Street Food in Delhi
If you are looking for street food in Delhi, you do not need to go far. You will find them in every lane and by lane of the city. Nonetheless, some parts of the city are more famous for such delicacies than the others. Chandni Chowk for instance is one such place. Let us explore this hub of street food first!
Street Food in Chandni ChowkTruly, there is no place like Chandni Chowk as far as street food is concerned. Here, you will find all kind of vendors selling lip-smacking street delicacies. Rows of halwais, namkeenwallas, chaatwallas and paranthewallas are sure to impress anyone looking for a quick bite. More interestingly, some of these joints are centuries old and have luminaries on their guest list.
Paranthewallas of Chandni Chowk
Let us start our tour with a visit to the Paranthewali Gali or the lane of ‘paranthas'. Some of the shops here have been in operation since 1870 and have big names of the Indian political scenario on their guest lists. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, his daughter Indira Gandhi and sister Vijaylakshmi Pandit were among their patrons and so were former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Jai Prakash Narayan. In fact, Vajpayee Ji and JP were regular visitors here.
One big shop in this lane is PT Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan. This shop has been in business since 1872. Another old name operating since 1886 is Pandit Devi Dayal. Kanyalal Durga Prasad’s parantha shop is also another popular name here. It first opened its door in 1875. Pt Babu Ram Devi Dayal (established in 1889) is also another old name in this area. Their aloo parantha with lime is very well appreciated by the patrons. These paranthes are lined with potato and are stuffed with twists of sweetened lime.
The best thing about these joints is that they still adhere to traditional way of cooking. They not only fry the paranthe in pure ghee, but also use cast iron pans for that. However, it does not mean that there has been no innovation. Earlier, one would only get paranthe stuffed only with potato, cauliflower and peas. Now, you can also have them stuffed with lentils, fenugreek, lime, raddish, carrot, paneer, dry fruits etc. Along with the parantha, one can have mint chutney, tamarind chutney, aloo sabzi etc.
The Chaatwallas of Chandni Chowk
However, one must admit that the original flavor of Delhi street food lies in its chaats. Chandni Chowk too has its share of chaat shops. They sell all kinds of chaats such as papri chaat, dahi bhalla, aloo tikki, fried bread etc. Let us now look into few of the more popular chaat shops in this area
- Shri Balaji Chaat Bhandhar at 1462, Chandni Chowk is one of the more renowned shops in this region. It keeps open from 12:00 noon to 10 o’clock at night. Their papdi chaat is truly scrumptious. Equally delicious is their kachaalu chatni and the khasta papdis; you can also try them.
- Bishan Swaroop, located at 1421, is another popular chaat shop in this region. It first opened its doors in 1923. You must try their aloo chaat, aloo ke kulle, and fruit chaats; they specialize in these items.
- Jugal Kishor Ramji Lal at 23, Chawri Bazaar ( Dujana House) is another place to go if you are actually looking for mouth-watering fruit chaats. It remains open from 10:30 am to 10 pm. You can also try their Pav bhaji and aloo tikki; but their fruit chaats are far more popular.
- However, if you are looking for gol gappe with a typical jal jeera you must visit Lala Babu Chaat Bhandar at 77 Chandni Chowk. The shop is open from 11 am to 10 pm. Also try their gobi matar samosas, matar paneer tikki and kachoris stuffed with potato and peas.
- Natraj Dahi Bhalla, located near Bhai Mati Das Chowk, is the place to go if you specially like dahi bhallas.
- For Kachoris visit Jung Bahadur Kachoriwala at 1104 Chhatta Madan Gopal in Chandni Chowk. They serve the best kachoris in this region.
Sweetmeats of Chandni ChowkChandni Chowk is also famous for its halwais. The freshly made jalebis sold here are something that can bring you back to this part of the old city again and again. Just before you enter Dariba Kalan, you will find an old and established jalebi shop called Old Famous Jalebi Wala; do stop there to savor at least one!
In addition, there are so many other types of sweets sold all over Chandni Chowk. You must have heard of Ghantewalla; the shop is more than 200 years old. The sweets here are made with pure clarified butter and taste heavenly. At least, try their sohan halwa, badam barfi, papdi and pista samosas.
Other Big Names in Chandni ChowkHowever, there are many other smaller shops that sell equally delicious phirni; try them as well. Also take time to sample classic bread omelet at Mohammad Nadim (66 Matia Mahal), Puri-aloo-halwa at Haji Tea Point (924 Bazaar Matia Mahal); Rabdi-falooda at Giani's (Shop 651/52 Church Mission Road Fateh Puri).
Street Food in Jama Masjid Area
However, as you near Jama Masjid area another kind of aroma starts teasing your nostrils. Eateries here offer another kind of street food. However, if you want to taste the best, go straight to Urdu Bazaar opposite Gate No 1. of Jama Masjid. Biriyanis, chicken changezi, kebabs, tikkas and mutton burrahs are not only delicious here, but they are also sold at a very affordable price. In most cases, kebabs and tikkas come wrapped in thin and soft romali roti.
You can also try their mutton stew, mutton korma, shahjahani korma and shammi kebab. If you come here early in the morning, do not forget to try succulent mutton nihari and paaya; they are usually sold out by 8:30 am. In fact, the word nihari has been derived from Arabic word Nahar, meaning morning. Nihari is meant to be taken after Fajr prayers at sunrise as a breakfast item. That is why they are not available throughout the day.
Karim’s near Jama Masjid
Street Food in Chittaranjan Park
Let us now take a walk around Chittaranjan Park. Vendors here sell delicious golgappas, egg rolls, chops, cutlets, sweetmeats etc. Let us start our stroll with Dadu’s Cutlet Shop near C R Park Market no 2. Here you will get a variety of fares.
Dadu’s Cutlet Shop offers a long list of Bengali delicacies. Mochar chop is one of them. It is typical of Bengal and is made out of flowers of banana plant. Otherwise, you can try mutton cutlet, fish cutlet, chicken cutlet, fish fry, vegetable spring roll, fish chop, vegetable chop, aloo chop, samosa, piyaji etc.
If you prefer vegetarian dishes start with samosas and piyajis. The later is onion fried in a batter and is something akin to bhajiyas. The samosas may taste a little different; the spices used are not the same. Aloo chop is another specialty here; although they look something like aloo vada, they are not the same. However, if you are non vegetarian, you will surely want to try their fish cutlet, mutton chop and egg devil.
Then again, if you are aching for something sweet, you have Annapurna Sweets located next door. There you can try jalebis made out of cottage cheese. Sandesh and sweetened yoghurt are two other specialties. There is also a shop that sells Calcutta Biryani; it has a distinct taste; quite different from Hyderabadi Biryani.
However, if you take time to trek to Market number 1, you will be greeted with many more street food vendors. Try egg roll and golgappas here. Ravi’s Snacks in Market no 1 sells delicious egg roll along with different types of cutlets. The egg devil is also fabulous here. To make it even more special, the chef adds mutton pieces to the boiled potato and then coat the boiled egg with it. It is then coated with egg and bread crumbs and then deep fried. The fish cutlet is also very special; one should try that too.
Another thing to try here is ghughni. It is another version of cholley; but tastes great. Subrata’s Stall in C R Market is the best place to try it. One word of caution though; if you are a vegetarian, make sure it is not mutton ghughnee, but plain. For golgappas, you can try Raju’s Phuchkas and yes, golgappas are known as phuchkas in this part of the city.
Street Food in West Delhi
If you are searching for street food joints in Delhi, Tilak Nagar is another good place to go. The area is dotted with such shops. Shri Balaji Chaat Bhandar, Balaji Chaat Corner, Bikanervala, Kanha Tikki Walla, New Raj Kachori Bhander is few of them. However, Parveen Chaat Bhandar, located in Tilak Nagar Main Market, is probably the best in this sector. They sell different varieties of chaats; but their deep fried bread pakora tops the list. To make these pakoras they always use green gram (moong ki dal) paste rather than regular besan batter. This not only makes their bread pakoras taste heavenly, but the aroma it releases is enough to excite your taste buds. You can also try their golgappas.
However, if you are looking for truly sumptuous golgappas, you must try Manmohan Bakery, located in Tilak Nagar market. Khan Market in South Delhi too has quite a few good golgappa joints. In fact, if you want to know where you can find the best golgappa, you can refer to our page on Golgappa Joints in Delhi.
Street Food in Khan Market
As we have already pointed out, if you like original kebabs Jama Masjid is the place to go. There they sell all kinds of it. However, for kakori kabab you may as well try Khan Chacha in Khan Market (Shop No: 50, Middle Lane, First Floor). Somewhere in the vicinity is Salim Kabab. They make equally delicious kakori kabab. They are perfectly spiced and melt in the mouth.
Indeed, kakori kababs may look something like seekh kababs; but that is where their similarities should end. A true kakori kabab should melt in the mouth and unlike other kebabs they do not generally leave any meaty flavor. Therefore you see, making such kababs is not everybody’s cup of tea. You can also visit Maurya Sheraton’s Dum Pukht for it, however, many are of the opinion that they use too much saffron.
It's Momo Time in Delhi!!
The reason why we are talking specially of Momos here is because choosing one shop for the best place was really hard. We couldn't stop but write about many. Khan Market has a good momo stall; it is located just opposite to Lok Nayak Bhawan.
Another good place to try these Tibetan dumplings is at Dolma Aunty in Lajpat Nagar. The place is always bustling with momo lovers; they come from all over Delhi to enjoy their chicken, vegetarian or paneer momos. These are generally served with red hot chutney. Now, one may ask why should anyone come all the way to Lajpat Nagar for a plate of momo; they are found everywhere in Delhi. The answer lies in its taste. The covering here is extremely soft; not at all chewy and hard as many other momo stalls. The chicken in chicken momo is very succulent and the chatni along with it is equally complimentary; the vegetarian momos are great as well.
Majnu ka Tila is another place where you can find original momos. The place is officially known as New Aruna Nagar Colony. The area was allocated to the Tibetan refugees in 1960; today, we find them well settled in that area. The economy of that area centers on hotels, restaurants and guesthouses. Therefore, you will find many eateries offering original Tibetan dishes. Try mutton momo; they are always steamed and generally come with steamed hot mutton soup. Of course, some joints also sell fried momo; you can try that as well.
Street Food Joints in Other Parts of Delhi
Bittoo Tikki Wala (popularly known as BTW) is another prominent name in the street food sector. It started as a roadside stall in Pitampura in Northwest Delhi. In last few years, the company has witnessed tremendous growth. They now have franchises all over the city and these are managed by professionals trained in hotel management.
The key factor behind their success is their loyalty to quality. Different items of North and South Indian snacks are sold in their different outlets. If you are looking for good food at reasonable rate keep a look out for their outlets; you are sure to get in near vicinity.
While we are talking about food chains, Al Bake is another name that we must mention. It too has branches all over the city; but I have visited their New Friends Colony (21 to 23 Community Center) outlet only. The shawarmas there are simply great; I have had them in few other places, but they were by far tastier here. May be that is because shawarma is a Levantine meat preparation and Al Bake is originally a Saudi Arabian company. Another good news is that compared to many other international chains their prices are quite affordable
We hope we have succeeded in luring you to the street foods of Delhi. So come and experience the succulent dishes like never before, Only in Delhi!!! Bon Appetit!!
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