‘Raju chur-chur naan’ is a name that echoes all around Dwarka. Every resident is aware of this small kiosk on wheels on the side of the road in Dwarka sector 12. As he has now opened as a proper shop, we went and had a talk with ‘Raju’ himself to get to know his story.
If I were to define Raju chur-chur naan in a few words, I would define it as ‘budget friendly and delicious.’ Mr. Rajendra, famous by his nickname ‘raju’, migrated to Delhi from Beawar, a town near Ajmer in Rajasthan in the 1990s with the hope to earn and provide his family.
Before the stall earned a name for itself, Raju chur-chur naan had humble beginnings. Mr. Rajendra, tells me that “I started my food stall during Indira Gandhi’s time in 1984. I had set up shop in C-1, Janakpuri. In 1997 I shifted my stall in Dwarka and I have been here ever since.”
In 2002, along with his stall he had opened a small shop. However, due to disputes with the owner over the rent, he closed it and decided to operate on a full time basis on the side of the road. He again tried to open a shop in sector 11, where he paid rent of ₹90,000 per month but had to shut it down as the owner had found someone willing to pay more rent than he was paying.
Mr. Rajendra felt it was better for him to operate through his stall but he was constantly bugged by the authorities and the famous ‘committees’ known to remove road side vendors.
“Opening this new restaurant is a relief for me as I am no longer disturbed by the authorities. However, I still have to worry about paying the rent and my staff” said Mr. Rajendra. When asked if he would consider buying his own shop, he replied that it would be better for him to buy his own shop back home in Rajasthan as the rates in Delhi are too high.
The familiar crowd on one side of the road in KM chowk has now shifted to the other side in front of the shop. With a plate which includes naans topped with dry fruits and paneer, dal-makhani, shahi paneer and raita starting at ₹100 and going up to ₹160. Raju’s chur-chur naan shop is sure to not disappoint people looking for a quick and budget friendly meal.
By Abhijeet Pandey