Serving up a local treat

Young students band together outside Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), Civil Lines, as they wait to get their hands on Bun Tikkis, an Indian-version of the crispy burger.

Published: 27th April 2022 07:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2022 07:12 AM   |  A+A-

IPCW students queue up outside Bengali Chaat Bhandar

Express News Service

Young students band together outside Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), Civil Lines, as they wait to get their hands on Bun Tikkis, an Indian version of the crispy burger. The aroma of chutney and spices fills the air as Ramdev Mohoto (51) grills a few patties on a large griddle placed on his four-wheeled cart. Meanwhile, his brother, Rajdev Mohoto (48), warms up chole (chickpeas), a spoonful of which will be added to this dish. 

The Bengali Chaat Bhandar is a small, nondescript eatery established by the Mohoto brothers, who have been serving delicious snacks since 1949. Ramdev is affectionately referred to as the ‘Bun Tikki Bhaiya’ by locals here. 

Building on a family legacy
This stall was set up by Ramdev’s father Sarbjit Mohoto. A migrant from Bihar, Sarabjit—he earlier worked with a contractor—yearned to start his own business. To do so, he decided to sell fruit chaat and Aloo Chaat outside IPCW. After his mother passed away, Ramdev (then only 15 years old) decided to help his father with the business. Rajdev joined the duo soon. In no time, this food cart turned into a dream that the brothers nurtured diligently over the years.  

Keeping changing trends in check, the Mohoto brothers made several changes to their food list. Their menu has expanded from just chaat to a number of snacks including Bun Tikki, Papri Chaat, Bhel Puri, Tikki Chaat, Kulcha Roll, as well as Banta. “We had to evolve according to the times. No one eats fruit chaat now, so we have altered the menu as per what people like to eat,” Ramdev shares.

The elder sibling has also been a silent witness to all the changes that have taken place at Civil Lines and IPCW. “The college hostels, metro, these buildings around the college, all of this has been built in front of me,” he says. Ramdev recalls incidents of ragging that would take place outside the college, years ago, a practice that has stopped now. 

A hit among the students  
Be it a fest in the college or a student’s birthday, this eatery remains a favourite hangout for IPCW-goers. 
“This is the closest place where we can get some real food without actually going far from college. It is super cheap and very fulfilling. Often, a single individual cannot eat an entire bun tikki by themselves. If you’ve had one, you are stuffed for the day,” shares Chovoni Pfuze (21), a third-year student of IPCW. “Most of them [people you find here] are just college students. It is a protected environment and it feels nice to be here; eating and chatting with friends,” adds Chingkhei Chanu (21), another third-year student of IPCW.

Patrons of Bengali Chaat Bhandar are spread across Delhi University. Ramdev mentions that until before the pandemic, they would regularly serve at Medina, the annual festival of Ibtida—the theatre society of Hindu College, North Campus. “We called him to serve at Medina in 2017; asked him to prepare food for a footfall of about 5,000 people. On the day of the event, within 45 minutes, every single Bun Tikki was over! We have a special bond with him,” recalls Krishna Sharma, an alumna of the college who graduated in 2018.

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp