Street Foods That Make New Delhi Worth Traveling For
As much Delhi is as popular like Mumbai among travelers for its history and culture, it is popular for food too. The capital city of India has some lick-smacking street food ready for everyone. And I understood this well during my 2 month backpacking trip in Europe. I traveled across 8 countries, a few dozen cities and an uncountable number of streets, but nowhere could I find street food – not even in Budapest – impressive as that of India’s. And in India, New Delhi in particular.
So I thought the first thing I’m going when I fly back to Delhi, is explore its street food culture, and find out, at least for myself, my city’s top street delicacies. And so I did. Wandering across its streets during hot summer days, I have created a list of street food that complete your visit to Delhi. These food have engrossed in the city culture so deep that they define Delhi:
An Indian swirl of sweetness, no trip to Delhi can be concluded without eating this legendary food. Legendary, because it’s one of those few things that unite India. Prepared by deep frying batter in coil shape and then dipping it in sweet syrup, Jalebi can show up in your plate, during national holidays, weddings, festivals, and even when there’s no occasion.
Where To Eat? Old Famous Jalebi Wala, Chandani Chowk
At Old Famous Jalebi Wala, you will find Jalebi in a rather unusual shape and taste. Unlike in most other places, that try to keep Jalebi thin and crisp (at least if speaking of Jalebi in Delhi), Old Famous Jalebi wala keep it remarkably thicker and loaded with sugar syrup. The Jalebis here are moreover fried in pure desi ghee for a better smell and better taste. And hey did I tell you that this shop has been around since 1884.
In Delhi, this is a food of survival. From young college students to young working class, Paranthas is a quick and cheap source of food. And with that, it qualifies as Delhi’s cultural food! Those who’re not familiar with Parantha… well, a Paranthas is a big sized Indian Naan Bread, shallow fried, having different vegetables (or cheeze) inside, as the filling.
Where To Eat? Paranthe Wali Gali
If you want best Parantha in the world, head straight to Paranthe Wali Gali (Parantha Street). With around 20 different shops, this is a Parantha lover’s paradise. The Paranthas served here is strictly vegetarian. With common stuffings like Potatoes, Onlions, Cheeze etc, here you can find one stuffed with a Banana, or even some Cashews.
Although kebabs didn’t originate in India, the sheer variety available, especially if you’re talking about New Delhi, make them one of Delhi’s must have food.
Where To Eat? Karim’s
Mohammed Aziz was a cook in the royal court of Mughal Emperor. One of his sons, Haji Karimuddin is known to have moved to Delhi with an idea to open a dhaba and that’s how Karim Hotel was established back in 1913. And since than this name requires no description. A well known restaurant located in the bustling Chandni Chowk, is synonymous with Mughlai cuisine and is regarded as “the city’s most famous culinary destination”.
If you already do not know, Dahi Bhalla is… ‘a sweet curd and a mix of sweet red and tangy green chutney on top of soaked dal vada’, and it tastes just as interesting as its translation sounds.
Where To Eat? Natraj Dahi Bhalla, Chandani Chowk.
Located near Bhai Mati Das Chowk at the turning to Chandni Chowk metro station. Natraj Dahi Bhalla was started way back in 1940 with only two items on the menu – dahi bhalla and aloo tikki. And till date they’re selling only two items – both excelling in taste.
Kachori With Sabji
“Food of corporate penny pickers” defines this thing in five words. And teary eyes and runny nose, define the symptoms. To understand what it is, imagine a deep fried Indian bread (plain), served with potato-curry.
Where To Eat? Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala
Started way back in 1971, Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala and has evolved – in terms of size and respect – ever since. Tuck into the crisp crusts, stuffed with a delicious surprise, one can try a variety of Kachoris including dal kachori, pyaaz kachori, matar kachori, dry fruit kachori and others.
And in the end… conclude with a cup of Chai.
I am Dev, a New Delhi, India, based travel blogger and photographer. Shortly after my first nine to five job, I left that lifestyle behind, and with that everything that didn’t fit in my backpack. It has been more than two years now since I’ve quit my job to travel, and during the process, I’ve learned that this world is too big and interesting to stay in once place.