Today I feel complete. Its only today that I have earned the right to call myself a Dilliwala or a Delhiite despite being born and brought up in this city, and despite having roots here for last 5-6 generations. Why ? Because I had not eaten Chhole Bhature of a certain Chacha (Uncle, for those not familiar with Hindi) from Kamla Nagar. Today I feel proud, as I have completed my ‘circle’ of trinity, whose last connection in form of Chache Di Hatti was missing. Today I can say that I have eaten Chhole Bhature at Sita Ram Dewan Chand, Baba Nagpal and Chache Di Hatti.
|Fried Aloo on Chhole tastes quite good|
I had always heard fantastic things about Chache Di Hatti at Kamla Nagar, however as someone who did not study in Delhi University, or specifically in North Campus, I had never ever eaten there. However the things I heard about them, from people I have top most respect for, ensured that I always kept them on a pedestal.
There certainly are advantages of being at helm of things at FED, one of them being you can call Raids and visit the places that you always wanted to, and today was no different. Though not many people turned up, however 6 of us were still there, some familiar with the place and most of us not. But in the end we went home a very happy and satisfied bunch.
When I entered the lane, my nose could smell something, and spotting the crowds in one of the by-lanes was not difficult. Seeing queues of patrons there made me happy rather than worried or irritated, as queuing up for something, makes you cherish it more, especially when there is no dearth of time and your sole agenda is to enjoy the food. Unfortunately I got a bit late, and couple of FEDs were already wrapping up, however this left Srishti Gupta, Prerna, Varun Santhosh and me to share and enjoy the goods, and enjoy we did.
The only problem with queues is, that you are never sure how much to order, as you do not want to queue up for second helpings, and what would be the right amount to order is a question that keeps cropping up. We started with ordering two plates of Saada (plain) and two plates of Aloo stuffed Bhaturas, with an extra helping of Chhole (had to queue up for 20-30 minutes, could have been longer if not for Srishti queuing for us in lady’s line).
|Queues, and this is Lady’s Line only 😛|
Now finally we had some food on table, first bite of it in my mouth and I was a happy man. Chacha’s had lived up-to the legend, I started to gobble the chanas steadily, and after each bite, it was clear, that every word of praise ever written or said for Chacha’s was true. They were just out of the world, a bit on sour side, had just the right mix of spices, with ginger adding to the awesomeness. Though Bhaturas stuffed with Aloo (spiced up mashed potatoes) is something that you do not get at many places and it definitely is an USP for Chacha, however we all seemed to appreciate the plain ones more. And yes, we ended up having more Bhaturas after the first round, all washed down with the Nimbu Lemon from a stall next door.
|Chacha’s Chhole Bhature, up, close and personal.|
|A very simple serving Chhole, Bhature, Onions and Green Chilly|
|Nimbu Lemon wala who helped us wash it all down|
Now it was clear, that Nagpal, Sita Ram and Chacha cannot be compared, you just cannot choose between the three, all of them are epitome of Chholle Bhature, they are in a league of their own, and best examples of a food item, that literally defines Delhi. However a word of warning for whoever wants to visit these places or any other popular Bhature waala mentioned in this post, be there before 1 pm, after that chances are slim that you would be able to find them serving.
And yes, there are a few other super awesome Chhole Bhature Waalas, like Ramesh or Aaojee in Patel Nagar, Odeon Sweets in Gole Market, Radhe Shyam in Pahar Ganj, Om in Karol Bagh (Dev Nagar) however for me they are just a step and mind you ‘just a step’ below the Holy Trinity. And then comes a league of which most notable mentions are Anand in Krishna Market of Lajpat Nagar, Chhoti Hatti in West Patel Market, CL Corner, next to Fun Cinemas (erswhile Natraj) in Moti Nagar and a few others. And mind you, I recommend all of them, everyone would have a personal favorite, however I just told you my order of preference.
Talking about Chacha, I guess this is the first time I am putting a rating of 5/5, just go there and be proud of being a Delhiite…eerrr… Dilliwala !
32, Bungalow Road, Behind Krori Mal College,
Kamla Nagar, New Delhi