Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daulat ki Chaat

Several of us have read Rahul Verma's article on Daulat ki Chaat. My own reaction was mainly surprise that such a novel, delicate thing could exist in Delhi's streets in these coarse times. Beyond this, I guess we none of us gave it much thought.

Then one morning in October 2006, my friend Hemanshu and I were walking down Chawri Bazar on the way to Karims. We passed a street vendor carrying a large flat basket mounted on a cane three-legged-stand arrangement. I confess my mind was too full of the intended Nahari to give this guy much notice. Hemanshu, bless his eyesight, jerked back and bade me take a closer look. I still wasn't impressed. It looked like some sort of a white creamish thing - fruit cream, maybe, I concluded. Upon asking him, he said, 'isey "malai makkhan" kehte hai.' Seeing no reaction on our part, he went on to say it's called by that name in UP, and Delhiwallahs call it Daulat ki Chaat. That caught our attention all right.

There's no point in describing how he put together a dona of the stuff. Rahul Verma's narrated it pretty well already. Suffice it to say, in short order he proffered two donas of the stuff. 'Ambrosia' is a much-clichéd term, but in all honesty that's just what it tasted like. It was silky in texture, understated in sweetness, and imparted the feeling of being fatty and insubstantial at the same time. The nearest I can get to it is ice cream that vaporises in your mouth as some sort of practical joke.

Even its price seems like a practical joke. Ten Rupees a dona was all he charged us, heaven knows for what joy or profit margin. We greedily polished off two donas each, savouring every scoopful we popped in. I don't know why we did such a silly thing, but we neither asked the kindly vendor his name nor took a picture of him. Aah! inexperience, I guess. Will surely do better next time.

2 comments:

TKGoogle said...

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Anonymous said...

I found a daulat ki chhat vendor in daryaganj yesterday ie 30.12.07 and got his mobile number. his name is Sanjay and the number is 9873124223. Hope this helps foodies trace him.