Walking past the facades of crumbling houses in the Chandni Chowk has been one of my favourite pastimes since the time I have been staying in Delhi. Reason? The bustling bazaars that catch your attention and the aromatic cuisine that beckons you. This place is thronged by a number of namkeenwallahs (snack-sellers), halwais (sweet-sellers) and paranthewallahs who inspire you to discover their culinary secrets to success. Therefore, the variety of street food scattered through the narrow lanes of this area cannot be given a miss.
Give yourself a parantha treat
Relishing the deep fried paranthas served with pickle, chutney and aloo subzi is a must to do thing on the rain-drenched days. Here, you can enjoy your stuffed parantha meals in various varieties comprising matar (peas), gobhi (cauliflower), bhindi (lady’s finger), mirch (chilli). Also, there are additional flavours of carrot, radish, cashew, almond, mixed and fenugreek.
For your snack love
Another local favourite, which you will love is the chaat with variants including aloo, papdi and fruit chaat. Apart from that, savouries like Gol Gappe, Kachoris, Samosas, Pao Bhaji, Aloo Tikki and Dahi Bhallas make you keep coming here for more. Wondering how they taste? Well, I would not be able to tell you as you will have to taste it yourself and judge for it gives you a pure blissful experience.
For those who love meat
Being a self-confessed vegetarian, I have not really tried the non-vegetarian delicacies but ask any food lover who wants to try out something new without restricting his or her choices, and you would not be surprised to hear the same. My friend who hails from Rajasthan, goes gaga over every lip-smacking dish she tries out in this old locality of the capital. Be it the fried chicken, aromatic kebabs or the fresh fish, you may savour any of them with delicate rumali rotis (paper-thin bread) available at throwaway prices.
The most popular non-vegetarian delights offered in the area are Nihari, Paaya, Reshmi Kabab, Butter Chicken, Shammi Kabab, Mutton Korma, Tandoori Chicken, Murgh Musallam and Shahjahani Korma around the Jama Masjid area. Of course, who can forget the flavour and smell of the butter chicken, cooked in red tomato gravy making it creamy enough to melt in your mouth.
For your sweet tooth
After a hearty, spicy meal, you can treat your sweet tooth with the delicious desserts present in varieties galore. A rich and scrumptious Rabri Faluda is always on my wish list whenever I happen to visit this place during my leisure time. You will surely be compelled to eat, indulge and repeat after enjoying the sinful kulfi in varieties of kesar, kewra, rose, pista, mango, banana or pomegranate.
A plate full of hot jalebis made from pure desi ghee, is equally refreshing. Talking of sweets, there are a lot more places to explore in this area, said to be ages old. Try out the Sohan Halwa and the Badam Burfi that are heaven on earth and a startling discovery, khurchan, which is the leftover scrap made with milk that kept on boiling seems to be created in oblivion.