City Food – White Rasgulla + Double Roti, Around Town
An unusual pairing.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Lalta Prasad has been selling this unusual combo of white rasgulla-and-double roti (white bread) that obviously appeals.
As a street vendor he’s hawked the specialty for more than 20 years — and customers return for more.
“This pairing isn’t odd at all,” explains Mr Prasad. Most of his regulars are labourers and rickshaw pullers who need a quick energy boost.
Priced at 10 rupees, a plate has two exceedingly sweet but delicious rasgullas and a slice of bread cut into halves. He rises at 4 am every day to prepare it all (he gets “factory bread” from a grocery). And by 9 am, he’s out on the streets near his home in Sarai Kale Khan — with the food stored in a steel box on his bicycle.
Earning about 6000 rupees every month, he sends most of it to his family in Madhya Pradesh who look after two bighas of a “mostly infertile” land. “That’s why I have to earn in Delhi,” explains Mr Prasad.
At one point he hoped to pull himself out of poverty by selling rasgullas. This hasn’t worked. Two decades from now “I’ll probably still be selling rasgullas and still struggle for money.”
There’s another gentleman who also hawks the same dish in the area but at double the price. The younger Jagram, too, is from Lalta Prasad’s village. You might have a better chance to spot him because he cycles across a larger area—from Ashram to ITO crossing, and sometimes as far as New Delhi railway station. His rasgullas are as delicious.