Old Gurgaon is the birthplace of the gummy Doda Barfi. Gurgaon has a food paradise beyond its high rise buildings. We are talking about the Sadar Bazaar which is a labyrinth of old, economical, musty lanes where everyone reflects an individual energy. It is a colourful carpet of people shopping and hogging on food. It remains a popular destination housing eateries mostly older than 60 years.
Gandhi Ji Pakora Shop- As the name suggests, this shop is famous for its fritters. Seasonal vegetables are used as the base ingredients and they are dunked in a gram flour batter. The batter is salted and mildly spiced.
There are at least 8-9 vegetables used at one point of time and apart from this there is paneer (cottage cheese) and soya chunks. Two chutneys are given with the pakoras and it's a perfect snack for a rainy day.
Price- INR 300 per kg.
Pandit Ji ka Dhaba- This place is “Shudh Shakahari” (Pure Vegetarian). Even garlic and onion is forbidden to use. A typical plate consists of two rotis (flatbread) with dripping ghee (clarified butter), tadke wali dal (tempered lentil curry), potato yellow pea curry, a big bowl of salad and some chawal ki kheer (rice pudding).
By this time, anyone who is a fan of Dhaba food would be drooling! (caution: we have linked a video below, watch the zoomed in visuals of Pandit ji ka Dhaba at your own risk, we don’t want you to catch feelings and then the first bus!)
The kheer has a very good flavour of cardamom in it. It is made from rice, sugar and milk. The rotis are cooked on a clay stove and it is also considered good for health!
Price-INR 160 per plate.
Sardar Ji Jalebi Wale- Jalebis are a classic Indian sweet. They are saffron in colour and resemble a coil, so, a saffron coil. The batter which does not have any food colouring is piped in hot ghee for deep frying. Then, one by one, the conjoined coils are taken out and dipped into the sugar syrup.
Eating the Jalebis is an experience in its own way. Very crisp and a small burst of sugar!
Price- INR 180 per kg.
Baljee Restaurant- Pindi Chhole (a type of pea) and Bhatura (puffy, leavened, deep fried bread) is what this place is known for! Pindi chhole are black in colour and very spicy in taste, they are served with some pieces of cottage cheese, a slice of tomato, chopped onions, mango pickle and a few chillies.
A thali (plate) as fat as a typical Punjabi wedding! We also tried their paneer fritter with khatti-meethi (sour and sweet) chutneys.
Price- INR 60 per plate.
Sham Sweets- It is said that this shop is the birthplace of Dodha Barfi. It is prepared like a cake in a big flat rectangular mould and then cut into pieces.
The sweet is chocolate brown in colour and has a gummy, granular and sticky texture. But it is not at all chewy! It is made from milk, sugar, germinated wheat paste, chopped dry fruits and loads of good quality ghee.
We also tried their Kesar Ghewar. It is a honeycomb looking-like sweet which has the flavour of saffron (kesar) in it. A thick slice of cream and chopped pistachios are used to garnish it. It is a seasonal sweet, only available during monsoon and there are a lot of varieties available in it.
Price- For Ghevar, INR 480 per kg.
Old Gurgaon has a lot of shops which as of 2021 are more than 60 years old. The walls of the shops have a deep connection with the partition as they were opened by refugees flowing from Pakistan. Whether it be the Pindi Chole or the Dodha Barfi, both have roots in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. While, Sardar Ji Jalebi Wale is from the Sargodha region of the neighbouring country. The political differences aside, both the countries are on the same pedestal when it comes to the food and we absolutely love it!
You can also watch its video below and share it with your friends!