The history and origin of the delectable delight that is the Rasagulla has always been a subject of heated debate. No one knows where and how it really came into existence, but its existence is nothing but a divine blessing for us.
Connaught Place is one of the most exuberant hubs of Delhi, which is thronged by people throughout the day. Everyone knows about the famous eating joints in Connaught Place, but only a few food enthusiasts are aware about the street food stalls which sell Rasagullas and other sweet delicacies at the most economical prices ever. Scroll through this and become part of that elite club.
1. Name: Lalji
Find it here: Next to Punjab Sindh Bank, H Block, Connaught Place
In front of Punjab and Sindh Bank in H Block, Connaught Place is a modest stall where Lalji sells rasgullas, rabdi and ice cream. An amiable gentleman with a kind face, Lalji hails from Gorakhpur and has occupied this corner of Delhi for close to forty years.
He lives in Nabi Karin, Paharganj, and earlier sold ice cream in Satyanarayan Katra, Chandni Chowk. Although Lalji makes the ice cream himself, he sources the rabdi from Hathras; it is made by two brothers named Bablu and Mukesh, who also supply it to Haldiram’s, says Lalji with quiet amusement.
The rasagullas sold at his stall are sweet and juicy, and the rabdi, sold for ten rupees a cup, is sweet, textured and melts in the mouth. It is sold through the year, though the other items vary with the season. After Diwali, Lalji sets aside ice cream and succulent rasagullas for gulab jamuns and gajar ka halwa. He sets up his stall at noon each day and leaves at nine o’clock at night.
2. Name: Sajan Lal
Find it here: Near Bank of Baroda, M Block, Connaught Place
The first thing that strikes you about Sajan Lal’s shop near Bank of Baroda in M Block, Connaught Place, is the array of posters depicting benevolent colourful deities smiling down upon his trays of rasmalai, kulfi, rabdi, faluda and rasgullas.
Sajan Lal is from Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. He has been in Delhi since 1982. Like Lalji, he too buys his rabdi from Bablu and Mukesh, but makes his rasgullas and ice cream himself.
As he makes you a faluda kulfi (swiftly going through the steps – ice cream, faluda, chashni, rabdi, ice cream again and a deft dash of Rooh Afza) he tells you that he too lives in Paharganj, with others in the same trade as himself. The dhoklas are a recent addition to the menu (it was his first day of selling dhoklas on the day of the interview); he is looking to add variety.
The best thing he makes is the rasmalai; it is soft, flavourful and utterly beautiful to behold. Sajan Lal sets up shop at ten every morning, and stays till around eight-thirty in the evening, which is when his stock runs out.
3. Name: Sanjay Agarwal
Find it here: Outside Exit 6, Barakhamba Road Metro Station
Sanjay Agarwal runs a stall near Barakhamba Road metro station, selling faluda, rabdi, kulfi and rasgullas. This food stall is probably one of the most famous sweet stalls in CP, if not all of Delhi. The place is always crowded, with people asking for all of their succulent desserts – the faluda being most famous.
Unlike the other vendors that were interviewed, he breaks a rasgulla into half before serving it to you, and when you express surprise upon learning that he too lives in Paharganj and buys his rabdi from Bablu and Mukesh, he tells you that this is a family trade.
His father has been here for forty years, and the father-son duo work together now, Lalji is his brother-in-law and Sajan Lal is his father’s younger brother. In shop number 53, Shankar Market, sits Rampher, Lalji’s brother. He only sells faluda kulfi, says Sanjay Agarwal.
The latter’s faluda kulfi is delectably tangy, and he explains that while the others use only mango ice cream, he uses mango and vanilla. He also explains that their ice cream is the best because they churn the milk more. In the winter months, they sell moong ki dal ka halwa.