Dilli 6: A hub of food, culture and history

Old Delhi is a walled part of New Delhi, founded by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 and originally named Shahjahanabad. It remained the capital of the Mughals until the end of the Mughal dynasty and was later rechristened Old Delhi by the British. It offers spectacular pieces of architecture, mouth-watering variety of food and living, breathing piece of history.

Food forms an extremely important part of Dilli 6 (popularly used because of its pin code), and it attracts a large number of people from different parts of the world for its delicious kebabs, parathas and lots more. The heavenly aroma of food literally liberates the taste buds here. Acclaimed by national and international food guides, the food will never fail to tempt you. The cuisine is generally dominated by meat and also offers hot parathas, chaats and sweets. The famous Paranthe Wali Gali is a narrow street located in Chandni Chowk and has a series of shops offering parathas, a fried Indian bread which is stuffed with fillings and served with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, pickles and curries. Over 30 variety of parathas are available. The Ghantewala Halwai is one of the oldest sweet shops in India, founded in the year 1790. It is famous for its sohan halwa and karachi halwa along with badam barfi, pista samosa and motichoor laddoo.

Old Delhi is also known by its extravagant Mughal architecture, with plenty of grand mosques and buildings. The Red Fort is named for its massive walls of red sandstone and its proximity to the Salimgarh Fort. It was a political and ceremonial center for the Mughals. Constructed in 1648 by Shah Jahan, the architecture reflects the fusion of Persian and Timurid traditions, along with a huge beautiful garden. It was designated a UNESCO World heritage site in 2007. The Red Fort has an area of 254.67 acres enclosed by defensive walls. The marble, floral decorations and double domes in the forts buildings exemplify later Mughal architecture. Located in Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. The mosque is built on red sandstone porch which is about 30 feet from ground level. The courtyard can accommodate 25,000 people. The Red Fort stands opposite to Jama Masjid. The floor is covered with white and black ornamented marble to look like a Muslim prayer mat. Beside it, a thin black border is marked for worshipers.

Moreover, old Delhi has its own charm and if one comes here, one experiences a whole different vibe from the otherwise fast paced city life. People are busy but also a little laid back, one can take the time to explore new unexplored streets and find something wonderful, hidden away from the naked eye. It is also one of those places where photographers come very frequently, due to the streets being so colorful and vibrant at all times.

Chandni Chowk Area

When you are in Old Delhi, you just can't miss the food there. The streets buzz with activity and are filled with the aroma of food. For the connoisseurs, there are restaurants like Karim's. For the food historians, there's a chance to taste Butter Chicken at Moti Mahal.

Street Food

Chandni Chowk, often called the food capital of India, is famous for its street food. The variety consists of snacks, especially chaat. If you wish to enjoy it, shed your high-brow attitude to soak in the flavours and delicacies. Come on, everybody... Yes, it's a kind of celebration in congregation. Chandni Chowk resembles a fair everyday. The streets are lined with halwais (sweet-sellers),namkeenwallahs (sellers of savouries) and paranthewallahs (sellers of rich, flaky breads soaked in ghee).A good idea would be to start with the Paranthewali Gali. It became a famous gourmet locality when the parantha shops moved here in the 1870s. This lane has been the haunt of many celebrities of India. In the years after Independence, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and his family members - Indira Gandhi and Vijaylaxmi Pandit - came here to take their parantha meals. Jayaprakash Narayan and Atal Behari Vajpayee were also among the regular visitors.

Though the number of shops in this lane has reduced - one wonders if their owners are more interested in McDonald's franchises - there still are a few left from the good old days. Perhaps the oldest among these is Pt Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan, established in 1872. Others include Pandit Devi Dayal's (1886) and Kanhaiya Lal Durga Prasad's Parantha Shop (1875). The paranthas are fried in pure ghee in cast-iron pans. They are served with Mint Chutney, Banana - Tamarind Chutney, vegetable pickle and Aloo Subzi. Half a century back, you could get only a few varieties - Aloo Parantha, Gobhi Parantha and Matar Parantha, stuffed with potato, cauliflower and peas respectively. While these continue to be the most popular, there are several new variants. These include lentils, fenugreek, radish, papad, carrot and mixed. Besides, there are paranthas which cost slightly more and include those stuffed with paneer, mint, lemon, chilly, dry fruits, cashew, raisins, almond, rabdi, khurchan, banana, karela, lady's finger and tomato.

The real flavour of the Delhi street food lies in the chaat. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread,Dahi Bhalla, gram and tangy-salty spices. The mixture is garnished with sour home-made Indian chilly and saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yoghurt. However, there are several other popular variants now, including the one with an Aloo Tikki. Let us explore a few of the chaat shops. Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar (1462, Chandni Chowk; Noon to 10pm) is perhaps the best and most popular chaatwallah in Chandni Chowk. We particularly recommend thePapdi Chaat with its liberal inclusion of Kachaalu Chutney, Khasta Papdis and saunth. Bishan Swaroop (1421, Chandni Chowk; 10am to 10pm) is one of those gems tucked away in the chaotic by-lanes of Chandni Chowk which keep alive the magic of another time, another taste.

Since 1923, this tiny little stall has dished out just three items: awesome Aloo Chaat, fabulous Aloo ke Kulle and mouth-watering Fruit Chaat.You cannot afford to give a miss to the authentic chaat at Lala Babu Chaat Bhandar (77, Chandni Chowk, Near McDonald's; 11am to 10pm). Glorious Gol Gappe served with a type of Jal Jeera that's packed with harad (a digestive), kachoris stuffed with potato and peas, Gobhi-Matar Samosas, Dahi Bhalla and Matar Paneer Tikki are the fastest-selling items here. Jugal Kishor Ramji Lal (23, Dujana House, Chawri Bazaar, Chandni Chowk; 10.30am to 10pm) is best known for the Fruit Chaat that has become a quintessential part of the sounds and sights of Chandni Chowk. Though they do offer a version of Pao Bhaji and Aloo Tikki, it's the Fruit Chaat that is the winner here. Dahi Bhalla need not always be a part of chaat; it can be served as a principal dish as you will find at Natraj Dahi Bhalla. The delicacy called Dahi Bhalla is a deep-fried urad dal dumpling smothered in whipped curd. Often, it is streaked with chocolatebrown laces of sweet-sour tamarind chutney. Pink pomegranate seeds glisten in the folds of the curd. Natraj is located near Bhai Mati Das Chowk at the turning to Chandni Chowk metro station.

Kachori, usually stuffed with pulses and served with potato curry, is another delicacy that makes your mouth water. Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala (1104, Chhatta Madan Gopal, Chandni Chowk; 10.30am to 8pm) is perhaps the most famous for its Urad Dal Kachori, which is served with Aloo Subzi. This place is surely worth the adventure.

On the sweeter side, Rabdi Faluda is a must. And the place to have it is Giani di Hatti near the Fatehpuri Mosque. It has now become an ice-cream parlour specializing in exotic flavours like Litchi and Bubblegum. Apart from standard ice creams, they also serve milkshakes, fruit shakes, ice-cream shakes and sundaes. If you are interested in kulfi - a flavoured frozen dessert made of milk - venture towards the Ajmeri Gate. The popular name here is Siya Ram Nannumal Kulfiwale (629, Gali Lodan, Ajmeri Gate; 7am to 4pm). What you get here is kulfi as kulfi should be - sinful, scrumptious and oh-so-splendid! Order any flavour - Kesar, Pista, Rose, Kewra, Banana, Mango, or Pomegranate. Or better still, order one of each.... Indulge!

Coming back to Chandni Chowk, you meet the Old and Famous Jalebiwala just before you enter Dariba Kalan. Refresh yourself with a delicious plate of hot jalebis - a sweet made by deepfrying batter in a kind of pretzel shape and then soaked in syrup. Also, don't miss the Jama Masjid area that buzzes with activity. The aroma of food wafts to your nose from the Urdu Bazaar facing Gate No. 1 of the Masjid and a side street called Matia Mahal. The smell of fresh fish, aromatic kebabs and fried chicken is in the air. Vendors sell kebabs and tikkas (made of buffalo meat) wrapped in rumali roti (paper-thin bread) at throwaway prices. The Mutton Burrahs here are easily the best in the city. They are practically the only place to serve Nihari and Paaya, which are all sold out by 8.30am Other unmissables are Stew, Mutton Korma, Shammi Kabab and Shahjahani Korma.

Ghantewala at Chandni Chowk is more than 200 years old. The sweets here are prepared in pure desi ghee. Highly recommended are the Sohan Halwa Papdi, Pista Samosa and Badam Burfi - truly sinful pieces of heaven on earth.

Delhi's only tea boutique worth its name, this place bursts with atmosphere. Midway between New and Old Delhi, tourists in the know and locals in search of that magical cuppa beat a retreat to this store-cum-drawing room. Even if tea is not your thing, you can pick up gifts for friends. Even though it has distinctly frayed at the edges, the restaurant offers the cuisine it truly pioneered in the city - Dal Makhni, Butter Chicken, Reshmi Kabab, Murgh Musallam. After all these years, the Tandoori Chicken is still succulent. Chor Bizarre is one of the few restaurants to serve Kashmiri food and attempts to replicate a 'thieves market' in its decor. Specially recommended for non-vegetarians is the Tabak Maaz. Also good are the Yakhni, Rishta and Goshtaba, besides the wonderful greens - Haaq.


Butter Chicken originated at the Moti Mahal, Darya Ganj in the 1950s. The restaurant was famous for its Tandoori Chicken. The cooks there would recycle the chicken juices that were left over by adding butter and tomato. Once, be it by chance or by design, this sauce was tossed around with pieces of Tandoori Chicken. And the rest is history. Butter Chicken was born and soon set tongues drooling the world over. Butter Chicken is creamy with thick, red tomato gravy. It tastes slightly sweet. The sauce percolates into the chicken pieces, making them soft and juicy. This melt-in-mouth dish tastes best with tandoori roti or naan.

Historic Paranthe Wali Gali Chandni Chowk Delhi - Delightful Paranthas

26 Spot Introduction: Paranthe Wali Gali Chandni Chowk

Situated in the historic Chandni Chowk region of New Delhi, the Paranthe wali gali as the name proposes is eminent for the tremendous number of shops offering paratha that is a fried Indian bread. Note that the parathas are entirely vegetarian! The parathas are extremely budget friendly and you can eat to your taste buds content!

The most effective method to reach Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandani Chowk, Old Delhi

To reach Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandani Chowk you can take New Delhi Metro (Yellow Line: Jehangirpuri-Huda City Gurgaon). Chandni Chowk is the closest Metro Station to Paranthe Wali Gali. All shops stay open from 9 am to 11 pm. On the other hand, few of them doesn't acknowledge new requests after 10 pm.

Paranthe Wali Gali Menu

On the off chance that you are pondering what to eat at Paranthe Wali Gali. Quit thinking any longer, Paranthe Wali Gali is a gastronomical involvement in the by-path of Chandni Chowk. The Paranthas served here is entirely veggie lover. Shops at Paranthe Wali Gali serve Paranthas loaded down with fillings like Chilies, Lemons, Kajus, Badams, Matar, Khoya, Rabri, Bitter gourds, Lady fingers, Radishes, Carrots, Cauliflowers, Paneer, Aaloo, and so on.

Food and lots of food. People. Culture.

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Looking for Best Street Food Places in Old Delhi? The Wait is over

“Panj Tara***** – Zaika Purani Dilli ki ” is coming soon to Kolkata

Old Delhi is a treasure trove of India and a muse for millions across the globe. The Walled City is particularly famous for its street-food scene that attracts food lovers from around the world. And within the confusing lanes of this food paradise are shops and vendors that have been around for more than a decade. For foodies who want to go on a pilgrimage in search of street food in Old Delhi, here’s a list of street food places in Delhi you must try: “Panj Tara***** – Zaika Purani Dilli ki