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Bilal Hotel

Bilal Hotel – Matia Mahal lane, Jama Masjid 

Ayushi Mathur

Bilal Hotel (3)The Mughal Empire is known for its grandeur reflected by the larger than life architecture, the flamboyant culture and the eclectic artistry. The Mughal emperors also brought with them the fascination for a rich and diverse cuisine, which led to the conception of a variety of dishes that are popular even today. One of the dishes that originated during the last Mughal Sultanate is called Nihari, a slow cooked beef stew eaten for breakfast. First developed in the late eighteenth century, Nihari was a favourite among the Nawabs. It was part of the meal eaten after the Fajr prayer or the Morning Prayer followed by a long nap. Today, Nihari is served mostly in the Old Delhi area, specifically in the restaurants around Jama Masjid and is eaten for lunch and dinner as well.

Bilal Hotel (6)Located in the Matia Mahal lane, near Jama Masjid is a restaurant known for its delicious Nihari that takes almost 12 hours to cook. For the first few hours the Nihari is cooked on low flame in a large vessel followed by smoking of the dish, popularly called dum for 3-4 hours. The preparation for Nihari served at the restaurant in the morning starts the previous evening and takes the entire night to cook. Served with Khameeri Roti, the Nihari at Bilal proves to be a hearty meal priced at only Rs. 45. Topped with fresh green chillies, the Nihari has tender, succulent pieces of meat in viscous gravy, which is not very spicy. The Khameeri roti is made with Rawa Maida and has a slightly different texture as compared to the regular Tandoori roti. The best part about the Nihari is the boneless pieces of meat that taste delish with the roti. This meal is so fulfilling that the Nihari gets over by 4 pm every day.

The restaurant was established by Mr. Mohammed Bilal in 1990 and has been serving lip-smacking chicken and mutton dishes to its patrons since. Just as Nihari, chicken korma and beef korma are two dishes equally appreciated by the locals. Every meal is very economically priced providing an extraordinary culinary experience for a reasonable amount of money. Thus, this joint is bliss for mutton lovers.

Address: Bilal, Matia Mahal lane, Urdu Bazaar

Cost for two: Rs. 200

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.