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Morning meal shows the day

The sight of a cook standing in front of a huge kadhai, a king-sized karchi in hand, draining out hot bedmis as they pop up in the oil, is mesmerising. Every morning, in many parts of Delhi, you’ll find bedmis being served with potato curry, and occasionally with pumpkin sabzi too. As breakfast fare, there is nothing quite that beats bedmi and sabzi. Unless, of course, it is a plate of soft idlis with coconut chutney, podi on the side. Or a bowl of steaming hot paya. Or perhaps a juicy chicken sandwich…

Indeed, the best thing about breakfast is that it comes in all shapes and flavours. And you get them all in the city, in little nooks and corners. The other day, I got to know about a sweet-and-snack shop called Annakoot, which has branches in Bengali Market, Gole Market, Rani Bagh and Patel Nagar. And it has on the menu some of my favourite breakfast dishes – bedmi aloo, chholey bhaturey and mattra kulcha.

Breakfast is my favourite meal. There was a time when I used to land up in Chandni Chowk or the Jama Masjid area for a hearty morning fare of puri sabzi and Nagori halwa in the former, and paya and nihari in the latter. Shabrati in Gali Haveli Azam Khan and Javed’s in Zakir Nagar main market are known for their nihari, a mouth-watering dish of slow cooked shanks in gravy.

Breakfast menu with Matra Kulcha at Annakoot
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Some Sundays our breakfast comes from a tiny shop called Ramakrishna Sweets in Mandawli in east Delhi. Their radhaballabhis – puris stuffed with a lentil paste – come with either chana dal cooked with bottle gourd, or a delicious potato-cauliflower dish. People come from quite a distance for their radhaballabhis, which is now sold for ₹50 a plate (consisting of three puris with the sabzi, ghugni or dal). For south Indian fare, my favourite eateries are Chidambaram in Khanna Market and Carnatic Café in Meharchand Market. And I can’t have enough of the upma served in Saravana Bhavan.

Breakfast spread at Annakoot

But to come back to Annakoot, I was quite happy with their breakfast fare. I had ordered two plates of chholey bhaturey, two of bedmi sabzi and one plate of mattra kulcha. For all this, I paid ₹ 639 (including delivery charges). The food came neatly packed in two large cloth bags.

The mattra kulcha was especially good – the kulcha was soft and fresh and the lightly cooked white peas had a zesty, lemony flavour that I thoroughly enjoyed. The chholey bhaturey worked for me, too; the chholey was neither very spicy nor oily. I love bedmis, in any case, and these puris – fluffy and thick, served with a tart potato sabzi – didn’t disappoint me at all.

I now plan to revisit Minarels in Asiad Village, for I had a wonderful food fiesta there a while ago. Minarels opens at 6.30 am or so, and has on the menu all kinds of healthy but tasty food – including grilled sandwiches, mixed vegetable poha and stuffed vegetable idlis.

As the wise man said, morning shows the day. And a good morning meal, I’d say, promises untold pleasures.

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