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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
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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Ashwini ji ke Peepey wale Chole Kulche

Ashwini ji ke Peepey wale Chole Kulche

By Anubhav Sapra

IMG_20150730_141726I remember, once while reading the newspaper I came across this article which said that there are almost 250 cafes and restaurants in Connaught Place. Many come and shut down after some time and the shutters remain unnoticed. In midst of that, there are a few street food joints selling amazing dishes uninterruptedly for many years. One of them is Ashwini’s chole kulche (Mob. 9953085746) at the corner of MCD’s Anti Malaria office. The location might not sound attractive but his chole indeed is worth relishing.

It was Ashwini’s father, Late Prakash Sharma who set up this shop in CP. Ashwini ji used to accompany his father every day and assist him. In 1988, while he was pursuing the graduate program from Delhi University, his father passed away and he took over the shop to make both ends meet .From 1988 to 2007, the Committee staff was against him for running this shop. However, he filed a case in court and eventually got the permission to operate his shop.

IMG_20150730_135357Interestingly, the chole is cooked in Lahori style, without oil. The chane is boiled in ghee ka kanaster and then homemade spices are mixed into it. It is famously known as Peepee wale (cans of ghee)chole as the chole is boiled for almost 5 hours  in empty ghee cans on slow wood fire. The can is changed every 15 days as “the quality of the cans is not up to the mark as it used to be” remarks Ashwini ji.

The shop is open from 12 noon to 4 pm. Ashwini ji pedals his cycle for two hours in the morning with a big aluminium can filled with hot Chole from Wazirabad and reaches the spot at 12 noon. A plate of chole with three kulcha’s costs Rs 20/-. You can ask for bhaturas as well.

The chole is mixed with brown pudina ka paani(thick mint water). The mint leaves are sourced from Chintapurni, hometown of Ashwini ji in Himachal Pradesh. They are dried and grounded to powder form so as to later add it in the chole. Finally, the chole is garnished with onion and lemon juice.

The concoction of all these makes the chole a bit spicy, but that’s how the locals like it. The gravy was just perfect to be mopped up with fluffy kulchas. I liked the lahori style chole with thick gravy and a punch of mint water. I relished it to the core!

What intrigued me the most at his shop was that people from different sections of society ranging from homeless citizens and shoe polishers to office guards to college students and office goers, all relishing chole kulche, at one place. It seemed to be a perfect example of the equal world which we all wish to see.

Anubhav Sapra
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
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
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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Shiv Food Point

Amritsari Kulcha

By Anubhav Sapra

It is good to be connected with your old colleagues. Some of them are foodies and may also guide you to new places. I received a call from one of my ex-colleagues, Azad, few days back. He told me about Amritsari Kulcha Joint in Rani Bagh which was started by his colleague’s father. It was Baisakhi and I thought celebrating it with Amritsari kulcha would be a pretty great idea. I called him back for the directions and landed up in the afternoon to savour the Amritsari kulcha. This time, I took my mother along with me.

The name of this place is Shiv Food Point, and it has two outlets in Delhi. The addresses are – shop no.12, Shiv Mandir Market, Sant Nagar Road, Rani Bagh; contact numbers – 9891874446 and 9310199945, and shop no. G-1, Vardhman Crystal Plaza, LSC, CD Block, Pitampura; contact numbers – 9953399357 and 9953399367.

The place is owned by Rajesh Sharma who had a chemical business in Rani Bagh. Due to the government’s new pollution control policy, he had to close down his chemical business. Hailing from Amritsar and a food lover, he started Amritsari Kulcha Joint three and a half years back in Rani Bagh, and later renamed it to Shiv Food Point as it is close to Shiv Mandir in Rani Bagh. Although I am a regular at Kulcha King, Sarojini Nagar, the quest to find out the real Amritsari Kulcha never ends.

IMG_20150414_122508 Rajesh ji described the making of Amritsari kulcha from the first step of kneading the dough to baking it in tandoor. The dough is made by kneading white flour with milk and ghee. Ajwain, jeera, dhaniya, kasuri methi, kali mirch are added to the dough, more so, in layers. Then the dough is cut with the help of a knife in small pieces, later stuffed with cauliflower or paneer. The same is flattened using both the hands. Ghee is applied to one side and later baked in the tandoor. The owner also explained how ghee makes the kulchas crispier inside and out. They offer a variety of stuffings – Amritsari aloo kulcha (Rs. 80 for 2 pieces); gobhi, aloo pyaaz, and aloo pyaz gobhi mix (Rs. 90 for 2 pieces), veg keema (Rs. 100 for 2 pieces), paneer (Rs. 110 for 2 pieces).

The kulchas are served with chana, spring onions submerged in tangy tamarind chutney, and raita. Chana are cooked without ghee, garlic, and tomatoes. However, even without these, chana had a nice flavour. The masalas used in kneading the dough for kulchas are used in cooking the chana as well. The same is cooked over low flame on the tandoor. The tandoor plays a pretty important role in retaining the flavours, I am sure. The tamarind chutney served with spring onions also had a nice tangy taste. Raita was cold and fresh.

All the kulchas were excellent in taste, and were slightly thick, yet crispy. They were laden with oodles of butter. I did not like the taste of butter, though. I am a big Amul fan. If you are a Amul fan too, do not forget to ask for it. I called my ex-colleague back to thank him for the wonderful recommendation. But, as I said, the quest never ends.

Anubhav Sapra
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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Mohan Lal Bhelpuri Wala

Mohan Lal Bhelpuri Wala

By: Shagun Nayar

We, Delhiites have always had a soft corner for lip-smacking street food. Walking on the roads of this beautiful city, you will encounter numerous stalls serving the best of street food that Delhi has to offer. Tired college students after lectures, Children on Sunday evenings and the Diet cheaters after a tiring walk or a session at the gym are bound to find themselves being drawn to their favourite street food, if it’s even possible to pick one. I, for one can never choose.

IMG_20150129_134853507_HDRHowever, a good plate of Bhelpuri always finds its way to my top 3 and so, I went on a mini Bhelpuri expedition to find my favourite plate of Bhelpuri in north campus. To my pleasant surprise, the stall/vendor serving the best is situated right in-between Hindu College and the Delhi School of Economics. It has a prime location as it always swamped with college students at any given time of the day. You are bound to bump into students walking in and out of their college gates with a plate of Mohan Bhaiya’s famous Bhelpuri in their hands.

IMG_20150129_140241939Rumour has it that Mohan Bhaiya used to be lab assistant in one of north campus colleges but after careful consideration and the realisation that with his special green chutney and fresh produce he could serve the best Bhelpuri at campus without question, he decided to part ways with his job as a day assistant and started his own little business venture thereby earning more money and living a more relaxed life.

Situated on the same path as the bus stop stand for Hindu College, Delhi School of Economics and St. Stephan’s, students usually sit on the bus stop bench blabbering about their lectures, crushes & upcoming events while eating this divine mixture of puffed rice, peanuts, papri, green chillies, onions, boiled potatoes, coriander, tomato topped over with the special green chutney that makes Mohan Bhaiya’s Bhelpuri the best in campus. He also caters to the other lot by serving his delicious version of Sevpuri topped over with tiny pieces of red apple and a sweet red chutney which is equally delicious and popular.

Another reason for his popularity among numerous other vendors serving the exact street food item is that he makes it fresh from scratch finishing off his delicious rendition of the same by adding freshly chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice to give it that extra freshness an zing. So, the next time you’re craving a plate of spicy, salty Bhelpuri make sure you look up Mohan Bhaiya for he will not disappoint.

Rate: Rs.20 for a small plate&Rs.25 for a large plate.

Timings: 11:00am-6:00pm

 

Anubhav Sapra
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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Nand di Hatti

Nand di Hatti

By Anubhav Sapra

There are a few landmark eateries in Delhi that continue to sustain their authentic taste, one generation after the other. When it comes to Delhi’s classic Punjabi dish – chole bhature, only few have retained the original taste. Out of these few establishments, one of them is Nand di Hatti in Sadar Bazar. I went there with my parents the other day. My parents had the first bite and proudly gave their verdict, that the taste and quality is still the same even after thirty years.

The complete name of the eatery is Nand di Hatti. The address is 829, Paan Mandi, Sadar Bazar, Delhi – 110006, and their phone numbers are 9582105678, 9958717192, and 9811480566.

WP_20150122_13_18_44_ProThe family is originally from Rawalpindi in Pakistan, where they had a chole, kulche and roti shop in Raja Bazar. After partition, they migrated to Delhi in 1947 and started selling chole kulche in Sadar Bazar on a cart. In 1960, Nand Lal ji bought the shop at the corner of Paan Mandi and introduced his chole bhature made in desi ghee. Currently, Om Prakash ji, son of the late Nand Lal ji runs the shop with his two sons. There is one more shop by the name of Nand di Hatti, owned by his brother.

WP_20150122_13_19_22_ProThe dough of bhaturas is prepared with suji (semolina), maida (white flour), dahi (yoghurt), namak (salt), cheeni (sugar), hing (asafoetida), baking powder, and yeast. Their addition of suji to the bhatura dough took me by surprise. The bhaturas are soft and even crispy, with no oil dripping out. The chole was a mix of delectable flavours. Owing to the few most important spices used quite commonly in our Indian dishes like hing (asafoetida), jeera (cumin), ajwain (carom), saunf (fennel seeds), and mirch (red and yellow chillies). They also do not add any onion and garlic. The best part is that you will never feel that you are missing out on them. The accompaniments served with the dish include amla ka achaar (gooseberry pickles) and green chillies achar. Spicy, enough! It was a real street treat! A plate of chole and bhature costs Rs. 90.

The bhaturas, chole, and pickles are all made in desi ghee. The dish is certainly not for health conscious and faint-hearted people. My parents without worrying about the cholesterol gobbled the dish. I, too, happily wiped down the plate of chole bhature.

Anubhav Sapra
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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CRISPY TOKRI

CRISPY TOKRI

By Shreya Chowdhury

 “Dillwalo ki Dilli” is often used to describe Delhi and Delhiites, and the one thing very close to their Dil (heart) is food, especially street food. To cater to this love for street food, a small outlet named Crispy Tokri has opened in PVR Anupam Complex, Saket.

tokri chaatTheir most famous is the Tokri Chaat, from which it derives its name. It was truly a delight for the taste buds. The dahi was sweet and fresh. The bhalla, anar (pomegranate), aloo bhujia, paneer, the tokri, mixture of balanced spices create a very interesting and flavourful mouthful. The Tokri chaat makes a great snack, nice and light, perhaps after a movie at the Cineplex.

The most popular dish is their Chole Bhature. It is a delight for health-conscious people, as the bhatura is fried in olive oil. They are nice and fluffy and very importantly, non-greasy. It tastes amazing! It has some spices which enhances the taste. The Chole was cooked to perfection, and the taste was authentic Delhi style. The chole, bhature, green chutney, onion and achaar make a great combination. It tastes good and is very filling.

Their other famous dishes are aloo tikki, raj kachori and golgappas. For foreign tourists, aloo tikki is suggested. It is comparatively less spicy, also cooked in olive oil. The golgappa is fresh and crispy, with a good balance of sweet and sour.

In today’s world, people avoid street food because of hygiene reasons. In that premise, Crispy Tokri is very hygienic and is one of the reasons why people love the place. Also, the people serving are very hospitable. Overall, it was a good experience. The price is also reasonable and doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket. The maintenance of hygiene, the use of olive oil and RO water for the golgappas just adds to the fact that they do have great street food.  They also have home delivery and take away. So, if you cannot go out but are craving for tasty, hygienic street food, Crispy Tokri is a good choice.

Anubhav Sapra
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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COFFEE with Raju Bhaiya

COFFEE with Raju Bhaiya

 By Shagun Nayar

On my way back from college, I found myself craving a hot cup of well-made coffee on a rather cold windy winter evening. Okay, so one thing about staying or studying in north campus (A part of Delhi University) is that, you find innumerable places to eat. They range from the local Cholla-Kulcha Waala, the small stalls serving hot steamed Momo’s to the fancy well lit up cafes at Hudson. But having stayed and studied here for over a year and a half I have come to realise that there are very few places which serve you good coffee. The obvious exceptions being Costa Coffee or Barista. However, these big coffee shops fail to qualify as your daily dose of ‘chai’ or ‘coffee’ since you’re living on a student budget and are perpetually trying to save money.

IMG_20150128_165130941So, I went on a quest to find a place where I would get a piping hot cup of well-made coffee. To my rescue came, ‘Raju Coffee Waala’ who is interchangeably known as ‘Raju Maggie Waala’. Situated on the Chatra Marg, right outside the Law Faculty, Raju makes the best coffee I’ve had in North Campus. What sets Raju apart from the various other chai/coffee stalls is the fact that his coffee is hand beaten. This is the reason behind his coffee being Frothy, Light and Flavorsome. In addition to this, he sprinkles some coffee powder on the top to give it that extra kick, making his coffee the best in the neighbourhood.

Raju Suri or Raju Bhaiya understands the relevance of marketing and in an attempt to increase his sales, he has devised an addition to his normal cup of coffee i.e. a cup of ‘light coffee’, for those who love having their daily dose of coffee but don’t like it strong.

So, the next time you’re wandering the streets of Kamla Nagar /aimlessly driving by this beautiful university road or walking back from a tiresome day at college. Be sure to stop and pick up a cup of piping hot coffee at Raju Coffee Waala.

Timings: 10:30am – 6:00 pm

Rate: Rs. 15/cup

 

 

Anubhav Sapra
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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Counter Walon ki Dukaan

Counter Walon ki Dukaan

By Anubhav Sapra

WP_20150121_14_39_14_ProI read an inspiring story in today’s newspaper about a 13 year-old, Shubham, who has recently launched a company to develop low cost machines to print Braille. He is Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneur. Coincidentally, I met another 10 year old, Sameer, in Nizamuddin today afternoon with a degh, selling biryani, chicken korma and kheeri. For the first few minutes, I just saw him diligently taking out biryani from the degh, adding red chutney to it and serving it to hungry souls. Every time, he removed the lid from the degh of the biryani, the aroma of the spices and kewra straightaway entered my nostrils. My taste buds could not resist for long and I asked Sameer for a plate of biryani. I sprinkled the masalas lying in a small plate over the biryani, mixed the red hot garlic chutney and had a small spoon of it. The biryani was delightful. I had my second spoon and started the conversation with him.

WP_20150121_14_11_04_ProThere were two deghs lying next to each other. In one of them was chicken korma and the other contained kheeri. The dish kheeri is made from small pieces of a buff’s udder, and was something I heard for the first time. The curry is changed on a rotational basis everyday and ranges from achari chicken, aloo keema, aloo gosht, to matar keema. On Wednesday nights, they make special paaya, and ande ka kofta. On Friday afternoon, biryani is served with haleem. A plate of biryani costs Rs. 50. Most of the curries are in the range of Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 per plate. Sameer briefed me on everything about the menu. He was not very confident about the cooking, though. He was there to take care of the shop while his father was away for some work. I then asked him to introduce me to any elder person of his family.

After a brief interval, his uncle Imran came and shared the journey of his shop from a small cart to counter wali dukaan. Seven years back, Sameer’s father, Shakir Alam and his brother Imran started selling biryani on a small cart outside the Markaz in Nizamuddin. The inhabitants of Nizamuddin appreciated his biryani so much that they set up the small counter and table outside his home, near Qureshi Masjid, Karim Wali Gali. The shop became famous as Counter Walon ki Dukaan. Alam’s wife, Sitara ji cooks these mouth savouring delicacies at home, not once, but twice in a day. Alam sells these dishes during the afternoons (1 p.m to 4 p.m) and evenings (7 p.m. – 11 p.m.). Their mobile numbers are 7503626266 and 9555000489.

Imran informed me that Sameer got admission in another school, the session will start next month in February. Indeed, he is an entrepreneur in the making, a few years down the line, he might open up a restaurant and takes the Counter Wali Dukaan to another new level altogether. Nobody knows!

Anubhav Sapra
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.