Delhiwale: Apple, mango or malai, here’s a sandwich treat from Chawri Bazar | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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Delhiwale: Apple, mango or malai, here’s a sandwich treat from Chawri Bazar

The fruit sandwich here is a delicacy, though there are other options too. Make up your mind quickly — there is no room for the hanger-on

delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2017 09:40 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
The basic ingredients of each fruit sandwich, besides the fruit, are white cream, home-made paneer and sugary kesar chutney.
The basic ingredients of each fruit sandwich, besides the fruit, are white cream, home-made paneer and sugary kesar chutney.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Pho)

Like most essential Old Delhi destinations, the Jain Coffee House looks terribly modest. Situated beside a granary in Chawri Bazar, it has been serving fruit sandwiches since 1948.

The sandwiches, with apple, chiku, pineapple, and grape stuffed between slices of white bread, are a delicacy you will probably not find anywhere else in the Capital.

The basic ingredients of each fruit sandwich, besides the fruit, are white cream, home-made paneer and sugary kesar chutney. Some of the specialties are seasonal, but the rule doesn’t apply to all seasonal produce. The mango sandwich, for instance, is available round the year. They also serve toasted sandwiches with a simple filling of tomatoes and cucumber.

The area where the Jain Coffee House is located has a colourful history. It was a red-light district during the Mughal era. Serious-minded city explorers, however, visit the area to photograph crumbling old balconies and try delicious streetside, vegetarian-only snacks such as aloo tikkis, gol-gappas and bedmi puri.

If you don’t have a taste for fruit sandwiches, you might like the savoury namkeen sandwich layered with paneer, tomato slices, pomegranate seeds, and flavoured with coriander leaves and light spices.

The dimly lit coffee house is owned by a family of grain merchants from north Delhi’s Kanhaiya Nagar. A few assistants spend the day placing sliced tomatoes on slices of white bread. Its founder, Lala Shambhu Dayal Jain, had migrated to the city from Shikarpur in western Uttar Pradesh.

The coffee house also serves fruit shakes. But you should wash down the sandwiches with its excellent ginger-flavoured chai.

Sadly, Jain Coffee House doesn’t have patience for people who like to sit for hours over a single cup of coffee. A Hindi-language notice on the wall warns the customer not to “waste our time by idling in the shop”.