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Tried and Tasted: This is the best place in Delhi to have chholey bhaturey

The delicious chholey at the Standard Corner in Old Rajinder Nagar has a special flavour – with a distinct taste of anardana, turmeric and freshly pounded red chillies. What makes the bhaturey stand out is the stuffing of grated cottage cheese.

tried and tasted Updated: Sep 17, 2017 08:58 IST
Rahul Verma
Standard Corner is on a lane in the main market of Old Rajinder Nagar.
Standard Corner is on a lane in the main market of Old Rajinder Nagar.(HT Photo)

Sometimes I think I missed my true calling in life. I should have done my PhD – but not on any esoteric subject such as the number of worms eaten by the early bird. My thesis would have been on chholey bhaturey, and I would certainly have enjoyed delving deep into the subject.

Indeed, if there is one subject that I have been pursuing hard, it’s chholey bhaturey. I have visited almost every bhaturey-wallah worth his salt in the city, and compiled my own list on the best of the lot. The ones on top of the chart are Chacha in Kamla Nagar near Delhi University, Nagpal in Amar Colony and Nand in Sadar Bazar. But there are a great many others whose fare I swear by, and one of them is Standard Corner in Old Rajinder Nagar.

I had their chholey bhaturey when they opened their shop near the Shankar Road Market in New Rajinder Nagar in 2004. It moved to the old part of the neighbourhood across the road some seven years ago, and when I went there last, I found it bustling with life.

The shop is on a lane in the main market of Old Rajinder Nagar. Look out for a juice shop and take the lane across the road from it.

The area has changed dramatically in recent time. What used to be a sleepy neighbourhood is now teeming with youngsters. For this has become the hub of IAS aspirants, who take rooms on rent there and mug through the day for the civil service exams with the help of material provided by coaching centres around.

This, clearly, is a good place for a chholey bhaturey shop. It was always popular, but I find that it’s now bursting at the seams. I asked for the usual – a plate of chholey bhaturey, and carried my food to a high table.

The chholey has a special flavour here, for you get the distinct taste of anardana (dried pomegranate seeds), turmeric and red chillies, which are freshly pounded. It has small pieces of potatoes and tinier bits of cottage cheese in it. And while it’s spicy – it’s also delicious.

I enjoy their bhatureys, too. The fried breads (prepared with fermented dough) are soft and are of the right size. Sometimes, a bhatura can be as big as a child’s football and that always overwhelms me – for there is never enough chholey left for the last bits of a big bhatura. What makes Standard Corner different from many other chholey bhaturey places is the stuffing of grated cottage cheese in the bhaturey.

The chholey bhaturey is served with spicy green chillies filled with mustard seeds and tart pickled carrot sticks.

I tore off a part of the fluffy bhatura, scooped out some chholey with it and popped it into my mouth. I took a bite of the green chilli, and nibbled the pickled carrot with it. And I wondered why there were all these youngsters waiting to join the IAS. Some among them should, instead, think of a career in studying chholey bhaturey. It can be, as I often think, soul-satisfying work. To say nothing of the stomach.