When Mumbaikars feel jealous of Delhi’s cosmopolitanism, they dismiss its people as villagers. They are right, partly. Delhi has 275 villages. The most upscale neighbourhoods lie next to rutty villages. Cowsheds look to skyscrapers. The city’s rural character is reflected in its milk shakes. A fine dining restaurant may risk serving a watery banana shake, but the street cart can never, if it wants to survive.
In summer, the fruit market near Sewa Nagar railway station has vendors equipped with electric mixers. Standing behind rows of mangoes, their shakes are creamy and chunky with mango flesh. Sometimes, they are topped with candied cherries. On special request (and extra charge), you get malai (clotted cream) too.
The stall outside Gurdwara Motibagh, on Ring Road, has urban aspirations. Besides the banana, mango and cheeku shakes, it has chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavours. In the vanilla shake, there is too much milk, sugar and vanilla. But that’s ok and it’s very popular with nearby Venkesteswara College students. One of the most popular shake joint, however, is in Connaught Place. Keventers, Radial Road 3, A Block, always has a big crowd outside its counter in evenings.
Many lovers have broken up and made up over its strawberry shake down the years. Naivedyam restaurant in Hauz Khas Village is a south Indian speciality restaurant where people go for idlis and dosas. Not many know that it serves one of the cheeku shakes in town. For those who are too lazy to explore, step into any coffee chain outlet. Their selection of shakes is wide and shakes are delicious and fulfilling.