For reasons I myself cannot comprehend, I recently decided to take the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) NET exam, a cockeyed morally offensive mind-numbing scandal of a paper that deserves to be thrown out.
But on the plus side, it gave me the occasion to revise some of the basic concepts in economics that had been parroted out to us in our undergrad years.
One such is what is known as Engel’s Law, which states that as incomes rise, the share of expenditure on “necessities” like food declines.
But I’d reckon that whole idea of food being a necessity completely ignores the very raison d’être of this blog — our weakness and fascination for all things edible. I haven’t looked at the stats, but I am quite certain that as middle-class incomes in Delhi have grown in the last couple decades, people are spending a greater and greater share of their overall expenditures on eating out.
Nor have the enterprising been oblivious to this trend. Meat-sellers in Delhi for example, have decided they can profit tremendously by moving up the value chain. Every little meat shop now doubles up as a mini-eatery, selling an assortment of kababs, wings and what not. And it’s a win-win for everyone — the meat-seller of course can make a bigger profit on the ready-to-eat stuff than the raw meat. But since he procures his meat in wholesale at cheaper rates, he can also pass on some of those savings to the rest of us as lower prices.
One such meat shop that I love to frequent goes by the name of M. I. Meat Suppliers, located in the Mehr Chand Khanna market in Lodhi Colony. The butcher’s shop sells both raw meat as well as kababs. The kababs are at least as good as anything you get at the ubiquitous Green Chick Shops all over Delhi, but at a fraction of the price — last I checked, shami kababs were about Rs. 100 for half a kilo at the Green Chick Shop in Alaknanda market, but were only Rs. 70 for the same quantity at M. I. Meat Suppliers. Mutton seekh kababs were a tad more, at Rs. 80 for half a kg.
But to me the real attraction is the relatively new adjunct to the butcher’s shop, which opens up in the evening and keeps a kadhai bubbling and coals fired till late at night. There is no seating space or even standing tables, so it’s not exactly convenient to go there and eat. But that scarcely stands in your way once you know that you can get a whole plate of succulently delicious fried chicken wings — that’s 250g, or about 9 pieces — a steal by any measure when priced at Rs. 30! There’s just one thing to be careful of, particularly if you go there early in the evening when sales have just begun — you need to stay the owner’s hand a little, which tends to be rather too free with the masala sprinkled on the wings at the end.
There are of course also good skewered chicken and mutton kababs on sale, as well as some qorma and a decent chicken biryani.
I’m sure you all have your favourite meat shop to go to, but if you chance by Lodhi Colony, do give this one a shot!
Timings: The butcher’s shop is open all day. The eatery starts business around 6:00-6:30 in the evening, and remains closed on Tuesdays.