City Food – Chhole Cart, Outside Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
There’s an eatery in Paharganj, a heritage restaurant in Connaught Place, a mithai shop in South Extension I, and a roadside shack in Amar Colony.
All these spots in Delhi are united by a common element. They serve super-yummy chhole bhature.
But there’s also a chhole destination in the Millennium City of Gurugram in the Greater Delhi Region. It’s a modest roadside cart, next to Ambience Mall on National Highway 8.
The unnamed stall is run by the trio of Prakash, Sooraj and Guddu. The bossy Prakash is the ustad, the master, while the young Sooraj serves customers, and a rather reserved Guddu can be seen deep-frying the bhatures in a huge kadhai.
The tasty chhole are without a doubt the star of the establishment. The dish is arranged like a mountain in a giant platter—the gravy condemned to the base.
“We get up at three in the morning to prepare the chhole,” explains Sooraj. The roomies then transport the ‘khaana’ from their rented home in Nathupur to the stall here in a tempo, and by 8am are open for business.
One of the best things about the cart’s chhole is that it is less oily than the versions found elsewhere. The dish is so light on the palate that it might even be tolerated in those oppressive diet-friendly homes. While it makes the perfect pair with bhature, the stall’s chhole go equally well with the boiled rice on offer — speckled with coriander leaves. And don’t forget to ask Sooraj for the tangy boondi raita. There’s also sukhi aloo subzi, but it is so-so. Come before or after lunch hour to avoid the rush. The stall serves until 6pm.