Rare are the opportunities for the dwellers of the Millennium City to savor, in the true sense, the age-old delicacies of Chandni Chowk, or to experience in its true setting, a first-hand taste of what happens to be the livelihood of families whose generations have been engaged in concocting exquisiteness for centuries over.
The charm of Purani Dilli will never, neither should it ever, want to mix with that of Nayi Dilli. This gap is unique and we must agree that it should remain, the way it has been - for all the times to come.
Students of the School of Hospitality Management, forever hungry to create never-before events, have charted out in their curriculum, a busy calendar of activities, out of which, they chose, for this season a Purani Dilli ki Raunaq. Such young, bubbly students, once given the liberty to go wild on their imagination, always come up with exceptional ideas… was the comment of the Chef Sunil, the man behind “Foods Streets of Purani Dilli”
It was an enjoyable, yet a formal afternoon, Ibtidaa – for starters, were the tongue-teasers, known popularly, in the hospitality students’ jargon, as “appetite arousers” as Gol Gappas, chaat-papri, aloo tikki – served by a young student Sparsh Kapoor – who challenged anybody to come up with anything even close to her special creation she was proudly serving at her ‘Ashoka Chaat Bhandaar’
While Jaskeerat Singh promotes his Kake di Hatti, in which, he swears, the a ‘real dal makhni’ being served with a choice of mirch, laccha and garlic paranthas, Deepanshu, his next-door neighbour is even louder about, brandishing on his very work table, decorated neatly in jars, the ‘real masalas – star anise, red chilly, cumin, black cardamom , bay leaf, chana dal and cinnamon sticks’ that he made use of to create his own version of a Nihari Gosht. “Without a Sheermal…Nihari is not good at all” says he, putting three of them together on the ‘customer’s’ plate.
Al-Jawahar, a name that indirectly suggests ‘an amalgamation of cultures’ is where Rishabh put up his chicken biryani with a cooler Chhacch…’ Chandni Chowk is the real Purani Dilli, shouts Gautam serving his Kachoris, for which, he admits, he worked for a whole week…! This challenge is soon met by Shrawan running “Natraj Dahi Bhalla” who claims to revive the legacy of Dahi Bhallas and Aloo Tikkis cooked in Desi Ghee…absolutely pure… he confidently insists..
Aashna claims that her Kashmiri Wazwaan, is incomparable and incontestable – which, she prophesizes is my greatest strength, and the biggest weakness of my clients. “Hand-chosen saffron rice, cooked with tender meatballs with a flavoured yoghurt gravy” – How does that sound…? asks she with a grin on her face.
Sunil Thapa, playing Babu Ram, Parathe Wala next door, sporting his big belly, super confident about his handiwork, wipes his face (and mouth) with his Gamchha, and nullifies Aashna’s assertion by claiming – “You perhaps do not know what the world swears by – these are my Aloo Parathas” – they are famous all over the globe, across the seven continents…What are you talking about…?
“How sweet are we…!!” Says Ekhagrah, churning out a perfect, rather a geometry-perfect design of a jalebi…” Ek baar khaega, baar-baar aayega” whosoever eats it once once, is bound to come again...Shyam Sweets, inspired by Lord Kirshna’s butter-heavy desserts, instantly pulls a crowd hovering around to round up for a Suji Halwa.
“This was the first ever festival totally conceptualized and executed by our students. I am overwhelmed to say that it was a resounding success. This triumph encourages us to go even further and organize festivals about the different regional cuisines of India on a much bigger scale” says Chef Sunil “We did not take help from any external agency. Our students created everything with the available resources” continues to say the Chef at the success of the festival…
The winners were judged by a team from Marriott hotels and the students were awarded prizes and accolades…