Now anyone who lives outside India would wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, this is only one of those ghastly gas-inducing edible legumes, albeit one high in protein and tracing its genealogy to 7,500 years ago!
And this is what puzzles me.
Having sampled the fare, I am totallyat a loss as to what is it that attracts people to this place. The chholas were not as beautifully coloured as you'd find at Sitaram's (a well-kept secret, but one hazards that tea leaves are used), nor is there an explosion of flavour a la Ahooja (all caused by kasoori methis, among other things). They were over-cooked and there was an under-taste of baking soda. Too many slices of potato had been added, something which is a strict no-no in any self-respecting chhola-bhatoora joint, and where were the diced green chillis, the slices of onion and that special pickle/chutney which the more famous names add as a signature to their chhola?
As for the bhatooras, they were a parody - pre-cooked viscosity, a travesty of those golden orbs one has samples in Delhi and Amritsar! Sitaram's were flat, rubbery and re-heated. The re-heating had robed them of the crispness and lightness which is the hallmark of a good bhatoora. Also, the flavour was very doughy and had clearly not been allowed to rise enough prior to being fried. A cautious addition of sooji goes a long way in giving a good bhatoora a je ne sais quoi, but that was rather missing in Sitaram's dish.
All said and a plateful consumed for Rs 20, I'm not sure I'll be returning to this eatery again.
Rating 5.5 on a scale of 10.