Memos from Asia

100-Year-Old Street Food Eateries in Old Delhi, India

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Travel the world, and you will come across several restaurants that have been serving delicacies to loyal customers for decades.

These are institutions that have achieved somewhat of a cult status, be it for a particular dish they plate or their unique ambiance.

In Old Delhi, India, though, there are street food eateries that have stood the test of time for generations.

Ordinary in their appearance, they have now been satisfying customer cravings for more than 100 years.

Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan

A small cramped lane, Paranthe Wali Gali in Old Delhi, is known for its shops selling paranthas – Indian fried flatbread typically with stuffing.

It is here that you will find Pt. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan, a legendary shop established 1872, where food lovers from across the city come daily to have hot paranthas made in ghee.

The restaurant offers its patrons over 25 fillings in their paranthas, from potatoes and cottage cheese to okra, tomato, and carrot.

Surprisingly not too heavy on the tummy, the paranthas come with spicy potato curry and a couple of chutneys.

Karim’s

A mecca for non-vegetarians, Karim’s has been a primary foodie destination in the city ever since its inception in 1913.

The restaurant was started by Haji Karimuddin, the son of Mohammad Aziz who was a cook in the royal Mughal kitchen at the nearby Red Fort.

Therefore, some of the recipes at Karim’s are the same that at one time, emperors would eat.

Although the restaurant has expanded and you can find many outlets throughout the city, visit the one near Jama Masjid for an authentic experience.

Their burrah kebabs are delicious to the very core, but don’t miss out on the equally tasty nihari – meat cooked slowly in stock overnight.

Kuremal Mohan Lal Kulfi Wale

Visitors to Delhi with a sweet tooth should make a beeline to Kuremal Mohan Lal Kulfiwale, established in 1906, famous for their unique stuffed kulfis – Indian ice cream.

At Kuremal, the milk-based dessert receives a unique transformation as it is made using the pulp of seasonal fruits such as pomegranate, orange, mango, and apple.

Even more fascinating is that the mixture goes back in the hollowed-out fruit and frozen, opened again only when ordered by the customer.

As a result, the taste of the kulfi is unlike any other, making this establishment one of the most cherished culinary places to explore when in Delhi.

Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Jalebis are spiral-shaped, delicious deep-fried bites made using flour, and come dipped in over-sweet sugar syrup.

Crunchy on the outside with an oozing inside, jalebis are great as a snack and also go well with savory food like cholas – cooked chickpeas.

The best place to have a jalebi is at Old Famous Jalebi Wala, which has been in existence since 1884.

The jalebis here are made fresh, and you can also have it with rabri, a thick milk-based dessert with nuts.

Besides these incredible vintage street food eateries, make sure you roam around Old Delhi to discover plenty of other culinary hotspots that might not be very old, but offer amazingly tasty food like no place else.

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