The snow dish.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Is it a snowy desert, or a dessert?
One winter morning The Delhi Walla came across street food vendor Kamal and his Daulat ki Chaat on Gali Kallan Kahar, a Walled City lane. This fabled dish of milk and cream is extremely delicate, and seems to be composed of nothing but froth, which you fear might disappear any moment. In 2011, I wrote about Daulat ki Chaat here, saying: "Much romance is attached to the making... One legend is that the milk is whisked under a full moon sky and the morning dew sets the resulting froth."
The vendor Kamal, too, had prepared it early in the morning. The sweet dish was arranged on a silver platter. There it lay whole, intact, waiting for its first customer. Scooters and rickshaws went past the cart one after another. A pack of mules, too, trotted forth stirring up dust.
The dish was covered in a white net to keep off the flies. Kamal carefully lifted it up to give a clearer view of his Daulat ki Chaat. It looked like an Arctic landscape of freshly whipped cream. After a minute or so, he pulled it back over the dish. He then pushed his cart deeper into the hopeful morning.