Every day, thousands of foodies flock to Old Delhi’s bustling streets to devour the irresistible kulfi at Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfi in Chawri Bazar.
This iconic brand, existing for over a century, has maintained its legacy.
Among its loved kulfi flavours are kesar pista, matka kulfi and kulfis stuffed in fruits like mango, orange, apple, and pomegranate.
What’s fascinating to know is the story of the eatery’s inception.
It was founded by a Haryana farmer, Kuremal Mohanlal, about 117 years ago.
As his great-grandson, Vishal Sharma tells us, it was in 1906 at the age of 11 that Kirorimal Mohanlal decided to venture beyond farming.
He was inspired by his uncle, who sold kulfis locally and decided to do the same.
After helping his elder brothers in the field, Kirorimal would travel from his village in Jhajjar to Delhi during the summers to sell kulfis.
“Back then, he did not have the option of refrigeration, so he would instead fill baraf (ice slabs) and namak (salt) in a matka (an earthen pot) that would reduce temperatures to minus degrees,” says Vishal.
“He would then set kulfi contents in a mitti ka koonja (clay earthenware), store these in a huge clay pot, and then carry it on his head to the old Delhi streets,” he adds.
Vishal adds that his great-grandfather would serve kulfis on a leaf and sell it for four annas each.
In a day, he managed to sell about 100 kulfis.
The seasonal work of making kulfis continued for three decades until Kirorimal was able to open his first outlet in Chawri Bazar in 1940 along with his son, Mohanlal.
Soon after, the father-son duo started getting orders for weddings and catering events.It was Mohanlal who took the business to new heights.
By 1950, Mohanlal also expanded the varieties of kulfis from two varieties of kesar pista and rabri to more than 20 varieties.
Commenting on their note-worthy customers, Vishal says, “We are invited to serve kulfis to guests in parties hosted by the likes of the Ambanis, Amitabh Bachchan, and Rahul Gandhi. Even today, our kulfis are appreciated at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.”
Today, the iconic brand has 55 flavours and manufactures about 6,000 kulfis in a day.