Wengers---and New Delhi!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I watch a Program on NDTV India International Channel called "Highway on My Plate" and it features these two crazy guys called Rocky and Mayur who roam the length and breadth of India sampling the Cuisines in the most accessible as well as the remotest areas in India.Today's Episode was based on New Delhi and featured a Shop I've loved and salivated over for my entire Life---Wengers---situated bang in Connought Circus!!!To me this one Shop is what the Taj Mahal Hotel's La Patisserie is to my daughters--a lifetime of wonderful treats!!
Daddy's visits to New Delhi during my childhood meant getting Parcels of the yummy Shami Kababs that Wengers is so famous for.Visits to New Delhi also meant standing in Wengers and eating calorie packed Fresh Cream stuffed Chocolate Eclairs,Pastries and Tarts---all fresh and just made!!The Chicken patties--made with Puff pastry shells stuffed with minced spicy Chicken as well as the yummy,meaty Shami Kababs--crisp on the outside and scrumptiously meaty on the inside tempered generously with Spices and Mint Leaves even today invoke a mouth watering nostalgia!!
Daddy's visits to Delhi during my childhood meant the fabulous Masalas or Spice Powders from Roopak Stores at Ajmal Khan Road in the Karol Baugh area of Old Delhi.This Shop was started by by a family of refugees from the Pakistani Punjab in 1958.Till today their Spices retain the old taste that my tongue remembers from my childhood---and this was one place where Sudhir would lose his cool each time we visited it--for our Luggage weight would rise by a minimum of 3-4 kgs on each trip---and my Freezer would be stuffed with my precious hoard!!!Even today I'm constantly on the look-out for this brand in Mumbai--and snap up the maximum quantity of these whenever and wherever I can.In the 1960s Kusum Atya--Daddy's younger sister lived there and Delhi became a place to visit regularly for us.The sights and smells of the fabulous Delhi "Chaats"--Street Food---still lingers in my mind each time I think bak to that period---so also does my father's naivete in buying stuff at Ajmal Khan Road in good faith--only to discover later that he'd be gypped!!Mummy never let him hear the last of his escapades---even though he surrendered unconditionally to her superior judgement!!
Sudhir used to get Migraines during the early years of our marriage--and because of this I would travel with him each time he needed to go to the Supreme Court in New Delhi.It was during one of our visits there that we discovered a delightful Hotel named "Centre Point" at Barakhambha Road in New Delhi.This was a short walking distance from Connaught Circus and became a favourite place to stay for us.The Centre Point was an old sprawling Bungalow or "Kothi" in old delhi parlance converted into a Hotel.Because of this their Suites were huge with huge Bathrooms--all old fashioned,marbled claw footed Bath Tubs and solid Bronze fittings.The Girls simply loved it when we stayed there in the Winter of 1978----the beautiful old World ambience and the huge Lawns were something they fell in love with at first sight!! Wengers became a regular part of their lives and walking in the chilly evenings to snack on the yummy Pastries and Tarts as well as the fresh,hot Chicken Patties and Shami Kababs became a regular routine for our family each time we visited New Delhi.We all loved Centre Point also for the wonderful taste of the wonderful Punjabi Food it served---eating it sitting on the Lawns was something that turned each well cooked Meal into a Feast!!
During those days we could still carry Food as a part of our Cabin Luggage and the number of times that we flew back home to Bombay with Cakes,Puddings,Pastries,Tarts,
Patties and Kababs from Wengers as well as large Containers of Roghan Josh and Mutton Biryani from Centre Point are innumerable.Today the Security Staff at the Airport would confiscate any such Item as soon as they'd cast their eyes on it!!
New Delhi holds a host of Memories for us as a family for we spent many Winter Vacations and also parts of the Summer Vacations there.For me New Delhi has held a very special place in my heart and has been a part of my childhood and later my married life as well.This is a place that holds a lot of beautiful Memories--and a large part of my life is still somewhere connected to it because of this!!
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  • MIRFA71
    very delicious memories!!
    1791 days ago
    I am salivating now.It sounds so wonderful I can almost smell it. You will laugh when you said about travelling it brought to mind an incident from early in my marriage .We were posted in Northern Quebec in a place called Chibougamau.I simply thought it was the end of the earth,even by Canadian standards it was deprived ,There were two grocery stores alas they were the same store we called them Provigo 1 and Provigo2 ! I drove them mad ! I asked for things like Garam masala , and Tandoori spices. They looked at me blankly and pointed me to the mustard and ketchup (I still don't eat ketchup!!!) So I went to London,my Auntie Rita took my to Brick Lane I bought spices of every description I had everything I even filled my suitcase with Patak's Poppadums. I had chicken Korma spices,biryani you name it . The things I knew I could not stretch the truth about I packed in plastic bags in between my clothes and put in my suitcases that were checked .My precious spices went in my hand luggage .I smelled like a walking curry house. Sure enough they looked at my hand luggage and opened it .It was 1985 . I had painted my fingernails blue which made my skin look even whiter and my hair even brighter red.I had had my Aunt's young neighbour do my makeup in a bery punk fashion. I believe my eyeshadow was shaded of yellow and orange.So when they looked at all these powders all of which were contrabnd to bring into Canada ,he said what are those ? and I sweetly replied "Make-up powders " he took one look at me and let me take them through. I treated those spices likethey were gold ! I washed my face before My h8usband picked me up at Dorval airport though !
    1792 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    It all does sound so delicious!
    1792 days ago
    You have made me hungry and made me want to travel!
    1792 days ago
  • SAASHA17
    Gosh now I want some of everything u mentioned..I need something yum!!! and Im stuck at work:(
    1792 days ago
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