Bille de Hatti – Best LASSI in Town. Period.

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.

Chache Di Hatti – Proud to be a Dilliwala

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Today I feel complete. Its only today that I have earned the right to call myself a Dilliwala or a Delhiite despite being born and brought up in this city, and despite having roots here for last 5-6 generations. Why ? Because I had not eaten Chhole Bhature of a certain Chacha (Uncle, for those not familiar with Hindi) from Kamla Nagar. Today I feel proud, as I have completed my ‘circle’ of trinity, whose last connection in form of Chache Di Hatti was missing. Today I can say that I have eaten Chhole Bhature at Sita Ram Dewan Chand, Baba Nagpal and Chache Di Hatti.

Fried Aloo on Chhole tastes quite good

I had always heard fantastic things about Chache Di Hatti at Kamla Nagar, however as someone who  did not study in Delhi University, or specifically in North Campus, I had never ever eaten there. However the things I heard about them, from people I have top most respect for, ensured that I always kept them on a pedestal.

There certainly are advantages of being at helm of things at FED, one of them being you can call Raids and visit the places that you always wanted to, and today was no different. Though not many people turned up, however 6 of us were still there, some familiar with the place and most of us not. But in the end we went home a very happy and satisfied bunch.

When I entered  the lane, my nose could smell something, and spotting the crowds in one of the by-lanes was not difficult. Seeing queues of patrons there made me happy rather than worried or irritated, as queuing up for something, makes you cherish it more, especially when there is no dearth of time and your sole agenda is to enjoy the food. Unfortunately I got a bit late, and couple of FEDs were already wrapping up, however this left Srishti Gupta, Prerna, Varun Santhosh and me to share and enjoy the goods, and enjoy we did.

Varun Santhosh
Srishti Gupta
Prerna Gupta

 The only problem with queues is, that you are never sure how much to order, as you do not want to queue up for second helpings, and what would be the right amount to order is a question that keeps cropping up. We started with ordering two plates of Saada (plain) and two plates of Aloo stuffed Bhaturas, with an extra helping of Chhole (had to queue up for 20-30 minutes, could have been longer if not for Srishti queuing for us in lady’s line).

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Queues, and this is Lady’s Line only 😛

Now finally we had some food on table, first bite of it in my mouth and I was a happy man. Chacha’s had lived up-to the legend, I started to gobble the chanas steadily, and after each bite, it was clear, that every word of praise ever written or said for Chacha’s was true. They were just out of the world, a bit on sour side, had just the right mix of spices, with ginger adding to the awesomeness. Though Bhaturas stuffed with Aloo (spiced up mashed potatoes) is something that you do not get at many places and it definitely is an USP for Chacha, however we all seemed to appreciate the plain ones more. And yes, we ended up having more Bhaturas after the first round, all washed down with the Nimbu Lemon from a stall next door.

Chacha’s Chhole Bhature, up, close and personal.


A very simple serving Chhole, Bhature, Onions and Green Chilly
Nimbu Lemon wala who helped us wash it all down

Now it was clear, that Nagpal, Sita Ram and Chacha cannot be compared, you just cannot choose between the three, all of them are epitome of Chholle Bhature, they are in a league of their own, and best examples of a food item, that literally defines Delhi. However a word of warning for whoever wants to visit these places or any other popular Bhature waala mentioned in this post, be there before 1 pm, after that chances are slim that you would be able to find them serving.

And yes, there are a few other super awesome Chhole Bhature Waalas, like Ramesh or Aaojee in Patel Nagar, Odeon Sweets in Gole Market, Radhe Shyam in Pahar Ganj, Om in Karol Bagh (Dev Nagar) however for me they are just a step and mind you ‘just a step’ below the Holy Trinity. And then comes a league of which most notable mentions are Anand in Krishna Market of Lajpat Nagar, Chhoti Hatti in West Patel Market, CL Corner, next to Fun Cinemas (erswhile Natraj) in Moti Nagar and a few others. And mind you, I recommend all of them, everyone would have a personal favorite, however I just told you my order of preference.

Talking about Chacha, I guess this is the first time I am putting a rating of 5/5, just go there and be proud of being a Delhiite…eerrr… Dilliwala !

Address : 
Chache Di Hatti
32, Bungalow Road, Behind Krori Mal College,
Kamla Nagar, New Delhi

Closed on Sundays, and be there before 1 pm.

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