So the best matar kulchewallah in Delhi is not in my beloved Shahjahanabad. He is not in South Delhi. He is not even in the Lutyen’s zone. Nope, nyet, nahin. Good things don’t come so easy.
He stands with his little cart in Mayapuri, somewhere deep in the industrial badlands of west Delhi. I have been thinking of him for almost two years. But the prospect of seeking him out in Mayapuri was a daunting one.
I was told he comes there seven days a week between 1 pm and 7 pm. After thinking about it for two years I set off for the place one day on an impulse. It was the wrong day. He didn’t show. It was a Sunday. And even though he maintains he comes all days, on that particular Sunday he didn’t. What a disappointment that was! But now I was getting stubborn. In a week or so I was back on his trail. And this time I found him.
One look and you know he is special. His kulche are clearly the stars of the show. On a gigantic tawa of sliced onions and tomatoes sautéing in butter he throws in the kulchas. They soak up the juices and get coated with onions and tomatoes. The matar also gets a little of this onion and tomato masala. Then three juicy kulchas get thrown on a plate with a helping of the matar and some raw onion, green chillies and pickle on the side.
This is quite a feast for Rs 40. The man is immensely popular in the area. Sometimes you have to wait for as much as an hour to get your plate he tells me. Mohammed and I tucked in with joy. And we got two more plates packed for home. They don’t travel as well. But if you eat them there, they are definitely top of the pops!! Mayapuri aapki maya aparam paar 🙏🏻