City Food – Bhoore Yadav’s Aloo Paratha, Near Hauz Khas Village
Taste by the way.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The only missing element is a tie. Otherwise he is always dressed gentlemanly—in belted pants and long-sleeved shirt. The buttoned-up sleeves are never rolled up to the elbows, no matter how hot or humid the day might be.
And his aloo paratha is super-swadisht.
Bhoore Yadav’s stall lies on the tree-lined pathway between Hauz Khas Village and Aurobindo Market, under the refuge of a shaded neem. All the necessary embellishments of the stall, including the cooking range, are arranged entirely on a bicycle. A sample paratha adorns the top of a gigantic brass vessel, which contains homemade chhole. The yummy aloo filling and a heap of green chilli pickles lie on an adjacent tray.
In his early 30s, Bhoore Yadav founded the stall in 2013. “Earlier our family had a small eatery, run by my brothers and I.” The four siblings later split to start their own businesses. They continue to live with their respective families in the same house in Sangam Vihar with “maa and pitaji.” Bhoore Yadav’s immediate world comprises of his wife and theee children. The relations between the brothers are extremely cordial, so much so that “my bhabi Geeta irons these my dresses daily.”
To observe Bhoore Yadav make the paratha is like witnessing a ceramist mould ordinary clay into shapely pots. He plucks out a chunk of dough, sculpts it into a small ball, thuimbs down on its soft center, fills a bit of dhaniya-speckled aloo into the tiny crater. He walls in the stuffing by turning over the edges of the supple dough, after which his practiced hands flatten the ball into a perfect roundness.
Soon. a customer arrives. Must be a regular, considering the friendly way he is chatting with the vendor. A cart puller passes by, calling out from the road: “Bhayya, pack kar dena, I’m coming!”
Bhoore Yadav serves from 9am to 4pm. Try to catch him at the closing hour. The stall then lies dismantled, and every little and substantial element of the establishment, including the garbage bag, is neatly tied along the nooks and corners of his Hero motorcycle. It is a wholesome day-end sight.
Mr Yadav’s world