Golgappas, tikkis and chatpati chaat

Golgappas, tikkis and chatpati chaat

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If you have been to Rajouri garden but failed to have aloo tikki and chaat at Atul Chaat Corner, we can assure you, you’ve missed something.

Crispy : ‘Atul Chaat Corner’ in Rajouri Garden is one of the colony’s best known joints.

If word of mouth be the right measure for popularity, Atul Chaat Corner is definitely in demand. For despite the chaos that reigns in the main market of this posh West Delhi colony, anybody will direct you to his shop. All you need to do is ask.

Once there, it’s not that easy to get your tikki, pav bhaji or golgappe. Be prepared for a long wait, not because you will take long to decide what you want but because there is such a crowd of chaat lovers patiently waiting their turn before you.

The reason for this popularity is not only the taste and quality that the shop offers but also its credibility as this shop has been serving chaat for close to 30 years. Laxmi Narayan, its owner says, “We started this at a very small level in 1982 in Connaught Place and we shifted to Rajouri Garden later because a lot of our patrons were from here.”

There is a lot of variety in street food but tikki, pav bhaji, bhalla papri and golgappe are the hot favourites among customers. Why? “Though we make all our snacks with special ingredients, the reason our tikki is most famous is because of the special Haldwani aloo which we use.

It is brought in specially from Shimla and is more expensive than the regular potatoes and is not sweet in taste. We use special amchoor chutney and fruits like pomegranate and cucumber. We also use grated pieces of cheese, special chana daal and dahi which is poured at the end to enhance the taste further.”

He also specialises in golgappas. “Our golgappas are known for their distinct taste,” he shares. “Though the basic ingredients like ata and suji remain the same, when it comes to chutney and kanji, normal imli is not used. We soak amchoor overnight, grind it and then add peeli mirch.

For the paani, we add zeera; kala namak; safed namak; harhad; nausadar; hing, dhaniya; poodina and hari mirch. For the filling, its back to Haldwani aloo along with with our special masala mix and zero size special kaabli chana daal which is only available in Chawri Bazaar.”

The shop even with 4-5 helpers struggles to cope with the heavy rush of people - of all age groups, who throng the place every evening.

For some, credibility and hygiene brings them to Atul’s and others turn up because of the generous helpings of the large-sized tikki and huge golgappas. Bhawna Khajuria, a teacher, who has been a regular at Atul Chaat Bhandar, a teacher shares, “I used to be in Rajouri for 22 years.

Then,  I got married but still whenever I am visiting my family here, or for shopping I definitely stop by to have a tikki here. Its been ages that he has been serving it and I have grown up eating his food and surprisingly the taste has not changed.

The size has changed and so has the price. A large size tikki costs Rs.40, but frankly, its not a bad deal.” For Preeti Kohli and Rahul Saini, hygiene and credibility is why they keep coming back here.

THe staff uses gloves when making golgappas. The shop has not lost its popularity in the 30 years, a fact which speaks for itself.”

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