As soon as I arrived to Delhi, India, I immediately noticed Chole Bhature (छोले भटूरे also called chana bhatura), and after having my very first bite and meal of the dish, I knew that I was in love. Chole (छोले) is the name used for a spicy chick peas stew or curry. It’s slow simmers so the chick peas are soft, yet still retain some of their texture, mixed with plenty of ghee, and then the perfect amount of masala spices are added to make it extremely flavorful. A bhature (भटूरे) is the other part of chole bhature, it’s the deep fried bread, or a poori (puri) to be exact that the spicy chick peas are eaten with. So when I was in Delhi, India, I enjoyed this dish at many different locations, but on one of my last few days in the city I decided to check out a famous establishment known as Sita Ram Diwan Chand. Located in Paharganj, near the New Delhi railway station and the popular backpacker budget accommodation section of the city, it wasn’t hard to locate. Also, the sign is bright red on the outside so it’s quite easy to spot when you’re walking through Delhi.
As soon as I stepped foot into Sita Ram Diwan Chand, I was immediately overwhelmed by the glorious aroma coming from their Chole Bhature (छोले भटूरे). It was incredible and I honestly couldn’t wait to eat. They are massively popular with local Delhi residents. Many customers come to Sita Ram Diwan Chand with huge takeaway order and they restaurants also packaged their food up to deliver to offices during the lunchtime hours. Luckily we arrived before it was too busy and crowded and I ordered just the classic. Now one thing that is different at this restaurant is that the bhature is not puffy like a pillow like it is on most of the street food stalls in Delhi. Instead it’s more flat like a chapati, but the poori is stuffed with bits of paneer cheese and spice to make it even more mouthwatering delicious!
My plate of Chole Bhature (छोले भटूरे) took just a few seconds to whip up. The vendor grabbed a fresh scoop of the spicy slow stewed chickpeas from the center of the pan. The thick gravy like chickpeas were oozing with flavor. The other cook heated up a could of bhatures to complete my dish. After receiving and paying you then find a table which are all standing tables and dig in. The great thing was that there were garnished like pickles and chilies on every table that went extremely well with the dish. I had Chole Bhature (छोले भटूरे) a number of times when I was in Delhi, and this was by far the best and tastiest version I had. It was actually luscious, so creamy and rich that it melted in my mouth and the deep fried bread was so flavorful from the spices, coriander, and paneer cheese. The combination was spectacular. This was a completely vegetarian meal, but it sure was packed with calories!
Sita Ram Diwan Chand
What to eat: There’s really only one thing to eat here: chole bhature (they also call it chana bhatura) which costs an affordable 30 INR ($0.56) and you’ll LOVE it!
How to get there: The restaurant is located in Paharganj (Main Baazar, the budget backpacker area) which is just west of New Delhi Railroad station and Metro Station. From the Main Bazar road (Baba Namdev Marg), walk to Rajguru Marg T-intersection. Head north, and walk straight for about 200 meters or so. You’ll see the red sign for Sita Ram Diwan Chand on your left hand side.
Address: 2246, Chuna Mandi, Paharganj, New Delhi
Open hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily
Delhi food map: http://goo.gl/maps/XpYp8
Delhi Travel Guide: http://migrationology.com/delhi-travel-guide-ebook/
25 Things To Do in Delhi: http://migrationology.com/2013/04/25-things-to-do-in-delhi-india/
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