The bylanes of Old Delhi are well-known for a huge variety of food flavours, from smoky kebabs, rich nihari to delectable biryani. Not just the main course, but dessert is also well taken care of from fresh fruit ice creams to gulab sharbat, phirni and crisp jalebis. All are familiar with the glory of well-established eateries such as Kareem's, Natraj ki chaat, paranthewali gali and Kuremal kulfi. However, this time, we decided to explore the less heard and little known. With that in mind, we ventured to explore the lanes and bylanes of Sadar Bazar's wholesale market.
I recalled people talking about on Sardarji meatwale in Azad Market which does a mean and memorable meat curry. With hunger pangs inside me and a desire to try something truly wonderful, I pushed myself into the melee of the jostling crowd of Sadar Bazaar. After some initial inquiries from the locals, I was advised to take a rickshaw to reach the famous eatery located at Azad Market adjacent to the Sadar Bazar. The rickshaw puller proved to be a conversationalist. He whipped his face with a towel on the hot summer day, as he said, "Madam, I have been ferrying people on this rikshaw for the last 30 years and dropping them at this shop. One thing that is clear about this shop, is that it is very popular among the tourist. If you love food then you are going to the right place."
The moment he dropped me at the shop, the aromatic fragrance of freshly cooked food entered my nostrils. The shop was flooded with customers enjoying a range of Indian food like Rajma Chawal or Chicken curry with freshly made rotis. Even though the food lovers were standing with their plates eating on the street, something was calming and hypnotic about this place. The best way to describe the aroma would be 'home-like', as it reminded me of the homely flavours of a Punjabi household.
Their menu is limited, but the taste is extraordinary. Mutton Tari and rice, Keema Kaleji, chicken biryani, chicken curry and mutton soup can also be enjoyed at the shop. Two bowls of mutton and a lot of rice can be perfect for your lunch. Companions such as chopped onions and green chutney, will add extra flavours to your meal. The meatballs wrapped in thick curry and the tandoori roti will fill your heart, mind and stomach with delicious non-vegetarian food.
The food starts at 1 pm and gets everything gets sold before 4:30 pm. As the evening approaches, they begin their preparation of tawa items. Among them is the shop's most famous mutton ka magaz. The mutton chops' filtering sound and its spices' aroma are extravagant. You can Eat it with masala roti or rumali roti.
Sardarji Meatwale was started by Indrajeet Singh and Amarjeet Singh in 1974. Together, the two brothers created original recipes with chicken and meat making the area residents of Sadar bazaar their sworn fans. Decades have passed but the set they created has not changed. Today you would see Kuljeet Singh and Maninder Singh, the younger generation of the family, running the eatery. Kuljeet wears a white apron and serves his loyal customers with a warm smile and scrumptious food.
After experiencing great success, they decided to expand their shop for greater customer satisfaction. Maninder Singh, also told us they plan to open a branch in West Delhi so that many more people could taste their food.
To understand the hype behind this place's food flavours, I ordered a plate of Rajma Chawal. I had never known that a simple home-cooked rajma could taste like this. The beautiful deep red rajma was poured over a bed of freshly cooked basmati rice, topped with huge pieces of fried panner. Then my plate was topped with slices of onion and green chutney. What astonished me was the hidden spinach. The introduction of spinach added a unique flavour and richness to the meal. I had never tasted something like this before; my stomach was doing a happy dance with every bite.
Customers describe the food here as 'homelike' most frequently. Manjeet Singh, a regular says, " I have been coming to this place for the past ten years. Their flavours and taste are exceptional. Mostly they wind up their curry items before 3:30 as they invariably get out of stock by then. It has become a routine for me; whenever I visit Sadar for work, I always eat my lunch here. Their chicken and mutton are well cooked and taste perfect with rice and roti. I also take away a few items for my family; they also enjoy their food."
If you are a fan of non-veg curries and vegetables with a rich Punjabi tadka, Sardarji meatwale is must visit for you.