Old Delhi food – Don’t count Calories

Old Delhi food – Don’t count Calories

I am fascinated with the old Delhi (Purani Dilli) food. The feel and culture of Chandani Chowk/Old Delhi are very different from the New Delhi and same goes for the old Delhi food. Initially, when I started going there for food, I use to go to “Karim’s or Al-Jawahar”. Over the years after interacting with people who were frequent visitors to old Delhi for food and also after exploring on my own, I realized that food in small shops is much more interesting and tasty. In these small shops, you may not get a proper place to sit or cutlery to eat or maybe you think is it hygienic? 😛 but one thing is confirmed that you will get flavorsome food here.
I don’t remember how many times I strolled in narrow and crowded lanes of old Delhi looking for something interesting….. for something I never tried before…..Here are some of the interesting and tasty dishes from old Delhi. These dishes taste different, spices are good in proportion but not chilly.

Here are some of the items I ate….. Well….. Some of the dishes look like “Heat attack food” due to the oil or butter used in these but I bet once in a while it’s ok to indulge 😀or maybe remove it from the top before eating.
The nonvegetarian old Delhi food is popularly known as “Muglai food from Delhi”.

Disclaimer – Don’t count calories.

Starters – Mutton Kababs (From Abdul Ghani Quereshi), he serves with Roomali roti, chutney and onions.
Butter chicken from Aslam butter chicken. This Chicken pieces are grilled on coal and these grilled pieces are then added in butter and a white kind of sauce. There was a lot of butter in the bowl of chicken. Served with Roomali roti and chutney.
Fish Pakoda from a shop which is on the road when I moved toward Matia Mahal road from Jama Masjid metro station, it’s only 3 shops away from Quereshi kabab. Can’t add on the map as it’s not marked refer to the picture of the guy doing flambe.

Also read Ramadan Food Exploration in Dilli 6

Main Course – Jahagir Chicken in thick gravy, Mutton stew, Keema with Sheermal naan (It’s slightly on the sweeter side) and Khamiri roti (It’s very different from regular tandoori roti because it remains soft unlike tandoori roti, which gets chewy once it’s cold). Try these at Jawahar restaurant, it is 2 shops from Al Jawahar as you move on Matia Mahal road (Can’t find on google map).

Beverages – Kashmiri tea (It was pinkish in color and salted), Kesar milk (Cold). These are on the opposite side of the road near Aslam butter chicken, again could not find on google map.

Desserts – Shahi Tukda is a bread pudding made with milk (It’s marked on map), Gulab Jamun and Gulab Jamun Jalebi (These two items you will find between Al Jawahar and Aslam butter chicken, again not on google but easy to locate as they had displayed these two dishes on the outside counter)

Old Delhi food outlets sell biryani by Kgs i.e. they have fixed proportion of Mutton/Chicken vs Rice. Eg: If 1 kg biryani, it means 1 kg of Mutton/Chicken will be used to make the biryani. Order then one day in advance but if in case need more quantity, better to order a few days before.

There are people sitting outside some shops. These are poor people sitting for food and if someone wants to feed them, they can pay to the shop for them and they get food.
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Just like that some photographs –

If you are in Delhi, then visit old Delhi area for food and experience. It is crowded, chaotic and may be overwhelming but then it’s also an experience. The new parts of Delhi has transformed and nothing like narrow lanes of old Delhi.

Old Delhi food - Don't count Calories Old Delhi food - Don't count Calories

46 thoughts on “Old Delhi food – Don’t count Calories

    1. Yes, it’s good concept. This concept also is around Nizamuddin Dargah area also.
      During the month of Ramadan, the number of people is atleast 5-6 times more then usual. I guess because more people like to do charity during that time of the year.

  1. You are right.
    Chats and other vegetarian things are also very interesting from old Delhi. Will be visiting again sometime soon (with camera ) and cover vegetarian food. Chats, poori’s and kulfi’s….. to name a few. 🙂

  2. I absolutely loved the food in India but I’m ashamed to say we mostly ate at our guesthouses! I did try the street food when we were on train journeys though. The food over there is so different to anything you get here in the UK, even the curry doesn’t taste quite right here. I really enjoyed this post and love your photos! You captured everyday life so well.

    1. In India, sometimes the food you get in small shops or restaurants is delicious because they follow & evolve the same recipe generation after generations.
      Thanks for liking 🙂

  3. I love Indian cuisine! I really like the way the poor people can wait and perhaps get food. In my country, they would chase them away, but really, most of us if we can afford one lunch, can´t we afford two?

    1. That’s nice, you like Indian food.Totally agree with you.
      It is kind of tradition to share the food with less privileged, some families give one meal to one person every day.

  4. Wow – biryani by kilograms? That’s insane! Beautiful street photography, it really shows how lively everything is in Old Delhi.

    1. 🙂 You should visit India, if you need any information whenever you plan to travel please feel free to contact.

  5. The food looks interesting to try. I’m not a particular fan of trying out different delicacies when I travel, but after reading this, I guess I should definitely try them out sometime 🙂 Thanks for the share! 🙂

    1. Yes, it is. There are some good food tours in Delhi. Do let me know when you visit, I will connect you with some good food walk expert.

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