Foodgasm : Kanji Vadas of Chandni Chowk

_MG_2878The narrow snaky roads of Chandni Chowk hold many a treasures and one of them is Shri Shayam Kanji Corner where Sharman Kumar and Dinesh Kumar are carrying on the legacy of their father’s signature Kanji Vadas (sold at Kashmere Gate previously) for the past 15 years! If you question Sharman Ji-the bade bhaiya, on the name of their shop he shall smile and say “Hum Shyam ke deewane hai”.

His shop has barely enough space for him to sit in the Yogi posture and place 3 pots alongside him containing – Chutney, Dahi and Kanji Vada respectively and you wonder why he didn’t encroach onto the footpath. A minute’s halt shall answer your question for every few seconds a passer-by stops to say ‘Ek KanjiVada dena/Bhalla Papdi dena’. Apart from Kanji Vada and Bhalla Papdi he also sells a Papdi chaat but if you engage in a conversation for even a minute you shall realise how biased he is towards the KanjiVadas.

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Bhalla Papdi and Kanji Vada were his favourite. The Bhalla Papdis, he told us, had three key ingredients – Dahi (whisked Curd), Papdi (fried flat pooris made of flour and salt) and Vadas made of dal, served with ‘chutneys’ . The green chutney is made of coriander and chillies while the sweet chutney is made of imli (tamarind) and gur (jaggery). Kanji Vadas on the other hand resemble mutant ‘roshogollas’ and are Vadas made of moong dal kept soaked in a water based solution–Kanji made of rye (mustard), hing(asafoetida), saunf(fennel seeds) and served in gigantic glasses with the request “Paani jitna ji chahe le lijiyega”.

USP- Extremely pocket friendly, filling and spicy.

– Nilanjana Bhattacharjee

Photographs :  Kartikeya Jain

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