ONE serving of chhole bhature (2 bhaturas + 1 chhole) has 522 calories, 1/4th of what an average person needs in a day — as per those counting such numbers. By that standard, it was a glorious morning for Congress leaders headed for a 10.30 am to 4.30 pm fast — “symbolic”, to be noted — to Raj Ghat on Monday. What else but that very Delhi dish, with its side serving of green chillies, pickle, curd, and that topping of strips of garlic and a cube of paneer, to keep hunger at bay for the next couple of hours.
The humble puri can compete all it wants, but as any lover of lazy Sunday brunches knows, it’s the size of the fluff where this fight is settled. The bhatura wins hands down, shining golden and rising triumphant, as it travels from the kitchen to the table at any restaurant. Next time, watch how many lascivious eyes follow it at a food court, breezing over the burgers, pizzas, pastas and biryanis. Plus, while one can rustle up any of the latter in one’s kitchen, it’s only the brave few who attempt a bhatura at home.
Mahatma Gandhi, whose living example and resting place guided the Congress protest on Monday, left behind a lot of ideas on fasting, a weapon he gave to the political world. “A genuine fast cleanses the body, mind and soul. It crucifies the flesh and to that extent sets the soul free,” was one of them. Everyone who has enjoyed a serving of chhole bhature will agree the dish does the same — not necessarily in that order. Arvinder Singh Lovely and Ajay Maken, the partakers of the delight on Monday, did show some “crucification of the flesh” seated on the fasting platform later. But will they give up the bhatura, for example, for a plate of samosa (616 calories for 2)? Therein lies the question.