Joined by fellow food lovers on a recent Sunday afternoon, the GoBuzzinga team headed out to the lanes of Old Delhi to sample the diverse street food on offer there. Here we recount our food adventures amongst the hustle and bustle of the charming Purani Dilli.
We started our food quest on a sweet note with the Old Famous Jalebi Wala. Although we had to wait for a few minutes, the fresh just-out-of-the-karhai Jalebis more than made up for it. The Rabri was a prefect mix with the hot bites and the group devoured it with pleasure. We also tried their Aloo Samosa and Matar Samosa, which are the only other options the place has. They were decent but can be given a miss.
Next we headed to Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala. As the name suggests, the shop is traditionally known for its Dahi Bhalla but our street food connoisseurs advise us that nowadays their Aloo Tikki is much better than Dahi Bhalla. We tried both and tend to agree with that assessment. The Dahi Bhalle were nothing special and albeit the Aloo Tikki was good, our group found the place a tad overrated.
By this time it was quite late in the afternoon and we decided to fill ourselves up a bit with the Paranthas from the Parathe Wali Gali. The gali had a lot of outlets and with the kind of crowd waiting in front of each of them, our guess is, somehow they all do justice to their fame! We ate at Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Sharan after a wait of about 10 minutes. The efficiency with which these guys were churning out paranthas was really something to marvel at. The place was completely filled but even then it took them no time to serve our Nimbu, Papad, Mirch and Aloo Parathas along with the lassi to wash them down!
All the Parathas here are served in pairs along with some sabzi and achaar. We found almost everything to be good though not exceptional. It was only the Mirchi Paratha that didn’t click with the group as we found it lacked any distinct flavor. Besides the little treat that the place offered our taste buds, it was the courtesy and humbleness with which we were received that also left a lasting impression on the group. We felt as if we were in our own kitchen!
On our way out from the Parathe Wale Gali, we bumped into Khemchand Aadesh Kumar ki cycle, loaded with Daulat Ki Chaat. Available from Diwali to Holi, Daulat ki Chaat is the most surprising street food item we encountered in Old Delhi. Contrary to what the name suggests, Daulat ki Chaat doesn’t offer a wealth of spices you would normally associate with a Chaat but is instead a milky dessert. It was light as cotton and melted in the mouth, leaving behind a hint of sweetness, milk, cream, saffron, sugar and nuts.
After all this food, we headed towards Pandit Ved Prakash Nimbu Paani Wala, where we tried a Nimbu Soda with Masala and one without Masala in a kanche wali bottle. The group found it very similar to the banta we get on the streets all over Delhi and well, you can’t go wrong with banta! The folks here do the packing of the bottles themselves and it is worth a visit, if just to satiate your fascination about the banta making process!
After a lot of vegetarian fare (which was ironic as we only had one pure veg in our midst), we decided it was time to head towards the Jama Masjid area where kebabs and Biryani are available in aplenty. Based on the strong recommendation of some in our group, we chose to settle down at Al Jawahar instead of the very famous Karim’s. Situated just a couple of shops awayfrom Karim’s, Al Jawahar was extremely crowded when we reached there around 4pm, and we had to wait for around 20 minutes before we got our tables. The wait only served to increase our appetite and we ended up ordering Badam Pasanda (Mutton), Mutton Burrah, Mutton and Chicken Seekh Kebabs, Mutton and Chicken Biryanis and Phirni.
Badam Pasanda was juicy and a bit tangy, and when coupled with Biryani, made for a perfect dish. The Mutton Burrah was soft and tasted lovely with the spices. The Chicken and Mutton Seekh kebabs were again tender and juicy but the one negative was that they were served slightly cold. The Biryanis both were well prepared, they weren’t too spicy and the pieces were soft.
After devouring the food at Al Jawahar and some debate on how much more food our tummies could withstand, we decided to make our way towards Ashok Chaat Corner. Located right next to the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station, Ashok Chaat Corner has a lot of chaat options, and our bites of Aloo Masala Chaat and Kalami Vada Chaat were delightful. We also liked the Gol Gappas, which to our surprise are not served with the red meethi chatni here.
We decided to end our journey with the long walk to Moinuddin beef kebabs in front of Hamdard. We had heard a lot about these kebabs and were quite eager to try them out. Unfortunately for us, Moinuddin sets up his stall at around 7 pm, which was more than an hour away. We had to miss on it, but we did try some Lamb Tikkas from an unnamed thela, right in front of Hamdard. It was unbelievingly cheap as well as delicious! And with that, we called it a day.
Damages per head were around 400/-, along with a lot of calories and a taste of the culture of Purani Dilli!
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