Soft khamiri rotis and a thick korma gravy

For korma-biryani lovers in and around Shastri Bhawan, Harman’s eatery is good news

Small crowd clusters fascinate me. Every time I pass by a shack and see a group of people in front of it, I feel like stopping right there and then to find out what’s cooking. Often, though, in my attempts to make my car do some Nijinsky-like moves in Delhi’s chaotic traffic, I miss out some of these crowds salivating over a plate of unknown goodies right in my background.

And that is why I was very happy when a young friend sent me a text message about a korma-biryani counter in central Delhi. I promptly made my way there – and found that Harman’s shack has been around for a year. This is on Rajendra Prasad Road, just opposite the exit gate of Shastri Bhawan. Harman and family live somewhere near Gole Market, from where they bring two degchis of chicken curry and chicken biryani every day to the little stall. You’ll find them from 12 noon to 9.30 every day, except Tuesdays.

This area around the Press Club once had quite a few eateries. They were then razed, but a few have come up again. Harman’s is one of the more popular eateries there, as you can tell by the crowd in front of it. His food is pretty good, and the prices are pocket friendly. I found many officer-goers ordering half a plate of chicken korma for Rs 80 and eating it with thick khamiri rotis. The khamiris come from outside and are kept hot in an insulated box.

I asked for a plate of chicken korma (Rs 160) and a plate of chicken biryani (Rs 100). The khamiri rotis are for Rs 10 a piece, and I bought a couple. I had this for my lunch, and was quite happy with the meal. It’s not Old Delhi fare, sure, but the korma was thick and tasty, and the biryani was quite a surprise. For one, it wasn’t oily; two, the rice was long and aromatic; three, the chicken pieces were soft, and four, the biryani had been spiced up with a red chilli pickle which quite enhanced the taste.

One plate of korma has four large pieces – so that’s value for money. But the pieces I got were a bit too big. As you know, I am not greatly fond of chicken, and when I do eat the fowl, I like the pieces to be small and tender. But those who like their meat to be fleshy would enjoy the korma. The khamiri roti was soft, which was quite a surprise, because I thought it would harden by the time I had my meal.

Over all, Harman’s eatery is good news for korma-biryani lovers. The sad bit is that he doesn’t do mutton. But it’s nice to have this small outlet in the neighbourhood. On a rainy day, when the skies are covered by dark clouds, there’s nothing quite like dipping a piece of your khamiri roti into a bowl of korma gravy thickened and flavoured with spices and popping it into your mouth. Then there's magic in the sound of the rain.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 10:33:42 PM |

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