Was chatting with a friend of mine (who works as a corporate Chef and handles few of the major restaurants in Delhi) yesterday afternoon and realized that both of us were hungry but not for the run of the mill stuff. He is someone who has spent lot of time working overseas and in Delhi as well most of the food he does is ‘international’. A jaunt to Old Delhi is what doctor seemed to have ordered for him and yesterday we both grasped at the opportunity and after parking our rides at Patel Chowk Metro Station and we hopped in a train straight to Chawri Bazaar.
|Daulat ki Chaat from Gali Arya Samaaj
Got out from exit no. 3 of Chawri Metro Station and headed straight into Sita Ram Bazaar, deciding to ignore temptations offered in Chawri Bazaar starting from Ashok Chaat right at the corner to Shakahari, Standard, Shyam, Kulle Chaat & Jain Sandwich to the road leading straight to Jama Masjid and the numerous meaty goodies on offer in Matia Maharl and Urdu Bazaar area. And let me not even mention the Lal Kuan, Balli Maran, Khari Baoli and Chandni Chowk waiting for us on the other side. We ignored them all.
We were men on mission, and the mission was simple – Daulat Ki Chaat. Daulat ki Chaat is a dessert which as per my understanding is basically milk froth – making it very light in weight and texture, something they say is made from dew and beating the milk with hand all night long. It is served with some crushed Khoya, which I would call Indian Cheese in absence of a better explanation, some finely crushed dry fruits and maybe some saffron water/syrup.
Its a very fine dish available mostly in colder months in Delhi and available ONLY in Old Delhi. As Delhi moves into winter months, you can see the walled city dotted with numerous carts & hawkers selling Daulat Ki Chaat and everyone claims to be the best, accepting orders for weddings and other parties – complete with a visiting card offered to every inquisitive customer. Outsiders and/or novice food lovers get excited at the mere sight of them carts and find hard to control the temptation of trying them. Honestly speaking cannot just blame them, even the half good stuff commonly sold in Old Delhi (any part including Chandni Chowk) is good enough to make even hardcore foodies feel happy.
But then, I do not consider myself an outsider and my friend is not a novice foodie for sure.. 😉
Most of the Daulat ki Chaat sold on those carts parked in touristy, crowded or popular areas of Old Delhi sell adulterated stuff, or so I have been told by my cousins and family residing in that part of town. But then we are not the ones to believe in words and to be sure that we have a fare comparison we started by eating from a cart right on the Hauz Khazi chowk and actually enjoyed the stuff that he was selling. For bulk orders he quoted Rs.4000 for 12 kgs of Chaat, plus the transportation.
|Daulat ki Chaat we had on Hauz Qazi Chowk
Post that we decided to skip everything else and walk straight towards Gali Arya Samaj, a bylane of Sita Ram Bazaar. Its a unmarked street on your right hand side, right after Lal Darwaza, which is on your left hand side. You walk into the Gali Arya Samaj and as the street starts to narrow down, on your left hand side would will find a small stall selling Daulat ki Chaat and some kulfis/icecream.
We ordered a plate each from this guy as well, and my chef friend straightaway started telling me that its more Pure, dense, flavorful, creamy and frothy. And as soon as he uttered those words my heart took a leap of joy, feeling vindicated & validated. The shopkeeper told me that they still have to make it with hand and have no other option, and quoted us Rs. 600 a kg plus transportation for bulk and party orders.
There is no name of this shop, but I believe I have mentioned several points in the blog, points which are sufficient to send you on a treasure hunt, a hunt for the BEST Daulat ki Chaat, which of-course is nothing less than a treasure.
Started this post to share the entire adventure we had yesterday which saw us gorging on some awesome Kachoris & Samosas as well, while finishing the gluttony with a rockstar Nahari and Kebabs, but I guess will limit this post to Daulat ki Chaat and save other details for another post.
Would love to hear some feedback from those who actually are able to find and try this much elusive delicacy. Do share your story in the comments below.
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