Tried and Tasted: Treat your sweet tooth this time with the best moong dal halwa in Delhi
This Sunday, head to Churuwala Marwari Halwai in Chandni Chowk for the best moong dal halwa in Delhi.tried and tasted Updated: Aug 01, 2017 15:14 IST
A revolution knocks on the door – and it comes with a fork and knife. The world of food is more exciting than ever before. New restaurants are coming up offering novel cuisines or digging out old ones. Chefs are looking at unusual ingredients and dramatic ways of presenting food. Meanwhile, some wizened old experts continue to wield magic with their skewers and ladles in remote parts of the city. There is a world waiting to be discovered or re-embraced– new cooking styles, world food, sub-regional cuisine and tiny holes in the wall which produce the most delightful dishes. Here’s a guided tour.
I have often said that I don’t have a sweet tooth; I have a sweet tusk. As the weather changes, so does my yen for sweets. When it rains, I long for ghevar – a monsoon special prepared with sugar syrup and flour – or some kind of dal halwa, a deliciously rich dessert of well roasted dals.
I love sweets prepared with cottage cheese, too, but this is the season when chhaina sweets don’t last long. And that’s why I look out for something more lasting – such as moong dal halwa.
That is the sweet that gives me much pleasure when it rains, or when winter creeps in. I have a few special go-to points for moong dal halwa. One of the best is a little sweet shop called Churuwala Marwari Halwai in Chandni Chowk.
Churuwala is in Galli Kucha Mahajani, just off the main hub of Chandni Chowk. The lane is actually a bullion market, so you make your way to the sweet shop through piles of silverware in a very dark lane. And while a small signboard there points to your destination, your nose would already have nudged you, for a nice aroma of ghee and sugar tells you that you have arrived.
This place is known for sweets prepared with dal, flour or other such ingredients. So this is not where you get the usual chhaina or milk-based sweets such as rasgullahs or rasmalai. But you do get some excellent malpua, gond ki laddoo, besan ki laddoo and gujiya, apart from, of course, moong dal halwa.
There are a few sweets with khoya in them (such as small pedas, a chocolate burfi, gulab jamuns and a stuffed parwal), but the khoya is roasted for so long on a slow fire that it changes colour, becomes delicious (with sugar) and poses no danger in this season of lurking germs.
Sweet shops across Delhi offer a wide variety of sweets, made more exotic with cream and dry fruits, and long and flowery names. Churuwala, which has been selling sweets for 50 or 60 years now, doesn’t believe in all that. It has a few sweets to offer, but has a dedicated clientele. Because this is the season for ghevar, huge quantities of the sweet were being packed and sold.
But I wanted my moong dal ki halwa, which, as I expected, was delicious. The moong paste had been fried for so long in sugar syrup and ghee that it had become grainy and had a deliciously nutty aroma of roasted dal and ghee.
This is not where you should be if you are on a diet, for it is sinfully rich. But if you love Indian sweets – as I do – then you should doff your cap to Churuwala. In its little corner in Chandni Chowk, the halwais have been making magic with their karchi and kadhai for long. And may they continue to do so.
(Rahul Verma has been writing on food for over 25 years now. And, after all these years, he has come to the conclusion that the more he writes, the more there is left to be written)
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First Published: Jul 09, 2017 11:22 IST