Whenever food scene in Delhi talked,1st area which comes in mind is Old Delhi.Old Delhi is the oldest living quarter of Delhi situated between Chawari Bazaar Chandani Chowk and Daryaganj.It was founded by Shaajahan, having lots of history not only Redfort or Jama Mashjid,in fact IMHO old Delhi is itself a museum,whether its streets or old mansions,everything you will find is a part of history,even when food is concerned no single area in India would be having such number of old legendary food places ,whether vegetarian or non vegetarian,snacks or desert,old Delhi have all,
Whenever in Delhi,i tries to visit Old Delhi for food.In this blog I would give my favourite vegetarian places in Old Delhi,actually its a trip report of my self made food walk of Old Delhi which I did along with few friends last year,this may be taken as reference when planning to visit Old Delhi for food.Just like my previous blogs,in this blog too I would concentrate on logistic and planning part so that it would be easy for a reader to plan and visit Old Delhi for a self planned Food Tour.Most of the food places are open 7 days a week but better to visit on Sunday ,as Old Delhi market would be close so will find Old Delhi less crowded and chaotic.We did the same and visited on Sunday.Best mode to travel to Old Delhi is by using metro,there are 4 metro stations on 2 lines,Chawari Bazaar and Chandani Chowk on Yellow line and Redfort and Jama Mashjid on Violet line,can be chosen as per comfort.
Now lets come to main topic ,the food walk.We reached Chawari Bazaar metro station just after 10 am,1st stop was Bade Mian Kheer,situated just 2 min walk from metro station.Bade Mian is famous for their creamy, chilled kheer,it is also one of the oldest shop in Delhi started in 1880,good place to start the food tour. Their kheer is different than the normal kheer we have at home or other places, very thick, almost like thick Rabadi or hot mawa,totally worth,excellent way to start the food tour.They dont sell anything other than the Kheer.
Then we started to walk towards next destination which was Shyam Sweets but just after 2 min we saw Ashok Chaat Corner and couldn’t resist our self to stop. Ashok Chat is around 70 yr old shop and still favourite among Chaat lovers,they have a small menu but whatever they have are worth having,Kalmi Bada and Aloo Masala are their most famous items,other items they serve are Papdi Chaat,Dahi Bhalle Papdi,Pani Pakaudi and different types of Golgappa. Lots of items to try but as we were there for a long food walk had just Aloo Masala and Dahi Bhalle Papdi,Aloo masala was great,spicy and something different,Dahi Bhalla was good too,reasonably priced,most items at rs 60 (read somewhere that its rs 70 now ,still ok).
Now to next destination,Shyam Sweets which was just 5 min walk towards Jama Mashjid ,another iconic place running for more than 100 years. Shyam Sweets are considered as one of the best place for breakfast in Delhi,as it was Sunday and breakfast time so it was crowded.They dont’ have sitting arrangements,only tables to eat standing,after 10 min wait we got a table,ordered a Nagori and Bedmi,Bedmi comes with 2 Bedmi puri, Aloo sabji and Pickle,Nagori comes with 4 Nagori puri, aloo sabzi,Pickle and Desi Ghee Halwa,freshly made and reasonably priced,just rs50/60 per plate,total value for money.
Now to next stop,Parathe wali gali.Till now we were exploring Chawadi Bazaar ,Parathe Wali gali is in Chandani Chowk,10 min walk through Nai Sadak and narrow lanes of Chandani Chowk and we were at Parathe wali gali.Parathe shops in this lane started sometime around 1870s,till 1960-70s there were 20 shops but now only three remains and all are descendent of same family which started 1st.These are another iconic place in Old Delhi .Menu and rate of all three are nearly same and also taste.Their menu includes different type of Paratha served with gravy and sweet/savoury chutney.I had visited these shops earlier and found them over hyped but as this time was for a comprehensive veg food tour so again visited,but due to weekend there was huge rush,it looked that we need to wait at least 15-20 min so skipped it.
Now it was half past 11,temperature getting hot ,needed something to drink to quench our thirst.just in front of Paratha Shop there was a small dhaba selling lassi,get one glass of creamy lassi served in Kulhar (Clay pot) which add a different flavour to the Lassi otherwise it was just ok,as most of the places in Old Delhi overpriced.
Next destination,Hazari Lal Jain Khurchan wale,another iconic place started by late Hazari Lal Jain sometimes few year before independence.It is situated just 3-4 min from paratha shops.As per name their main USP is Khurchan. Khurchan is a traditional sweet made up of milk. 1st in a kadhai milk is boiled, then as it boils and thickens, a part of the top layer of the thickened milk gently pulls out using a thin twig and places it carefully in another utensil. Again, as the milk thickens again top layer removed and added on top of the earlier one. This process is repeated multiple times for a while, making a shape like that of a small kalakand. It also sells a variety of traditional milk-sweets like malai laddoo, rabri, kalakand and gulab jamun. We also went for their USP,the Khurchan .It was delicious.the top texture was a bit crisp, and the bottom layers were softIts a small shop with no seating arrangements.
Now to next place,Old Jalebi wala again just 3-4 min walk from Hazari Lal Jain.This jalebi shop aptly named, ‘Old Famous Jalebi Wala’, has been around since 1884. This shop is enormously famous for the jalebi but IMHO its quality has be deteriorated drastically in recent year and also the owner/staff are not very much customer friendly,i can say rude at least what I experience,may be if you are a youtuber or so called food expert or blogger visit with big camera then would experience a customer friendly staff .They have Samosa and Rabdi with Desi Ghee Jalebi in their small menu,Jalebi is rs 500 per kg and Samosa is rs 20/25 per piece,certainly overpriced with the quality now a days they are serving and Jalebi or Rabri we have to buy minimum 100 gm .As the Jalebi was instantly fried and soaked in the syrup so it was ok,overall if some one is visiting Chandani chowk 1st time and wanted to visit most legendary and iconic place then should otherwise may skip.
It was too much of sweet so time to have some savoury,next place Natraj Dahi Bhalla few minute walk on main road.Another iconic place having history of more than 75 years,started around 1940.As the name suggests it is known for one of the best dahi bhalle in town.Thick sweetened curd and generous size of a soft bhalla dipped in assorted chutneys and spices make it a must try in Old Delhi.Other than Dahi bhalle the offer Aloo tikki too but there was a long queue for the tikki so we skipped it,just went for their speciality ,Dahi Bhalle which was readily available.If visiting Old Delhi then it should be in your itinerary.
Now again to some sweet,Annapurna Bhandar,walking from Natraj ,little back track towards Jalebi Wala.Started in 1924, Annapurna Bhnadar is one of the oldest Bengali sweet shop in Delhi,With a delectable range of Bengali sweets, right from gur sandesh to cham cham to misty dohi, this eatery has a reputation painstakingly built since starting.We were intrested in misty dohi but when visit the place that as on sunday they remains open for half day only,it was time to get close and most of their delicacy inclusing misty dohi has ended,Cham Cham was available so we had that,didn’t wanted to return from this iconic place empty handed.
Next destination Pandit Vedprakash Lemon .As per the owner they had been popping soda for the last 120 years but I am not sure bottled soda was available in 1900.The shop is situated right across Town hall. The shop’s speciality is lemon soda. The shop, like most others, is a tiny one, no more than a few feet across .After long food walk in hot weather of Delhi this was best we could have,had 2 glass of refreshing lemon soda,though I didn’t found anything special but may be due to the long history and premier of Lemon soda in Delhi so famous.
Now we were in last phase of our food tour,next to Tewari Brothers ,another 5 min walk from Natraj towards Fatehpuri mosque .Their Laddoos are considered as one of the best in the city.We too went with the flow and tasted their motichur laddu and was absolutely correct decision. If someone loves Motichoor Laddoos, this is the place to visit. The taste and quality of the Laddoos are top notch,tastes great and has the prefect sweetness. Other delicacies are Samosa.Kachori,chhole bhature etc.
Few stop ahead of Tewari Brothers is Shiv Misthan Bhandar.They are famous for their breakfast items ie Bedmi aloo and Nagori Halwa.We stopped there for a brief to have Kachori which was freshly made and served with Aloo sabzi.
Now to Church Mission road.Church mission is the road which starts from Fatehpuri mashjid and goes till Old Delhi railway station.There are three iconic food place,Gole Hatti,Giani Di Hatti and Kake di Hatti.All three situated close to each other.
Gole Hatti was established sometime after independence. Nowadays this shop has become a favourite lunch destinations for people. Continuing their tradition they still serve some of their items in clay pot like Chhole palak rice . Other famous items asre Chole Bhatura, Dahi Bhalla.The shop has earned the name “Gole” (round) for its circular shape as it is located at the corner of the main road. Giani Di Hatti was also started sometime after independence when their owner migrated from Pakistan and settled in Delhi.The menu have nearly same as Gole Di Hatti like Chhole Bhature,Chawal Chole palak.Chawal Rajma but their main USP is Rabdi Faluda,they are said to be inventer of this dessert.The faluda counter outside the shop remain busy through out the day till closing.
Our destination was Kake Di Hatti,another iconic eatery serving authentic vegetarian Punjabi food since 1942. Their main USP is their legendary big size naan and paneer makhni and we were there for this only. Unfortunately as it was Sunday lunch time so there was huge crowd and long waiting time.We were little tired after long food walk so decided to skip this time and return back.We made a quick stop at Giani for their iconic Faluda which is totally worth if you have sweet tooth.
Now to metro station but before that last stop Chaina Ram Sindhi confectioners ,another iconic place started at 1901.It is said that they serves the best Karachi Halwa in Delhi.For breakfast they serve Puri Chhole which is a huge hit.We took Karachi halwa parcel to enjoy at home.
Now to metro Chandani Chowk station but before that last stop Chaina Ram Sindhi confectioners ,another iconic place started at 1901.It is said that they serves the best Karachi Halwa in Delhi.For breakfast they serve Puri Chhole which is a huge hit.We took Karachi halwa parcel to enjoy at home.
This was end of our vegetarian food tour.There are so much of street food options available in Old Delhi that its impossible to cover in a single day,even 4-5 visit is not sufficient.There are few more which are recommended but didn’t covered in this tour.
Some of them are
For kulfi, you can’t do better than this place (in fact there are 3 shops and all have same stuffs) Sitaram Bazaar. Here, these creamy concoctions are at their best. These places are known for its fruit flavoured kulfis especially, the seasonal mango kulfi. These places also offer a new breed of innovative flavours like tamarind, rose, aam papad and kewda.
You’ll find (but only during winter) them hawked around places like Dariba, Kinari Bazaar and Daryaganj. They sell a frothy, creamy sweet, famously known as ‘Daulat ki Chaat’. It is made with churned milk. The soft, cottony foam is carefully collected and served. It is enriched with khoya and saffron and instantly melts on your palate. One of the most sublime sweets, its preparation can take about six hours! It is made through the night and served fresh in the morning.
It was started way back in 1971 and has evolved ever since. Tuck into the crisp crusts, stuffed with a delicious surprise. They serve a variety like dal kachori, pyaaz kachori, matar kachori, dry fruit kachori and others.
>Bishan Swaroop for Chaat
Bishan Swaroop in tucked away in one of the hard-to-find side streets, but it’s worth the effort. Try their chunky fruit chaat and aloo ke kulle (boiled potatoes that are scooped out and stuffed with chickpeas). These places bring back the old-world feel buried in our modern lifestyles
>Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar
Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar is one of the oldest eateries in Chandini Chowk. Crisp paparis draped in yogurt, chutneys and lime, don’t miss this essential street eat here. They use kachaalu chutney in place of the regular tamarind one and that sets them apart.
This was my experience of last visit to Old Delhi.Though every place is pinned at Google map and had attached the google pin link in the blog still I am also sharing a self made map of my route taken.
Thanks for reading.