It was the usual Delhi winter sunny morning. A day quite special as we were going to visit one of the most popular places and a place for a foodie to be at. Called by many names, Chandni Chowk finally invited us to feast there.
The Breakfast of not so early morning
I had been to Chandni Chowk before a couple of times but not on my own and it was years back with just flashes of those visits. This time it was after all with her so it had to be exciting, meeting almost after a month and a half had to be just us and yes food. We got off the metro and between narrow lanes just beside the Shani Mandir was the famous ‘Bedmi Kachori Walla’. With a shed behind the railing five men working on the yummies for our tummies, I headed towards the counter and ordered a plate of delicious ‘Bedmi’. And here it was with the altogether spicy and hot ‘aloo sabzi’, the ‘phuli karari bedmi’. It has been a while since I had that taste tickling my taste buds with every bite. We both like all kinds of street food that we can have irrespective of how much chillies it has, we eat it with those watery eyes. The taste of raw spices was the most predominant feature of what we were having. It was worth the wait all these years I guess.
Desserts after Breakfast
Well I consider ‘Dahi bhalle’ as a dessert only because its sweet and so we headed to a narrower lane connecting the main road to the back-lane and at the corner was the renowned ‘Natraj Chat Corner’. We asked for a plate of dahi bhalle. Filled with curd all over and garnished with a bit of pickle and salad, it looked like it was going to bathe me with dahi. It was fresh with the right amount of crispness, and the pickle just added to it. That’s a different thing that I only enjoyed the pickle as she refused to eat it. Though it was not the first time I felt like a dumping ground as I am used to it now. According to me, the flavours were usual and nice, with a surprisingly good taste of dahi with great consistency but we missed that exclusivity of Natraj. And we headed down towards the Red Fort visible right in front of our eyes. Exploring the shops we noticed many buildings that had amazing architectural designs and looked like they were just going to collapse into nothing, all cracked and broken and yet elegant.
We were not over with our desserts and we tried something common but the experience was obviously not a common one. Butterscotch soft serve of McDonald’s was something unexpected. It was not less than a disaster for us both. Soon we were being super nice to each other by offering and making it eat as it was unbearable to take in. Swallowing each bite with the weirdest of expressions and laughing off at each other, we explored the shops staring at the shiny, glamorous bridal collection winch was almost at every alternate shop.
Dessert over… well not yet!
With her imagining all possibilities of wearing each one of them along with the changes that can be made to them, we reached Red Fort and again, a surprise. It was closed. But yet we stood their admiring its beauty of whatever was visible to us. And went back towards the crowded road crawling with the traffic. Getting all kinds of smells and fragrances we again were hungry. A few minutes after walking we found a restaurant. And we saw something filled with colours, beautiful it looked and no doubt it was super tempting. ‘Rabdi Faluda’ was one thing we suddenly started craving for. And we bought the faluda. We were excited to eat it but we had no clue how we are going to finish it up. She bought it thinking that it was ‘Kulfi Faluda’ and we got ditched. So we started off with the multi-coloured cherries which we pushed down to avoid. Garnished with nuts and filled with the sweetness of rabdi which we expected, was kulfi gave us a surprise yet again. That was one tall glass of green, yellow, pink and red colours mixing beautifully with the noodles that is the highlight of every faluda. We enjoyed it a lot as it was just great taste and soon we got tired of eating it. Slurping the noodles in along with nuts and those faded colours, we were done with our desserts.
We wanted to eat something normal now which wasn’t sweet as we were still struggling to finish that rabdi off. We got the menu and as it is our tradition to always stare at the menu, cut down what we did not want to eat and then rejecting almost all the things of the menu and our struggle starts. Then after a bit of blame game, we ordered and this time it was ‘Masala Dosa’. Well it was quick service there as we got it in not more than 5 minutes.
The crispness of the dosa along with its crackle in every bite was just another thing only. Long, brown filled with the usual Masala of aloo, tangy sambhar and white chutney of coconut made it an overwhelming experience. Along with that crackle and crisp was our faluda again, kept aside, it must have felt so ignored. But still I’ll pity us both for eating that thing alone and not sharing with so many other people who missed its taste. We somehow finished that too with both of us trying to make each other eat those cherries. We did it.
Something Special now.
I wasn’t yet over as I wanted her to taste one of the most popular things and that was ‘Daulat Ki Chaat’. It is only available in Old Delhi. When you see it, you will see just froth. It is just froth or ‘Jhaag’ in reality. With twist of powdered sugar it is served with a yellow froth that has kesar in it and this one is a bit dense than the white foam. It just dissolves in your mouth giving you a taste of sugar pinched for a while. A must try for sure. I liked it and I only had to finish it as she did not want to have it more because it was again something sweet and our quota of desserts was done at least for a week now.
A lot is unexplored there for us and soon it is going to be a new visit and I hope it is not going to be this sweet.