The first stop on our last Sunday’s Heritage Walk was Darya Khan Lohani’s tomb in Kidwai Nagar East, New Delhi.
Darya Khan served all the Lodi kings on several high posts. He was the Chief Justice Officer during Buhlul Khan Lodhi’s reign and was later appointed as an Advocate during Sikander Lodhi’s time.
His tomb stands on a raised platform and its exterior is made up of red masonry. There are stairs on three sides and the main entrance is via the eastern face of the monument.
There are domed pavilions on all four corners of the platform and in the center there is another platform with an unmarked grave painted in white.
We are told that on every Thursday morning the grave is cleaned by an old man called Haaji Bhure who also lights an incense stick at the head of the grave.
On the whole the monument is badly maintained. Half of the dome on one of the pavilion is missing, the rest are crying for neglect. Meanwhile next door, the residential blocks of Delhi Development Authority apartments, are being re-built adding further to the misery of this monument.
Our next stop was “Tin Burj” in South Extension Part I. It is again a badly neglected monument with a private land bifurcating the monument. ASI apparently lost a court case so now a private land runs in between the monument. There were three gumbads, Bare Khan ka Gumbad , Chhote Khan Ka Gumbad and Bhure Khan ka Gumbad and you could access them together.
The first two gumbads are larger than the third but they all have similar architectural features like ornamental doorways, arched niches and onion-shaped domes. Kale Khan ka-Gumbad, or Bhure Khan Ka Gumbad has its ceiling decorated with painted plaster-word and it was built in 886 AH during Buhlul Lodi’s reign. There were two other nobles, one of whom was the father of Darya Khan, in whose memory these Gumbads were made.
It is said to see how our heritage today is nobody’s business and is being destroyed slowly.
Last Sunday Chicken came calling. Though I am not particularly fond of Chicken, I joined a group of friends and landed at a newly opened, very talked about place in Gurgaon called Baba’s Chicken, on the Golf Course Road.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a vegetarian but feel much more comfortable with animals bigger than a chicken, with mutton being an all time. Truth be told, I joined them because I was promised that mutton too was on the menu. One of our friends was able to swing a rather favourable deal with their parent outlet in Ludhiana and the meal was paid for (disclaimer).
We started with Baba’s famous tandoori chicken followed by fried fish with tartar dip (in a typical Punjabi style) and tandoori fish tikka with green chutney. The green chutney was a real piece of art and I have to admit it was the best I have tasted so far. The fried fish, was not what everybody serves in the town, Basa.
The tandoori fish was even better with just a small taste of masala. I didn’t find the chicken too “hot” but that could be due to my personal non-preference with it. The dip accompanying the fish was Punjabi style mayo.
In the main course we tried their signature dish Baba butter chicken, Rarha meat and Baba lemon kali mirch chicken. Both the butter chicken and lemon chicken were good with a very different yellow buttered gravy, likes of which I had not tried before with succulent pieces of chicken (not tandoori) as you would expect them to be.
The Rara meat was surprisingly low on spices which I found really excellent and made me think why they should not call themselves Baba’s mutton rather than chicken. But later I figured out that the their current name gives them better mileage in their home town, Ludhiana.
The star of the day however was Keema naan and it was something to die for. If you ever visit it, no you must visit it for the Keema nan. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Thank you Avneet and Preeti (Team Baba) for taking so good care of us.