City Food - Mango Ice-Cream, Shahi Cool Point

City Food – Mango Ice-Cream, Shahi Cool Point

City Food - Mango Ice-Cream, Shahi Cool Point

Taste of the season.

[By Mayank Austen Soofi]

A resort near Gurgaon’s Bhawani Mandir has a mango tree so inspiring that the place is called The Mango Tree. While a restaurant there, in Golf Course Extension, is simply called Mango.

An Old Delhi landmark too is dedicated to the mango—Masjid Aam Wali, near Khari Baoli.

This being the heart of the mango season, the Walled City streets are naturally full of aam sightings. Young Nadeem is hawking the dusheris in Chitli Qabar, middle-aged Gulab is hawking the chausas in Choori Wallan. While the less makeshift Shahi Cool Point in Matia Mahal is selling the mangoes in a homemade ice-cream avatar.

The joint is wildly famous for its other delicacies, but please try its mango speciality. A venerable gentleman called Muhammed Zahir prepares the ice-cream every morning at his house in Gali Sirkiwallan, nearby. He once revealed his secret: “I slice the mangoes and mix them with boiling milk, cream, raisins and sugar, and then I churn the combination in an old ice-cream machine.”

The Cool Point’s supercool icon though is the piping hot shahi tukda—deep-fried slices of white bread soaked in sugar syrup, drenched with thickened cream and embellished with pista nuts. But in the sweltering months of April, May and June, and also during the monsoon, the mango ice-cream does acquire some following. The deep-yellow scoop, priced at Rs 40, tastes of raw aam, only creamier. The fruity coolness courses through the body, instantly freeing it of the day’s tiredness.

Tucked beside Gharib Nawaz Guest House, the joint has a small seating area with walls decked in artificial grass. This afternoon a handful of people are settled within; looking like some groom’s distant relatives in a wedding banquet hall. The true pleasure of the ice-cream anyway is in consuming it right by the counter, standing on the congested street. Now gazing at the crowd, now turning to look at the Jama Masjid (so close!), now being pushed by a hurry-hurry passerby, now licking off another swirl of the ice-cream.

The place stays open throughout the day and all through the night. So if you you arrive at 3am, you’ll still get the mango ice-cream.