The bustling Gurugram is known for its nightlife, cafes and clubs. Yet, it also has some hidden delicacies of traditional street treats. One such that has passed the test of time is the Baljee restaurant.
Baljee Restaurant is a living example of why Sadar Bazar is famous for its food outlets along with clothes and furnishings. The small eatery is one of the oldest and most famous points for 'pindi chhole bhature' in old Gurugram. It is located near Jama Masjid in the main Sadar Bazar. The restaurant sells mouth-watering food that includes pindi chhole bhature, chhole chawal, kachori, samosa, and many more.
Bal Krishan Bajaj started this restaurant in 1975 with only three dishes- pindi chhole bhature, chhole samosa and chhole chawal. These three items are still a specialty of Baljee. Bal Krishan Bajaj, the owner has now passed on his seat to his son Praveen Bajaj.
Praveen says, "My father has now grown old, so, I take care of the restaurant to continue his legacy. But he still visits the place twice or thrice a week and checks everything himself. Plus, he still takes care of the preparation of all the masalas. That is why the taste has remained unchanged over the years."
The restaurant opens at 8 am. To make the preparations for the day, the cooks arrive early in the morning. The restaurant has an open kitchen just on the main road. The food is cooked with clean utensils. However, it would be better if the people in the kitchen wore gloves and caps.
The place is a universal favourite for youth and old-timers of the city. Owing to its perfect taste, the place has garnered loyal customers who have been coming home for years now. The warmth came from the food, and a sweet gesture by its owners. Bal Krishnan Bajaj used to give children chocolates in place of change, a tradition Parveen mentions his father insists on continuing.
A girl in the restaurant who was a regular while sharing her experience at Baljee said, "I used to come here often as a child with my family to eat chhole bhature. This place sells the best chhole bhature. I still remember the owner used to give children candy and chocolate in place of change."
The new famous branches of other restaurants might have outrun Baljee but it is still fully packed on many days as it packs memories along with piping spicy chhole made of special masala.