A quick trip to our great capital left me without enough time to go to Chandi Chowk, so we headed to Bengali Market – a place I last visited a decade ago, and still remembered fondly - for our golgappa fix.
The two giants – Nathu Sweets and Bengali Sweet House - still dominate Bengali Market with their huge range of sweets and chaat (not to mention Chinese). We headed to Bengali Sweet House first – partly because the car put us down in front of it, partly because unlike the air-conditioned Nathu this place was still willing to hand us golgappas one at a time, traditional style. The gol gappas water was much tangier and tastier than the Mumbai green bilge (though this was green too) but repeated entreaties to make the filling spicier did not yield much result. As verdicts go, “better than Mumbai” is all I’m willing to venture.
We then crossed the street into AC comfort to try and see if Nathu was still any good. The kesar lassi was great, but neither the kachori nor the aloo tikki rocked our boat and harder than “decent”. Figuring that maybe the AC was to blame, we crossed the road again to try aloo tikki, lassi and rasmalai in the stoutly non-AC open counter Bengali Sweet House.
And was disappointed again. Neither place produced anything earthshaking, and the rasmalai was outright disappointing for any store that has “Bengali” written so large on its signboard. Both places had fairly average chaat - decent at best, nothing to write home about (this is a blog, not home). Popular for sure, but far from exciting.
Do not dream of replacing this with Chandni Chowk; that pilgrimage still has to be done.