KACHORI AND KADHI IN AJMER
Special things deserve their own space. A few days ago when I posted some of my favourite food/food related things, I did not mention this breakfast. Its just tooooo special and needs its own space.
For as long as I can remember, every morning we were in my grandparents house there was struggle. My grandmother who started cooking at like 6 am would want us to eat her breakfast while I only wanted to eat 'chakkar ki kachori'. Dont get me wrong -- I loved my grandmom's food. But breakfast was reserved only for kachoris. So my grandad would drive us to Chakkar (a cicular market in Ajmer, hence the name) and in a corner of that market is a shop about the size of a large crate of fruits (really).
In that sits a very fat, sweaty, immensely polite man and he serves the most divine kachori's ever!! To go with kachori's, there are also samosa's, crisp pakora's made of ground lentils, tamarind and ginger sweet chutney, coriander chutney and ......Kadhi! Kadhi is something like the standard chickpea flour-buttermilk stew that we know but the proportion of flour and water is really high and spices seem to be present in equal proportions to the flour (!!!) and bits of potato and other veggies are floating in it.
This time we got take-away breakfast from Chakkar and here's how it went.
1. First you feast your eyes and nose
Clockwise: Kachori's (filling of ground fried lentils, liberally spiced), lentil pakora, Kadhi, Dona (bowl made of leaves), Ginger-tamarind chutney, samosa.
2. Then you grab one 'dona' (bowl made out of dried leaves and twigs, oldest known disposable utensil environment friendly), place a kachori in it. Then break it up in the middle. Fill the depression with pakoras. Top with tamarind-ginger chutney.
3. Top this concoction with the 'kadhi' and enjoy.
The interesting feature of the Chakkar-kachori guy is that he has a very clear business model which involves only 3 business hours a day, every day irrespective of anything! He arrives at the shop at 7 am and is packed up for the day by 10.30-11 am. His day starts at 4 am when he and his entire family wake up to make the dough, filling, kadhi etc fresh. He brings the prep-ed ingredients to the shop, fries and assembles everything there, sells to his only clientele- the breakfast crowd and is done for the day. His business during those 3 hours is so brisk that he does not even bother to stick around for afternoon or evening business (hence I have no picture of him this time). His prices hover around Rs. 3 (7 cents) per heaped 'dona' and many poor villagers only buy 1 serving of the kadhi which they eat with home-cooked bread.
Here's to comparative advantage, super-specialisation and knowing-your-customer.