I first had paapri chaat at Khan Market, Delhi a few years back. I fell in love with this heady mix of crushed paapri (won't even try to translate this), wadas, potatoes, curd, red sweet chutney, chilly powder, gaathias, bhujias and what have you.
Since then I have always made a beeline for paapri chaat sellers when I go to Delhi.
I was at Phonenix Mills at Sunday. All bruised and battered after hours of shopping in a Mall inundated with sales. My feet were aching and my body was aching all over. I stopped at the Kailash Parbat for a snack before heading home. This is in the food court outside PVR Cinema.
My eyes lit up when I saw paapri chaat and I ordered one.
What I got was an albinoed dish which had no connection the sassy, colourful Delhi delight. It had a limp sweetened curd base. No sign of the zesty chutneys. Pale paapris, different from the crunchy Delhi ones. Lots of boondi for some reason but no crushed pakoras, gaathiya setc. A complete waste of fifty Rupees (1 USD).
As we drove back home Kainaz said, "You told me that paapri chaat is a Delhi thing. Isn't it a better idea to have it in Delhi?
Can't argue with that