New Delhi is not just the capital of India – it is a city steeped in history, and amazing ancient monuments stand till today as testimony to her glorious, and sometimes, tragic, past. Delhi also offers a plethora of shopping opportunities as well as some of the most mind-blowingly delicious street food you can hope to eat. If you’re planning a visit to Delhi, here are some dishes that you simply should not miss:
This lane in Chandni Chowk has a large number of restaurants that serve hot, delicious paranthas (stuffed and fried flatbread) with a generous helping of curd, pickle and a little curry. Delicious, filling and oh-so easy on the pocket: need we say more?
At the corner of Dariba in Chandni Chowk, the ‘Old Famous Jalebi wala’ serves hot crispy jalebis, fried in pure ghee and dripping in sugar syrup – the perfect dessert after a couple of paranthas. You can also try the giant sized jalebis, dubbed ‘Jaleba’ at the Jaleba Store in Fountain Chowk. These are usually sold by weight – and a kilo costs anything from 150 to 250 rupees.
There are several places in Delhi where you can get authentic chaat. Chaat is a range of savory snacks made of fried flour served with chopped onions, coiled potatoes, tangy, spicy sauces, and often with curd (yoghurt). LalaBabu Chaat Bhandar in Chandni Chowk is one of the most popular joints; then there is Bishan Swaroop – famous for their fruit chaat and alookulla, Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar, famous for ‘paapri chaat’. Ranging from 30 to 75 rupees, you will be more than happy to indulge.
- Chole Bhature:
Spicy chickpea curry served with fried bread made of a mixture of refined and wholewheat flour, this dish is a staple of North India, and especially so in Delhi. Try the paneer lined bhature at Sitaram Diwanchand for an exotic taste.
- Aloo tikki:
Another typical Delhi dish, these are fried potato cutlets, sometimes stuffed with peas or sweet corn, and served with spicy sauces, chopped onions, and a curry of chickpeas or dehydrated peas. Bittoo Tikki walla is the go-to place for this dish.
These are vegetables or cottage cheese cubes dipped in a batter of spiced gram flour and deep fried. They make an excellent accompaniment to piping hot tea, especially in the cold winters of Delhi. Khandani Pakode wala in Sarojini Nagar Ring Road Market offers at least 10 types of pakodas any time you walk in. At just 10-15 rupees, these pakodas are a steal.
This is leavened, shallow fried flatbread, served with spicy chickpea curry. A big hit with locals and tourists alike, one of the best places to have it is Kulcha King, located just opposite Pakode wala, and will set you back by 70 to 100 rupees only.
A remnant of Delhi’s Mughal past, kebabs are very much a party of the modern city’s culture too. Tuck into succulent chicken and lamb kebab rolls at Khan Chacha’s in Khan Market and Salim’s kebabs at Defence Colony Market. You can also get delicious rolls and rotis at these places. Surprisingly, they also have excellent vegetarian fare, so if a mixed group lands up at these places, nobody will be left out.
Being the capital, Delhi is very cosmopolitan, and you find people from all over the country as well as from neighboring countries. The Tibetans brought with them the succulent steamed dumplings ‘momos’. The most famous joint in Delhi for momos is Dolma Aunty’s Momos. Deliciously soft and melt in the mouth, these steamed wonders are served with a fiery red sauce that will leave you wanting more.
Delhi is a culinary delight, and there is something for everyone’s palate. Apart from street food, there are hundreds of restaurants serving food of all kinds – specialties of different Indian states, as well as international cuisine. Fine dining, budget eats, medium range restaurants, international food chains – you can find it all here. Explore the city on your own and tell us if you find anything we can add to this list. Happy eating!
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