A city’s foodie scene is as good as the citizens demand or patronize. It not only depicts the city’s social, cultural and anthropological history, it also highlights the way people devour food, especially new types. Belgaum is waking up to welcome some great culinary treats, though the city still merits some more varieties not yet available here. The time is just right here, with the rains barely making their presence felt to ignite some ‘chatpata’ cravings and the nip in the evening air meaning you can gulp down something spicy.
If you’ve craved for some authentic Delhi Chaats, and wondered when you’ll get to taste them without going to Delhi, here’s some good news. Delhi Chaats, the special chaat eatery opened a while ago at Shanti Kutir, Somwar Peth, Tilakwadi.
Started by an avid foodie Rohit Kolhapure, it looks and feels quite sober, if you expect the place to be all noisy, colorful and fun. Rohit has used clean lines for his furniture, mostly modular and subtle muted colors for the décor. He’s currently using some printed use-n-throw menu cards though he says he plans to revamp the menu and have nice cards soon.
On a cold Saturday evening, his place was frequented by young folks, mostly in the age group of 20 to 40, so typical of chaat aficionados. A lone cook and a help is all you see, but they breeze through in no time. Rohit is currently taking orders as you glance up on the printed board within the eatery, only to get confused with similar sounding dishes. He currently offers a choice of chaats, gol gappas, flavoured gol gappas (think: pineapple, strawberry, orange flavoured water), gol gappa shots, hot beverages and desserts (just one: walnut sizzling brownie). Aloo paneer tikkis, karari tikki, Amritsari Chole chaat, cone chaat, dry fruit chilla chaat, kanji wada chaat, hot pot chaat, are some names that would seduce the glutton in you.
We tasted six varieties, the aloo matar paneer tawa chat (which was the best so far, literally sautéed on the tawa/girdle), Kashmiri chaat ( fresh taste, with green peppers, anardana, beans and really light on the palate), paneer ki karari tikki and aloo tikki ( both tasted almost the same with the paneer quite mashed up to resemble the aloo), Sindhi gol gappas, basket chaat (just two baskets, if you would wonder).
All the dishes are prepared within minutes with the ingredients and the base ready to be rustled. The onions are peculiarly cut into rings to go along with the dishes, something unlike Belagavi chaats where they are finely diced. Some dishes were cold since they had dahi in it while those supposed to be hot (like the tawa chaat) were not quite as hot, except the tangy liquid. The taste needs applause where Rohit has managed to stay true to the essence of fresh ingredients, all the dishes burst with flavors of the several ingredients which you can tell the difference from.
He also has Punjabi lassi, he recommended. All the dishes range between 40 and 50 rupees which feels on the northern side considering the portion size. But if you value the authentic ingredients , clean environs and awesome flavors, added to the original ‘Dilliwala’ cook he has hired, you wouldn’t mind shelling out around 200 to 300 for two persons with 5 to 6 options that can be shared. Don’t expect the routine industrial sized dishes of the chaat stalls in the city doused with tamarind and jaggery water and topped with mounds of shev.
Try Delhi Chaats for the flavours. Some fun, music, noise and colors for the place could be recommended, for chaats are not something you would like to seriously, silently sit and have!
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