framed newspaper cuttings of visits from India’s biggest chefs, Kallan Sweets overlooks one of the gates of Jama Masjid. Started by Mohd. Shaan in 1939, its doors stay open from 7am until midnight, with a break at 2pm to prepare a fresh batch of sweets and snacks for the evening. One of their specialties is the bright orange and thick paneer ki jalebi, which uses a cottage cheese paste in lieu of much of the flour that goes into the more common jalebi. It is extremely popular in Ramzan, along with other festive delicacies such askhoya samosakeema samosa (shaped like gujiya and stuffed with minced meat) and paneer ke pakode.

Address: Shop no. 4-5, Jama Masjid, Gate no. 1, Matia Mahal.

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2. Haji Mohd. Hussain Fried Chicken
Established 40 years ago, this shop has been dishing out fried chicken in Delhi far longer than KFC. I call it JFC – Jama Masjid Fried Chicken. The chicken is first marinated in different spices and chickpea batter, and then half-fried. For maximum crispness, the chicken is cut into small pieces to be fried in huge pan of boiling oil. The end result is crunchy outside, moist and tender inside. It comes served withrumali roti, onions and special tangy masala chutney.

During Ramzan, Haji sa’ab also sells keema goli, which are small balls made out of minced meat, and served with onion and chutney.

Address: 113, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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3. Aslam Chicken Corner
This eatery is famed for its unique interpretation of the butter chicken, and has been a Walled City favourite for 18 years. The cooking technique includes a stint in the tandoor for the chicken before it is bathed in creamy gravy. The chicken pieces are first marinated in a special (and top secret!) combination of spices. A separate chulhas is used to heat large blocks of Amul butter which is then combined with curd and poured generously over the scrumptious chicken pieces. The melted butter seeps into the chicken thereby softening it and the curd lends a tangy taste to the dish and cuts through the butter. The chicken is served in a steel container with a basket of rumali roti.

This Ramzan, Aslam Chicken Corner has also started offering chicken seekh kebabs, with a nice flavour of green chillies and Amul butter.

Address: 540, Bazaar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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4. Kebabs at Qureshi, Lallu Kebabi, Bhaijaan And Kale Baba
The iftar feast is incomplete without kebabs. Right opposite Gate No. 1 Jama Masjid are two well known kebabchis famous for seekh andboti kebabs – Qureshi Kebab Corner and Lalu Kebabe. Both of them make excellent kebabs of buff smeared with Nutralite, onions, and spicy chutney.

The new entrant, Bhaijaan Kebabs in Chitli Qabar sells fibrous shammi kebabs deep fried in oil. Another kebab shop in Sui Walan, Kale Baba ke Kebabs, is popular for their sutli kebabs – these are so soft, they have to be held together with a twine of thread. You actually have to hold the thread tied over the kebab from one end, and it spreads on your plate, when unfolded. Sutli kebabs are served on a green leaf, with radish and mint chutney.

Addresses: Qureshi Kebab Corner and Lalu Kebabe, Opposite Gate No. 1, Jama Masjid; Bhaijaan Kebabs, Shop No. 2202, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Opp. Flora Bakery; Kale Baba ke Kebab, Sui Walan, Chitli Qabar.

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5. Changezi Chicken
Originally established as Hotel Maidah in 1986, the name of the shop was changed to Changezi Chicken in 1990 after their signature dish. Changezi chicken is served in a tangy gravy of yogurt, tomatoes and onion. The chicken is roasted separately in a roast machine by l-Halabi, a brand established in Dubai, and then shredded into boneless pieces by hand before it is put in the gravy. This dish is the brainchild of the founder of the shop, Mohd. Fazil, the Mr Delhi of 1971! You can also have beef biryani, payanahari and a multitude of chicken preparations at the many branches of Changezi Chicken. The restaurant occupies a long stretch on Churi Walan Gali and buzzes with customers during Ramzan as it remains open from 6pm-midnight.

Address: 2614, Churi Walan Jama Masjid, Delhi-06 and 3614, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj.

6. Laung Churey Kebab
A small stall outside the Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar sells something that vegetarians are delighted by: laung churey kebab, made from besan, aata and onion. There are three varieties – fried, kebabs which are soaked in water after frying and long vegetarian seekhs, all of which are made in a small shop nearby. These kebabs are served with chutney of red chillies, amchur, salt and garam masala. The shop was run for 15 years by Mujahid and his son Mohd. Nurshid took over six years ago. For Rs 20 a plate, this is one deal vegetarians cannot pass on.

Address: Outside Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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7. Cool Point
Established 25 years ago by Muhammad Zahid, the place is currently managed by his son, Zohaib. Cool Point is mainly famous for its shahi tukda (bread deep fried in pure ghee and then dipped in thick cream and sugar syrup) and phirni (a mouthwatering dessert of milk and crushed rice served in clay containers). Cool Point is also known for its kesar milk, badam milk, lassi and mango and vanilla ice cream.

Address: 973, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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8. Nawab Qureshi’s watermelon shake
A much frequented food cart or thela belongs to Nawab Qureshi, originally from Uttar Pradesh, who sells a refreshing drink during the hot summer months (he sells fruit in winter). Fondly called “Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa” (affection, love, fun), this drink costs just ₹ 10 per glass, and is indeed filled with love and fun. The pink concoction is made from fresh Amul milk (cartons of which are stacked on top of each other in his cart) and Rooh Afza, a typical drink of the summers. Qureshi adds a twist to this by adding freshly cut watermelon cubes for crunch and a fresh taste.

Address: Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa is available all summer long at Nawab Qureshi’s stall in front of 1149, Matia Mahal, near Jama Masjid, Delhi-110006.

9. Ameer Sweet House
Ameer Sweet House, decorated with pictures and framed articles about its founder, has been selling sweet and savoury food for about 100 years. Managed by Haji Zafruddin, the shop sells special dishes like keema and khoya samosa during Ramzan, from 4-7pm. You will find mouthwatering sweets like balushahibesan ke ladduchamcham and gulaab jamun , as well as chhole bhature and pakoras.

Address: 957, Haveli Azam Khan, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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10. Pehalwaan Biryaniwale
Pehalwaan Biryaniwale, also known as Biryani Mirch Masala, is right opposite Ameer Sweet House in Haveli Azam Khan. The owner, Haji Mohd. Anwar, opens up at 5pm and sells biryani right until 2am. He also sits outside in Chitli Qabar Chowk for an hour in the night. The meat, marinated in salt and chillies, is cooked separately and added to the rice. After adding masala, the dish is cooked on low heat (on dum) in a big tub covered with cloth. This type of biryani does not need complementary dishes like raita and the smell itself is enough to make your stomach growl.

Address: Shop no. 701, Haveli Azam Khan, Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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11. Gur ka Sharbat at Pahadi Imli
A small shop in the corner of Moholla Pahadi Imli sells a novel and refreshing drink: gur ka sharbat. The jaggery is brought from Ajmeri Gate Market and is kept soaked in water in a big container. The brass spoon used to mix the two is as old as the shop itself, which was established in 1947. Akhil Ahmed, the son of a watch-seller in front of Fatehpuri Masjid, has seen the price of this drink go up from 1 paisa to ₹ 5 a glass. The shop opens at 8am and serves the drink until stocks last.

Address: Corner of Pahadi Imli, Chitli Qabar, Bazar Matia Mahal.

Pictures by: Yatin Arora, Kusha Saini

Delhi Food Walks organizes food expeditions to relish the food culture of Delhi and interact with the fellow food enthusiasts. For details, visit our Facebook page. And if you wish to join DFW’s Ramzan (Iftar/Sehri) Walk, e-mail us at delhifoodwalks@gmail.com.

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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Sardar ji ke Poori choley

Sardar ji ke Poori choley

By Anubhav Sapra 

Despite the proximity of Daryaganj to Chawri Bazar and Chandni Chowk, the way food is prepared in these areas differ. While the food is mildly spiced in Daryaganj, in Delhi 6 it is hot and high on spices. Delhi Food Walks conducted its Sunday breakfast walks in these three places, and the highlight of the one at Daryaganj was Sardar ji’s Chole poori.

IMG_20150516_110704The shop was started by late Nand Singh ji and is currently being run by his son Kuku Singh. Originally from Rawalpindi, the family migrated to Delhi after the partition and shifted the shop to the current address on Ansari Road, Daryaganj, twelve years back. One can identify the shop by the board outside which reads, “Jeha Caterers” however the shop is well – known as Sardar ji ke poori choley ki dukan in Daryaganj.

At Sardarji’s shop, the menu changes as the day progresses. It starts with Poori Sabzi, offers rajma and kadi chawal in the afternoon and in the evening serves traditional snacks such as – samosa, kachori and jalebi.

IMG_20150516_105015This famous Sardar ji’s shop is proud of serving Punjabi poori. It is different from the regular Bedmi poori available in other places in Old Delhi. The dough of Bedmi poori, is made up of wheat and is coarse in texture. Whereas, the dough of Sardar ji’s punjabi poori is a mixture of wheat flour, white flour, ghee and salt. It is stuffed with urad dal ki pitthi (paste of yellow lentils), saunf (fennel seeds), jeera (cumin seeds), red chilies and the hing ka paani (asafetida water) and is deep fried in oil. The mixture of all the spices especially hing leaves the poori light and crisp and does not have any after effects like heart burn.

The aloo chole sabzi is mild in spices without onion, garlic and tomatoes. The sabzi is cooked in curd with masalas. The gravy of the sabzi is thick in texture and simply outstanding in taste : not too spicy, not too bland.

A plate of poori sabzi is accompanied with sitaphal ka achar (pumpkin pickles), sliced onions and methi ki chutney (fenugreek chutney). In winters, the pickles served are of gobhi and gajar (cauliflower and carrots). The pickles are also mild and light flavoured.

Apart from Poori choley, Sardarji’s shop also offers sweet malai lassi which is served in a kulhad and besan ke laddu. You can wash down the Poori choley with these if you find it spicy.

Cost of one plate Poori choley : Rs 30

Contact number of the shop owner : 9717031008

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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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.
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Karim’s

A ROYAL AFFAIR

By Prakriti Bhat

karimsWalking through the serpentine lanes of Old Delhi, one comes across the hustle and bustle of life with people setting up their shops and getting ready for the day. Butchers, hardware shops, stationary stores, etc open their shutters to the world keeping up their promises of quality products at wholesale prices. Cars, rickshaws, autos, scooters, e-rickshaws, all try to squeeze their way through the narrow streets. The shouts of shopkeepers, the jingling of rickshaw bells, the chatter of people; they all have a music of their own and add to the charm of Old Delhi. But a trip to the walled city is simply incomplete without a visit to the famous Karim’s. Known worldwide for its Mughlai food and amiable service, Karim’s boasts of a rich cultural and culinary history.

Rewind to the Mughal era. The Mughal emperors would constantly go out on wars to secure their position in the sultanate. Since years, the royal cook would prepare meals under the aegis of the Mughal queens and kings but with the onset of British rule, the Mughal Empire came to an end. When the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled, the royal cook (whose descendants are now running Karim’s) had to leave the durbar and look elsewhere for a job. In 1911, at the time of coronation of King George V, Haji Karimuddin moved to Delhi with an idea to open a small dhaba to cater to the guests coming from all over the world. He set up a little stall outside the towering Jama Masjid and his menu only consisted of a humble combination of aloo ghosht and daal served with roti. In 1913, Haji Karimuddin set up the Karim’s Hotel in Gali Kababian, right opposite to Jama Masjid and today it is a prominent eatery in the capital city.

Bringing royal food to the common man’s plate at a nominal rate has been the main objective of Karim’s. The family continues to conjure up delectable dishes, each with a closely guarded secret. It is a 5 minute rickshaw ride from the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station. The rickshaw drops you right in front of Jama Masjid from where you have to enter one of the many alleyways. Meandering through the narrow lane, a whole new world opens up in the form of Karim’s. It’s hard to imagine how such a big place can exist at the end of such a constricted gali. They have 3-4 sections to serve the heavy crowd that starts pouring in from morning itself. The staff is dedicated and affable and the service is quite efficient. Going against the popular notion of Old Delhi being an unhygienic place, the restaurant also scores high on hygiene.

1395857_546954232055129_791945401_nI went to this place with some NRI relatives who had heard a lot about its culinary delights and rich history. The place works at its own rhythm as the cook stirs the steel pots at a steady pace over burning coal and not fire. We ordered Chicken Burra, Mutton Burrah, Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Mutton Kebabs, Sheermal and Mutton Korma. The Chicken and Mutton Burrah were well marinated and slightly charred on the surface. The Biryani was cooked in a typical Mughlai manner with less spice which worked well for my relatives. The meat was succulent. Mutton Korma was a dish of mutton served with a red curry which satiated our taste buds. This we ate with a flatbread called Sheermal which is a specialty here. The Mutton Kebabs were my favourites. Juicy and delicious, they took ‘yummy’ to another level altogether. Other popular dishes here are Badam Pasanda, Chicken Mughlai and an exclusive entrée called Tandoori Bakra which has to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Zaeemuddin Ahmed is the restaurant’s director and a representative of the family to have worked here. Numerous generations have come and gone but the standard of their food remains unchanged. Karim’s may have opened numerous branches all over Delhi like Gurgaon, Noida, Nizamuddin and Saket, placed in swanky malls and modern markets. But for the most genuine, best and truest experience one must visit its original branch near Jama Masjid, where the saga began. It has definitely put Old Delhi on the world map by offering a satisfying meal to people from all across the globe. People can experience the richness of Mughal Durbar by digging into their food. At the end of Gali Kababian awaits a magical world of gastronomic delights.

Location- 16, Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid

Cost for two- 850 (approx)

Contact no. – 01123264981

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.