Delhi, besides being the Capital of India is also the heart and soul of the nation. This state truly justifies the statement “Unity in Diversity”. This place provides you with diversified cuisines from all over India and across the world. But certain local dishes form the true essence of this city. Following dishes are what represent Delhi and flavours associated with this region of India.
21 Local Dishes to Try When You’re in Delhi
Paratha is an Indian flatbread which is the staple food item to be consumed for breakfast. Paratha comes with various fillings like potato, cottage cheese, daal(mixed pulses), cauliflower, minced chicken or mutton which is also known as keema parantha. They are usually eaten with pickle, curd and mint sauce on the side and are served hot by adding a chunk of butter on top. This food item is available everywhere in the city and is a must try.
Nihari is a non-vegetarian dish, originated in the Mughal. It is a mutton based stew dish,cooked for 6-8 hours on slow flame. This dish is a combination of various spices and herbs with richness of oil. The dish is garnished using coriander, green chilli and ginger shreds. It is available in Old Delhi. Nihari is served with rice or bread on side.
Chaat is a savoury food item which is an exquisite combination of sweet, salty, spicy and tangy flavours. It is the most sought after street food served in the by lanes of Delhi and is available in every corner of the city. Chaat has a vast variety including Aaloo chaat, papdi chaat, palak patta chaat, gol-gappe, sev puri, bhel puri, aloo tikki. It is served by local vendors and the stalls are spread across the area. For a person who loves tangy and sweet food chaat in Delhi is not to be missed.
4. Chole Bhature
Title of National breakfast in Delhi could be given to Chole Bhature. Chole Bhature is the most loved breakfast meal which is consumed by Delhiites. This is a dish which comprises of spicy chickpea (chole) in a semi gravy form along with a deep fried flour bread served with pickle, onion and green chilli.
5. Rabri Faluda
Faluda Kulfi is an extremely relished dessert in the city. Rabri Faluda is a variant of this dessert. Giani’s Di Hatti located in Old Delhi can’t be thanked enough for creating this salivating dessert. This shop serves you with drooling Indian dessert, Rabri Faluda. Established in 1956 they serve you with the most amazing dessert which comprises crushed ice, faluda and scrumptious rabri served in a glass. It must be on your should have list.
6. Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken was originated in Delhi back in 1950’s in the restaurant named Moti Mahal. When the chicken lovers are out for dinner this mouth-watering dish is a must on the dinner table. If you haven’t had butter chicken in Delhi then you’ve missed on a major creation of culinary world.
Jalebi is a spiral shaped dessert which is made from a batter of all purpose flour. It is a crispy, orange coloured desert which is fried in piping hot oil and then is dipped in suger syrup and served hot. This dish is accompanied with rabri and is drool worthy for the dessert lovers. A must have delicacy when in the city. M
8. Daulat ki Chaat
You will find this delicacy being served by hawkers in the by lanes of Chandni Chowk market. Daulat ki chaat is a foam based dessert which has a texture even lighter than a mousse. It is prepared with churned milk and is covered with a layer of saffron. This is served only during winters.
Coming from the era of Nawabs, kebabs are a drool worthy snack which the Capital offers. Kebabs are mostly made of minced meat and are grilled over charcoal which given it an authentic smokey taste. It is relished with mint sauce on side. Kebabs have a wide variety which includes galauti kebab, seekh kebab, kakori kebab, kalmi kebab, toondey kebab, reshmi kebab and haryali kebab is an option available for vegetarians. Kebabs are available at every restaurant in the city. Jama Masjid in Old Delhi is the hub for kebabs hoarders. Kebabs are a must have when in Delhi.
Momo is the most loved dish which Delhiites hog on. Though it is not originated in Delhi but is widely loved by the locals. Momo is a type of dumpling coming from the North Eastern region of India. It is a whole wheat dumpling having a variety of stuffings including chicken, vegetables, cottage cheese, soya etc. Momo is usually served with a spicy chilli sauce on the side which acts as a taste booster. It can be steamed, fried, tandoori. Be it a kid or an elder person this dish is relished by one and all. Momos are available in almost every corner of the city from local vendors to posh restaurants. This dish is found on every menu and is a must have.
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11. Fire Paan
Paan is a mouth freshener which is usually consumed after a meal. It is prepared in a betel leaf and includes various other ingredients like cardamom, clove, coconut powder, fennel seeds, sweetened rose petals and various other ingredients which are good for digestion. Fire paan is a special kind of paan which is set on fire and then put in your mouth by the maker. It became famous by a Paan shop in Connaught Place. It is a quirky creation which is a must have. How cool would it be to have something which is set on fire!?
12. Sohan Halwa
Sohan Halwa is a traditional sweet originated in Delhi since Mughal Era. It consists of water, sugar, milk and cornflour and these ingredients are boiled together until the mixture becomes solid. A generous amount of ghee is added in order to prevent it from sticking to the pan Sohan halwa is shaped like a disc and is topped with pistachios, almonds and cashew nuts. It is sold in various sweet shops but the item is said to be a speciality in Chandni Chowk. It is prepared by a vintage confectionery shop named Chaina Ram which is located in Old Delhi and is a must try sweet.
13. Kulle ki Chaat
Kulle ki Chaat is a drooling twist to the usual fruit chaat. Fruits and vegetables are scooped and are stuffed with a filing of chickpeas and pomegranate. This filling is topped with lemon juice and a mix of spicy to give it a tangy flavour. This dish is not a common dish and is available in Old Delhi. Shop named Hira chaat corner in Chawri Bazar serves these cute little fruit cups and it is a must have.
14. Dahi Bhalla
Dahi Bhalla is a widely indulged street food by most locals. This tempting snack is available at all the sweet shops but having it from Natraj Dahi Bhalle is another experience all together. Located in the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk, Natraj serves the most amazing dahi bhallas ever. Established in 1940 this place serves only 2 things, Dahi Bhalla and Aaloo Tikki. Over these years they have served dahi bhalla which is quite literally the best in the city. When in Delhi having Dahi Bhalla from Natraj should be a priority.
15. Japani Samosa
Japani samosa is an artistic twist to the conventional samosa. It has a resemblance to the commonly eaten aloo patty. Japani samosa is a crispy, fried and a crunchy layered snack with potato stuffing inside. It is served with semi gravy spicy chick pea and pickle on the side. This dish is topped with bright green chilli and ginger shreds. This hidden gem is found in the heritage hub of Delhi, Chandni Chowk. Manohar Japani Samose wala is famous for creating this unusual dish. This snack is a must try
16. Chicken Shawarma
Chicken Shawarma is the Indian version of Lebanese rolls. This is a finger-licking finger food available for the epicures of non-vegetarian food. These mini rolls are prepared in toasted tortilla sheets and are stuffed with roasted minced chicken. Mayonnaise dip is served on the side along with vinegar soaked radish. This drooling dish is served at Al Bake restaurant which introduced the dish to the city. Shawarma is a delight for all the chicken lovers.
17. Soya Chaap
Soya Chaap is a vegetarian’s chicken. It is a product of soyabean milk and is savored by the vegetarians. Soya chaap is a must try dish for every vegetarian. This dish is available in every restaurant of the city but Wah ji Wah is a food joint which specialises in the preparation of Soya Chaap. It has a very vast variety like tandoori soya chaap, achari chaap, malai chaap, hariyali chaap for appetizers and has a variety of gravy chaap which is usually eaten with a naan. This dish definitely goes on the must try list.
18. Ganesh’s Fried Fish
Ganesh restaurant is one of the iconic restaurants located in Karol Bagh. It has been established for 68 years now. This restaurant is known for its mouth-watering crispy fried fish. Fish is fried in a gram flour batter with various spices making the fish flavoursome.
What makes this restaurant a must visit the place is the way the fish is fried. Mustard oil is used for frying the fish and the owner dips his hand in piping hot oil for taking out this delicacy when it is ready to be served. It is served with mint sauce and onion ringlets on the side are savoured throughout the year by the locals and visitors.
19. Mohabbat Ka Sharbat
The vibrant thirst quencher serves perfect for beating the heat during summer time in Delhi. Mohabbat ka sharbat is a refreshing drink made from roohafza, milk, watermelon and ice. This rejuvenating drink is found in the Jama Masjid lane and is worth a grab.
20. Aslam’s Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken at Aslam Chicken corner is not the conventional gravy butter chicken dish that is served. This place has given its own unique touch to the chicken. This butter chicken delicacy comprises of chicken tikka pieces drenched in a liberal amount of butter and cream and a spice mix is sprinkled over to make it palatable.
Aslam chicken corner is located in Jama Masjid lane and is legit every non-vegetarian’s favourite. If you haven’t had it on your visit to Delhi, you have missed on a major culinary creation.
21. Gol Gappa
Are you even a true foodie if You haven’t had the most loved street food ever?! Gol Gappa is the most sought after street food savored by each and every Delhiite. This dish is a tickle for taste buds rendering tangy and sweet flavour. Gol Gappa is a widely craved street food which is sold in every sweet shop of the city. Its sweet and sour taste makes it difficult for you to stop craving for more. It is a must must have dish for a true food lover.
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