Delhi diary (Sep 07) – 3

Seems to me that the standards have dropped a bit.

The chou in Bengali market, I mean.

But that is like saying that the South Pole is not as cold as it used to be. Bengali market chou remains a benchmark.

Ravi and I landed up there and managed to find a table – the place was pretty full. And then without further ado, we ordered a Choley-Baturey each. Non-oily baturey, that special-taste-choley, pyaaz (onions) separate, and a dash of panchranga pickles, water, yes pls, mineral water, cold…

The table next to us was occupied by two young-achiever women. IBM laptop kept on the chair alongside. Snatches of conversations showed that the IBMer was from out of town too – from Mumbai…looks as if this Bengali market tuck-shop is a pilgrimage spot for many out of town Delhi folks.

After polishing off the C-B, we ordered a Tikki each. They serve that with a few choice sauces, one green and another red, and some, yes, choley, again. Ravi didn’t want the Tikki’s to come bathed in sauces, and so he told the waiter several times, and louder each time, that he wanted Tikki without the chutneys. I told Ravi to lay off the poor waiter.

Meanwhile, the next-table folks had moved on to their third course…Sweets…A select list of combo-sweets was being tossed about in the choice-conversation…”Come on…think about it…it is a weekend…” said the IBMer, cajoling the Delhi local…And after much silent negotiation, they settled for Kulfi….

Our Tikkis arrived. Fully bathed in chutneys. Ravi looked daggers at the waiter, and then gutters at me. Soon, we were digging into the Tikkis though. And, tell you what, they just weren’t up to the mark. Reheated stuff.

All-in-all, it was a nice Delhi-of-old experience. A gaggle of regular middle-class Delhi-wallahs digging into chaat, gole-gappey, samosas, tikkis, kulchey and such…A nice fat man at the counter (That’s the entry criteria for being certified as a good Halwa shop…The owner must look the part…Shubh Labh!)

Meanwhile, Australia had won the toss, elected to bat, and had already smashed the ball all over park at Chinnaswami stadium, Bangalore. The TV at the tuck-shop was on mute – and no one complained. They just ordered more tuck.

Some nice meetha-paan rounded off our meal.

Stomach full. Palate pampered. Time to go.

Next Stop, Purana Qila….

3 Responses to “Delhi diary (Sep 07) – 3”

  1. Srinivasa Says:

    Bengali Market is only for tourists who don’t know the difference between chana bhatura and choley bhaturey. You and Ravi should have gone to Lajpat Nagar Central market or Sarojini Nagar Market and had your food at the street corner on your feet. It’s better food. There are no buffaloes there and no IBM laptops either.

  2. gkamesh Says:

    trouble is that sarojini nagar market is full of US Indian tourists, who leave no standing space. They are seen rapidly converting all rupee costs to usd, and buying all manners of stuff to fit the two super-big suitcases per head that they are allowed to freight back free.

    but i agree….there are more places than just Bengali Market. There is more stuff to eat than just CB. Nothing like a phulka-sabji at any dhaabaa for eg.

    so while we go about enjoying these, srini saab – you are welcome to whatever junk food you get in USA.

  3. M A Prasad Says:

    What a mouth watering piece – I am talking about the writing. I felt that I am sitting along with you folks and enjoying my C-B/A-T Chat.

    I went back to 1982-84, where I was a regular (regular means daily except Sundays of course) visitor over there. I worked in Bhagwandass Road extention counter of Canara Bank (for 4 hours) – will cross Railway line and reach Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg branch – before crossing railway lines, famour Bengali Market – It is still fresh in my memory.

    Another interesting eating joint was Chandni Chowk as well. More about it later.

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