From ancient times, Delhi has been a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. People from different states and regions in India have settled here and made it their home. And if you want to experience the regional flavours, then the best place is the homes of people from respective communities.
Propelled by the curiosity to discover these flavours, in recent times, there has been a surge of home chefs and delivery kitchens serving food from their respective homelands.
In the first episode of this new season we have come to visit the Kargwal family in Rohini to discover some nuances of the Haryanvi food traditions. Here we met Benarasi devi and her son Deepak. After a brief introductory chat we headed to the kitchen to witness the meal preparation and to gather the stories surrounding it.
She started with making fresh butter known as tindi ghee which is an inevitable part of the traditional rustic menu. Although traditionally it is extracted using a wooden tool or set up, here in the city, the electric hand blender turns out to be the most effective alternative. The light and glossy blob of butter looked very tempting.
Next she took out the mortar and pestle to make some kachri ki chutney. The sundried wild melon was crushed with red chilli powder, garlic, salt and some buttermilk to obtain a brownish orange hued condiment.
This was followed by the churma which is an indulgent sweet dish conjured up with hand crushed rotis, insane amount of ghee and jaggery.
All the above three dishes were made with just a handful of ingredients but what's noteworthy about them is that all of them required a good amount of physical effort to be prepared.
Over the course of the meal preparation, she informed us how this humble meal combo is a constant thing in every Haryanvi household irrespective of the economical status.
Finally it was time to sit down for the meal. There was roti, churme ka ladoo, kachri ki chutney, tindi ghee and buttermilk. Churma was greasy yet divine. So was the roti, kachri ki chutney and tindi ghee combination. Every morsel was a heavenly experience. We washed down the meal with buttermilk.
Banarasi devi shared so many anecdotes and memories about the food that she has grown up eating. Heartfelt gratitude to them for some warm hospitality. Haryanvi food is simple yet energy giving and nutritious because that's exactly what the majority of populace need for back breaking agricultural work.