Babar Khoye Waaley Murgh Chanay: Best Chanay in Anarkali
Around 8 o’clock in the morning, I decided to walk out of my hostel for breakfast. Because I live close to Anarkali, I have the luxury to eat from its much-chronicled food street. Breakfast becomes a bit of an inconvenience, though, not because there aren’t enough choices, but because you’re spoilt for choices. There are several places that serve rich Lahore breakfast at competitive prices.
In a Nutshell:
- Best murgh chanay in Anarkali Bazaar
- ‘Khoya’ sets them apart
- Go to breakfast spot for a true Lahori nashta
- A shoestring budget? No problem
- Grab your naan fresh off the tandoor
- Family friendly
On this particular day, I headed over to the acclaimed Babar Khoye Waaley Murgh Chanay. Khoya, for those who don’t know, is rich condensed milk which is achieved by drying milk out for many hours. Murgh Chanay is a delicacy achieved by mixing chickpeas with chicken and chicken stock. The combination of khoya and murgh chanay, let me tell you, is an inspired combination, and I couldn’t thank Babar enough for it.
When I reached this coveted nashta spot, it was jam-packed with an array of people. From laborers to policemen, to students, to budding professionals, everyone was accumulated there for one thing: a taste of those heavenly chanay. Outside of the one-room restaurant was surrounded by a number of motorcycles, which blocked the entrance path. The waiters were taking orders deftly repeating the menu at a whim. In a similar manner, the bakers were slapping naan upon glorious naan inside the heated tandoor. I made my way through the myriad of people and occupied a seat towards the rear of the restaurant.
A waiter, who is used to my frequent visits, came over to greet me. I asked him to bring chanay with a boiled egg and two naans. Amid orders being taken, the clinking of utensils, and gossip of people, I could not believe that all of this was happening at 8 AM in the morning. A man with a thin beard was listening to an old Bollywood song on his mobile with speakers. He was preoccupied with it and looked completely at home; as though this was a daily routine.
Soon, the waiter reappeared with my order and asked if I needed anything else. While I took pictures of the chanay bowl and bread, one of the college boys on the other table said “burger” and the rest laughed. Perhaps, they were repeating some old joke among themselves as I was not eating a burger.
I carefully quashed the boiled egg first into the chanay and oil, trying my best to not let it slip off the bowl. The whitish bread with tiny unknown seeds sprinkled over them looked beautiful like Neruda’s (hyperlink to ‘Ode to Bread’) poem. Anyway, the chanay tasted wonderfully with the boiled egg. Unlike other chanay shops in Anarkali, they spice them well at Babar and add some green peppers too. I savored the fine dish while fanning away flies with one hand.
After paying my bill, I came out and noticed an innocent man looking after his cart laden with vegetables. He was cutting the carrots and radishes to prepare salad plates. I requested him if I could take a picture or two of his cart to which he agreed gently.
If you ever happen to drop at Anarkali, Babar Chanay is where you should take breakfast.