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. The following dishes are what represent Delhi and flavours associated with this region of India.
21 Traditional Foods to Eat 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, that 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 the richness of oil. The dish is garnished using coriander, green chili, and ginger shreds. It is available in Old Delhi. Nihari is served with rice or bread on the side.
Chaat is a savory food item that is an exquisite combination of sweet, salty, spicy, and tangy flavors. 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
The title of the 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 that comprises spicy chickpea (chole) in a semi-gravy form along with a deep-fried flour bread served with pickle, onion, and green chili.
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 originated in Delhi back in the 1950s in a 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 a major creation of the culinary world.
Jalebi is a spiral-shaped dessert that is made from a batter of all-purpose flour. It is a crispy, orange-colored desert that is fried in piping hot oil and then dipped in sugar syrup and served hot. This dish is accompanied by rabri and is drool-worthy for 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 that 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 winter.
Coming from the era of Nawabs, kebabs are a drool worthy snack that the Capital offers. Kebabs are mostly made of minced meat and are grilled over charcoal which gives it an authentic smokey taste. It is relished with mint sauce on the 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 kebab hoarders. Kebabs are a must-have when in Delhi.
Momo is the most loved dish that Delhiites hog on. Though it does not originate 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 that 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 as 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 that originated in Delhi since the 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 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 specialty 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 stuffed with a filling of chickpeas and pomegranates. This filling is topped with lemon juice and a mix of spicy to give it a tangy flavor. This dish is not a common dish and is available in Old Delhi. A 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 altogether. 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 crunchy layered snack with potato stuffing inside. It is served with semi-gravy spicy chickpeas and pickles on the side. This dish is topped with bright green chili 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 chicken lovers.
17. Soya Chaap
Soya Chaap is a vegetarian chicken. It is a product of soya bean milk and is savored by vegetarians. Soya chaap is a must-try dish for every vegetarian. This dish is available in every restaurant in the city but Wah ji Wah is a food joint that specializes 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 naan. This dish 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 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 to take out this delicacy when it is ready to be served. It is served with mint sauce and onion ringlets on the side are savored throughout the year by the locals and visitors.
19. Mohabbat Ka Sharbat
The vibrant thirst quencher serves perfect for beating the heat during summertime 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 favorite. If you haven’t had it on your visit to Delhi, you have missed 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 every Delhiite. This dish is a tickle for taste buds rendering tangy and sweet flavor. Gol Gappa is a widely-craved street food that 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-have dish for a true food lover.
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