The little story of Gujiyas and Kachoris

Holi just went by. And food as usual, adds a lot to any festival, as I say, Food is the material form of love.
Holi has a special association with Gujiya, and every year my mom makes plenty at home, a part of which are sent off to my Bua’s place (father’s sister) and we gorge on the rest. This year however, my mom did not make them, and my dad just bought some from nearby market. One bite into those and it was decided, I hated those gujiyas. They were too sweet, the layer of maida too thick and filling was almost non-existent and unimpressive.
Making Gujiya is an art, known to a select few in the city. The dough  should be kneeded the right way, shells created in a certain way, ingredients of filling to be in right proportions, the amount of sugar that goes inside and the ‘tar’ of Chaashni (Sugar syrup) to be coated on should be well monitored.
As with other major festivals, I ended un in Old Delhi again (my Bua lives there), and even though I have been there a million times (not as a traveler or a tourist or explorer), however it just never fails to charm me. The chaos, the madness, the crowd, the smell, sounds, streets, people, sight everything just engulfs me, and I go into happy zone, I can just float around with a Halo on my head and a smile on my face. I am at home.
The walled city can be described in many words, however coming back to food, at my Bua’s place I am always offered where I want my Kachoris from. Eventually after the frantic discussion between Bua ji and cousins they decide on something and I end up eating Kachoris / Samosas / Bedmi / Nagori / Paani ke Batashe (Gole Gappe) / Chaats from different vendors for Sita Ram Bazaar. So this time it was decided that  it would be Halwa Nagori, Bedmi Subzi and Kachori from a shop with no name right outside Lal Darwaza in Sita Ram Bazaar. On asked who was the vendor, I was told that the person who runs the shop, his father’s name is ‘Shri Ram’ and that shop is known as Shri Ram ki Dukaan. Expect no signage though  At 12 in the noon, our unknown little vendor was out of Kachoris and I had to do with Nagoris and Bedmis. Not that I was complaining, as Shyam sweets was in beckoning.
Coming back to Gujiya, I was fairly confident that I would get the carefully crafted variety at Shyam sweets on Barsha Bulla Chowk and I was not disappointed. They had two varieties, the plain one, and one made in Desi ghee (Clarified Butter) and laced with Saffron. I bought the Kesar waali Gujiya, and boy were they good. They were low on Sugar, thin on shell and had succulent filling. So my quest for Gujiya ended there, and the ones my Mama ji got from Hira Sweets becamse also rans this holi.
And the goodies did not end there, when I left the walled city, had a Dozen Mutter Kachoris and Samosas in my backpack, to be had with delicious Aloo Subzi, in hungrier times.

Param Di Hatti – A wasted jaunt

I got a recommendation for Param Di Hatti in Rajouri Garden, from a much trusted source. So I was waiting for an opportunity when I visit that part of town and try the said authentic Chur Chur Naan myself. And where this is a will, there is a way.

I was there with my cousin a few days back, the outlet looked quite new, spacious and there were decent number of costumers there. Now the first confusion was with ordering, you pay Rs.55 for plate with either Chhole or Dal, you pay Rs.10 extra and you get both the things and if you pay Rs.85, you get a Thali, with Dal, Chhole, Shahi Paneer and Boondi raita.

Bypassing the confusion, we ordered two Thalis and waited patiently for our Naans, and when they arrived, was I disappointed. It seems either I have been spoiled by the Kashmiri Sweet shop for Chur Chur Naans, or the rest of the city just does not know how to make them.  Weren’t the Naans that were so crispy and well cooked that they fell apart in your hands known as Chur Chur Naans ? or do I have wrong expectations ?

The ones we got Naans they were, but not Chur Chur. They looked like normal stuffed Naans, felt like regular Naans and tasted like regular Naans. And to add to that the Dal and Shahi Paneer served was plain ordinary, Cholle were a tad better, but there was so much that they could have saved. Disappointed with the Naans and still hungry, we decided to order Cholle Bhature and Cholle Chawal. Cholle Bhature were just decent, but again for Rs.35, you get better stuff at lot other places.

All in all, Param di Hatti is the place that I would avoid, unless my life depended on it. Yes, I would eat there if I was going to die from hunger,  any circumstance less than that is not taking me back.

My rating – 2/5

Thinking again, lemme give 3/5 only to the Cholle Bhature, but again that is not worth an excursion to the joint.

Koi Mach – Recipe by Moumita

I wonder if anyone is fond of fish here!! being a bong I sure am! So just thought to share one simple yet delicious typical bong style fish recipe with you guys, try it if you like fish.
This is a little spicy and oily. I still remember my mom cooking this for me while I used to be down with fever and my taste buds used to be blunt!!!
This fish you might not get everywhere, as far as my knowledge is concerned, its available in INA Market and CR Park Market 1 & 2.
I am sure this fish will be available in other fish markets as well in Delhi.
Koi Macher Recipe:
Ingredients :
6 Koi fish -cleaned, slitted at a few places on both sides
50 gm Beaten curd
2 medium Ground large onions
2 Ground green chillies
1 small Finely chopped tomato
1/2 tsp Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Chilly powder
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 cup Mustard oil
1 tbsp Ghee
1/2 tbsp Ginger paste
Salt to taste
Method :
1. Melt the ghee in a pan, add the oil, onion paste, saute until paste turns reddish brown.
2. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute well.
3. Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, chilly powder and fry until the oil starts to separate.
4. Add the beaten curd, green chilly paste, sugar and fry for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add 3/4 cup of water, bring to boil and add the fish, cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the fish is done.
6. When the oil separates and water evaporates, turn off the gas
Serve it with plain rice. And enjoy your meal.

Chhole Bhature in Gaffar Market, Karol Bagh (Kishan Bhature Wala)

My trusted mate for two years, the Nokia E63 is on its last legs, and that took me to Gaffar market to find a worthy replacement for the same. Fortunately, I forgot the way business works in Karol Bagh area, and landed there shortly after 10 AM, finding almost all the shops and counters closed. Then it struck me, that  it does not start before 12 in the noon.
Now if you have been a regular at Gaffar market, you cannot miss the Kishan Lal Bhathure wala. Its a corner shop in one of the lanes, serving the shoppers and shopkeepers for a long time now. I have eaten their few times before, however the last time being several years back. And there is something about Chhole Bhature, that just makes me go weak in knees, all my resolve, all my control, it just vanishes in thin air.
You have to buy a token first, I asked for a single Bhatura and I was turned down, looked upon as an unworthy customer  and was about to be shooed away, however I acted fast and mended my ways, ordering the full plate. Customer service is not the focus area here and they do not need any, even at the bleak business hour, it was crowded.
So yes, I ended up having a plate of Chhola Bhaturas, Rs.20 for the plate, Rs.10 additional for the piece of paneer if you want it. And I was not disappointed at all, not the best in class, however still quite good and satisfying. My untrained taste buds cannot differentiate between the subtleties of spices, styles of cooking etc, however I define my experience in simpler terms, if I am going back there then its good enough, if I am not then its not. This place, I am definitely going back too.
I would not go out of my way to have food here, however if I am in the area, I would not miss the chance.
My Rating – 3 / 5