1. Did You Know The Dish Starts To Collapse With A Ray Of Sunshine?
Milk and cream have to be whisked by hand before dawn (preferably under the light of a full moon) into a delicate froth, then left out on grass to set by the “tears of shabnam” (morning dew) but not too many, nor too few. At daybreak, the surface of the froth is touched with saffron and silver leaf and served with nuts and bura (unrefined sugar). Daulat Ki Chaat is only made in the coolest months because at the first ray of sunshine, it starts to collapse. It doesn’t travel well either to enjoy this very local speciality, a winter pilgrimage to the shady gullies of Old Delhi is to be done.
2. Where to Eat This Rich Winter Delicacy?
Five years ago there were only a couple of Daulat Ki Chaat carts in Old Delhi; now there are perhaps 15 to 20. The best one can be relished at Hazari Lal Jain Khurchan Wale that sells these silky white “scrapings”, down at the Dariba Kalan end of Kinari Bazaar. If you visit early in the morning, before the wedding shoppers descend, you’ll see Hazari Lal’s men out on the street painstakingly reducing and scraping milk in giant cauldrons.
Another place where you could have some good Daulat ki chaat is at Gali Arya Samaj. Walk into the Gali Arya Samaj and as the street starts to narrow down, on your left hand side would will find a small stall selling Daulat ki Chaat and some kulfis/icecream. Also, try at the chaat at Babu Lal, a Daulat ki chaat hawker. You can find him at the Chhata Shah ji lane, near Barsha bulla chowk till 10 am.
3. Why Is It Called Daulat ki Chaat?
No one knows why is it called that way and where did it originate? Some say, because it is made with an expensive ingredient, milk cream, and requires hours preparing it. So, only the wealthy could afford to make it or eat it. May be during the ancient times, the wealthy people had servants who painstakingly stirred the milk all evening to scoop out the cream and then hand churn it all night to make it frothy and airy? Who knows! But if you are in Delhi during winter, please hunt down a vendor and give it a try.