Every year, during the winters it is almost customary for me to go a few times to Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi) to enjoy this traditional dessert, Daulat Ki Chat. It starts appearing on the roads on the advent of the winters and is over by March. The parting hug (for this season though) of this delicacy was as warm as ever. And it has an interesting story.
I was introduced to Daulat Ki Chat a few years ago. Since then, I am sold to it. I would have have eaten from almost every push cart in the vicinity such as Paranthewali Gali, Dariba, Chawri Bazar and Chowk Hauz Qazi. And each time I had it, I would fall in even deeper love with it. In fact, I have initiated quite a few people to enjoy this delicacy, including my daughter.
If you are still unaware of this milk froth based dessert, you may like to gain some knowledge from here when I wrote a blogpost about it earlier:
So far I was quite happy about this Daulat Ki Chat , but then last week, suddenly I was made to realise that what a fool I was !! How ?
The story goes like this. In the middle of March this year, I went to Chawri Bazar to had this gem. Having enjoyed, once again, dutifully clicked a picture and posted on my social media to let my connections know that the vendors informed me that coming Sunday would be the last day to enjoy it because the summer was setting in. Some thanked, some enquired what it was, some made plans and some kept wondering why is it that it won’t be available? Well, let it rest here for a while.
Two days later, on my Instagram feed I got a post from Amit Pattnaik, a fellow food lover, about a shop in Sitaram Bazar selling “original” Daulat Ki Chat and that once having tasted that, one will forget going to the push carts, forever. The post gave the address and the phone numbers too.
“Original” ? Quality that makes you forget what you have been eating since long ? These phrases got imprinted in the mind. This needed to be tested for sure. So, we contacted and the phone was answered in the most polite tone. Enquired about Daulat Ki Chat and the voice said, for this season, they were already done with it. They discontinued making it a couple of days ago. Perhaps, recognizing that our voice sounded disappointed, the voice on the other end did not leave it that. Sanjay, who dialed the number, was assured that not to worry, if they get an order from anyone in next two days for a slightly large quantity, he shall make some for us too and shall call back to inform. This was on a Tuesday.
On Saturday, in the late afternoon the phone rang and Sanjay pleasingly informed that he got a call and that they have got an order for supply. And that we were more than welcome to come and enjoy our share which he shall keep aside for us. He also gave directions and landmarks to reach his outlet. We were quite impressed with his passion to serve his customers even though whom he would not have ever met. Even though, we were not bulk customers.
On the appointed day, three of us, me, Govind and Sanjay landed around 9 in the morning. A small hole-in-the-wall outlet was still in the state of being setup. A gentleman sat perched on a stool. We were greeted and the moment we asked for the delicacy, he went inside and started preparing. No questions asked.
First, a few serving spoons of the that frothy cream was transferred to a big steel bowl and whisked. From the bowl, scoops were put in three earthen bowls. This was then sprinkled with castor sugar with measured hands. Then saffron water was poured followed by the Khoya Khurchan. Finally, crushed pistachios were sprinkled before handing over the bowls to us. This beauty literally bowled you over on the first look.
The first spoon in the mouth told you it was a symphony of flavours and textures. The creamy froth was aptly aerated and yet had the silky body of the cream. The sugar was just the right quantity. The Khoya Khurchan was the killer for it added a texture and a higher level of taste to the whole thing. Well, this to me is surely the real Daulat Ki Chat. Rest all are second copies. Simple.
The gentleman introduced himself as Rakesh Gupta, the owner, who took pride in being Khandani (traditional family) in making this delicacy. He said what you get on the push carts is a fake copy and has chemicals in it. His was the real as he was the second generation into this. However, these days it is made inside the shop using ice for cooling the milk froth. Gone are the days when they used to keep it on the rooftop to have the effect from dew drops. They also make various Kulfies which he insisted that we must taste. We did and believe me they are really good. I shall visit them again sometime only to try their various fruit kulfies.
Well, this Daulat Ki Chat is different and surely is the real thing. Rest all are compromise, for sure. I say so because I would have tasted this from almost every vendor available in the vicinity. Then, lately I tasted it in a five star during a program. That was certainly better than the push carts one (they also claimed they have come from Old Delhi). But the one from Rakesh Gupta certainly takes the gold.
Alas, I have to wait for another 6-8 months before I could go an enjoy it. Till then, wait for it.
Bon Appetite !!