Since the start of my professional career, I used to visit Bille di Hatti at Kamla Nagar (Near North Campus). For last few years, I used to go to Kamla Nagar quite regularly for work, and Billa was and still is my favored source of nutrition. It is a small shop, but its Puri and Chhole are real good. And the halwa that I used to order with my Puri-Chhole is a delight to have. But the real treat or should I call it the reason to visit the shop is heavenly LASSI ‘malai maar ke’.
Sinful pleasures, Bille ki Lassi, in Tall Steel Glass
I went there this past week and realized one thing: Bille’s food in past years have got a special place in my food menu, a must have even if I am in locality or already stuffed with food. The place though, has changed quite a bit in last few years, it’s now bigger with sitting area inside for the food lovers. But outside it is as it used to be – the busy Kamla Nagar Market. The very smell of heeng on the road or in Market makes you feel hungry.
Puri Chhole being served
In one corner of the shop ‘halwai’ fries Puris in huge kadhais, while in another corner, which is the entrance to the shop and the sitting area, the owner prepares glasses of frothy LASSI. The shop has been around for 60 years, and it serves only three items in the first half – Puri-Chholey (Chholey also have Aloo in them), Halwa and LASSI. And in second half (post 2:30 pm) Samose, Halwa and Lassi.
Puris being made
As mentioned earlier, for me the must have is the LASSI, the guy prepares the lassi in front of you by putting a vessel full of Curd / Dahi, for me the reason for the taste of LASSI lies here only because unlike other vendors in Delhi, they (Bille’s) prepare and keep their curd in traditional ‘Mitti wala bartan’, as it is called in Punjab, rather then aluminum or steel vessels used in other places. The earthen vessel (paraat / bartan) gives the real flavor to the curd. Then the guy puts approx 200 -250 gm of curd, ice cubes and a big quantity of sugar (It might seem a real big quantity for diet conscious people) for one glass and serves it with delicious topping of Malai. They serve Lassi in thick paper glass but the traditional tall steel glasses are still available on demand. Though I have lassi through out the year but in summers it gives a real high when Delhi heat just squeezes you out, more so when your job requires to be on road for a major part of the day.
The shop is situated in the lane opposite to the main market , though the shop is quite famous, it is advised to ask the shop owners in market for the direction rather then a rickshaw-wala or fellow vehicle drivers (the address is 72D, Kamla Nagar). The near by metro station is Pul Bangash or Vishvidhalya.
Lassi, ready for takeaway
Each plate of Puri Sabzi for Rs. 30, a glass of LASSI for Rs. 30, a plate of halwa (very well roasted) for Rs. 20 and the Samosa is for Rs 8 per piece .
If we are looking for some real good Lassi then I would recommend Bille ki LASSI it is a cut above the rest in Delhi, not sure even the shops Chandni Chowk area can match it.
All the pictures come from Shashank’s collection, shot in February 2011.