In a nutshell:
Superb unstoppable chatpata dhaga kababs in a neat & clean tiny ‘hole in the wall’- something that is not worth a miss – my tastebuds gave the kababs a standing ovation.
Address & other Details: Get into the lane perpendicular to Gate no. 1 of Jama Masjid. Keep walking till u reach a ‘y’ point. Take the road on the left – almost in the same direction as u were walking. U will find Mohd. Shakir, the current owner of the stall, making kababs on ur right hand side from a neat & clean white ‘hole in the wall’. U may also call 01123244205, 9899362993 – I am not confident though that someone will respond.
The smartest thing to do is to take a rickshaw & entrust him with all the above details. U shud be there in not much time.
Meal for 2: Rs. 60 onwards (each kabab for Rs. 6)
Cuisine Type: Nonvegetarian
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
Its a ‘one man show’ – Shakir Bhai, as he is known here, sits on a low platform with a neat & clean metal sigri (barbeque) & sells what he calls ‘dhaga kababs’ (dhaga means thread). When he is not around, his brother is the solo guy.
He has a thick bunch of leaves that look like paan leaves stacked on one side. On the other, he has a ‘gumla’ (vessel) full of spiced up meat paste. Almost mechanically he picks up some paste, rolls it around the sheekh, wraps it up with a cotton thread & tears off the thread with such ease & speed as if it were no thread, puts it on the barbeque, adjusts the coal, fans the barbeque, rotates the kababs so that they cook uniformly, served the same on a plate, takes the money, returns the change & also takes back the ‘used plate’ !!!!!!!
He uses charcoal to fire the barbeque & the ‘sheekhs’ (metal rods) used by him for making the kabab are thick & made of steel.
He also caters to Marriages & parties in which case the offering widens – sheekh kabab, shami kabab, chicken, fish & paneer tikka, chicken & fish fry & also rumali roti. I am sure those are made at his home & delivered.
He told us very casually that the shop has been around since ‘before 1947’ but I spotted maybe the sense of ‘accomplishment’ in his eyes. As we started chatting up with him, we found that he has been doing this himself for last 22 years (he was in school then) – started with assisting his father.
Needless to say, the kabab was outstanding.
Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
The meat used for the dhaga kababs is ‘bada’ (literally means big – referred to beef). The meat is pounded to a paste, mixed with spices, rolled on the sheekh & grilled on charcoal fired open sigri. He serves this with a brown colored chutney, sliced onions & green chillies, sprinkled with drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. YUMM is the word.
He told us that the ‘dhaga’ kabab (also called sutli kabab in some other parts of India) is a several centuries old Mughal dish that is now seldom made. A value added version of this is called the Shahi Gola kabab – the kababs are fried in pure desi ghee, spices & bheja (goat brain) & the resultant is supposedly mouthwatering delicious. I asked him where to get it. He said ‘We make it at home at times & our guests go crazy on it. U will have to come home to have it.’ Shahi Gola kabab is eaten with roti.
Parcel of kababs were being done in leaf & newspaper (the most biodegradable food parcel system I have come across recently) – Kababs placed on a leaf, then rolled. Then it is wrapped from top with a newspaper.
Kabab is soft, quite juicy, not as soft as galawati but very spicy, quite hot & unputdownable. Ur hands will betray ur brains & will keep moving from plate to mouth.
He confirmed to us that no tightening agent has been used to bind the meat paste – just meat & spices.
He also sells ‘Dil ki boti’ kabab at times which tastes pretty close to liver kababs but different in texture. Good to taste for sure.
When I said ‘ u r doing such a great job – bahut maza aaya (njoyed it thoroughly), he humbly smiled & said ‘mujhe to aur kuch nahi aata’ ( this is all I know) . Did not have a shop name written. He had a visiting card however.
Overall – Njoyed it a lot , Will revisit at every opportunity.