Delhi offers delicious options for the belly

Come to Delhi, eat your heart out on the streets. This is where life lives. And when I say Delhi, I am guilty of equivocation. It should be Shahjahanabad or what is popularly called Old Delhi, never mind that parts of New Delhi are much older. In this part of the city, there are few, very restaurants, hardly any fancy take-aways. Yet there are eateries at virtually every other step. And do they pander to everybody’s whims!

On a cool evening, you could go across to Shabaraati Nahaariwale at Haveli Azam Khan; the bone meat with its marrow in tact is tender, the gravy rich. Then maybe you could try the age-old seekh kababs at the tiny shop near the mouth of Sui Walan. In between lie scores of dhabas, many of them call themselves ‘hotel’. They offer non-veg stuff, ranging from qorma to keema or biryani. A vegetarian dish here means dal added to meat! At lunch or dinner time, it is not unusual to find waiters passing on orders to each other, all the time shouting, “Sahab ka bheja nikalo, sahib ka keema bana do”. Outsiders find it hilarious, the usual customers takes as a customary manner of business!

All this is around Jama Masjid and Ballimaran. Walk across to Chandni Chowk. Here, opposite Moti cinema, at the mouth of Dariba Kalan you will find a jalebiwala who claims to be in business since 1932.

At any given hour, there is no dearth of people with a sweet tooth, waiting to lay their hands of piping hot jalebis drenched in a sweet syrup. At the other end of Chandni Chowk stands Chaina Ram, the famed halwa shop specialising in selling Karachi halwa. The shop is more than a hundred years old, the takers come from all age groups.

In between the two eateries dishing out sweet delights stands Natraj Bhallewala. Located close to Central Bank, this little hole-in-the-wall place usually has a queue of people waiting to taste its dahi bhalle, papri chaat and the like. Right opposite is the famed Gali Paranthe Wali, where eating paranthas, some 70 types of them are available, is a way of life.

Add to these the petiwallahs selling cream frozen in a flannel. Or the kulfiwallahs dishing out their stuff in metal containers and kulhars. They can be found at virtually every nook and corner. Not to forget the betel leaf sellers. Every paan, they claim, comes straight from Banaras, else it is desi!

In Delhi on road, you are never short of delicious options.