People in Delhi love food and this article is for all the food lovers. It doesn’t matter if you stay in Delhi or you are a tourist, Old Delhi is the place to check out.
Thanks to the Delhi metro that we are well connected to Purani Dilli. So if your belly craves for street food and you want to go beyond your regular golgappa or simply see the new look of the Old Delhi, all you need to do is catch the nearest metro and reach Chandani Chowk or Chawri Bazaar. We began our journey at Chawri Bazaar.
The first sight out of gate number 3 of the metro station is of utter chaos. It is a sea of rickshaw pullers and people everywhere. Also right in front, hardly visible and hidden behind entangled wires is a board stating ‘Ashok chat corner’ which is operational since 1948.You can try some golgappas and Chat papri if you like.
Don’t stuff yourself completely because there is plenty to choose from in the streets around. Once you have decided to make a move take the gali on the right hand side of the metro’s gate number 3 from where you made the exit.
It is important that you choose the right street or you may find yourself walking through the wholesale market of wedding card printers and hardware.
You are now heading towards the very famous ‘Kamal Kachori’. There are many Kachori walas on almost every street so you have to know the name of the right one. He starts selling at 08AM and by 12PM it is all gone. If you get it after 12PM you are lucky.This famous Kachori plate is Rs.15. I am not a Kachori lover but can tell you this one was delicious.
Another delight is Nan Khatai. Not much is written about it however its popularity among the people clearly shows that it sells like hot cakes. It is prepared by baking besan in ghee and sugar over burning coal for a peculiar taste. It is like a butter cookie melting in your mouth.
The sight of other food stalls, such as, Chole Bature, Pakore is very common.
Besides the street food there are other interesting shops like Jewellery, Chakki Atta, Jasmine and green tea, hair oil, and so on.
Talking about Old Delhi, how can one forget Karim Hotel? Located in the street in front of the Jama Masjid, Karim’s is actually an eating place alone and does not provide accommodation. The food is terrific and made the restaurant one of the best eating places in Asia. The crowd here is a mix of locals and foreigners. Some of the delicacies need an advance notification for the preparation. Their Biryani and Nahari with Khamberi roti are recommended dishes. One thing this famous place is extremely poor at is its customer service. The staff clearly reflects a snobbish approach. It is evident that they understand how popular they have grown over the period of time. You have to know what to order as the waiter is least helpful in helping you choose a dish. You may expect an answer that everything here is good.
Taking time out you can visit the Jama Masjid if it interests you but be careful as there are touts posing to be caretakers and charge you for taking pictures inside the premises.
Paranthe Wali Gali
Catch a rickshaw to head for another street, a treat for vegetarian eaters, full of hustle and bustle, crowd filled, and very famous ‘Paranthe wali gali’. Gobhi, tamatar, matar, pyaaz, mirchi, mooli, aloo. This is not my attempt to sell vegetables but tell you that Paranthas stuffed with anything and everything is available. They are all fried for a peculiar flavor. Also available is the Kalakand lassi which guarantees a good sleep after a tiring day.
- Go early morning to enjoy Old Delhi – Once the Sun comes up, it becomes hot and tiring.
- Do not rely on the directions given by one or two people – Keep checking so as to be sure of the right path in case you are lost.
- Take a rickshaw – A rickshaw ride for Rs.20-30 for any place in the area avoids the hassle of going lost in the narrow lanes.
- Jama Masjid – Be careful as touts may charge you for clicking pictures.
- Authenticity – There are plenty of food sellers claiming to be famous and old but not everyone is.
- If you are on foot ensure that you take the left lane after the Gurudwara (also on your left side).