The grandson of a legend continues to sell his chatpati kachori to customers who come for a bite of his delicacies.
Fateh Chand started selling kachori-chole around 50 years ago carrying a food tray on his head and hopping from one school gate to another. Before setting his current spot near Gujrat Samaj and just behind the Ludlow Castle No. 1 school. His grandson, who is 41 years old, Brij Mohan, better known as Toshi Bhaiya. Plays the Pied Piper’s role, drawing kids from numerous schools in the neighbourhood.
A majority of their clients are either students or alumni of these schools.
By 11am every day, regulars start trickling in as Toshi and his younger brother Bittu begin an elaborate ritual started years ago by their grandfather. A dozen of pattas (plates made from dry leaves) are laid out on a large plate. Then the thin and crispy kachoris are plastered with chhole (matar) and placed on the pattas. The combo is topped with a tangy amchoor chutney and sprinkled with homemade masala. As per Toshi, the masala is a blend of 36 spices and salts.That include kaali and peeli mirch, laung, nausadar, kala namak, jeera, ajwain, and badi and chhoti elaichi. This is followed by a splash of meethi chutney and a pinch of salt, topped by a dash of freshly cut ginger, green chilli, dhania and sliced onions.
The outcome is an extraordinary delicacy popular by the name of Fateh ki Kachori! Toshi says that the idea was suggested to Fateh Chand by Fateh’s sister.
Fateh started by selling a patta of two kachoris for 10 paise in the mid-1960s. Now it’s priced at Rs 25. The price may have gone up now but the grandsons have maintained the tradition of selling the kachori on a bicycle.
In the mid 1970s. Fateh’s son, Hari Chand branched out and started selling kachoris in United School. Twenty years later. He moved to a spot under a neem tree opposite St. Xavier’s School in the same neighbourhood. Hari Chand also used to sell his culinary masterpiece at Mori gate bara bazar in evening.
Fateh seemed to have built a legion of loyal clients in his lifetime.
I am an alumni of Ludlow castle No 1. I still remember my schooldays when Fateh ki kachori was sold for Rs 10. Most of the students of our school would run towards the back gate asking bhaiya for ’10 rupees ki kachori!’