By Rajeev Sharma
New Delhi: Next time when you go to Delhi do not forget to visit Man Singh Halwai in old Delhi. Enjoy delicious Chaat-Pakori, Pao Bhaji, Khati Kabab, Roomali roti and what not. These tasty traditional Indian snacks will leave a lasting impact on your concept of eat-out in India’s capital.
Man Singh Halwai-Not a big brand but late Harshed Mehta’s family, industrialist Anil Ambani and some senior politicians are mad for his food. Once , he was a small Dahi Bhalla Wala of Bazar Sita Ram (old Delhi) but his hard work and ancestral art of making Chaat- Pakori made him a big man. When he was on his peak , about three years ago, he suffered a massive heart attack which shook his snack empire. Man Singh left behind his wife, three daughters and a son. It was a difficult time for his widow Suman to look after the business and children but she managed it well. Now under the framed picture of smiling Man Singh, the show is going on.
Suman told SAT : “I am not much educated but with the help of my convent educated children, I am running the business and offcourse we have a team left by my husband is doing is doing its best in the field of taste”.’Man Singh Halwai” is specialist in vegetarian food. People are crazy for all of his snacks like Pao Bhaji, Kathi Kabab, Roomali roti, Mattar korma, Gatte ki Sabzi and stuffed Naan.
” When my husband left, my son Sunny was a school student and he was not interested in the ancestral business of Halwai, but later when he saw me working day and night he changed his mind and started taking interest in the business. Her daughter Pooja, who is a teacher, maintains accounts of business”. Today, any festival whether its Ram Lila or Diwali, is incomplete if there is no signboard of Man Singh Halwai in the Pandaal because taste is everything for Indians,” she said.Remember that scene from the movie “Delhi 6″,when Abhishek Bachchan goes to Ramlila with his folks,one can see the grand and glittering banner of “Man Singh Halwai”in the background.
Source: SAT, Oct. 2011 issue.