Tried and Tasted: Want to have the best bedmi sabzi in Delhi? Read on
Jain Sa’ab’s Arihant Sweets on Ansari Road offers the best bedmi sabzi you can get in the Capital. Try it this weekend with Jain Sa’ab’s thick and creamy lassi.Updated: Aug 20, 2017 09:02 IST
The first time I went to Jain Sa’ab’s bedmi shop, I was put firmly in my place. In many eateries, you have to pay before you eat. I was trying to do that, but Jain Sa’ab shook his head sadly. “First eat, then pay,” he said.
That gave me an inkling of what kind of a place Jain Sa’ab’s Arihant Sweets on Ansari Road was going to be like. And I wasn’t disappointed. The old worldly charm is present in his food as well. His bedmi sabzi is among the best you can get in Delhi. And you know that even before you have eaten there, just by looking at the salivating crowds in front of the shop.
Arihant has been selling sweets and bedmi sabzi since 1991. The bedmi – thick puris with a filling of lentil paste – are fried in a big kadhai in front of the shop. What makes his fare special, to my mind, is the pumpkin sabzi that comes with the bedmi. Pumpkin or kaddu ki sabzi is something that I grew up with – for this was the special fare at every birth, wedding and death.
In many parts of Old Delhi and elsewhere, bedmi is served with a potato curry. Jain Sa’ab’s bedmi, apart from the pumpkin sabzi, comes with a light chholey-aloo curry. He adds a special fenugreek chutney to the chholey, which gives it a tart touch while complementing the mildly sweet taste of the pumpkin sabzi. You take a piece of the bedmi, dunk it in the chholey-aloo and pop it into your mouth. Then you take another piece, scoop out some kaddoo ki sabzi with it and munch it with a stuffed, pickled green chilli.
Jain Sa’ab is quite a legend in this part of town. Few know this place as Arihant, though that is its formal name. But ask anybody for Jain Sa’ab’s, and you will be directed right there.
It’s interesting to watch people at work there. Inside the shop are counters of sweets – burfi, besan laddoo, gulab jamun, and so on. On the outside are a few high tables to help people stand and eat. A man with a rolling pin rolls out the bedmis, which are fried right in front of you.
After you’ve had your bedmi sabzi, you must try out Jain Sa’ab’s lassi. Though purists insist that you don’t get good lassi once you cross Punjab, I don’t agree. Jain Sa’ab’s lassi, for instance, is thick and creamy -- and most delicious. And had on the side, it enhances the taste of the bedmi-sabzi. The lassi was earlier served in kulhars or earthen-ware cups, but the kulhar maker, alas, has not been keeping well. So the lassi now comes in plastic cups.
I have been going to Jain Sa’ab’s shop for the last 25 years or so. The bedmi and lassi are as good as they used to be. And I make sure that I don’t make the mistake of offering to pay first.
First Published: Aug 20, 2017 09:02 IST