One of our most popular trails is the food walk in old Delhi. We decided to give everyone a refreshing start with old Delhi’s special-Kulfi! The fruit flavoured kuflis and later the stuffed one’s- matka, malai, pomegranate, apple, mango- there wasn’t a dearth of choice and we tasted all one by one. From a sweet beginning to something spicy – we turned our heads from Sitaram Bazaar to Kulle wala in Chawri Bazaar. It took us 15 mins. to cover a small distance of 300 meters, due to the usual market chaos! But all of it was worth it once everyone savored the stuffed kulle of tomato, potato, pineapple and apple filled with pomegranate, peas and a spicy filling! From mirchi to something cooler we moved a few galis ahead to find a secret passage leading to Jain Coffee House. There was unending variety of sandwiches coupled with shakes. We tried mango, paneer, chikoo, apple, pomegranate layered with butter and home-made jam. Most of us tried the brain freezing cold coffee and a few were takers for chai. This was only half way through the walk and we already felt full to our necks! And the iftaar specials were yet to start!
We made a quick visit to Jama Masjid. It was month of Ramadan and the people have flocked in from far and wide to pray here. The Jama Masjid is a spectacular monument and Ramadan festivities lends it colour. We all went around the wazu tank and inside the prayer hall to find a mesmerizing elaborate structure built of marble and red stone. In the courtyard people were preparing fruit-chaat and plates filled with dates to distribute at the time of Iftaar! Time was short and we all moved to Matia Mahal to savor the local flavours of Iftaar for which we had specially organised this walk. About a 100 mts from Gate no. 1 of Jama Masjid is ‘Haji Mohd Hussain’s shop famous for its fried chicken. We started with beef based ‘keema golis’ – an iftaar special… these are spicy keema stuffed balls best combined with onion and green chutney. Post the super spicy golis everyone longed for ‘thanda’ so we ordered some cold drinks along with our main course meal-fried chicken. The chicken was tender and very delicious.
After eating all this everyone thought it would be time to bid adieu. But, we don’t leave anyone without a sweet note so, all went moved towards Jama Masjid and stopped at Kallan Sweets-owned by a dear friend Naved, we were welcomed with meetha samosa filled with khoya, coconut and dipped in sweet chashni. something similar to Gujiya we eat around Holi. Last but not the least, we tasted yummy paneer jalebis! Time to close the day came with two fire shots in the air: the call of prayer and signal to break the fast. The streets were empty as everyone had gone back home for Iftaar. It was the right time for us too to leave the streets behind and head back home with sweet and spicy memories of the day!
(posted by Chhavi Sharma, team member, Delhi Heritage Walks)