There are a variety of different foods that would instantly capture your heart in Delhi. But if you’d have to pick your favourite, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’d say Chole Kulche, in a skip of a heartbeat. The beloved dish of spicy chickpea curry paired with fluffy buttery bread is a match made in heaven. And one mother-son duo took the homemade chole kulche all the way to the streets of Delhi, while of course, adding their own unique spin to it. 69-year-old Sunila Bahl, a homemaker and her architect son, Gaurav used homemade recipes and family secret ingredients to whip up different varieties of kulchas in their quick-service Delhi restaurant, Koolchas. Here’s their story
The Inspiration To Start Kulchas
In May 2016, Gaurav, an architect came to a realisation that the real-estate industry showed signs of slowing down. The MBA graduate, with 20-years of experience in the industry, decided to use his time to open his own business. Since he was a foodie, he decided to pour his love for food into a business, after a suggestion by one of his friends. But he didn’t want to copy any of the existing models in the market. Gaurav wanted to start something new, which no one had ever done before. One day, the foodpreneur was very hungry, having gone without a bite until 4 pm, that’s when he sighted a kulche chole wala, and he got his eureka moment. Gaurav decided to open a quick-service restaurant (QSR) for chole kulche. After all, there were many quick-service restaurants(QSRs) in India for pizzas, burgers, rolls, wraps and vada pavs. But none for chole kulche. This was the start of Koolchas.
Mother-Son Unite To Create Chole Kulcha Magic
With the unique idea of a quick-service restaurant solely serving a variety of kulchas, Gaurav approached his home-chef mother, 69-year-old Sunila Bahl. He stated to The Better India that his mother has always been a fabulous cook who has been lip-smacking preparing dishes using family recipes for the past 50 years. On knowing about her son’s food venture, Sunila immediately jumped on board. From developing recipes, blending spices, maintaining the quality of ingredients, setting up prices to training the staff, she managed everything. Sunila excitedly watched food channels to learn different recipes and perfect them.
Launching The First Koolchas Outlet In Gurugram
After two years of tireless research, trial and errors with recipes and preparation, Koolchas opened its first restaurant in 2018 in Sushant Lok, Gurugram, Sushant Lok, Gurugram. The quick-service restaurant aimed to take the rustic food from the streets, into a carefully organised restaurant. Gaurav stated to Your Story that through Koolchas he wanted to remove people’s apprehensions around dust, hygiene and other quality concerns that you’d find at a roadside kulcha stall. Koolchas attempts to solve these issues by preparing preservative-free food using homemade masalas and live kitchens.
A Delicious Menu For All Ages
At Koolchas, people can gorge on a variety of delicious kulchas like Aloo Pyaaz, Paneer Masala, Channa Punjabi, Nutri Keema and more. The prices for these kulchas range from ₹59 for a small plate of matar kulcha to ₹249 for a regular plate of chicken Chaudhary. In order to appeal to kids, Koolchas also serves kulcha pizzas, sandwiches, heart and star-shaped kulchas. They also introduced whole wheat flour kulcha as a healthier alternative. Their customers range from children above 10 years of age to senior citizens above 60.
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Koolchas Records Lakhs Of Revenue Every Month
Gaurav and Sunila Bahl’s Koolchas, spread its aroma all across Gurugram. Soon, they also opened their second store in Delhi-NCR. The startup revealed to Your Story that they registered over 10,000 customers in the very first year of their operation. The sales at their first outlet grew from ₹2 lakh in the first month to ₹6 lakh per month, within 10 months of commencing operations. Infact, they add around 500 to 700 new customers every month per outlet.
Preservative-Free Homemade Chole Kulche At Your Doorstep
While the founders were planning on opening more outlets in Delhi, the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to their plans. Nevertheless, Koolchas quickly adapted to the situation and made safety their priority. During the lockdown, they initially witnessed an average of 100 customers per day. Today, they cater to over 60 orders every day and they continue to grow. Koolchas prioritised hygiene and continued offering the best quality food with homemade ingredients at the doorsteps of customers.
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Adapting to the situation and improving their business model, has helped them survive amid the pandemic. What started as a homemade spin to the street food, now satisfies chole kulche cravings of hundreds of customers across Delhi and Gurugram. So, are you up for a plate of delicious chole kulche, ring up Koolchas!