Immense possibilites to discover
Cuisine In Delhi
Attend a ‘big fat Indian wedding’, as it’s often referred to in Delhi, if you get a chance. The food is terrific, extremely rich and the variety is mind boggling. Delhites love their food and take their time to savour it. Aromas and fragrant spices abound in every household’s kitchen everyday. Don’t miss an opportunity for some typical home cooked Punjabi food.
Delhi has been ruled successively by the Rajputs, Arabs, Afghanis, Mughals and the English, and even if they don’t exist in the city anymore, their cuisine is well preserved. In addition, one can find international cuisine like Thai, Lebanese, Chinese, Israeli, Italian, Indonesian, Spanish, Mexican, French, Moroccan, Swiss very easily. So depending on our taste preferences, there is a specific cuisine for everyone.
Tandoori food, rich and succulent, cooked in hot clay ovens is a Punjabi speciality. Visit the Paranthewali Gali in Old Delhi for different kinds of Paranthas. The layered parantha – a type of bread fried on a griddle and made without yeast – is said to have been officially brought to Delhi by the Punjabis. The restaurants in Pandara Road Market, Karol Bagh and Connaught Place (Pindi and Gulati on Pandara Road and Kake da Hotel in Connaught Place) also specialize in Punjabi food.
The best place to eat Mughlai food is in the Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk) area. Visit places like Karim’s and Babu Khan’s near Jama Masjid, Kallu’s Halim near Gali Chitli Qabar and Nalli Nahari in Beradari, beyond Ballimaran, for Mughlai food just like it was in the good old days of the emperors. For all you know, you may be served by a cook descended from the royal cooks of Shah Jahan’s court. Most five-star hotels offer excellent Mughlai-Tandoori-Frontier cuisine. Especially Bukhara in Maurya Sheraton.
Visit Ghantewala in Old Delhi, Delhi’s oldest known sweet shop which started business in 1790. Down the centuries, it has remained in the same family and is now in the hands of the eleventh generation. The Ghantewala Halwai is celebrated for its sohanhalwa, a sweet made from dry fruits, sprouts and sugar.
Try other sweets like the exquisite Iimratis (a syrup-filled delicacy) at Kanwarji’s, Rasmalai (a sweet made from milk and cream) at Bikaner’s and for Bengali sweets just head to Haldiram’s.
Would you want to take home some typical Indian sweets and food? You can shop at places like Haldiram’s or Bikaner’s available in every corner of the city. Mithais or sweets spoil easily and are usually good for a day or so, so to save time, why not visit the Haldiram Outlet at the Delhi Airport where you can make your purchases.
Food to taste
The nahiri, a delicate beef stew
Tandoori Chicken
a traditional almond squash known as Tthandai – especially in summer
The Kulfi – traditional ice cream (A solid chunk of thickened milk, topped with saffron, cardamom and nuts)
The Pan (Local mouth-freshener) made of folded betel leaves with areca nuts, menthol lime, spices and coconut)
Exclusive Vegetarian restaurants are a little rare to find but one can find good vegetarian food in almost all restaurants across the city. There are some exceptions, though. Marwari food like Brijbasi at Katra Neel are famous. Panner is a delicacy in vegetarian food. Many varieties like paneer-do piaza, paneer makhani, paneer pasanda and shahi paneer are a must-try for vegetarians.
A medical practitioner would certainly ask one to refrain from street food, but one cannot resist the charm it has. Very strictly for the adventurous only. Beware if you are prone to problems of the tummy. The range covers Chaat (local snacks spiced with sauces and powders of different flavours), corn on the cob, Pakoras (patties), sandwiches and many varieties of local ice cream and fruit juices. Thandai –a traditional iced syrup ¬¬- is a must try in the summer months. Local Dhabas (traditional open-air restaurants) are an excellent stop too. They are typically meant for travelers who want to wind-down a bit before going to another place. They are normally found on the highways, but the city has many Dhabas too.
That Delhi could well be the food capital of the world will be no exaggeration. Global cuisine is found in most places and is very easily available. Ranging from authentic Chinese, Japanese, Mexican to Continental, one can find specialty restaurants and most 5 start hotels also serving authentic international food.
© Indira Gandhi International Airport.