Omelette is the most underrated food. When we go out for breakfast or snacks, omelette is something which almost never comes to our mind, though we would agree that it is one of the healthiest and nutritious breakfast foods, out there.
Recently, I came to know about a very famous Sardarji who owns an Omelette stall in Pragati Maidan but I didn’t have enough information so I decided to visit this place myself. Set under the shadow of a grand peepal tree, I saw a humble stall that served one of the best omelettes in Delhi. I went to meet the 76-year old Sardarji named Balbir Singh. I found him at his home chopping onions. He might be old but he is still very energetic for his age. He lives in a slum attached with Pragati Maidan metro station’s wall, with a single bed and a fan over it. When I asked him “Where is the bathroom?”, he said that he goes to a nearby forest to freshen up. The harshness of life, however, did not dampen his spirits. He never took any medicines in his lifetime, He says that God has given him enough that he can survive and he is still grateful to him.
Also read: 5 Of Delhis Most Popular Street Foods
Tragedy & Family
At such an old age, when everyone expects their sons and daughters to take care of them, Sardarji is all alone. He has no one but himself. Sardarji came to India during the partition with his family. He had three sons and a wife. He lost his first son in the year 1987 and his wife died in 1992. After 6 years, his second son passed away. In the years 2013 and 2016, his third son and grandson died, respectively. The death of all his family members broke him. But he is a man of self-esteem, he did not give up. Soon after his grandson’s death, he started his ‘Omelette stall’.
When I asked him who taught him to make these omelettes, he said, “It was my son. He used to sell omelettes. At that time I was into a car or cycle repairing and tire puncture business, but I often used to watch him make omelettes, so I learned from him. Now, I don’t have enough strength to continue the repairing and puncture work, so I make omelettes to earn my living. I don’t have anyone so I depend on myself.”.
Cooking Tip From Sardarji!
He believes that eggs are the purest form of food since they are full of vitamins. He always cooks his omelettes in low flame. Sardarji says that it enhances the benefits of vitamins and proteins.
Also read: 5 Best Egg Dishes In Delhi
Sardarji starts his day with tea from the nearby tea stall. Then he goes to the Daryaganj market near Old Delhi, to buy ingredients like – eggs, bread, and vegetables. By 2 pm, he comes back and starts chopping the vegetables. Once he is done with the onions and green chilies, he lights his tiny gas stove and starts boiling eggs. Around 4 pm, he starts setting up the stall in front of one of the walls of Pragati Maidan’s exhibition halls. With the recent demolition of some of the structures, the wall adds to the poignancy of the setting.
The stall is not any regular stall. He creates it by placing big rocks on two sides, then the cardboards and after that, he places two big tires all by himself. And at last, he puts a wooden plank to balance it. Around 5 pm the stall is ready. Sardarji makes his first omelette in the name of God, from which he takes one bite for himself and commences his daily business. This singular stall outside Pragati Maidan Metro station opens every evening around 5 pm and it goes on till 11:30 pm.
There is a lane stretching right into the Metro station, teeming with boisterous food stalls decked with fairy lights and marigold garlands. By comparison, this Omelette stall shaded with leaves seems almost ethereal.
Types of Eggs:
He sells mainly three types of eggs:
Also, Egg Bhurji, if someone requests.
Talking about the price, he uses desi ghee and refined oil. So if you are someone who believes in the benefits of desi ghee just like me, then ask for Desi ghee Omelette/Half fry. It costs ₹50 and it’s ₹30 for refined oil food.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Although this stall is on the roadside, Sardarji has kept his utensils very clean. He believes that customers can be of any kind, but they will come again if your food tastes good and if the place is well maintained. It’s the customer’s soul that is satisfied if there is no dirt.
Sardarji has his own style and pace of preparing food. He never cooks in a hurry as it kills the taste. “I make it with ease and comfort. I put jeera and ajwain masala on an omelette and serve the customers with ease. I give them ketchup, ask them to sit comfortably and then eat. If the taste isn’t good, the customer won’t like it. So I make sure that my food smells and tastes good.”
Sardarji has a charming unpredictability about him. Sometimes he talks and at other times he withdraws and barely utters a word. But he is surely someone who believes in working hard and living with respect. He enjoys himself when people come to eat his omelettes and chat with him.
As I tasted his omelette, its amazing flavor and aroma reminded me of home. I remembered my mother who would always cook lovingly for me. Undoubtedly his food is capable of attracting people to his stall no matter what. If you’re from Delhi then do not miss out on his delicious omlettes.
Address: Outside Pragati Maidan Metro Station, Pragati Maidan, Delhi 110001
Timings: 5 pm to 11:30 pm (Tuesdays closed)