Delhi's romance with food goes long back. From the congested, cacophonous streets of Old Delhi to glamorous Connaught Place, the national capital offers a feast in every nook and cranny. Be it local or international, India's political center brings together the spices and flavors from all around. Each dish packs a punch and every morsel tells a rich tale of its origins. In a city so spoilt for choice, however, it is easy to get confused. But don't worry. We're disclosing the seven must-have dishes in Delhi, and better yet, where to have them.
Nothing typifies Delhi more than Chole Bhature. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, as an evening snack and even for dinner. The fluffy, flaky, puffy bhaturas melt in your mouth blessing you with a divine experience. Dip it into some chole and there is absolutely no turning back now. Although it is available at every other food stall in the city, very few get the chole right. But we're letting you in on our favourites, which are...
Where to go: Sita Ram Diwan Chand in Paharganj, and Chache Di Hatti in North Campus
Admit it, you knew Butter Chicken had to be on the list. A trip to Delhi always, always includes a plate of Butter Chicken. Quite possibly the most popular Indian dish, a delicious serving of butter chicken will have you sighing with joy. The magic, surprisingly though, isn't in the chicken--it's in the gravy where the deft richness of flavors create a perfect dish. Just like the chole, a chosen minority get the gravy spot on.
Where to go: Gulati at Pandara Road, and Rajinder Da Dhaba in Safdarjung Enclave
If you have lived in Maharashtra for as long as I have, momos are a thing of rarity. It's a challenge to find one, even one plate of decent momos. Enter Delhi (Read: Unravel Delhi's Love Affair With Momos). This Northeastern/Tibetan specialty is the national capital's crown jewel. Momos of so many varieties, sizes, and colours enamour the Delhi street food scene. The chilli chutney that accompanies the momos, if made right, can be the ultimate difference between a good plate of momos and a mouth-watering, finger-licking, irresistible plate.
Where to go: Almost everywhere in Humayunpur, Majnu Ka Tila, and at Aunty Ke Momos at Greater Kailash-I M Block market
Something so simple can sometimes be so difficult to perfect. You might have had aloo ke parathe or gobi ke parathe at home, but in Delhi, parathas are another ball game. It's near impossible to refuse a call of indulgence from a butter-dripping paratha.. Extremely filling, they are a perfect way to start your morning.
Where to go: Parathe Waali Gali in Chandni Chowk is not overrated, believe us
Chaat is like a highlight reel in the life of every Delhiite. As the evening strikes, chaat offers a time of discussions, gossiping, and relaxation. Whether it be papdi chaat, dahi bhalla, aloo tikki, aloo chat or gol gappe, Delhi isn't Delhi without its colourful chaat stalls. Usually topped with a combination of green chutney, yoghurt, and meethi chutney and masala, each dish still manages to have distinct flavours. Get ready to have a host of tingling sensations on your chaat adventures in Delhi.
Where to go: Try the gol gappe at Bengali Market near Connaught Place, and you'll find Mumbai-style sev puri and bhel puri at South Extension-II (next to the juice stall, opposite McDonalds and Midland Bookstore)
Daulat Ki Chaat
Ironically called chaat, this is anything but. Delhi winters can be chilly and a pain to deal with, but at least it brings with it Daulat Ki Chaat. As light as a cloud, this fruitful mixture of milk and cream is best when eaten from an earthen pot, which adds to its enriching foamy flavour. Like all good things though, this comes to an end at the close of winter. So think twice before trying it--you might not find it again.
Where to go: You'll find several vendors pushing Daulat ki Chaat carts in Old Delhi--both Daryaganj and Chandi Chowk
Even the briefest thoughts about kebabs makes me salivate. A highlight of Mughlai cuisine, kebabs is a meat-lover’s go-to. And with an appropriate mix of spices, it's hard to argue against it. If cooked well, the sumptuousness of the meat blended with an array of Indian spices creates an unique set of flavours. Delhi has elevated the kebab scene with different varieties like Shami Kebab, Galouti Kebab, and Lasoni Kebab coming to the fore. Learn the history of Kebabs in India and its nation-wide rise to prominence from Uttar Pradesh here.
Where to go: Karim's near Jama Masjid
Read more about Delhi street foods: 10 Most Popular Food Items That Rule Delhi's Street Food Scene