City Food – Longtime Golgappas, Radhe Radhe Chaat Stall
Explosions of joy.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Just a few years back it was a wildly popular chaat stall, but without a name. Success builds on success. No longer a cart on the pavement, the Radhe Radhe chaat stall is a South Extension II landmark, with uniformed staffers and loyal customers by the drove.
“Our golgappas still remain the most popular,” says owner Ganga Prasad Rajput. He took over the establishment about 15 years ago following the previous owner’s return to his home village. After running the stall for two decades, he had gotten fed up with city life.
The current owner has also set up a Kathi Kebab stall just beside the snack stall, “but it’s not called Radhe Radhe kebab walle,” he chuckles. Mr Rajput goes on to explain that “the name of a sacred Hindu deity, Radhe, doesn’t gel with non-veg food.”
The mainstay stall serves the usual chaat items such as tikkis fried in desi ghee, but, as the owner suggests, their paani wale golgappas remain hugely popular among longtime patrons and new customers. The secret is its mineral water, explains Mr Rajput, as a staffer’s gloved hand deftly scoops out spiced pungent liquid in a metal cup—and then pours it, one-by-one, into the puffy gollgapas.
Probably the best way to actually consume the water bomb is to carefully place it inside your mouth and just let it explode. These golgappas are simply excellent: sufficiently spicy without splintering your brain into a thousand pieces.
The special mineral water mixture is prepared daily by a young staffer. Rajiv Yadav joined the stall four years back; clear proof that new blood is keeping the old landmark in good shape.
Long time love