I remember watching “A Walk In The Clouds” for the first time when I was 13-14 years old, trying to understand the friendships, crushes, infatuations, love, the birds and the bees. A Walk In The Clouds is a very romantic fairytale like movie starring Keanu Reeves and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon. The movie, the cinematography capturing picturesque vineyards surrounded by some beautiful … beautiful clouds, the romance of the main leads, in the twilight, under the clouds. It was all so mesmerizing. Even more for a kid trying to grow up.
I’ve always wanted to get lost it those surroundings, in those vineyards, in those clouds, having my own beautiful small home in those clouds, and a fully stocked big kitchen, cooking some delicious dishes with my family.
But as Nida Fazli so rightly said “Kabhi Kisi Ko Muqamal Jahan Nahin Milta, Kahin Zamin To Kahin Aasmaan Nahi Milta”. So sadly, in this imperfect life, I could not get all I wished and longed for. No vineyards meeting the horizon, no house in the clouds, but still I could manage the clouds.
Yes, clouds…. clouds of milk… really tasty clouds of milk. To die for….clouds of milk. I cannot walk in those clouds, but I could walk with those clouds in my hand, their divine taste in my mouth and the satisfaction in my stomach. Those milk clouds are called Daulat Ki Chaat in Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk) or Gauras ki Chaat in Mathura.
The first time I had it, was in 2007, in a freezing winter morning in Mathura. Saw it, it looked nice, asked the old vendor about it? He told me its Gauras ki Chaat which we delhiites call the famous “Daulat Ki Chaat” . I always wanted to eat it as I used to hear a lot about it from my Mausi (Aunt) when I was a kid, as a part of the bed-time stories. Finally I found it, fortunately. I Tried it, and man, I was in heaven. It was nothing but the sweetened milk froth, and nuts. But it was amazing. I never had such a thing in my life. It was just like a shiny white cloud. Looked like a cloud, and weighted like a cloud. But a heavenly Dish. It was the nearest I came to walking in the clouds.
According to that old man, Daulat Ki Chaat can be made only during the cold winter nights under the moon light when tens of liters of sweetened milk is whisked for several hours into a froath, which is then set by the early morning dew. The top layer is touched with saffron and decorated with silver vark and by morning the Daulat ki Chaat is just solid enough to be spooned into plates and sprinkled with chopped pistachio, cashewnuts, almonds, khoya and bhoora.
I know many of you might be tempted to have this amazing dish. If yes, than this is the time. Daulat Ki Chaat is only available in winters, specially December and January. It is easily available at several khomcha walas at Nai Sarak, Chawri Bazaar, Near Kareem Restaurant, Behind Jama Masjid. But make sure you are there early, as I have noticed, it tastes better in the mornings and a really good quality Daulat Chaat perishes by the noon.
I think enough of blogging now. Let me go back to dreaming. Dreaming about the Vineyard, Between the clouds, my small home with a big kitchen, me taking a stroll in the clouds, with a bowl of cloudy Daulat Ki Chaat, savoring its delectable flavors.
Probably Dreams are the only places were “Har Kisi Ko Muqamal Jahan Milta Hai, Na Sirf Jamin, Aasman Bhi Milta Hai.”
Happy Eating and Dreaming 🙂