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Take away flavours of old Delhi

Quintessential Dilli, and yet a Dilli that can slip under the radar of popular interest. The Brunch team discovers a slice of their beloved city that’s not often served to those who do not seek!

brunch Updated: Jan 10, 2015, 13:40 IST
Saudamini Jain
Saudamini Jain
Hindustan Times

Bedmi aloo is a perfect breakfast. The deep fried, crisp balls of dough (sort of like its half-breed cousin, the puri – but so much more) served with fiery aloo sabzi, and often spicy mashed pumpkin are cooked in more ghee than you’d like to know about. It is the pride of the vegetarian communities (the Jains and the banias) of Chandni Chowk.

Getting the dough right for the bedmi is an art. But even a passable bedmi can work if you get the aloo right. So here’s a tip.

In Kinari Bazaar, where you’d otherwise head only for trousseau shopping, is Kedara, which sells special packaged masalas. This little shop is an open secret. It’s been around since the 1920s, says Ajay Gupta, the 38-year-old owner. It was originally a regular kiraana store, specialising in churans.

“We were a family of vaids from Uttar Pradesh, my grandfather started this shop,” he says, adding, “Herbs and spices run in our blood.” They sell all sorts of masalas, plain spices and those mixed up for all kinds of dishes. But are best known for capturing the soul of Purani Dilli’s street food in little boxes.

Get the kaala chaat masala (for aloo chaat, fruit chat and kullas, those little boiled potato baskets), dahi bhalla masala, channa masala and of course bedmi aloo ka masala.

For as long as I can remember, my mother who grew up in the walled city, has been handing these out to friends. Really, it’s all you need.

From HT Brunch, January 11, 2015
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