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Poori Sabzi at Rewari Wale and Jindal Refreshment Corner

Poori Sabzi at Rewari Wale and Jindal Refreshment Corner

By Anubhav Sapra

Once upon a time, my friend, Ayush, and I met for a get together. Being great foodies, the discussion soon swung to the direction of food. Starting from Fateh ki Kachori in Civil Lines (that Ayush is quite fond of), we discussed food items with enthusiasm. Then slowly we moved to the quintessential breakfast dishes- poori and bhatura, whereupon he mentioned a poori shop in Shakti Nagar, that makes kofte, but only on Sundays. As the clouds gathered in the sky last Sunday, I gave him a call and in a few minutes, we were inside the shop savouring the pooris.

The name of the shop is Rewari Wale ki Poori Sabzi. Located in Shakti Nagar, it is quite accessible- if you are coming from Roop Nagar, take the first right turn towards Gurudwara Nanak Sahib. After taking the right turn, take the first left turn; keep walking straight and the shop Rewari Lal will be on the left side. The complete address is 24/27, Shakti Nagar, Delhi- 07 ( Mobile- 9999935023). A big cauldron of oil where Halwais are frying the pooris can be spotted easily.

Poori Sabzi
Poori Sabzi with Aloo kofta at Rewari Wale

The pooris at Rewari Wale, were simply made of maida. The sabzi was mix of chole, aloo and methi ki chutney. A spoon of dahi is added over it to mellow down the spices, giving it a tangy taste. Gopal Sweets in Kamla Nagar also do the same. What sets it apart from other poori sabzi walas of delhi are the aloo besan ke kofte. The small balls similar to the size of badi are made only on Sundays. Being a bit spicy, it served as the perfect combination with the poori.

The shop was started 50 years back, by Sees Ram Saini, and is presently managed by father-son, Dharam Singh Saini and Vikram Saini. The shop is open till 3 pm and a plate of poori sabzi is priced at Rs 40. Very close to poori sabzi shop, the Sainis own another shop, which is famous for its khoya burfi and gajar pak.

bedmi poori
Bedmi Poori at Jindal Refreshment Corner

Ayush also introduced me to another popular breakfast joint- Jindal Refreshment Corner, on roshanara road. The shop is right opposite Kunji Lal Jagdish Prasad shop, and is famous for pure milk and lassi. The address is 8438, Roshanara Road, Delhi-07 (Mobile. 9953901089).  Jindal refreshment corner is owned by Brajesh Jindal, Kunji Lal’s brother. Established 40 years ago, they specialize in bedmi poori and kachoris.

Unfortunately, by the time we reached Kunji Lal, the lassis were over. The small size bedmi poori is priced at Rs 20 a plate. I found the sabzi to be better than what we get in other places. The sabzi is, again, a mix of aloo, chole, methi ki chutney, kachalu, and kofta, which keeps changing everyday- palak, urad dal, mooli. The distinctive strong taste of heeng in the sabzi makes it simply delicious.

In the evening, they make samosas. Remembering the old days, Ayush recited the story of how he used to eat Jindal’s samosas on his way back home from school days, not in plates but straight from his hands. Long live his love for kachoris and samosas!

 

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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Aslam Chicken Corner

ASLAM CHICKEN CORNER

ADDRESS-   540, Bazaar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid

PHONE NUMBER- 9312281022 ; 9811469795

TIMINGS- 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

 

Tracing its origins to the 1950’s in the kitchens of the famous Moti Mahal restaurant of New Delhi, the Butter chicken has charmed the taste buds of food lovers all over the world. Many creative adaptations of the original recipe have emerged with varying combinations of spices and cooking styles being put to work in accordance with the tastes and preferences of the diners. Aslam chicken corner lays its claim on a unique interpretation of the butter chicken which has stunned the chicken lovers of the Walled City for the past 18 years.

Aslam Chicken
Real Butter Chicken

In the midst of the chaos that is characteristic of the Old Delhi area, the street lying right across the main gates of the Jama Masjid houses the four-storeyed building of the Aslam chicken corner. The entrance is deceptively small and is made tempting by the alluring display of chicken and fish being cooked slowly on a large chulha. The place does not have a large number of options for the visitor- just chicken and fish dishes with soda and cold drinks. However, the limited options owe mainly to the owner’s knowledge of what ‘Aslam’ does best.

aslam
Aslam Chicken Corner

The butter chicken offered by Aslam’s Chicken Corner is a unique combination of the tandoori chicken and the original butter chicken. The chicken pieces are first marinated in a special combination of spices which remains a well-kept secret of the owners and chefs of Aslam. One would receive nothing more than a proud grin in reply to an enquiry about the specific spices that go into making the lip-smacking dish. The crowning glory of the dish however is the butter gravy which is prepared by mixing a curd-like ingredient with butter. A separate chulha is used to heat large blocks of Amul butter which is then combined with the 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 which perfectly complements the buttery effect of the gravy. The chicken is served in a steel container with a basket of rumali roti- a unique type of thin bread which is known for its softness. The sight of the chicken floating in a pool of butter is a torturous one for the health conscious gym-maniac. However, one is sorely tempted to give in to the overpowering instincts of the uninhibited food lover that lies buried within layers of control enforced by an increasingly weight-conscious society. The extra hours of workout is totally worth the pleasure of biting into the succulent chicken dripping with pure hot butter followed by greedy gulps of cola to wash down the heavy gravy.

Aslam Chicken
Chicken Seekh Kebab

Having succeeded in reserving a special niche in the hearts of chicken-lovers, despite the heavy competition meted out by older and more renowned chains like the Moti Mahal, Aslam’s chicken corner is most definitely an eatery which any non-vegetarian foodie must visit in order to get that one precious taste of this unique interpretation of a well-loved dish. During the visit, do try to take a look at the massive chulhas that are placed on the terrace with hundreds of chicken pieces lying ready to be cooked. If you have a penchant for cooking or are likely to fall into a trance at the sight of marinating chicken, you might as well get enchanted by the view in the open terrace whereby skilled chefs expertly handle the barbecue rods, sending magical drifts of a spicy scent into the busy breezes of Old Delhi. The chatter of the merry passersby and the hypnotic sound of the namaz being read out in the beautiful mosque often combine with this alluring smell to produce a charming atmosphere that dreams are made of.

 

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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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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Gole Hatti

CHHOLE-KULCHE

 Akshita Todi

IMG_20150527_110251
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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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.