Delhiwale: Meal for hardworking souls

A pavement stall run by a couple serves meat gravy and rotis to rickshaw-pullers and labourers in Sadar Bazar

delhi Updated: Mar 05, 2018 10:52 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Sadar Bazar
Beena Devi and Madan Lal at their roadside eatery in Sadar Bazaar.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Sadar Bazar in central Delhi teems with rickshaw pullers and daily wage labourers.

Where do these guys eat?

We soon find our answer: a mom-and-pop pavement stall on Indira Road. Beena Devi and Madan Lal have been running their eatery for 12 years. The afternoon rush is yet to begin and the couple is waiting for the first customer of the day. They have no one for company but a dog snoozing nearby.

“We always make two dishes, and both are made of goat meat,” says Ms Devi. The larger cauldron has something they call peti. Mr Lal takes off the lid and immediately an intensely fragrant meaty scent escapes into the dusty air. Dozens of whole red chillies are floating in the red gravy. The smaller cauldron has a gravy dish called shiri—it’s slightly more expensive.

“Shiri has liver while peti is made of what butchers generally discard,” explains Mr Lal.

They make both the dishes together at home — they live nearby in what they call Julhana colony. The rotis are freshly made by Ms Devi right here on the pavement.

“We earlier used to iron clothes but this work is easier,” says Mr Kumar, adding, “We set up the stall soon after our son passed away.”

Finally, a labourer stops by. He’s in a hurry and insists on getting his lunch packed to take to his worksite. Mr Lal quickly ladles peti into a black polythene bag while Ms Devi rolls out the rotis.

The couple then serves us a bowl of shiri with roti. It’s deliciously garlicky, if a tad too oily. The rotis are homely. We have three of them, for just Rs 10. The gravy dish was three times pricier. The stall functions daily from 10.30am to 5pm.

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 10:51 IST