You cannot be considered a die-hard foodie if you haven’t explored the culinary delights of the Jama Masjid area in Old Delhi. Your food education is not complete without sampling the delicious delights this historic place has to offer.
Though the peak of Jama Masjid’s delights can be explored best during the Iftaar months when the savouries and preparations are out in full force, there’s more than enough throughout the year to keep your senses engaged.
Read on and get set to eat your way through Jama Masjid’s top ten treasures-
Lalu’s and Qureshi’s at Urdu Bazaar Road
Enjoy slender juicy kebabs cooked on the griddle against a backdrop of the Jama Masjid in the background at Lalu’s to whet your appetite. Further down the lane, at Qureshi’s, enjoy some more of these mouth melting kebabs for variety.
Haji Mohammad Husain, Matia Mahal
Here it’s your turn to bite into crisp bits of chicken with moist centers, accompanied with a hot red chutney . The crunch comes from the coating of chickpea batter on pieces of spice marinated chicken and then golden fried. During the Ramzan days you can also sample spicy mince meat balls to kickstart your appetite.
Babu Bhai ke Kebab, Bazar Chitli Qaba
For hardcore kebab lovers this cannot be missed! Spiced meat paste is wrapped around seekhs with thread to be grilled to perfection on the flames of a tandoor. Savour these amazing Boti Kebabs and Dori Kebabs with hordes of other sharing your joy.
Nawab Qureshi’s, Pyaar Mohabbat Maza, Matia Mahal Bazaar
Time to wash down the spices and cleanse your taste buds for the main course! The carts selling “Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa”, serve a refreshing drink made from a mix of watermelon chunks, milk and Rooh Afza. A great way to cool down with this fragrant concoction after all that hot food!
Gud ka Sherbat, Pahadi Imli
If milk is not your drink of choice here’s another cool option to refresh your palate after all the kebabs. Since 1947, this family has been making this drink with jaggery soaked in ice water, and then strained to serve. Healthy and rejuvenating after all that walking around!
Bilal, Matia Mahal
This slow cooked meat stew is born of many legends, robust and spicy. Mop up the thick gravy topped up with chillies and sliced ginger, with baked Khameeri Roti, for a truly wholesome meal. The meat has been cooked for so long it is almost a melted mass in this gravy with a satisfying meaty aroma!
Karim’s and Al Jawahar, Matia Mahal Bazaar
These joints need no introduction even if you’ve never been there. Their Mutton Korma made in pure desi ghee has legions of admirer’s across the globe. Also, their Mutton Stew and Badaam Pasanda (boneless mutton cooked with yoghurt, almonds and spices) are to die for.
Mota Pehelwaan and Dilpasand, Chitli Bazaar
Both these places are for serious Biryani Lover’s. The Mirch Masala Biryani at Mota Pehelwan is a classic, so full of flavour that it doesn’t even need a raita. Another variation is the Achari Biryani at Dilpasand, another special eatery.
Cool Point, Matia Mahal
Mouth watering, large platters of attractively arranged Shahi Tukda and Matka Phirni will greet you here! There are Lassi and Rabdi too for those who want more!
Kallan Sweets, Jama Masjid Gate No.1
The Gajar ka Halwa, Moong Dal Halwa and Paneer ki Jalebi made here since pre-Independence era are a fitting finale to this gastronomical adventure. Save some space for these!
There are still many more eats to go to at Jama Masjid, which will require many more visits to discover. Before you know, you’ll be hooked to the food of Old Delhi for life! If we’ve missed any of your favourites, add to the comments and we’ll compile part 2.