Chikki Market and Gupta Chaat Wallah, Old Delhi

IMG_4573
As we cling onto the last few cool days here, it’s a perfect time to take a leisurely wander around Old Delhi and enjoy some some of the winter specialities that are still available.

One of the never-ending delights of walking in Old Delhi is coming across the tiny markets within markets, the little lanes devoted to one commodity. This winter I discovered a market tucked away in Kothi Shri Mandir near the Khari Baoli spice market and devoted almost entirely to Chikki – a type of nut brittle made from jaggery in the winter months.

Kothi Shri Mandir is so narrow there is hardly any daylight and it almost feels like walking through a secret underground passageway where your path is lit on either side by piles of magical sugar.

IMG_4399

IMG_4409

IMG_4412

There’s chikki everywhere you look made from sesame (also called gajak), peanuts, cashews even dried rose petals which come in all shapes and sizes – bars, rolls, discs, slabs, golf balls, tiny coin-sized pieces and hearts.

IMG_4403

This is my favourite shop, Lal Chand Rewri Wale – beautiful fresh chikki and I love the way the owner is practically wearing his merchandise.

IMG_4415

There are also some namkeen shops in the street like Pappu Caterers who sell everything you could possibly wish for to put a bit of crunch into your chaat – the spinach matri was particularly good.

IMG_4394

IMG_4395

You can  see the chikki being made in some of the shops – these guys are pounding slabs of sesame and jaggery

IMG_4477

And this is the peanut brittle being shapedIMG_4570
IMG_4401

As you come back out of Kothi Shri Mandir, take a minute to appreciate Gali Batashan itself – a whole street devoted to all things sugary, pickled and candied – like these carrots, ginger and amla.
IMG_4417

The gali is also home to some excellent snacks. The Bombay Sandwich wallah often makes a stop here and there is a chana puri stall doing a roaring trade on the corner of Kothi Shri Mandir.  But my new favourite chaat is made by the Guptas who told me they had been in the gali for 45 years – verified by a happy customer who said he’d been visiting their stall for over 40. They run a hugely popular, very spic and span cart from which father and son dish up all kinds of fresh and flavoursome chaat.

IMG_4474

IMG_4419

IMG_4418

IMG_4476

Finally, on the corner of Gali Batashan and Khari Baoli there is a  seasonal vegetable stall – look at all these gorgeous black carrots, fresh green chick peas, star fruit, sweetcorn, lotus roots and fresh turmeric…

IMG_4424
Gali Batashan runs between Khari Baoli and Naya Bans.  If you’re coming from Khari Baoli, Kothi Shri Mandir, where you’ll find all the chikki wallahs, is the last turning on the left before reaching Naya Bans. Gupta Chaat wallah is on the left of Gali Batashan before you turn into Kothi Shri Mandir.  Here’s a map of the exact locations.  Go soon, though, the hot weather is on its way!

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=z5yQqd-1sTFU.kwW3uh74zD_M

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Chikki Market and Gupta Chaat Wallah, Old Delhi

  1. Oh, this post just made me ache for India. I spent some time in Delhi during the cold months – it really is transformed! I think it’s about time I make my pilgrimage to Chicago’s excellent Little India neighborhood. I’ve got a serious need for chaat now.

  2. This was a lovely read…I have not been able to visit old delhi for a while now…owing to mad schedules but your post ensures that I will find time to wander its streets soon..

  3. Hi Pamela
    Came across your blog when I was looking for Indian recipes using the Thermomix.
    I am an Anglo-Indian living in Oz. Your blog is fantastic, love the photos. All the street food looks awesome. Would love to know when your book is out. Keep up the great work!
    Anna.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s