Chandani Chowk,one of the busiest area in Old Delhi has been around for more than three centuries. Wiki tells me that allÂ the merchants & invaders who ever crossed the walled city flocked past it,thus speaking volumes about its popularity and worth. The congested lanes dotted with shops selling linen,clothing, jewellery, books, electronics, footwear and what notÂ turn so busy after noon,the peak time when the wholesale dealings begin that you could skip a breath trying to carve your way past them. Being in hurry is a way of life in this part of the city which is eternally teeming with people butÂ has something to offer to everybody who lands here.
For me, the areaÂ is one of the best places to shop and eat if you happen to be in Delhi. It has a charm, a retro yet modern feel which is missing inside the food courts & malls.However, it is quite unfortunate that I caught on to the magnificence of the area quite late. I remember my first time there with dad and how claustrophobic I felt. In an effort to catch the glimpse of the sky, I looked up and all I saw were aÂ cacophony of electric wires and the countless birds sitting on them, the rows of laundry sun drying and dilapidated balconies of houses, spaced at arm's lengthÂ from one another.
It was again during school years that I visited the place for our book hunting and chaat (street food) tasting hangout with friends. In those years, the Delhi Metro was still in the works and reaching Chandani Chowk from my home meant commuting through a couple of buses to a central point & then either hopping on to a rickshaw or walking down to your destination.It took effort, a whole lot of it.
I thronged the area much more during my pre wedding months, the place is a heaven for women interested in shopping for bridal gear and mom and me really looked forward to our Saturday shopping trips.We used to catch the morning metro as early as possible to get there and finish by noon before the shopper frenzy started.
For obvious reasons I skipped breakfast on those days.The food choices were unlimited and dreamy.We ate a different thing at a different eatery each time. It was on one of those trips that I discovered Chole PaneerÂ from a street side eatery, served with ribbon thin onion rings and puffy bhaturas (fried flatbread) and hot, really hot pickle. It is fit to beÂ the best chickpeas dish I have eaten in a long long time.Oily, spicy and creamy from soft melt in the mouth chunks of paneer, I am already salivating as I write this after so many years, so you can imagine what I mean here.
Over the years, I have come up with a recipe which (sort of) caters to the needs & tastes of my family - the husband doesnt want the 'yellow' from turmeric and if he had his way he would pick out the paneer too. I like how the lightly mashed chickpeas pick up the milky richness from paneer and would not give up on that ever! Although in the real world, I serve it with naan or kulcha,I bet they are no comparison to those oil drenched soft bhaturas!
Rosa May (@RosasYummyYums)
So comforting and tasty! A great rainy day dish.
How to Philosophize with Cake
That looks awesome! I love vegetarian paneer dishes, will have to try this one sometime soon. 🙂
A mouthwatering dish! Loved every bit of the post!
Lail | With A Spin
I remember Chandani Chawk from a trip to India. A vibrant place. Mouthwatering chole.
love it! i've added it to my long list of bookmarked recipes but have a feeling this'll happen sooner than later.
Oh, I've never been to Chandani Chowk, but your beautiful description took me there.
And the channa looks delicious! Gorgeous, gorgeous photographs, as always!
One of my best friends her mom used to make bhaturas, they were crispy fried flatbreads and she would make it with a chickpea and potato dish...brings back great memories, and I like the use of paneer with the chickpeas as I love Paneer 🙂
Chana - Bhatura is what steak & potatoes are to north indians 🙂 You will love paneer ever more with bhaturas - trust me 🙂
Anjana @ At The Corner Of Happy & Harried
This combines two of my favorite ingredients - chana and paneer! What an idea!!
Lovely mix of chole and paneer. Pics look so amazing. Wonderfully prepared.
pink and black
Tanvi what an interesting combination, and I was under the impression that Ma would make this only to use the remaining paneer in the fridge 🙂 this would be a staple on our dinning table, if we had paneer left overs from dinner the night before. You took me back by alomost 20 years with this post 🙂
ha ha..you know as I mentioned in my post, I discovered this dish pretty late myself but it combines two of my fav things ever so there was no way I could stop making it after that 🙂
Boil the channa with tea bags, depending on the qty used, colour becomes black, and it looks good with black channa and white paneer pieces. Tastes yummy.
Looks gorgeous and must taste amazing 🙂
Hi Tanvi, Any suggestions for the chaat masala and garam masala. Are you making your own? The recipe looks very tasty! This is my first visit to your site. : )
Thank you Michelle.
I alternate between store bought(it is available in spice aisle of grocery stores here)and homemade garam masala.I will try to share my recipe some time. You could get chaat masala at any indian/pakistani store for a couple of bucks but if you don't just add a bit of lime juice & cayenne to mimic the tart/sour taste.
Reblogged this on Hobby Cooks and commented:
Love the Combination of paneer, chole