Once in a blue moon at a foodie’s joint in Chandni Chowk


I all the time thought the 2 phrases — Chandni Chowk — spelled magic, regardless that {the marketplace} by no means actually regarded like what the identify recommended: a silvery, moon-lit centre. But I ponder what the as soon as extremely busy neighbourhood seems to be like now. The retailers are largely shut, and the roads can be empty. But in the little lanes, among the eateries delivering meals ought to be open, regardless that the crowds that collect there each morning for breakfast can be lacking.

The considered having breakfast at Chandni Chowk had been haunting me for a whereas. When I’m stopped from doing one thing, it troubles me no finish. I don’t recall after I final went to Old Delhi for my morning fare, however I had been dreaming of it ever because the lockdown. As somebody clever as soon as stated although, in case you can’t go to the market, let the market come to you. It wasn’t precisely the market, however one in every of my favorite retailers — Kanwarji’s — that came over one morning.

Nagori halwa
 

Kanwarji is at the mouth of Parathey Waley Galli in Chandni Chowk. The store, which was arrange in 1850, is known for its dal beeji — a scrumptious mixture of bhujiya, cantaloupe seeds, musk melon seeds and brown masoor dal. The store cut up into two fairly a whereas in the past. And then, some years in the past, it opened a department in East Delhi (G-1, Sagar Chamber, Saini Enclave, 011-22374913). I discovered that the dal beeji (250g for ₹160) was on the menu of the East Delhi department, and what gladdened my coronary heart additional was the data that it bought bedmi aloo on Sundays — which might be delivered by Swiggy.

So, I used to be up with the lark on Sunday morning, and earlier than anybody may say COVID-19, I had positioned my order for 4 plates of bedmi aloo (₹60 for every plate), and two plates of nagori halwa (₹60 for a plate of 5 small flat puris). Each plate of bedmi got here with two stuffed puris, a good serving to of a spicy potato sabzi, and a finger-licking blended pickle. Nagori halwa, for individuals who got here in late, is a conventional breakfast dish of little discs (like flattened golgappa) served with halwa. You make a gap in the disc, fill it with halwa, and pop it into your mouth.

So I promptly popped one (after which two, and eventually three) into my mouth. It marked the tip of what was a scrumptious meal. The bedmis had been thick with pithee (the lentil paste that the dough is filled with) and I liked the aloo —which, whereas scorching, wasn’t as scorching as I bear in mind it was. The pickle complemented the curry, and I completed the meal with some halwa — cooked in desi ghee, however with a gentle hand, and with simply the correct amount of sugar in it.

Kanwarji can also be well-known for its aloo ka lachcha (₹600 a kilo). I’ve spent many a blissful afternoon in the unique Chandni Chowk department, consuming their aloo samosas. In winter, they promote some progressive chikkis (these great jaggery and nutty bars) flavoured with rose petals and even pista bits.

It was a pretty Sunday, after a lengthy, very long time. I had bedmi for breakfast, after which bedmi once more with my night tea.

There was no bedmi left for dinner, alas, however I had the spicy aloo sabzi with roti. The evening wasn’t bathed in a silvery moon, however I someway felt enveloped by the magic of the Old City.

The author is a seasoned meals critic

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