You can experience Old Delhi's charm either on your own or you can take help of tours and activities booking platforms like Klook, etc. Visiting Old Delhi is such an amazing experience. You get to do the street food walk and experience the charm of old Delhi and go to such places for food tasting.
By Suman Bajpai
Delhi is a royal destination and for centuries it is known for its rich and yummy food culture. In the narrow streets of old Delhi, this authentic food culture is preserved in the form of small food joints for generations.
While on this crawl, one can witness the preparation, get an in-depth understanding of local food culture and the things that influenced the development of these cuisines. Since these are small and years old food joints, the decor will be little dated. Even the ambiance is not acceptable to new modern culture, but delicious food takes away the focus from the decor and setting to the awesomeness of food.
In this 2 hour crawl, yes we can say crawl because of the rush and hustle-bustle of the Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar area, one can taste 6 mouthwatering and authentic delicacies of royal Delhi.
In Old the aromas of good food in each and every corner is irresistible. Since the time it was the seat of Mughal authority, Old Delhi has had a long and intimate relationship with food. However, if one is in Old Delhi then one must indulge in the variety of street food available.
The narrow gullies of Old Delhi narrate many stories through the overwhelming variety of street food that they offer. They’ll inspire you to pull out your cameras, explore new ways, and sometimes, even get into the kitchen and recreate. While walking through the chaotic maze of by-lanes, you can never be lost. If ever you are, you’ll probably catch the whiff of steaming samosas still hissing from the hot oil or the sweet aroma of crisp jalebis that will lead your senses. The temptation is everywhere and it’s hard to resist.
This walk has been started from the Digambar Jain temple, Lal Quila, as that was the meeting point. Here my guide, a young girl, took me a narrow and congested road of Lajpat Rai market. In a very small roadside joint, which is operational from 1949, Manohar Samosa Centre, I had tasted Japan Samosa.
When you think of samosa, generally a typical samosa comes on your mind, but this samosa was totally different, it says it has come from Japan. It was a wafer type layer, crispy samosa with a little filing of potatoes, served with chickpeas and bottle gourd pickle. Our next destination was towards Chandni Chowk, less than 1 kilometer away, Kailash Chand Jain chai wala, a small kiosk, started in 1929.
Here a golden tea in kulhad was served. It has kesar and small pieces of almonds along with 25 other ingredients. After that, we entered in Nai Sarak, a market famous for stationery, books, and clothes as well. We reached to Chawdi Bazaar and stopped in a corner shop, near 100 years old shop of Shyam Sweets. This is famous for its sweets but more than that people come here to taste it’s Dal and Matar kachories. Matar Kachori with Aloo ki subzi was a real treat.
Our forth joint was in a very narrow street, in fact, no one can imagine that this corner, not so brightly lit place can have some eatery. The place was dark and the ambiance was not pleasant but this Jain Coffee house is famous for its variety of sandwiches. From vegetable to fruit sandwiches. You can try here fresh strawberry, cheeko, grapes, mango, pineapple, banana, and mix fruit sandwiches and they are worth in Rs 100.
Next joint was Heera chaat corner, famous for its Kulla ki Chaat. By making scoops in fruits and vegetables, masala and boiled chickpeas are added. It was spicy and tangy. Any meal is incomplete without satisfying our sweet tooth and hence the tour will be concluded with traditional Kheer. So passing Chandni Chowk metro station, we reached to our last food joint that is Kheer ki shop. Its owner was Muslim. Condensed kheer with less sweetener, really one can savor.
You can experience Old Delhi’s charm either on your own or you can take help of tours and activities booking platforms like Klook, etc. Visiting Old Delhi is such an amazing experience. You get to do the street food walk and experience the charm of old Delhi and go to such places for food tasting.
(The author is a travel writer. Views expressed are her personal.)