A Round-Up of Delhi’s Best Street Food

I recently put together this street food list for The Guardian newspaper to coincide with the Commonwealth Games.  I’m not sure how many athletes or officials have managed to get beyond the Games Village canteen to sample Delhi’s incredible street food but for anyone  intrigued by Delhi’s wonderful  street food, these are just a few of my all time favourites.

Best korma: Ashok and Ashok

If you only eat out once during your stay in Delhi, head for Ashok and Ashok: the chicken and mutton kormas here have been known to make grown men crumple. As well as boasting an edgy gangster heritage, A&A make chicken korma every day, mutton korma on Wednesday and Saturday (invariably sold out an hour after opening at 1pm) and biryani. The meat just melts, hinting at a magical mystery masala (apparently up to 30 different spices), pistachios, and a devilish pact with the ghee (clarified butter) tin.

42 Subhas Chowk, Basti Harphool Singh, Sadar Thana Road, Sadar Bazaar, Old Delhi


Best kebabs: Ustad Moinuddin

For just a few rupees you can eat some of the finest kebabs in Delhi.
On Lal Kuan close to where the great Urdu poet Ghalib once lived, you’ll find the beef kebab maker Ustad Moinuddin. As you wait your turn, you’ll have time to watch the master at work, packing soft meat on to skewers, judging the exact cooking time for optimum succulence before tipping them quickly on to plates and into waiting hands. Forget Bukhara; this is the real deal.

Lal Kuan, at the corner with Gali Qasimjan, near Chawri Bazaar metro, Old Delhi

Best paratha: Kake di Hatti

 

Head down to the Old Delhi spice market in Khari Baoli, and once you’ve inhaled the fumes from a thousand sacks of chillies, turn into Church Mission Road and order one of Kake di Hatti’s divine tandoor-fresh paratha:s. There are many flavours but favourites include potato, cauliflower and mooli (radish). And don’t miss the faluda (a rose-flavoured creamy vermicelli confection) at Giani’s next door.

Church Mission Road, Khari Baoli, Old Delhi

Best kulfi: Kuremal Kulfi


The Kuremal family have been making kulfi (ice-cream) in the old city since 1908. They turn out over 50 varieties, including pomegranate, tamarind, rose and custard apple, and also make a wonderful stuffed kulfi: mango or orange flavours stuffed into fruit skins.

Kucha Pati Ram, off Sitaram Bazaar, near Chawri Bazaar metro, Old Delhi

Best kheer: Bade Mian

Bade Mian’s kheer shop (oppposite Badal Beg mosque in Lal Kuan) quite simply  sells the finest kheer (cardamom-laced rice pudding) you’re ever likely to taste.  I never come home with less than a kilo!

Lal Kuan, near Chawri Bazaar metro, Old Delhi

Best breakfast: Shyam Sweets

 

Old Delhi is a wonderful place for breakfast – try the bedmi aloo (deep-fried spiced bread with a spicy potato curry) at Shyam Sweets, about half-way along Chawri Bazaar, on the right if you’re going towards Jama Masjid.

Best sweets: Chaina Ram


Regularly voted the best sweet shop in Delhi. Try the Karachi halwa, laddoos and other treats cooked in ghee at this Sindhi shop on Chandni Chowk.

Best snacks


Around the Jama Masjid area, stroll along Matia Mahal (also the home of the famous Karim’s and Al-Jawahar restaurants) and stop at any of the little stalls – it’s almost impossible to eat badly here. One highlight is shahi tukda, labelled by one enthusiast as “bread pudding on steroids”.  The kebabs and biryanis in this area are also pretty special.

 

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51 thoughts on “A Round-Up of Delhi’s Best Street Food

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Round-Up of Delhi’s Best Street Food | eat and dust -- Topsy.com

  2. Pamela the journey was mouth watering.Been to all most 4 of these places in Old Delhi…..yummy n satisfying .Recently had kebabs at Aap ki Khaatir n they were melting in my mouth ” kakori kebab”.Its a road side eatery near Nizamudin .

    raj

  3. Kake-Di-Hatti, Kuremal Kulfi, Chaina Ram, Shyam Sweets
    Gosh..Wat ve i read at this pt of the nite..How can i get there NW 😦 😦
    All of these my FAVs..Jz the names r Enuffff to get the taste buds do Bhangra cz of the cravings 😉
    Have to get there ASAP nw..
    Hey..Btw you included Shyam Sweets in ur list instead of That other place in Delhi-06 you wrote of 🙂 🙂 See..I told ya Shyam Sweets RoXXX
    N so do you.. RoCK 🙂 🙂
    btw..Therez a lot more in those Lanes n Bylanes of Delhi-06 that you mite like..I ve made many of my frenz Bunk classes daily to race off at those places 😉

  4. You are such an inspiration! =)
    My friends and I are regular readers and this blog a yummy topic of discussion many a coffee evenings. Great stuff.

  5. Hi Pamela, would like to recommend Paramjeet Machi Waala at Moti Nagar .
    His fish tandoori is amazing n spl in winters its a treat to ur stomach .Its a small road side eatery but gr8 food.

    raj

  6. Excellent list, I’ve been to old delhi quite many times, but mostly it has been to Karim’s (or Al-Jawahar, in case karim’s was closed or overloaded)
    I got to take a print-out / mail it and get my teeth into those kebabs & korma before the kulfi
    would come back and give the feedback burrps later!

  7. Hi Pamela,

    Not to sound a sucker for popularity, how come you didnt mention Karims or its lesser equal neighbour Al Jawahar located near Jama Masjid?!

    Also the kakori kebabs at Al Kauser on outer ring road near munirka are pretty mouth watering too, especially once you roll them into a plain and simple rumali roti!!

    Planning to attend the upar wali chai. See you soon

    Cheers
    Ritwick Ghosh

  8. Hi RItwick – it’s always difficult to get everything and the Guardian just wanted 10 places. Also I’m not a huge fan of Karim’s – I prefer Al Jawahar! Haven’t been to Al Kauser yet, will add it to the list. By the way, we’ve just announced a new date for Uparwali Chai on 31st October – hope you can come!

  9. What a great post. I grew up in Delhi and now live in Mumbai. I am also very shamed to say that I have never been to ANY 😦 of the places you mentioned. Trust me, this is one post I will be printing and keeping by my side till I do all the rounds. Thanks 🙂

  10. Hi Pamela,
    Great Help for foodie like me.
    I am very soon going to Launch a chain of small outlets of Authentic Vada Paos and other Mumbai street food in Delhi, would like you to innaugurate them. Right now I am finalising the logistics as it is really tough to get the right cooks (initialy) from Mumbai and motivating them to stay in Delhi…. (They simply run away). Would update you of the developments. Thanks

  11. Hello from Australia! I’ve just come across a reprint of the article in last weekend’s Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald and just had to check out your blog after drooling over all that amazing street food! Love what I see. Can’t wait to visit Delhi.

    Looking forward to more of your blog posts 🙂

    Cheers

  12. Hi Reshmy – hope you’ll come back and try all those places soon. Have to confess, I think Mumbai food is pretty special too…

  13. Hi Manish – would be delighted to inaugurate your Vada Pao – hope you’re going to use proper Mumbai pao though!

  14. Pamela-Bombay street food is quite interesting and different from Delhi. You should make a trip out sometime. Would love to take you try it out 🙂

  15. Hi Pamela, just read your article in The Age (Australia), led me to your blog. Travelling to Delhi on Mon. will definitely be trying out some of these places, thanks, very timely for me.

  16. Hi Pamela, Im from Australia too and had seen your blog prior to SMH article while researching our trip. My family are arriving next week and I am keen on experiencing the street food of Old Delhi but my wife is not so keen. How do I convince her that its ok and not prejudice my daughters thoughts??
    Regards

  17. Hi Grant – that’s a real toughie! If your wife and daughter just can’t face it, it will be difficult to persuade them. But perhaps you could get them to dip their toes in with some of the more accessible (and usually pretty safe) items. Things like aloo tikki – deep fried potato patties – which you see sizzling away everywhere; the roasted sweet potato (‘shakarkandi’); jalebis from the ‘Old and Famous’ Jalebi shop on Chandni Chowk and the lovely milky froth known as ‘Daulat ki Chaat’. These things are wonderful at this time of year and as safe as street food can be. Otherwise, all the usual rules apply – only go to places that have a good crowd and don’t eat food that’s been sitting around, don’t eat raw vegetables and keep the hand sanitiser handy. Let me know how you get on – have a great time.

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  19. Can one walk to all these places??? and how much time would it take to cover all these places??? And have u ever had Galoti Kebabs…does one get these kebabs here??? i have had them in Mumbai but they originally come from Lucknow…not far from delhi…let me knw…

  20. Shri – you can walk to all the places but probably a good idea to get a rickshaw to Ashok and Ashok as it’s a bit off the main drag

  21. Hi,
    Took off on the first Sunday of the month to the Chawri bazaar area. Engaged Rahul on the phone and met up with him in front of the Ashok Chaat Corner which, unfortunately, was closed being Sunday. So was Ghantewala. As Standard Sweets was nearby, enjoyed the puri there along with the sooji halwa. Very good.Then further down the kachoris, which I did not relish much. Rahul then took me to the Old and Famous Jalebiwala, whose stuff I had savoured many a time as a young college student in the early 1970s. Bought some Gulab Chiiki, as also Badam Chikki, from Kishanji. Rounded off the trip at a nice fruit kulfi joint recommended by Rahul over Kurmemal. Good stuff. Next time though I intend to visit the latter. As Rahul knew all the places recommended by you, it was a hastle free pilgrimage.

  22. Awesome list 🙂

    I am so happy to see all my fav eating spots listed out here. I have missed out Shyam sweets and Bade Mia..Will surely try them out soon..

    Thanks a ton !!

  23. The list has actually covered the whole of street food heaven in Delhi and it was so helpful since my college will be holding a street food festival very soon;we went food tasting through the roads of Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar, and we knew where exactly to stop! but there are lot of stops which must be added- Ghantewala, Old and Famous Jalebiwala, Bishan Swaroop and many more.
    We tried all the places listed here, But Bade Miya was a disappointment, for the kheer we had was stale.
    and Kuremal kufi is the most amazing kulfi on earth! it is like the kulfi paradise. While passing through Kinari Bazaar, we had Daulat Ki Chaat on our way, which was so good!!!
    There lies so much in Old Delhi, each time when you would go food hunting, you are sure to find something.

  24. Pingback: Indian Food Blogs « spargel&fraise

  25. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is
    rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  26. I usually do not leave a ton of responses, but I browsed some comments here A Round-Up
    of Delhis Best Street Food | eat and dust. I actually do
    have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Is it only me
    or do a few of these comments look like they are written by brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are posting on other sites, I would like to keep up with
    everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of your shared sites like your
    twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  27. I believe that Delhi has got some amazing foods today and people from all over the world come to Delhi to taste the best of foods available there. The post you wrote was really great in this context.

  28. Great list !! In Delhi for a week before Diwali this year, thanks I stumbled upon this list at the right time !!

  29. Kudos girl!!….I salute your zeal and passion that has gone into the making of this blog. I thoroughly enjoy reading them.! Old Delhi is love and nostalgia for me…as I was born in the walled city, blessed with foodies grandfather and father..who exposed me to these hidden jewels..it’s heart warming,to see these masters being recognized. Much gratitude to u..for bringing to fore all that spells the real Indian to the present generation… Keep up the gud work!!!!!

  30. Pingback: A Spot of Surgery and a Saveur Blog Award Finalist | eat and dust

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