There are many success stories from the period of partition when people fled from Pakistan and sought refuge mostly in Delhi and the northern part of India. Most of these were Punjabis. Sitaram Diwan Chand, popularly known as Sitaram bhaturewala, is one example. After coming from Pakistan, they were alloted a small shop at the end of the Main Bazaar of Paharganj in 1948, where they started selling Chhole Bhature (a North Indian food item, it is a very popular snack for breakfast among Punjabis. Sumptuous and filling, it gets you going in the mornings. ‘Chhole’ is the garbanzo beans or the chickpea .”Punjabi chhole” refers to the preparation in a way typical to the region of Punjab in the northern part of India. ‘Bhatura’ is a deep fried flat bread made with a leavened dough of fine flour and generally filled with cottage cheese. Topped and garnished with carrot and green chili pickle and with some chopped onions on the side, it makes an unbeatable snack.)
The popularity of Sitaram Diwan Chand grew in leaps and bounds and still after 60 years they have not looked back. Though it is a road side eatery, still a dozen odd tables laid outside the shop are full at any time of the day and many people can be seen standing, waiting for their turn. Many customers come in plush cars and take away the Chhole Bhature by dozens. Being famous among Delhiites, many offices, (some as far as 10 kms. from the venue) fondly come all the way to Sitaram Diwanchand, to take away Chhole Bhature, whenever they are having a staff party to celebrate someone’s promotion or a raise.
Mention the name of Sitaram Bhaturewala to a Delhiite who has settled abroad and it is for sure that his mouth will water for a moment at the thought of the taste !
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