Food

Punjabi Mirchi: Discovering a dew drop

AN IDEAL COMBO Chholey bhaturey offered by Punjabi Mirchi

AN IDEAL COMBO Chholey bhaturey offered by Punjabi Mirchi   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Located in the quiet neighbourhood of Mayur Vihar Phase-II, a plate of Punjabi Mirchi’s chholey bhaturey makes you feel all is well with the world

I can’t say that I have been a great follower of the works of Rabindranath Tagore. But there are people around me who are not just unabashed fans of the poet but quote him at the drop of a hat. One verse that is often sprung upon me (and without a warning, I may add) is about the poet’s search for wonders. He looks for sights across the world over time, but misses out on seeing a dew drop on a paddy leaf, just steps away from home.

I felt a bit like that when I saw a small chholey bhaturey outlet near my house. I, too, have travelled far and wide in search of this dish that is a lip-smacking example of the street food of north India. And here was this little place, just some yards away from my house, that I had overlooked?

Chholey bhaturey is occasionally our holiday breakfast — or even lunch. One day, a couple of weeks ago, I spotted a sign for chholey bhaturey almost at the mouth of Mayur Vihar Phase 2. I picked some from there, and thought they were surprisingly good.

But like a diligent researcher, I realised that one day’s results do not tell the whole story, so I went back there some days ago, and tried the fare out again. And then, once more, just to be sure.

I am now happy to tell you that Punjabi Mirchi’s chholey bhaturey are excellent. But before I get on to the food, let me tell you where this place is.

There used to a small mechanic’s outlet in Pocket D, on the main road. Vicky, the mechanic, decided to diversify. Meanwhile, Ajay Sood of Punjabi Mirchi in IP Extension was looking for a new location. The two got together, and Punjabi Mirchi moved to our neighbourhood (No. 4, Pocket D, Phone No: 9654242042)

And I must say I am very happy they did, for I no longer have to brave traffic and diversions for our holiday fare: I just hop, skip and jump to Punjabi Mirchi, pick up plates of freshly fried bhaturey with chholey, and hop, skip and jump back home.

Nice fragrance

I like both the chholey and the bhaturey. The chholey is well cooked, and I appreciate the fact that it is not oily. There are bits of potato pieces in it, which I really enjoy. It has a nice fragrance of spices, and the Ustad at the shop tells me that the chholey is flavoured with dried pomegranate seeds, mace, nutmeg, red chillies, black pepper, coriander powder and cumin powder.

The bhatureys are soft and filled with paneer. Ustadji tells me they have to be careful about the amount of paneer to be put in the chholey: too much, and it bursts; too little, and it leaves no taste.

Each plate of chholey bhaturey — served with pickled amla, green chillies stuffed with mustard seeds, onion slices and green chutney — is for ₹50. They have now started serving chholey with rice, which is for ₹40 a plate.

I tear off a bit from a bhatura, roll it around the thick chholey, make a neat little micro-roll and pop it into my mouth. And then I take a bite of the amla and the green chillies. An onion is cut at home (I stay away from cut onion served outside), and I take a bite of that, too. And then all is well with the world.

I find that Punjabi mirch is slowly getting its share of loyal clients. I certainly am one of them. It’s my little dew drop, in my own backyard.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 11:51:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/punjabi-mirchi-discovering-a-dew-drop/article20550156.ece

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