Taking a cue from a group of food lovers, Rahul Verma goes on the Great Chhola Bhatura Chase and finds himself at Durga’s in Sarojini Nagar
Last week, when the weather was getting increasingly depressing, I thought I had to do something to liven up the gloom that had been covered by a thick pall of fog. The sky was cloudy, the bones were rattling and the soul, it seemed, was shivering for something warm.
So I thought it was time for some chholey bhaturey. I had been thinking of this dish — which is such a pleasure to eat in winter — when I found that a group of food lovers of Delhi were raiding chholey bhaturey shops in the city with a bulldog-like tenacity. The group called it the Great Chhola Bhatura Chase and had a list of places which included all the well-known ones, such as Sitaram in Paharganj, Chacha in Kamala Nagar and Nagpal in Amar Colony. But it didn’t include Durga’s chholey bhaturey stall in Sarojini Nagar.
I had noticed this place quite a while ago when I had gone there for some pakoras. I was intrigued by the crowd that had gathered there and thought I had to check the place out since, clearly, it had a committed following. There was a big hoarding that said Durga Sweets Corner, with a strap line in Hindi that said it was known for its chholey bhaturey. I stored that in my mental ‘To do’ docket and thought I would go back there for its “mashoor” fare.
But as it happened, I never went back to the sweet shop for several months (though I did try out the Amritsari kulcha in an eatery close by). And then, when the foodies started their chholey bhaturey mission, I was reminded of Durga, mainly because it did not figure on their list.How to reach it
So, to get back to the beginning, on a particularly miserable day I drove to Sarojini Nagar. The shop is in the DDA Market on Ring Road. If you are coming from Bhikaji Cama Place towards AIIMS, and if you take the flyover, turn left immediately after the flyover. On the left, you’ll find the famous pakora shop of Sarojini Nagar. Opposite this is Durga’s shop.
For Rs.50, you get two bhatureys and a very good helping of chholey. The food is served on a thermocol plate, with compartments. He serves the chholey in one compartment, some light green chutney in another, along with pickled carrots and sliced onions.
Durga’s bhatureys, stuffed with cottage cheese, are perfect globes. I like my bhaturays to be fluffy and round, and Durga’s are just the way I like them. Then, often enough, I find that there is not enough chholey to go with two bhaturays. Durga, on the other hand, gives you enough chholey to lick your fingers with. Also, the chholey is not very oily or spicy. In fact, it reminded me a bit of Chacha’s chholey. I would rate Durga’s shop among the six best chholey bhaturey places in the city — along with Chacha, Sitaram, Nagpal, Nand in Sadar Bazar and Standard in Rajender Nagar.
The weather is now sunny and cheerful. The heart now yearns for something new. Watch this space for more.