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Asli Habshi Halwa

Asli Habshi Halwa

By Anubhav Sapra

WP_20141117_016I came across something very interesting when I recently roamed around in the streets of Ballimaran. The entrance of Punjabi Phatak in Ballimaran greeted me with a sweetmeat, “Asli habshi halwa”. This sweet is made up with many nutritious ingredients put together such as milk, desi ghee, cashew, nuts, almonds, clove, kewda, wheat flour, and only during winters, saffron. It is recommended in the cold weather as it is a good source of energy and gives strength to our body to prevent weakness.

The name in itself is very intriguing, which got me thinking why a sweet should be named “habshi”. Habshi is the Urdu word for the colour black and also a name commonly used by many Delhiites for people of African descent because of their color and strength. Isn’t that a bit harsh?

Firoz Ahmed, the proud owner of the shop, shared the journey of the sweetmeat since the time of undivided India. The original shop of habshi halwa was in Chandni Chowk, located somewhere in between Kucha Rehman and Kucha Ustad Daag. Abdul Khaliq was the owner of the shop, famously known as Ghantaghar Habshi Halwa Wale. During the Partition, Abdul Khaliq migrated to Pakistan, leaving his shop in the hands of his workers.

After the Partition, Firoz’s father started with a small granary shop, and sold paan and bidi to earn a living. He met a worker from Abdul Khaliq Habshi Halwa Wale and learned the art of making habshi halwa from him. The recipes were passed down from that worker of Abdul Khaliq’s shop to Haneef to Firoz and till date, Firoz Ahmed makes this delicacy at his home.

WP_20141118_038The shop is now looked after by his son, Firoz Ahmed in Punjabi Phatak, Ballimaran. Mohammed Hanif’s brothers have also continued the business of selling habshi halwa but have opened their own stores named after their brother, namely, Hanif Dairy in Gali Qasimjan, near Hamdard Dawakhana, which has been doing brisk business there for more than ten years now. A few shops after that, I found another shop selling the same sweet by the name Ahmed Dairy, which was started by Taqi Ahmed. To differentiate from the others and retain the original identity of Abdul Khaliq’s shop, a picture of Ghanta Ghar (the clock tower in Town Hall) is printed on the box of Firoz Ahmed’s Habshi Halwa.

Habshi halwa is one of Old Delhi’s famous delicacies and is rich in flavour and aroma. It takes nine hours to cook this sweet and it is sold throughout the year, but mostly in the winters from October to March. It is priced at Rs. 430 per kilogram. The shelf life of the sweetmeat is one month. It may become dry after one month but the taste remains the same.

Ghanta Ghar Wala supplies this halwa all around India, mostly to Kanpur and abroad in Pakistan. During the month of December season, they offer yellow carrot halwa which is supposed to be eaten cold and is made without ghee. I found this extremely new and fascinating. I am eagerly waiting for the December to savour this carrot halwa. I wonder how it will taste – halwa without ghee and served cold.

If you have a sweet tooth and ever find yourself in Old Delhi, you must visit these shops located at the following addresses and try the extremely famous and delicious habshi halwa:

1.     Ghanta Ghar Wala – 1368, Punjabi Phatak, Ballimaran.

2.     Hanif Dairy – 1532, Gali Qasimjan, Near Hamdard Dawakhana, Lal Kuan.

3.     Ahmed Dairy – 1538, Gali Qasimjan, Lal Kuan.

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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.
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Daulat ki Chaat

Guess what Old Delhi is back with?

By Anubhav Sapra

I am delighted to announce that Babu Ram and his family members are back from the villages of Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh to the by-lanes of Old Delhi- Sitaram Bazar. Guess what he is back with? He is back with the ‘Daulat ki Chaat’, a delicacy of winter. It seems winters are just here!

I spotted Babu Lal, a Daulat ki chaat hawker, at the Chhata Shah ji lane, near Barsha bulla chowk where the famous lotan Chole Kulche sells his scrumptious meal. Till 10 am, you can find Babu Lal at Chhata Shah ji, and from 11 am to 7 pm at Maliwara in Chandni Chowk.

Pamela Timms in her book ‘Korma, Kheer and Kismet’ has beautifully summarized this winter delight. She mentioned,

1012776_558971730853379_1164812161_n“Daulat ki chaat (meaning ‘snack of wealth’) is probably Old Delhi’s most surprising street food. Anyone expecting the punchy, spicy flavours usually suggested by the word ‘chaat’ will be disappointed. It resembles uncooked meringue and the taste is shocking in its subtlety, more molecular gastronomy than raunchy street food, a light foam that disappears instantly on the tongue, leaving behind the merest hint of sweetness, cream, saffron, sugar and nuts; tantalizing, almost not there. I’ve often wondered if daulat ki chaat is a preview of what might be on the menu should we make it as far as the pearly gates. The means by which a pail of milk is transformed into the food of the gods, though, is the stuff of Old Delhi legend rather than of the food lab. First, so the story goes, milk and cream have to be whisked by hand before dawn ( preferably under the light of a full moon) in to a delicate froth, then left out on grass to set by the ‘tears of shabnam’ (morning dew) – but not too many, nor too few. At daybreak, the surface of the froth is touched with saffron and silver leaf and served with nuts and bura (unrefined sugar). Daulat ki chaat is only made in the coolest months because at the first ray of sunshine, it starts to collapse. It doesn’t travel well either- to enjoy this very local specialty, a winter pilgrimage to the shady gullies of Old Delhi has to be made.”(p. 147-148)

A dona of Daulat ki chaat costs Rs 40. Babu Ram’s family members (kinari bazaar- Khemchand, Gali Paranthe Wali- Rakesh, Dariba Kalan- Babu Ram and Maliwara- Babu Lal) are there in the alleys of Old Delhi with their khomchas selling Daulat ki Chaat. The winter delight is available until Holi. So, it is the time for a winter pilgrimage, in the words of Pamela Timms, to the gullies of Old Delhi to savour the delicate dessert.

Reference: Timms, P. (2014). Korma, Kheer and Kismet. New Delhi: Aleph

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.
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IFTAR FOOD WALK

11th July, 2014

IFTAR FOOD WALK

By Akshita Singh

It felt like just the whole world was out there, on the streets of Chawri Bazaar, cutting through cycles, rickshaws and enthusiastic people. We were no exception. All of us exuberant foodies who had congregated at Gate 3 of the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station were in for loads of culinary surprises in Delhi’s very own Walled City.

When there were stacks of chicken legs, laid beautifully in layers of concentric semicircles on one side, and the scrummy, sizzling Pakodas on the other, then being pushed through the jammed narrow lanes and struggling to move centimeters at a time through the throng of Matia Mahal, was a delight in itself. Soon enough, the magnificent Jama Masjid, with its overpowering domes came into sight. All alleys converged at the grounds of the sublime mosque and there from, the walk turned so much more exhilarating.

Our first stop was Kallan Sweets, where we tried some Paneer ki Jalebis that did appear different from the usual kind we eat, because of a darkish alloy orange outer layer and a thicker line of spiral. Adding Paneer into a dessert, and that too a very familiar one, was sure a refreshing novelty for most of us. As our walk resumed, we came across a plethora of carts stacking feni, a must-have during Sehri. Carts of dry fruits, none without mountains of dates, were put right under “Jeweller’s” and “ Currency Exchange” boards – a conspicuous portrayal of the power food amasses over everything else, during Ramzaan evenings.

479997_443364915747395_1675685616_nOur next stop was the Haji Mohd. Hussain shop that had massive cauldrons of Chicken and Mutton Biryani being cooked away into unsurpassable delectability. Even from a distance, the whiff of the Pandanus flowers (kewra), the dominating flavor in Biriyanis, reached us. Pakwaan, possessing the bread mastery skills, had delicacies like sheermal, bakarkhani, milk roti and rawamaida all set to decorate the counters.  The flies orbiting the cut pineapples and barfis could be a minor deterrence to the otherwise unabating enthusiasm, but at all the places we ate, hygiene was a surety.

Breaking from the tradition, this Iftar Party was celebrated right inside Jama Masjid, amidst innumerable other Muslim families. With that, the Iftar turned so much more authentic. Mats were laid, food baskets were pulled out and lined and we all clustered around the food. Till the time clock didn’t strike 7:25, we had each other and 2 mischievous striped cats for company. All we had to wait for now was the “boom”. Oh, yes, that’s what signals the beginning of Iftar.

Right after the boom, plates found hands, and chicken wings, jalebis, dates, and sheermal found plates. We reversed the usual order of eating and started with the Paneer Jalebis. Even sans any independent taste of paneer, these Paneer ki Jalebis had their distinctly sweet, fascinating flavor. Keema Samosas, amusingly moulded like the half-moon Gujjia, were crunchy and spicy with just the right thickness of the outside, and the stuffing.

Chicken thighs,inside a besan paste, were moderately crisp and tasted great when taken with Rumali rotis. Rotis were equally scrumptious when taken with Chicken Changhezi or Nahari. The pandanus fragrance re-emerged once the Chicken Biriyani baskets were opened. You’d crave to keep each bite in your mouth and savor it forever but within minutes of their being opened, not one grain of rice or a chicken crumb could be found in any of the baskets.

Sheermal was the most singular bread one could ever eat. The succulent, soft, milky and rarely-found bread is one of the few that complemented any sort of dish and yet, needed no dish at all to accompany it. The rows of tiny holes all over the sheermal are in fact perforations that are layered with oil to let it seep further into the sheermal.

1011450_518987261506509_237276233_nAfter the dinner was over and when most people around us left for their namaaz, we resumed our walk and stopped for some extremely invigorating watermelon and apple milk shakes. They won us over, both for their lusciousness and for their uniqueness, for, how often do we get to drink watermelon milk shakes?

The hot and syrupy Shahitukda with bread soaked in milk and the cold, creamy phirni both served in little earthen pots, were the ideal desserts after the appetizing meal and energizing drinks. So did that conclude the walk? No, not before one last, most essential gesture: Delhi Food Walks served chicken and naans to poor, hungry and homeless people lined outside kiosks, to bring a perfect closure to a wonderful walk on the auspicious occasion of Iftar.

The next walk is scheduled for the 13th July, 2014 at 6.00pm from Chawri Bazaar metro station, Old Delhi. If you want to get a guided culinary tour, you could always book a space for yourselves, contact Anubhav from Delhi Food Walks at #9891121333.

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.
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GIANI’S

 

GIANI’S

ADDRESS: Church Mission Road, FatehPuri, Delhi- 110006

CONTACT NO: 9210318644

For all the figure conscious people, let me tell you Old Delhi is not the place for you. Why so? Let me tell you!

An abode of the heavenly gods of taste, delicacy and food!This is what Old Delhi is all about.Simply after every 5-6 shops in the area, you will find an eating joint. Your shopping can never be complete without munching some or the other street food here. You will walk for a metre or two and you will find chaat- waalas, kachoris, jalebis and so much more all around the place.

Chandni Chowk shopping area is one such place where you can’t help but dig in some great food. From sweets to snack, it has it all. Giani’s food corner is a small eatery en route Fatehpuri. One has to turn right from the T-point at Shahi Majid, Fatehpuri. This outlet is the original Giani’s and it has many branches all across Delhi. Giani’s originally started as an ice cream corner, but now they have extended their menu to Chole Bhature, Chole Chawal, Lassi and a few more things. Not a very long menu to choose from though, but whatever the joint offers, it is worth it.

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The most popular thing offered her is the rabri falooda, which is actually vermicelli floating in rabri and a lot of crushed ice in a large glass.

I started my meal with a plate of lip-smacking chole bhature and with a glass of lassi. The bhature were crispy outside and soft inside. They were stuffed with little paneer(cheese) and that certainly added to the taste. The chole were not very good, they were a little undercooked. Lassi was served in a kulad, i.e. a container made of mud. The lassiwas outstanding, with the thick layer of cream on it and the smooth texture. It was cold with the perfect amount of sweetness.

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For those who have a sweet tooth, there is more that Giani’s offer. You can choose to have ice cream or Rabri Falooda or both for that matter! I preferred the much talked about rabri falooda, which was nothing less than heavenly. They give a big glass full of rabri. Rabri “is a sweet, condensed milk based dish made by boiling the milk on low heat for a long time until it becomes dense and changes its colour to pinkish. Sugar, spices and nuts are added to it to give it flavour. It is chilled and served as dessert”.

The prices, like most restaurants in Old Delhi are economical. The chole bhature cost around Rs. 60 per plate, the lassi is around Rs.30 and the rabri falooda cost nearly Rs.60. A nice and filling meal for two can be had within Rs.400.

The ambience is not very luxuriant, but a decent one. It can get a 7/10. The chole bhature would certainly get a 7.Lassi was 10/10 for me. The creamy texture is still there in my mouth. And the rabri falooda of course, it would score an 8.5 on my scorecard.

The overall experience was good, but I would highly recommend the rabri falooda for all the sweet lovers.

Happy eating!

 

Foodie Correspondent:Kashish Badar

Photo Credit:PiyushNagpal

 

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.
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Lala ji’s poori and sabzi

Lala ji’s poori and sabzi

By Anubhav Sapra

Recently the statements by Congress MP Raseed Masood and spokesperson Raj Babbar about the availability of food between Rs. 5-12 made headlines everywhere, from national dailies to news channels. Like all others, I also  found it very hard to believe the claim and decided to check it for myself.

I tried to explore every nook and corner of the famous streets of Purani Dilli, starting from Bara Dari, Ballimaran, Matia Mahal, Lal kuan, Sardar Swarup Chowk, Khari baoli to Chandni Chowk including many kuchas and galis to find out a place where one can have a wholesome meal at Rs 5.

Nothing seemed to put an end to my search. However, on my way to Fathepuri Masjid, I located a small shop at Sardar Swarup Chowk, ‘Lala ji Poori Sabzi Wale’.The shop was crowded, a large number of people were queuing up with money in their hands to grab a plate of Lala ji’s poori and sabzi.

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Here you can get three poori(s) with aloo and chana sabzi for Rs10. The poori(s) are crisp and deep fried in the oil and sabzi is equally good with just the right amount of spices added to it.

I couldn’t help but feel amazed at the simplicity of the place, the warm hospitality, the hurrying customers, the delicious food and the astonishingly low price. Bhai Waah!
Happy Eating! 

 

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.
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‘CHAT’-TING ALL DAY!

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‘CHAT’-TING ALL DAY!

You will not even have to exit the Chawri Bazar metro station and the heady aroma of the dahi – bhalle, papdi and saunth would be there already in your nostrils. It is so overwhelming that it will attract you and you would be left with no option but to join all the people savouring the sweet and sour gol gappe and papdi chat. . Yes! I am talking about the much talked of Ashok Chat Bhandar right outside the Chawri Bazar metro station exit ( Chitli Qabar side) which attracts more than 700 people daily.

The place is almost 70 years old and continues to be one of the favourites among dilliwalas. Though they don’t have a very large menu to choose from, but there are just more than enough options for your tummy! Owned by Mr. Padam Singh, this small chat corner is one of the most successfully run outlet in Old Delhi and being right outside the metro station, its clientele has drastically gone up during the past many years.

Kalmi vada chaat and aloo masala are the most popular snacks served here and the other options available include dahi bhalle, papdi chat, aloo masala, masaledar pani pakodi, kalmi bada chat and gol gappas (with various stuffings). The menu is quite different from the regular chat corners and this makes Ashok Chaat Corner a distinct one among hundreds of Chaatwalas in old Delhi. The prices are not very high and worth the taste.

I had wanted to try the aloo masala and the masaledaar pani pakodi, but it was already finished due to their popularity among the people. Instead, I tried the  kalmi vada chat with papdi. Kalmi vada is a dark brown flat pakoda like thing made of chana daal, gram flour, coriander and other spices. A dough is made of the mixture and cut into small pieces and then the pieces are fried. This delicacy is enjoyed both with coriander chutney as well as part of the chat.

The spicy and crispy kalmi vada with curd and saunth was a flavoursome indulgence. The plate is quite filling and worth the price. The masala sprinkled on the top added to the delish essence. The Kalmi vada chaat would get a 7.5/10 from me. The gol gappas that I tried there were also a hit. The tangy and spicy water was the best part. The freshness of the water is still there in my mouth. I would rate them at 8/10.

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Almost all the snacks are priced between Rs. 20-60. So the snacking at Ashok Chat Corner won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

There is another good thing about the place that all the things are home made. From the papris and kalmi vadas to the masala, everything is prepared at home by the owner and his family. He resides near his own shop so the transportation of the material is not problematic. All the things are freshly prepared, so you don’t have to worry about the food being stale.

So the next time you visit Nai Sarak to buy your books or stationery, don’t forget to pamper your taste buds with Ashok’s chat.

If you want to know anything further, kindly contact

Mr. Padam Singh – 9811467238

Address (shop) – 3488, Hauz Qazi Chowk, Delhi -110006.

 

Till then, happy burping! J

 

By Kashish ( Foodie Correspondent)

Photo Credit- Piyush Nagpal

 

30th August,2013

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.
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OLD DELHI- A FOODIE’S HEAVEN

OLD DELHI- A FOODIE’S HEAVEN

It’s not just about the crowded narrow lanes, the old havelis, nor the Red Fort, but it is so much more than all this. Old Delhi appeals many not only because of the above stated reasons among others, but because of the old world charm it still manages to hold. Purani Dilli is like a crowd-puller which calls people even from far off places. It is a hub of so many cultures, traditions, cuisines and has something for each one.

It is most famous for its street food and welcomes everyone who wants to taste the traditional Indian food in desi style! Where else will it be considered a disgrace to have Pani Puri with mineral water and in an air- conditioned restaurant but in Old Delhi? It knows that Pani Puri tastes the best on roadside!

One of the best things about Old Delhi is its flavour. If you really want to taste was an actual plate of Dahi Bhalla or sewaiyyon ka halwa tastes like, Purani Dilli is the place. It has handled the flavours very well and still manages to keep them intact in the dish. I recommend you treat your taste buds here at least once! There is a lot that Old Delhi offers.

After one hectic day, even I set out to satisfy my hunger along with a friend of mine who had never been to the ever glorified Chandni Chowk. We preferred to stroll in the lanes so we could explore more and after quiet a long walk, we landed ourselves in one of the most popular restaurants in Old Delhi, Shiv Mishthan Bhandar. If you go from Red Fort towards Fatehpuri, it’s located in the end at the right side, near Bikanerwala. We went through the menu after being warmly welcomed by the owner, Raja Bhai. Since he told us that Bedmi Puri is the most popular dish, we ordered the same. We also ordered Chole Bhature. The service was pretty good and the food was served hot and in very little time.

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Hungry as we always are, we smacked the food. Honestly speaking, the puri was a hit. It was hot, crispy and perfectly fried. This hearty dish is fried puffed bread with a mix of lentils and spices. Urad Dal is the main addition to the puri which also makes the texture a little granulated. It is crispier than the normal puri. Some people also add ‘hing’ to the puri for flavour. The red chilli added to the pitthi of Urad dal makes the puri spicy. I would give 8/10 to the puri but only 6/10 to the subzi, since it wasn’t that scrumptious. Salt was in excess in the subzi and it was not even prepared very well. Overall I would rate the dish at 7/10.

After finishing the puri subzi, we dipped our fingers in the chole bhature, which was a better option than the puri subzi, simply because both the bhature and the chole were perfectly made. The bhature were golden brown and and the chole were aptly spiced. The mango pickle with the chole was a great addition. Chole Bhature would get 8/10 from me.

After the enjoyable lunch, we ordered imartis. They are quite similar to jalebis but not totally. Imarti  is made from a variety of urad flour and deep fried in a circular shape. Saffron is also added for colour and afterwards it is dipped in sugar syrup. They are usually yellow- orange in colour due to the saffron.

Perfectly crisp and sweetened imartis put an end to our foodelicious journey.

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Shiv Mishthan offers a fairly large variety of Indian snacks and dishes at quite reasonable prices. The owner, Raja Bhai told us that they cater around 500 people daily and Bedmi Puri is a favourite with all. Hope you grab of the same too!

Meal for two- Rs. 150-200

For further information you can contact

Raja Bhai- 8376825232

Address- 375, Kucha Ghasi Ram, Chandni Chowk, Delhi- 110006.

By Kashish (Foodie Correspondent)

Photo Credit- Piyush Nagpal

 

 

 

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.
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Ramzan Food Walk @ Delhi 6

Ramzan Food Walk @ Delhi 6

RAMZAN FOOD WALK

Sudipto Das

The cacophony of sounds and a myriad collection of colours is what surround you when you enter the walled city. Come the holy month of Ramzan and the streets seem drunk with religious fervour.
Pretty eyes looking behind veils, there is a certain mysticism and charm that this place holds on to me. Whether it is the old havelis or the narrow lanes or the enormous number of shops selling food, there is something here for everyone.

Any visit to Ballimaran is incomplete without a visit to the haveli of Urdu poet Mirza ghalib, arguably one of the finest poets to have ever roamed the streets of Delhi. The old haveli has been renovated housing some of the replicas of Ustad’s old belongings as well as a few verses from his shayaris reminding me of a simpler yet bygone era which still feels as if alive in the small rooms.

Stepping out of the haveli and the maddening crowd and the incessant honking of the two wheelers whizzes me back to reality. Walking on in Ballimaran we reach Sapna restaurant, plonking on the seats was a huge relief from the humid weather. We ordered some fried chicken, crispy sesame crusted chicken pieces with green chutney tingled the taste buds. We helped ourselves to some hot taftaan from the shop opposite to Sapna, hot, fluffy, sweet and doused with ghee these were the perfect accompaniment.

On we went to Kabul Zaiqa restaurant, walking down the long narrow passageway, I stop in front of a small room with a wood fired oven and trays of hot bread, upon asking I’m told these are paape, accompaniment to teas. Just out of the oven these are golden brown, fluffy, mildly sweet a perfect teatime essential, which can be the Delhi’s equivalent of Mumbai’s bun. At Kabul Zaiqa there is a sit-down meal in a traditional manner and the menu as to what is prepared for the day. The chicken curry and mutton curry are ordinary at best but what they pride over is the Afghani pulao, flavoursome, not at all spicy and the swollen raisins popping in the mouth with a delicious sweetness. But, the tender meat from the lamb shanks were just melt in the mouth, soft and juicy and truly was a highlight to the meal.

Now was the long walk to Lal kuan for a visit to the famous Ustad moinuddin, famous in the foodie circles and the ustad title given as a mark of reverence to the kebabchi. But en route we stopped to have besan pakode dipped in tamarind chilli chutney titillating the senses. With pakode the older members of the groups longed for their evening cup of chai. And everyone munched on bakery biscuits with their frothy cuppas.

Ustad moinuddin, sells buff kebab opposite to the Hamdard dawakhana. Even after buying a shop he prefers to sit by the sidewalk and sell his kebabs. Succulent, spicy kebabs with the grizzled fat are topped with sliced onions and ginger slivers with a fiery chutney, jumpstarts the palate. Come 7:30 pm, Ustad moinuddin is a must visit for a taste of the old world.

One of the disappointments of the evening was to find Bade miyan kheer shop closed. So twisting and turning our way through the maddening crowd and stopping along to keep count of the people with us and mppve along as a group, we made our way to Aslam’s in matia mahal. With half of the eatery being under renovation, there was a maddening rush at the counter, with orders being shouted by the hungry horde at the top of their voice. We managed to get our order but with lack of seating decided to eat in front of the shop, with grilled chicken in a yoghurt and masala, topped with a generous helping of golden melted butter. The buttery, tangy, spicy goodness just hits the spot. This butter chicken is bound to put a smile across anyone’s face.

Travelling back towards Jama masjid, we stopped for shahi tukda and kheer. The sweet burnt caramel crusty tukda delicious in its entirety, made me go on for more bites giving me asbestos tongue for the remaining evening. The kheer mildly sweet and cold was a saviour for the warrior tongue.

Walking towards chawri bazar crossing and squeezing between cars and trucks. We stopped for kuliya ki chaat, assorted fruits and vegetables hollowed out and filled with spices, boiled chickpea and pomegranate. One bite and what hits you is the sour salty lime and the sweetness coming through later. Having tried earlier the novelty of eating kulle has died down for me and I don’t find them extra ordinary but, for the uninitiated it is a welcome surprise.

On we went to kucha pati ram, and finding the Kuremal shop closed, anubhav called on one of the numbers on the billboard hanging over the shop, and the store owner opened up the shop for us, to smaple all that he had to offer. We tried akmost all they had to offer aam panna, mango, jamun, imli, litchi, chickoo , pachranga. With the kulfis brimming with the freshness of the fruits, Kuremal is an institution when it comes to savour some cold desserts in Delhi, holding on to their own against the onslaught of frozen mass produced ice cream brands. My personal favourite was the Paan with betel leaves and refreshing paan flavour. It was the proverbial end of a meal stretching across the breadth of chandni chowk.

All in all going during ramzan to chandni chowk is an altogether different experience than any other day. Whether it be the call of the muezzin or the Gareeb Niwaz restaurant serving the poor and the needy or a tired lonely figure trying to sort out a bottleneck jam, or the humongous mounds of sevaiya. A walk in the chandni chowk is always a unique experience. So after 6 hours, with a walk started with strangers we part as friends.