Old Delhi in India is foodies' haven. People come here to experience the rich flavours and aromas of food. Some of these food recipes are passed from one generation of chefs to another while some recipes even have a historical and Mughal lineage. A wide variety of meals, all catering to different palates can be easily found here. The gastronomic delights of Old Delhi must not be missed if you truly love good food. The good news is that Old Delhi is easily connected via metro, auto and cab services, so you can easily commute around and relish good food.
As soon as you enter the narrow alleys of the Old Delhi, you are greeted by the sound of azan (prayers from the mosque) that fill your heart as the air spells magical aromas of slowly-cooked gourmet food. Highly popular in Old Delhi, Aslam's Chicken is known for serving succulent and tender chicken, which is concocted with yoghurt and special spices to give that perfect taste. The chicken is then cooked with utmost care so that it retains its natural juicy flavours and also absorb spices. The butter chicken is served along with salad, yoghurt and naan or rumaali roti (Indian bread). This bread is equally popular as it is cooked in a tandoor (open oven) - which adds a crunchy as well as soft texture to the bread. This combo of butter chicken and naan is highly recommended if you happen to visit Old Delhi.
Also, you can enjoy Seekh Kebabs here. To make them, minced chicken is marinated with herbs and Indian spices, given a cylindrical shape and then skillfully roasted like a dream on traditional barbecues. Roasting skillfully is important not to overburn the meat, and also enable the right amount of smoky flavours to seep in. This is usually served with lip-smacking mint or coriander sauce or salsa.
Food connoisseurs will vouch for Nihari or Nahari, which is a lamb and meat stew, cooked slowly along with bone marrow over low flame for 6-8 hours. It is an absolute delight to devour this heavenly recipe which, according to legends, has Indo-Persian roots and was brought to Delhi by the Mughals. The word Nihari comes from the Arabic word 'Nahar', meaning 'morning'. According to legends, Nihari was eaten by the Mughals for breakfast due to its high-energy properties. Interestingly, Nihari is quite popular in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Old Delhi today, this delicacy is served hot with ginger juliennes, coriander leaves, and clarified butter.
The specialty about Old Delhi biryani (a mixture of rice with chicken/ meat and spices) is that it is prepared in huge cauldrons. Chefs from several generations have been involved in working at Old Delhi's kitchens, which makes these recipes more special, delicious and unique. Each strand of rice present in biryanis literally melts in the mouth, oozing out aromatic flavours when cooked with meat or chicken. Sometimes, fried onions and dry fruits are also sprinkled over during festive seasons.
Welcome to the shop that sells the most delicious fried chicken in Old Delhi. The chicken here is fried twice, first stir-fried and then deep-fried. Despite being fried twice, the chicken retains its juiciness and is far from greasy. Marination with spices adds brilliant taste to the chicken, which makes this dish quite addictive. In fact, this fried chicken is even better than what is sold at several big chicken outlets. The Old Delhi chicken is served with lemon and onion slices to add that extra zing to your meal. Food connoisseurs visit Old Delhi to experience the rustic feel of the fried chicken.
Visiting Old Delhi is no less than visiting history back in time, where everything from people to places, reminds one of a bygone era. Even the food and recipes are several centuries old but their flavours continue to entice people due to its rich taste. So what are you waiting for? Head to India and devour cuisines of Mughals for an experience of a lifetime.
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