If you are in Delhi and you haven’t been to the old city where the real charm lies. It gives out the pure aura of the country’s capital. The broad flyovers, zig-zag of metros, posh cars nothing quite beats the experience of picking out your two college friends and bravely venturing out into the traffic jungle of Chandni Chowk. This is where true North Indian cuisine rests, this is where a foodie finds nirvana!
If its the winters, you shouldn’t have to think twice before carrying your best stomach forward and facing what Chandni Chowk has to offer you but while during the dreaded summer months one really needs to prepare oneself and if your gastro-intestinal system is strong enough then go ahead!
First sight, once you get out of the metro station you will find yourself trapped between the ginormous population scurrying about, then you will fall head fast into meaningless traffic everywhere, don’t give up. Not yet. On your right walking towards the Sheesh Mahal Gurudwara, you will find a number of street vendors selling Delhi’s specials- Choley bhaturey, choley kulchey, samosas, kachodi, bread pakodas, mango shake, variety of mithai and what not!
Go ahead, pick up your favorite and snack, you wouldn’t want to miss this!
After letting your stomach growling subside, go to the Gurudwara, let go of all your worries, the pristine environment will soothe you. Soak your bare legs in water, bend down and let the Holy one bless you, while walking out be greeted with the lovely aroma of halwa made in pure ghee, take it, gulp it down, repeat- Vaheguru ji da khalsa, Vaheguru ji di fateh!
Continue with your walk now, keep your eyes open for the beautiful colorful doors the old buildings have. Admire them. Admire the Old city. Admire the country’s rich history. Admire how Mughal meets Punjabi.
In a short while you will find yourself making a left towards the infamous Parathewali galli, Delhi-6! This is where you are supposed to be! You will find yourself tangled around a mess of wires above and you will know you are in the right place!
Their parathas are exquisite! Unlike their counterparts found all over the country, these are quite different since they are deep fried and served with a number of subzis and chutneys! Order a tall glass of Lassi, helps with digestion! And now that you have had it all, why forget their rabdi- a sweet dish made of malai (cream). Forget the muffin tops, forget cholesterol, forget the workouts that will follow, just for this once, respect your affair with food. Respect all that is on your plate!
Old Delhi always manages to make me and my stomach smile. I never return disappointed, while the ambience surely gives you a backseat, but who cares?! Forget fine dining for once and simply enjoy food. There are other famous eateries too, Karims, is another one of my favorite and I shall go back there, soon, to satiate myself with their amazing non vegetarian food!
Have you been to Old Delhi yet?
Photography: Shourya Gupta, Ankush Bhandarkar, Mohana Ganguly