If you are reading through my article then certainly you have tasted the delicious and spicy Lotan ke chole kulche, and if not tried yet, you have definitely heard of them.
Today, I wish to share my experience of visiting this very famous Lotan ke chole kulche in Chawri Bazar, Delhi. Thanks to various home delivery services, I have tasted this popular delicacy a number of times before, sitting comfortably on the couch in my drawing room.
After a good Sunday walk at India gate with friends, we planned to snatch back our calories through Chandni Chowk food trail. Reaching Chandni Chowk, we parked our cars at one of the parking at the main road and decided the first stop to be the “LOTAN KE CHOLE KULCHE”. Taking rickshaw from the parking, we moved through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk crossing some famous landmarks like Jama Masjid, Haveli Dharampura, and many others. The ride was nothing less than a heritage sightseeing one. Finally, after crossing a few zig-zag lanes, we got down outside a lane as suggested by one of the locals.
The next step was a like a heritage walk, walking through that narrow lanes, asking people about the Lotan. After a few zig-zag turns, we saw a small little corner surrounded by a large number of people and it didn’t even took us a second to understand that we are bang on at our destination.
A very very narrow lane, with 2 wheelers parked on both the sides, there was the setup of this famous spicy kulchewala. At first sight, I could only say, this small setup and so popular!!!! Actually, this is the beauty of our city, you serve something amazing, and foodaholics will be there for you, no matter you are big or small.
Reaching the shop, there were more than 15 people who surrounded a small corner. With my 3-year-old daughter, I sat on the pavement outside a closed store. My husband, like a warrior, went to that crowded corner to get his plate of the spicy treat.
I could find people of all ages standing near the shop waiting for their turn. The majority of them had a long plastic glass in their hands with a small packet of butter. Upon enquiring, we discovered that famous chane ka soup which locals call “paani” was served in a glass. Lotan does not have any arrangements of serving the paani. There are 2-3 small shops near Lotan that only sells these empty glasses, water bottles, and small butter packets.
Buy glasses from here, put the butter, and then wait for the amazing hot and spicy paani to be poured over this glass to awake your taste buds.
Everyone at the shop was calling, Mahaveerji (I guess the name of the shop owner) mere 2 patte (plates), mere 4, mere 8, and so on. And Mahaveerji like a perfectionist kept making his yummy chole one by one. The best part, he does not make his chole in bulk, rather one plate each, depending how much spice our tongues can bear.
The chole are topped with spicy red gravy (which I suppose is the mixture of red chilly, oil, and some spices). Finally after a wait of around 35 minutes, we managed to get our 3 patte having 2 kulche and spicy red chole. And yes, we had those beautiful butter loaded glasses with panni.
To my surprise, there were lot of people who had come to the shop just to had this amazing paani. Many of them had also got their big vessels to get the chole paani packed.
We managed to get a decent pavement place to sit and enjoy the amazing chole kulche with paani.
Besides, sumptuous food, Old Delhi definitely has many other charms. While sitting at the pavement in the narrow lane, I could see carts, 2 wheelers, and even 4 wheelers moving which is a sign of co-ordination and good management. The people were soft spoken and there was no aggression.
Finally, after so many years, we got a chance to visit the Lotan.
To sum up, all I can say is, waiting and everything else is worth the effort.
And yes, to continue with our food trail, the other place that we explored in Chandni Chowk is a different story!! Will surely share soon that as well.
Till then, get a chance to enjoy the famous Lotanji Chole Kulche.