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Koyla Kebab

When One Door Closes another Opens

By Anubhav Sapra

In the past couple of years I have taken refuge in Old Delhi. The waft of the meaty fragrant kebabs draws me in to the alleyways of Matia Mahal. But this time I decided to explore, skip the hustle and bustle of ‘purani dilli’ and traverse across the city. The rain gave me an excuse to flee from the old to the new. I landed at one of the upscale markets of South Delhi- Defence Colony, which for me has always been synonymous with Swagath, the south Indian restaurant and Salim Kebabs.

Salim Kebabs, the reason why I come to Defence colony. There was something special about that place, may it be Javed bhai who owns the eatery or the bubble of nostalgia that surrounds the restaurant. It was disheartening to come to know that it had shut down.  But thankfully I was saved by Koyla Kebabs.

IMG_5744Koyla Kebabs had a lot on their plate, literally. Malai tikka and tandoori chicken, both succulent pieces of heaven, then came the mutton kakori kebab and Galaouti Kebab the former was so soft that it fell right of the skewer while the latter would melt in your mouth like butter. The Kakoris were served with a crisp Warqi paratha making it a perfect combination in terms of textures.

The best part is that all the non-vegetarian kebabs have their vegetarian counterparts. Vegetable Kakori, Galaouti, Tandoori Soya Tikka, Paneer Malai Tikka and the list goes on and on. What makes their food different from any other Kebab joint is the way they cook their biryani, rather than having your traditional mutton or chicken options you can request for any kebab or boti to be combined with you rice and served, quite untraditional yet scrumptious. The addition of chat masala to their kebabs provides that perfect tang and makes your mouth water for more.

 They have introduced the Keema Naan which is Naan dough stuffed with mince and chopped onions and cooked in a scalding hot tandoor served with onion rings and mint chutney.

The journey to Defence Colony has been well worthwhile; the palatable food gives you an excuse to visit this area anytime.

Address- Shop no.3, next to Popular Medicos, Defence Colony

Cost for two- Rs.500+

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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

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Naaz Tandoor

Naaz Tandoor – Jama Masjid

Ayushi Mathur

Naaz Tandoor (2)Purani dilli, once filled with mansions and forts of noblemen from the Mughal dynasty, now caters to the heaving crowd of modern world. Despite having become a bustling trade centre, it still enchants visitors with its undying splendour. Old Delhi is most acknowledged for its street food and whenever non-vegetarian delicacies are discussed among foodies in Delhi, the famed by lanes of Jama Masjid area are definitely mentioned. These crowded ‘gullies’ are known for their numerous eateries that serve an array of chicken and mutton delights. One of the many establishments that caught my eye was Naaz Tandoor.

Naaz Tandoor (1)Located on the urdu lane, opposite Jama Masjid, Naaz Tandoor welcomes people with the sight of fresh preparations of Tandoori chicken which fill the area with a distinctive smoky aroma. Mohammed Alam, the chef at Naaz Tandoor, sits at the entrance preparing the items on the menu all day long. This man has been a part of the joint since its conception in 1960 and has been cooking delicious chicken fry for its customers.

Although the most popular dish on their menu is chicken fry, I decided to go with the good old Tandoori chicken. The chicken was served with freshly chopped onions, green chilli lemon and chutney made of yellow chilli pepper. For me, the yellow chilli chutney was the highlight of the visit. Its spicy preparation complimented the umami taste in chicken exceptionally well.  The piece of tandoori chicken was glazed with ample amounts of chaat masala which added a tangy twist to the meal. I also ordered half a plate of chicken biryani to give the meal a wholesome feel and the quantity does not disappoint. Half plate biryani is enough for two people and it is made with aromatic basmati rice covered with perfect amount of spices that give it a characteristic taste.

In an area dominated by restaurants selling a variety of mutton dishes, this joint stands out for its chicken items. Established by Adil Hassan, this eatery serves deliciously fresh chicken and fish preparations to over 200 customers each day. It is one of the popular choices among the locals as it serves delectable food for a low-price.

Cost for two: INR 300

Address: Urdu Bazaar, opposite Jama Masjid

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Annapurna Bhandar

Annapurna Bhandar – Chandni Chowk

–          Ayushi Mathur

Bengal is known for its numerous ambrosial delicacies and when it comes to desserts, Bengalis surely make some of the finest. The well-known sweets from Bengal are easily available around the city but to indulge in the most authentic form of Bengali dessert, one has to travel to Chandni Chowk market. In the ever so crowded streets of the market, lies a small and peaceful shop, known for its delicious sweet treats, called Annapurna Bhandar.

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In 1920 Late Mr. Mohinimohan Mukherjee moved to the city of Delhi as a railway employee but unfortunately ended up losing one of his legs in an accident in the following year. Unable to continue as a railway operator, he decided to open a small sweet shop in the city in the year of 1922 to cater to the small Bengali community that resided in the area. Within seven years it grew in popularity and the final version of the shop was ready in the main market. The shop, then, had similar interiors to that of a railway coach. However in order to keep up with the wear and tear, the interiors had to be changed to its present form. The shop, Annapurna Bhandar, today is owned by the third generation in Mr. Mukherjee’s family and still retains its former glory despite its modern design.

Mishti Doi
Mishti Doi

The shop offers a wide-ranging menu right from the traditional spongy Rasgullas to the lesser known yet exquisite desserts like Kadambari. As I entered the shop, seeming perplexed by the umpteen choices available, Mr. Mukherjee asked me if I was looking for an extra sweet dessert or one that wasn’t too sweet. I decided to go with lightly sweetened and was suggested to try Rasomadhuri and Mishti Doi. I have to agree, I was hearing the name Rasomadhuri for the very first time and this made me even more excited to try it. Rasomadhuri has a very lightly saccharine taste and feels granular while chewing. It leaves an aftertaste of fresh pistachio in the mouth. Mishti Doi is velvety and flavorsome. The sugar in both the desserts was well blended and did not taste like extra sweeteners had been added.

All the sweets in the shop are made with cow milk and prepared fresh every day. Even with the immense popularity of the shop, Mr. Mukherjee remains uncertain of the future as the following generations are not keen on maintaining the family business. Despite the uncertainties, I am sure Annapurna Bhandar will continue serving delectable sweets for years to come as it is not just any family business, it is a legacy.

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KedarNath Halwai

BEDMI PURI

bedmi poori
Bedmi Poori

The smell of a unique kind of spicy gravy coupled with the sizzling sound of hot ghee in the kadhai holds a special allure for the morning walkers of the old Delhi area. Desirous of satiating the hunger of their stomachs after the tiring walk, with traditional breakfast dishes offered by one of the oldest eateries in the area, the walkers rest their exhausted bodies on the lone wooden bench that lies outside the shop. The puri is made of a special dough which is constituted by a combination of udad daal and coarse wheat flour. It is double fried in a huge kadhai in pure ghee, till it turns a delicious shade of golden-brown. The puris are crisp because of the coarse wheat flour in the dough and the double-frying. They are served with piping hot bedmi which is a traditional gravy with potato pieces in it. The gravy is cooked with the boiled potato pieces till it enshrouds them with a balanced mix of spices which may lean a bit towards too hot for those who are unused to the Indian taste-palette. A green chutney made of methi and pudina is also served along with the bedmi and puri. Its subtle flavour perfectly complements the crisp and coarse texture of the puri and the strong taste of the bedmi.

The dish has pleased the taste buds of the residents of Old Delhi for many decades. It forms a regular part of the Sunday breakfast for a large number of families in the area. It is regarded as one of the consistently well-liked traditional dishes for those who have managed to keep away from salads and fruits as breakfast options on weekends. They instead, treat themselves to extraordinarily fulfilling breakfasts from some of the oldest kitchens in Chandi Chowk that have somehow survived the surge of modern chains of eateries.

The Kedar Nath Premchand Halwai in 13 Kinari Bazaar, Parathe Wali Gali, boasts of serving the best bedmi-puri in Chandni Chowk. It was established in 1958 by Sri Kedar Nath who had migrated from Haryana. It is currently managed by his son, Vinod Kumar. The owners claim to use nothing but pure ghee for the preparation of their foodstuffs and the shop is renowned for its breakfast food and snacks like nagori-halwa, trikoni mathri, sev-boondi and khoi peda. The shop remains open from 8 a.m. to 9p.m. on all days.

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Gole Hatti

CHHOLE-KULCHE

 Akshita Todi

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Gole Hatti ke Chole Kulche

Despite the crude line of political tension that divides the nations of India and Pakistan, it is impossible to negate the centuries-old shared culture that constitutes the throbbing centre of the societies that thrive in both the nations. The chhole-kulche that is served in traditional North-Indian and Pakistani style allows the youth to get a taste of the times when the subcontinent was united. The chhole are cooked in a special mix of spices which are prepared by the chefs in their own kitchens by grinding the raw materials into fine powder. The smell of garlic and onions, while they are sautéed in huge frying pans in liberal quantities, is sure to tease the passerby’s nostrils and invite one to get just a taste of this North-Indian specialty. The chhole are served with slices of carrot and tamarind chutney which has a sweet and sour flavour. The gravy is cooked without any oil, rendering it healthy while being delicious at the same time. It has a subtle taste tinged with the smell of bay leaves, cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Unlike the popular renditions of this dish, the chhole are not very spicy and the gravy is delightfully light and flavoursome. The kulche that are served with the chhole are light, fluffy white breads made of flour dough with baking powder. They are baked in large quantities in traditional ovens which are unwieldy in their sizes. A food-lover can well imagine the delight of tearing into the soft pieces of the kulcha and dipping it into the scrumptious gravy of the tender chhole.

Along with chhole-kulche, other popular Lahori-Amritsari dishes include Chhole-palak-chawal, Palak-paneer-chawal and dahi-bhalla. The chawal is not just plain rice. It is an aromatic dish whereby the rice is drenched in pure ghee and then flavoured with bay leaves, cloves, pepper, cinnamon and dry fruits. It is tossed with vegetables like peas and carrots and also with fried cubes of cottage cheese. This pulao is then served with varying combinations of gravy and side-dishes to suit the preferences of the diners. The dahi bhalla is soft and has a perfect blend of tangy and sweet flavours.

That the partition of the nation could never bring about a divide in the lifestyle preferences of those living on either side of the border, is exemplified marvelously by the Lahori-Amritsari dishes that are lovingly prepared in food joints established by Pakistani immigrants in Old Delhi.

Gole Hatti, which was established in 1954 by Shri Nathuram Kamboj, is once such food joint. They pack their dishes in clay containers for home delivery as they believe that the plastic containers are unable to preserve the authentic taste and smell of the food. The shop sticks close to tradition, to the point that the managers continue to use the ancient model of the telephone with the ring-dialer. The menu is small and the chefs prepare the food in an open kitchen. The shop earns its name from the circular shape of its structure due to its location at the turn of the main road. It is currently managed by J.P. Kamboj and Karthik Kamboj.

Address- 2, 3, 4 Church Mission Road, Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi- 110006

Phone number- 011 2252 0321

Timings- 11:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.

 

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Kashmiri Kebab Wala

Kashmiri Kebab Wala

By Anubhav Sapra

Where – T-point Phatak Teliya, Turkman Gate

The raging debate on ‘intolerance’ in the country has taken the country by storm. However, far away in foodie land what remains unaffected is the food of Old Delhi. Such  a relief! The buff kebabs are grilled to be savoured by the food lovers of Delhi without any discrimination.

A family from East Pulwama, Kashmir has been selling buff kebabs for the past 74 years in Turkman Gate, at a temporary set up, near the scrap market. Every winter, towards the end of November, this family travels to Delhi to sell kashmiri kebabs, just for four months. The shop which is open between 12 noon to 10 pm is located at the T-point of Phatak Teliya, Turkman Gate.

IMG_20151129_192131Started by Ghulam Mohd, the little shack is now run by the father son duo- Md. Yusuf and Md. Bilal. His other two sons- Mustafa and Sameer sell the same Kashmiri kebabs at Motor Market, opposite Jama Masjid. Md. Yusuf sits besides the scrap of photostat machines with a grill and a small fan to churn the buff kebabs. While Bilal puts the minced meat over the skewer, Yusuf grills it to perfection.

From young to old, Yusuf seems to be everyone’s favourite. The bond is so strong that any localite, if in Kashmir, stays at Yusuf’s place. When I reached there, I saw a kid relishing kebabs straight from the skewers. Within few minutes, another man came who asked this kid to recognize Yusuf bhai. I have captured the joy of this little one relishing kebabs in a video as well (obviously, with his due assent and the guardian’s consent to it). In the words of Yusuf, it is the “mohabbat” of the locals here that acts as a pull for his family to come every year in the winters.

IMG_20151129_191852The kebab is a bit different from the regular ones we get on the streets of Old Delhi. The keema is red in colour, not finely grounded, and contains fewer spices. Md Yusuf brings his own spices from Kashmir; in fact even the garlic and ginger are brought from Kashmir. The kebab is not soft or melt-in-mouth kind, but it is flavoured with finesse. I loved it to the core and for a moment, I could relate myself with the little boy who stood there relishing kebabs straight from the skewer. If I was an Old Delhi child, that would be me! A plate which costs Rs 10 is served with radish and green coriander sauce. One can always ask for Romali roll which is just Rs 13 per roll. A seekh kebab is rolled on a romali roti, doused with chutney and slices of radish to create a bundle of happiness.

There is another Kashmiri Kebab wala who sits at Bulbuli Khana in Jama Masjid. He works as a peon in a school in Kashmir and will be here in Delhi in another week to grill kebabs for the locals. Eagerly awaiting his arrival as I dream of kebabs!

 

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HAZARI LAL JAIN KHURCHAN WALE

HAZARI LAL JAIN KHURCHAN WALE

By Akshita Todi

ADDRESS- 2225, Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi,

TIMINGS- 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Sundays half day)

 

As I ventured into the winding streets of Chandni Chowk- Delhi’s throbbing market center which was first established during the Mughal rule, I experienced an overwhelming impact of the old Delhi charm. It was a bright summer morning, and the shops at Kinari Bazaar had not opened up yet, rendering the market quiet and unpeopled- a state which is diametrically opposite to its usual crowded, bustling atmosphere. Sequestered within the quiet narrow streets, a lone sweets’ shop was buzzing with activity, infusing the air with the smell of sweet condensed milk.

555547_337747299642491_1117331318_nThe shop was established in Kinari Bazar by the late Mr. Hazari Lal Jain 76 years ago and is currently managed by his son- Mr. Sunil Jain. It specializes in a variety of traditional milk-sweets like khurchan, malai laddoo, rabri, kalakand and gulab jamun. It also sells samosas with a filling made of a combination of peas, cashew nuts and raisins, as opposed to the usual potato filling for this is considered to be healthier. The shop is tiny and allows space for two stoves where large quantities of milk are boiled and condensed while 3-4 lungi clad men constantly engage themselves in the process of preparing the dishes. One of these men- Mr. Kalyan Singh- who has been working here for the past 26 years volunteered information about the shop freely, taking great interest in telling us about the preparation method for the shop’s speciality- Khurchan (meaning scrapings in hindi).

 IMG_20150527_091000Khurchan is prepared by boiling milk for around 1- 1.5 hours. While the milk is boiling, the men use a thin twig to scrape off the layer of malai from the surface repeatedly. These scrapes are then layered with powdered sugar in a metal container. Khurchan has a very soft texture and the powdered sugar causes it to melt in one’s mouth. 3.5 liters of milk are required to prepare 0.5 kg of khurchan. The shop prides itself on using undiluted buffalo’s milk for making and selling dishes which form an essential part of the country’s traditional cuisine.

In the end, Mr. Singh decided to impart to me a precious few words of wisdom about my responsibility to the nation as an aspiring writer while he skillfully pulled out the malai off the surface of the boiling milk. His words brought home the reality of our country’s cultural condition whereby, men like him who strongly hold on to their tradition and make a living by selling the taste of this beloved tradition are simultaneously capable of an amazing sense of adaptability which allows them to endorse the idea of a strong nation with powerful women writers.

 

 

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Delhi 6 se 19

Delhi 6 se 19

Street food festival at Singh Sahib, Eros Hotel

By Anubhav Sapra

Singh Sahib at The Eros Hotel is one of the few five star restaurants in Delhi which has a loyal fan following. I visited the hotel on a weekday and the restaurant  was bustling with patrons. I got to know there that the restaurant is hosting a Street Food Festival by the name of Delhi 6 se Delhi 19. The name signifies the food it intends on celebrating : The old Delhi street food which covers the areas of Delhi 6 (Delhi 6 being the postal code of Old Delhi) and Delhi 19 (Delhi 19 being the postal code of Nehru Place).

To exhibit the flavors unique to the old Delhi street food palate, live counters of the dishes have been put up in the ongoing festival. On offer are the popular street food dishes – golgappe, chaat, desi drinks, sweets, kebabs, omelets, biryani and quintessential chhole bhature. The dishes are being served on disposable plates to provide an authentic experience of eating out in the streets.

I began with aloo tikki and papdi chaat. Both of these dishes were made with the right interplay of spices and served with saunth and dhaniya chutney.  Next from the chaat counter, I had golgappas which were served with pudina ka paani (mint flavoured water) and saunth.

After trying small portions of chole bhature, rajma chawal and kadi chawal, my carnivorous drive got me straight to the kebabs and biryani counter though the first iem I tried was egg bhurji. The biryani looked distinct, different from the regular mirch masala biryani which we get on the streets of Jama Masjid. The other mutton biryani was surpassed by any other that I have had. It had tender pieces of meat, cooked in basmati rice which was mildly flavoured.

A lot of effort has gone in to conceptualizing the street food festival; as the presence of a variety of snacks and sweets are ensured. from the Halwai counter. The sweets on offer are balushahi, milk cake, besan laddu, burfi, jalebi, and halwa parantha. I was surprised to see parantha being served with sooji ka halwa. This shows that the Chef has really travelled to the interiors of Old Delhi to bring out the best of the dishes. Halwa and parantha is a popular delicacy in Nizamuddin and Jama Masjid. I have seen evenings in Chitli Qabar, when Halwa Parantha walas on pushcarts cut paranthas into small pieces and serve halwa on them. Although the halwa was a bit sweet for me, I really enjoyed Jalebis which were thin, crisp and slightly flavoured with saffron.

My street food journey ended with a rabri kulfi stick. Indeed, it appeared to be a good attempt to showcase the variety of street delicacies under one roof. The festival is on till 6th August and priced at Rs 1650/- per person without taxes.

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11 Old Delhi Eateries You Must Not Miss This Ramzan

11 Old Delhi Eateries You Must Not Miss This Ramzan

By Anubhav Sapra, Founder, Delhi Food Walks

Published in Huffington Post. Here is the link to the post- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/anubhav-sapra/11-musttry-iftar-eateries_1_b_7685156.html

In the holy month of Ramzan, Muslims from all over the world fast from dawn to dusk to come closer to God. Abstaining from food and drink during the day, the faithful Muslim may eat two meals a day – the pre-dawn suhoor and iftar at dusk.

During iftar, Old Delhi becomes a paradise for food connoisseurs. The lane opposite Jama Masjid – Bazar Matia Mahal – is filled with heady aromas from big heaps of keema samosas, vats of buffalo biryani, grilling botis and kebabs and hot paneer jalebi. To cool down, there are drums filled with Rooh Afza sherbet and dishes of dahi vada.

But with so many choices, where will you find the best feast? Here are 11 of my favourite iftar joints (some essentially nameless and known only by their specialities) in Bazar Matia Mahal.

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1. Kallan Sweets
Studded with framed newspaper cuttings of visits from India’s biggest chefs, Kallan Sweets overlooks one of the gates of Jama Masjid. Started by Mohd. Shaan in 1939, its doors stay open from 7am until midnight, with a break at 2pm to prepare a fresh batch of sweets and snacks for the evening. One of their specialties is the bright orange and thick paneer ki jalebi, which uses a cottage cheese paste in lieu of much of the flour that goes into the more common jalebi. It is extremely popular in Ramzan, along with other festive delicacies such askhoya samosakeema samosa (shaped like gujiya and stuffed with minced meat) and paneer ke pakode.

Address: Shop no. 4-5, Jama Masjid, Gate no. 1, Matia Mahal.

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2. Haji Mohd. Hussain Fried Chicken
Established 40 years ago, this shop has been dishing out fried chicken in Delhi far longer than KFC. I call it JFC – Jama Masjid Fried Chicken. The chicken is first marinated in different spices and chickpea batter, and then half-fried. For maximum crispness, the chicken is cut into small pieces to be fried in huge pan of boiling oil. The end result is crunchy outside, moist and tender inside. It comes served withrumali roti, onions and special tangy masala chutney.

During Ramzan, Haji sa’ab also sells keema goli, which are small balls made out of minced meat, and served with onion and chutney.

Address: 113, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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3. Aslam Chicken Corner
This eatery is famed for its unique interpretation of the butter chicken, and has been a Walled City favourite for 18 years. The cooking technique includes a stint in the tandoor for the chicken before it is bathed in creamy gravy. The chicken pieces are first marinated in a special (and top secret!) combination of spices. A separate chulhas is used to heat large blocks of Amul butter which is then combined with curd and poured generously over the scrumptious chicken pieces. The melted butter seeps into the chicken thereby softening it and the curd lends a tangy taste to the dish and cuts through the butter. The chicken is served in a steel container with a basket of rumali roti.

This Ramzan, Aslam Chicken Corner has also started offering chicken seekh kebabs, with a nice flavour of green chillies and Amul butter.

Address: 540, Bazaar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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4. Kebabs at Qureshi, Lallu Kebabi, Bhaijaan And Kale Baba
The iftar feast is incomplete without kebabs. Right opposite Gate No. 1 Jama Masjid are two well known kebabchis famous for seekh andboti kebabs – Qureshi Kebab Corner and Lalu Kebabe. Both of them make excellent kebabs of buff smeared with Nutralite, onions, and spicy chutney.

The new entrant, Bhaijaan Kebabs in Chitli Qabar sells fibrous shammi kebabs deep fried in oil. Another kebab shop in Sui Walan, Kale Baba ke Kebabs, is popular for their sutli kebabs – these are so soft, they have to be held together with a twine of thread. You actually have to hold the thread tied over the kebab from one end, and it spreads on your plate, when unfolded. Sutli kebabs are served on a green leaf, with radish and mint chutney.

Addresses: Qureshi Kebab Corner and Lalu Kebabe, Opposite Gate No. 1, Jama Masjid; Bhaijaan Kebabs, Shop No. 2202, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Opp. Flora Bakery; Kale Baba ke Kebab, Sui Walan, Chitli Qabar.

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5. Changezi Chicken
Originally established as Hotel Maidah in 1986, the name of the shop was changed to Changezi Chicken in 1990 after their signature dish. Changezi chicken is served in a tangy gravy of yogurt, tomatoes and onion. The chicken is roasted separately in a roast machine by l-Halabi, a brand established in Dubai, and then shredded into boneless pieces by hand before it is put in the gravy. This dish is the brainchild of the founder of the shop, Mohd. Fazil, the Mr Delhi of 1971! You can also have beef biryani, payanahari and a multitude of chicken preparations at the many branches of Changezi Chicken. The restaurant occupies a long stretch on Churi Walan Gali and buzzes with customers during Ramzan as it remains open from 6pm-midnight.

Address: 2614, Churi Walan Jama Masjid, Delhi-06 and 3614, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj.

6. Laung Churey Kebab
A small stall outside the Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar sells something that vegetarians are delighted by: laung churey kebab, made from besan, aata and onion. There are three varieties – fried, kebabs which are soaked in water after frying and long vegetarian seekhs, all of which are made in a small shop nearby. These kebabs are served with chutney of red chillies, amchur, salt and garam masala. The shop was run for 15 years by Mujahid and his son Mohd. Nurshid took over six years ago. For Rs 20 a plate, this is one deal vegetarians cannot pass on.

Address: Outside Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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7. Cool Point
Established 25 years ago by Muhammad Zahid, the place is currently managed by his son, Zohaib. Cool Point is mainly famous for its shahi tukda (bread deep fried in pure ghee and then dipped in thick cream and sugar syrup) and phirni (a mouthwatering dessert of milk and crushed rice served in clay containers). Cool Point is also known for its kesar milk, badam milk, lassi and mango and vanilla ice cream.

Address: 973, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid.

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8. Nawab Qureshi’s watermelon shake
A much frequented food cart or thela belongs to Nawab Qureshi, originally from Uttar Pradesh, who sells a refreshing drink during the hot summer months (he sells fruit in winter). Fondly called “Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa” (affection, love, fun), this drink costs just ₹ 10 per glass, and is indeed filled with love and fun. The pink concoction is made from fresh Amul milk (cartons of which are stacked on top of each other in his cart) and Rooh Afza, a typical drink of the summers. Qureshi adds a twist to this by adding freshly cut watermelon cubes for crunch and a fresh taste.

Address: Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa is available all summer long at Nawab Qureshi’s stall in front of 1149, Matia Mahal, near Jama Masjid, Delhi-110006.

9. Ameer Sweet House
Ameer Sweet House, decorated with pictures and framed articles about its founder, has been selling sweet and savoury food for about 100 years. Managed by Haji Zafruddin, the shop sells special dishes like keema and khoya samosa during Ramzan, from 4-7pm. You will find mouthwatering sweets like balushahibesan ke ladduchamcham and gulaab jamun , as well as chhole bhature and pakoras.

Address: 957, Haveli Azam Khan, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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10. Pehalwaan Biryaniwale
Pehalwaan Biryaniwale, also known as Biryani Mirch Masala, is right opposite Ameer Sweet House in Haveli Azam Khan. The owner, Haji Mohd. Anwar, opens up at 5pm and sells biryani right until 2am. He also sits outside in Chitli Qabar Chowk for an hour in the night. The meat, marinated in salt and chillies, is cooked separately and added to the rice. After adding masala, the dish is cooked on low heat (on dum) in a big tub covered with cloth. This type of biryani does not need complementary dishes like raita and the smell itself is enough to make your stomach growl.

Address: Shop no. 701, Haveli Azam Khan, Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid.

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11. Gur ka Sharbat at Pahadi Imli
A small shop in the corner of Moholla Pahadi Imli sells a novel and refreshing drink: gur ka sharbat. The jaggery is brought from Ajmeri Gate Market and is kept soaked in water in a big container. The brass spoon used to mix the two is as old as the shop itself, which was established in 1947. Akhil Ahmed, the son of a watch-seller in front of Fatehpuri Masjid, has seen the price of this drink go up from 1 paisa to ₹ 5 a glass. The shop opens at 8am and serves the drink until stocks last.

Address: Corner of Pahadi Imli, Chitli Qabar, Bazar Matia Mahal.

Pictures by: Yatin Arora, Kusha Saini

Delhi Food Walks organizes food expeditions to relish the food culture of Delhi and interact with the fellow food enthusiasts. For details, visit our Facebook page. And if you wish to join DFW’s Ramzan (Iftar/Sehri) Walk, e-mail us at delhifoodwalks@gmail.com.