While idling on Twitter the other day, I came across this recipe for Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwiches in the British edition of upmarket food magazine, delicious. The accompanying picture, I think, is meant to conjure up lazy afternoons watching Wimbledon with posh snacks but it also reminded me of something a little closer to home.
Possibly Old Delhi’s most surprising street food joints is the Jain Coffee House in Raghu Ganj. People are always astonished by it, not just because of the location, in a quiet little grain store off bustling Chawri Bazar, but also because of the sweet delicacy of Pavan Kumar Jain’s fruit sandwiches.
Depending on the season Mr Jain makes exceedingly refreshing mango or apple-based sandwiches. As you can see from the picture the Jains don’t skimp on fillings and each one is assembled with great care. First a slice of soft white bread is spread with orange marmalade (if you’re already saying “gross!”, please, just bear with me!). Then some slivers of fresh paneer, butter, a handful of sliced grapes, a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and slices of seasonal fruit – mango in summer and apple in the winter. They also make the most wonderful mango and chickoo milkshakes as well as tea and coffee (hot and cold)
The family’s main business is still grain-trading and the sandwiches are a sideline, but what a sideline! If you think you can’t face Old Delhi in the summer, try the Jain Coffee House – park yourself next to a sack of wheat and tuck in.
Jain Coffee House, open 10am till 8pm. From Chawri Bazar Metro walk along Chawri Bazar until almost at the left turn into Nai Sarak. On your left is a small gully, Raghu Ganj – walk in and turn left, Jain Coffee House is the grain store at the far left.