Gopal’s lasting impression

DELECTABLE AFFAIR Kachoris with a potato curry offered by Gopal Sweets

DELECTABLE AFFAIR Kachoris with a potato curry offered by Gopal Sweets   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Though the popular eating joint in north Delhi has expanded over the years, khasta kachori remains its unique selling point

If there is one food-related event that fills me with joy, it’s a picnic. Delhi is just the right place for any such occasion, for the city is — despite all the high-rises — still peppered with vast green spaces, which often even boast of an old monument or two to add to the ambience. And when the sun shines as the temperature dips, there is nothing like a food outing.

Every winter, we organise a picnic. Friends bring all kinds of food — from sandwiches and aloo puri to pasta and cold cuts. My friend Harsh is much in demand when a picnic is organised because he always carries with him delicious kachoris with a spicy potato curry. The kachoris come from a shop called Gopal Sweets Corner in north Delhi, and its fare, indeed, is “mashhoor”, which is the word most kachori-wallahs tend to use to describe their food.

I was in the Delhi University area one evening when I thought I should look up Gopal. This is in Kamla Nagar, but at the very end of this bustling market. If you make your way from Ramjas College towards Shakti Nagar crossing, you will find Gopal on your left just before a traffic signal. It’s an old shop which has given much pleasure to students, teachers and others for decades.

When I used to go there many years ago, it was a tiny place. But it has grown substantially in the last few years. As always, the place was crowded to the hilt. And what surprised me was that a whole lot of people were actually eating bedmi-sabzi, which is traditionally considered a breakfast meal, late in the evening. But it’s one of my favourite dishes (I just had bedmi from Mahalaxmi in Chandni Chowk for lunch some days ago), so I shouldn’t complain. But that day I wanted Gopal’s kachoris.

Crispy and crunchy

The kachoris came on a plate, with a bowl of potato sabzi on the side. They added some chholey to the sabzi and then topped it with a bit of yoghurt to balance out the spices. The kachoris was deliciously crisp — and when I broke it into two, it snapped with a crunchy sound that was like music to my ears. I broke off a small piece, scooped out some hot and spicy potato curry with the chholey and popped it into my mouth. One bite of it, and I was in seventh heaven.

Gopal’s USP is the freshness of his stuff. The kachori is fried right there and then (as is the bedmi, and the other snacks) so it’s deliciously crisp and “khasta”. Some of the food is cooked in the two new shops that Gopal has acquired, but the kachoris are fried in a huge kadhai in front of you. And that, of course, added to the taste.

A plate of two bedmi puri is for ₹40, two pieces of kachori are for ₹24 and two samosas for ₹24. Paneer bread is for ₹30 and aloo bread for ₹18. A piece of gulab jamun is for ₹16 and jalebi is for ₹140 a kilo.

I find that Gopal now has a regular menu, too, in the adjoining outlet called Gopal foods. They offer dum aloo (₹140), rajma (₹150) and jeera aloo (₹120). Gopal’s special thhali with three kinds of vegetable dishes, rice, papad, raita, one rasgulla, two naans or missi rotis or lachcha parathas is for ₹215.

It’s nice to know that Gopal has expanded over the years. And it’s good to be assured that his kachoris are still among the best in town.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 1:30:19 PM |

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