Winter evenings are a great time to head to Old Delhi to eat.
The nip in the air ensures a healthy appetite and prepares you to try the wondrous street food available there. Unlike New Delhi where the streets get deserted on wintry nights, the tiny lanes of Old Delhi remained packed till late at night. The colour and buzz and liveliness around can make for a heady food trip.
Start your evening with a robust nihari at Kallu’s near Delite cinema. The spicy curry warms you up for the wintry evening ahead. The nihari gets over by 5.30 pm though so do hurry.
A mango kulfi at Doolichand Naresh Gupta near the Turkman Gate might be just the right thing to cool you off after the nihari.
You can’t come to Old Delhi and not have chaat. Head to Chawri Bazar and go to Ashok’s for the dahi chaat. Then walk down the lanes close by to Hiralal’s for the aloo chaat which will spoil you for all fast food chain French fries and potato wedges thereafter.
Next head to Bademiya for the fantastic rice pudding-like kheer that he cooks. This makes for a mellow taste experience that acts as a counterpoint to the spicy chaats.
Next look out for Moinuddin Qureshi who sets up a kabab stall by the streets along with his son. His beef seekh kababs are considered to be the juiciest around.
Leave the Chawri Bazar radius and move towards the Jama Masjid. Shift gears from beef seekhs at Moinuddin to butter cream chicken at either Anmol’s or Aslam’s for a most succulent experience.
Close to Anmol’s is the original branch of the legendary Karim’s. While some old Delhi veterans find it touristy, no trip to Old Delhi is complete without a stop at Karim’s. Go there for the mutton barra (grilled ribs) and the mutton korma.
End your night by going to the stall opposite Karim’s for a sinful shahi tukda with ice cream for a sweet finish to an evening of glorious eating.
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.