Hidden culinary gems of Shahjehanabad (now called Old Delhi)
To begin with, I am writing more about Chandni Chowk and its surrounding areas than about Old Delhi in general. Attached is a map without which you will never find anything. You may need to take a printout and carry it with you as, without a map, you can easily get lost here. The road I’ve marked out is perpendicular to the Red Fort. It’s called Chandni Chowk. Start walking straight into it.
[Map: Somdeb Basu]
The best way to get here is to park your car in CP (Connaught Place) and take the metro to Chawri Bazaar. Once into Chawri Bazaar, take the gate towards Hauz Kazi. Once you are up on the street, you will see a clearing/intersection of roads. Go to the diagonally-opposite corner of the road, towards your right. You will find a tiny shop called ‘Ashok Chaat Bhandar’. You will see the red-coloured Times Food Guide certification on its wall.
Ask for a kalmi chaat and an urad daal chaat. They use a kachalu chutney which is totally different, and simply awesome. Avoid the paani puris. Then take a rickshaw to the jalebi waala store in Chandni Chowk. Have jalebis there and start walking towards the parathe wali gali. You will find Ghantewaala sweets on your left. They have fantastic kalakand and are also known for sohan halwa. I prefer the sohan tikki over the sohan halwa. The sohan papdi is also good.
[Photo credit: Christian Haugen, India in Images]
This gali is over-hyped and they deep fry the paranthas!!!! Only two paranthas that stand out are rabri parantha and papad ka parantha. Then start walking in as directed by the arrows (walk into paranthe wali gali, turn right, turn left – you can stop for an aloo tikki chaat; on your left you’ll hit a T-point; turn right and keep walking – you will find the shop to your left) till you reach a kachori wala on your left. You will be constantly jostling with people, stray dogs, cycles, thelas and motor bikes; but you’ll put with all this as the kachoris are too good.
Walk out of the gali. Turn left and walk towards Town Hall. Once you reach the Town Hall clearing, there will be a shop on the 1st floor to your right. You will have to take a narrow staircase beside a Kotak Mahindra Bank ATM. Once upstairs, you can get some good paranthas and sabzees. You will have to buy the food by waiting in a line!!!!!
shyamala ramanan says ... "yum yum........brings back fond memories of exploring chandini chowk with sid and brown as MTs in Bata :)"
KETAN says ... "You missed the Gali Batasha, the sugar trading mandi - known to be the biggest in Asia at one point and now losing its eminence"
VIVEK SAXENA says ... "Why are are pointing out all these SWADIST foods. I am already 90kg, do you want to make me 100kg."
Mintu Roy says ... "reminding me the test of Sardar\'s Jilebi, Sadar Bazar, GGN... Katodin je khaini bhai....Garam Garam jilebi... so good...."
Dr Anudeep Singh says ... "wow, yummy"
Nisha says ... "@Somdeb, Thank you for your comment and perspective on the same. Glad to see that you added historical part to it. I am still pondering over the topic. :)"