August 04, 2014
The Chhach Man
By Anubhav Sapra
I stay in North Delhi and travel by metro to my office in Adhchini every day. The nearest metro stations to reach Adhchini are the Green Park and the Hauz Khas stations. I usually get down at Green Park, but today morning, while talking to a friend of mine I missed the Green Park metro station and had to de-board at Hauz Khas.
Although I was getting late for office, the burgeoning crowd outside the Hauz Khas subway caught my attention and I succumbed to the foodie instinct calling out to me. I found a man with huge cans,which are mostly used to sell milk, filling up disposal glasses with chhach (buttermilk).
I asked for a glass of the much-acclaimed refreshing drink. It tasted amazing. In a glass of chhach, he adds a spoonful of masala- roasted cumin seed powder and black salt. The salt adds flavor and helps replenish salts lost due to sweating in the hot and humid weather.
Buttermilk is traditionally made by removing butter from cream or curd. It is churned using one’s hand or a blender, the butter (white butter) comes to the top and the liquid left at the bottom is buttermilk.
It was no surprise to know that the Chhach man, Mr. Ram Chander, hails from Haryana, a state rich in dairy products (butter, cheese and paneer). He travels everyday from Rohtak to Delhi to quench the thirst of Delhiites in this humid summer weather. He catches the 5 a.m EMU from Rohtak and reaches Hauz Khas Metro Station on his bicycle at 10. If you are around Hauz Khas metro station between 10 am to 1 pm, do stop at Gate no.2, Laxman Public School, for a glass of Chhach.
It is time to bid adieu to the Green Park station, now that I have got a reason to de-board at Hauz Khas for a glass of thirst-quenching Chhach.