I am purposefully wanting to use this phrase, “Symphony Of Dichotomies”, for the experience I had last week, could only be summed up like this. Like an Oxymoron, the opposites (dichotomies) combine here to produce a symphony of flavours and textures. Someone told me about this outlet in a posh South Delhi Famous Market and I am really glad that I went there. Here I got to taste, possibly one of the best Dahi Kebabs, although they call it Dahi Ke Sholay and Hara-Bhara Kebab. Where ? And what are the dichotomies that I am talking of? To know more, read on…
So, first let me talk of the Symphony Of Dichotomies:
Its a small old time kiosk in a Posh South Delhi’s famous INA Market.
It is an unassuming type of an outlet and yet has a huge fan following.
The food items have basic rustic flavours and yet are of high quality.
The prices are damn low but; the portions are large.
Its run by an old Husband-Wife duo and yet they operate separately.
Now, this is becoming quite interesting !! Let me introduce this place and the food to you.
Adjoining the famous INA Market, Opposite Dilli Haat in South Delhi, there is row of kiosks called Kashmir Market. This small, or rather tiny, Kiosk is first in the row once you come down from the Flyover from the Jor Bagh side while going towards AIIMS. You blink and you miss it. And yet you cannot miss it for you would see a conspicuous sign announcing ” Dahi Ke Sholay”, yes this the name for the Dahi Kebab they make. The small signboard atop this small kiosk says, Pt. Ramsharan Sharma followed by a cell phone number and rate list of the eight items they offer for enjoying.
We approached the gentleman, Sharma Ji and realised that his kiosk could barely accommodate him and just his serving counter. Where are the items which have a fan following? Anyway, without bothering much, we placed our order for two pieces each of Dahi Ke Sholay and Hara-Bhara Kebab. Immediately, looking towards us and yet overlooking us, in a polite yet loud voice he shouted,” Do aur Dahi Ke Sholay aur do Hara-Bhara Kebab kar dena” (please make two more Dahi Kebabs and Hara-Bhara Kebabs). We turned back curiously and noticed that a few feet away, in another stall was the kitchen. An old yet a decent lady, apparently Mrs Sharma, was spotted making and dishing out the goodies.
Soon, the freshly fried goodies were brought to Sharma ji and in no time were served to us.
Two large size Golden Fried Dahi Ke Sholay or the Dahi Kebabs sat pretty in the paper bowl. They were neatly cut into halves. I picked up the first one and it was pipping hot. The golden yellow curst was crisp which had a filling of thick Curd which almost oozed out and yet was in place. The first bite told me that it was damn fresh and tasty. The crisp crust which was not oily at all, though fried, leads you to a tasty filling of creamy hung curd which had a thick runny consistency having basic seasoning and had onion, coriander and Capsicum. Unlike elsewhere, the filling of Curd was not very dry either or nor runny. Yet if you are not careful, it might drip out although it is firmly stuffed. I would have tried Dahi Kebab at many a leading restaurants and parties. I do not think that anyone would be able to match this quality.
Having finished half of the Dahi Ke Sholey, I couldn’t resist picking up the half portion of the cylindrical shaped Hara-Bhara Kebab which had a white granular coating over a dark brown casing. The coating was of semolina (sooji) which gave it a crispy edge. The first bite and it was a combination of textures. Crispiness lead to a gooey casing and to then to the ingredients of potatoes, coriander, green chilli done in basic spices. It did not have any dry fruits or any other frill. Basic yet very tasty. It was delight to enjoy this unique Hara-Bhara Kebab, a combo of well balanced ingredients and almost zero visible oil.
The Kebabs are served with a combo of Tomato Ketchup and Green Chutney. Ask Sharma ji and he would happily give you the description of his Green Chutney, with pride. He told us that the unique tanginess in his chutney comes from the use of Indian Gooseberry (Amla) and that he does not use any colour. He says that this is the reason that if you keep this chutney for a slightly long period, the colour would start turning dark due to the oxidation of the Amla. And that is his test of purity of the Chutney. Even the Tomato Ketchup seemed of good quality. I tried the kebabs with both Ketchup and the Chutney. Not bad though, I liked enjoying them without any condiment.
On our way back, we halted for a while to chat with Mrs Sharma. A shy yet graceful lady, while not taking her eyes off her work, did talk to us. We enjoyed the way she mechanically, yet with love and affection, shaped the Kebabs, coated them in semolina and fried. There seemed no hassle on her face and was enjoying what she was doing.
This husband wife duo are not “Baba Class“. They are humble, self confident and are doing brisk business. Do not visit them to “help” them. Visit them to taste and enjoy the wonderful, rustic goodies they serve and give you good value for your money. Our order of Two large sized Dahi Ke Sholey and Two large sized Hara-Bhara Kebabs put us behind by just INR 90/-. Literally a feast at throw away prices.
If you are passing by, do give it a try. I am sure you would not be disappointed. Till then…
Bon Appetite !!