Well, the rich, colourful and artistic capital is also called Delhi Belly, ever wondered why? That’s because one thing that’s common in all the Delhiites is their love for food. Delhi’s food culture is a mix of different traditions and cultures from the past, that’s why there’s no set cuisine for the city. It’s more of a mix of lavish Mughlai courses, the tangy Chaat, spicy Punjabi delicacies and what not. As people from different places came and settled in, the city acquired the identity of all the types of people living in it.
All the rulers and emperors have left the taste of their food behind. The most famous being the Mughlai cuisines from the Mughal era. Mughlai cuisines were preferred by the royal Mughal Emperors. The Mughlai cuisines are cooked in all parts of the country but the best cuisines are prepared in Delhi. The Delhiites will always be thankful to the Mughals for leaving behind their food recipes.
The Kebabs, one of the most famous Mughlai cuisines are preferred by a majority of people today. Originally, an Iranian dish, the kebabs found place in the Middle East, South Asian and Turkish kitchens. Interestingly, according to Arabic traditions, the medieval Persian soldiers invented the kebabs by grilling meat over open-field fires, using their swords. Another Mughlai cuisine, Nihari, which was prepared in the royal kitchens of the Mughals for breakfast is now a popular dish among the people of all the classes.
The well-known Kulfi also originated in the Mughal kitchens. Ghantewala in Chandni Chowk was founded in 1790 and have served many of the Mughal Emperors. It is run by its fifth generation today and is famous for its Sohan halwa and Karachi halwa.
Other than the Mughlai cuisines, there are other finger-licking foods which make the Delhiites fall in love with the city again and again.
Butter Chicken is one of the most delightful dishes in the country. It originated in the 1950s in Moti Mahal Restaurant in Delhi. The restaurant was originally known for its tandoori chicken. The cooks there accidentally tossed the sauce consisting of butter, tomato and chicken juices with tandoori chicken pieces which led to the creation of this amazing dish. Today, butter chicken is found in almost all the restaurants and dhabas.
Paranthas, an important part of the traditional Indian breakfast varies from plain paranthas to stuffed paranthas with potatoes, cauliflower, eggs, radish etc. The paranthe wali Gali in Chandni Chowk is lined up with shops which sell the best paranthas of the city.
Chaat is the term used to describe street foods. Delhi serves us with a variety of street foods and Chandni Chowk is known as the Street Food Capital of Delhi. The narrow streets of Old Delhi are very famous for its chaats. The shops in these areas have been there since ages. Nothing can beat the kind of chaat they serve.
Old Famous Jalebi Wala has been around since 1884. The founder of this shop is known to have experimented with many recipes before deciding on the final one. The jalebis served here is different and special.
Momos, a popular snack in Delhi, made their way into the city all the way from Tibet. Moving beyond the original steamed and fried variations, people in Delhi have added a north Indian twist to this Tibetan delight. Various stops in Delhi these days serve Tandoori momos which are marinated & tandoor grilled.
Sometimes Delhi’s love for food moves beyond the names of places you enjoy them at. These popular dishes in Delhi are a fine example of the same. From unknown stalls to five-star hotels, these Delhi delicacies are served everywhere. Delhi’s food culture is a mixture of its past, different cultures and traditions. Also, Delhi today has come to embrace the best of the international cuisines. So, there is no trouble in finding Italian, Chinese, Thai and American restaurants.
Thus, this city is aptly called “Delhi Belly”!