At the advent of the holy period of Ramadan, Delhi gears up with its culinary weapons to defend its pious lot. This is the time when the diversities in India, and the tourists arriving on flights, are united with the universal love for food.
Delhi teems with the believers and followers of Islam, and Ramadan brings out the best of their cuisines, most of which date to the Mughal era. Tourists who book tickets aboard flights to Delhi at this time of the year are overwhelmed at the extensive array of culinary delights that line the markets in some of the most prominent locations within the city. However, as Ramadan is all about fasting, it is best to savour the lip-smacking fare either at the time of the evening meals (Iftar) or in some private place. Delhi is one place where one can get bewitched at the soulful renditions of the ‘qawalls’ (singers of Sufi music) while gorging on a steamy bowl of ‘haleem’ (a thick and flavoursome mutton/beef stew).
The bustling streets of Old Delhi, or ‘Puraani Dilli’ as it is better known locally, bask in the glory of the festival and come alive with a plethora of delicacies which are quintessential to Ramadan. There are innumerous stalls and outlets that serve the most succulent kebabs, aromatic stews and curries and the most coveted dish of all times, the Biryani. The area around Jama Masjid is one spot that is most frequented by the tourists who come here to feast on the lavish spreads that are laid out for the ‘iftar’.
Located in central Delhi, this restaurant is a favoured spot for many who follow the fasting rituals during Ramadan. Tourists who book flights tickets to Delhi to explore the distinct cuisines of India can visit this place for some mouth-watering haleem, nihari (mutton/beef cooked in a spicy curry) and the coveted Indian desert, ‘firni’ (a sweet and flavoured dish made with milk and rice). Besides the luscious food, guests can experience the warm hospitality of the owner of the restaurant who takes pride in dishing out the ‘iftar’ specialities to one and all.
Haaji Noora Restaurant
The Haaji Noora Restaurant, located in north Delhi, serves a scrumptious spread of the most exotic dishes during the period of Ramadan. For gourmands, the culinary sojourn to experience here is worth more than the money spent on flights to Delhi. The seemingly unkempt and drab setting of the place fails to deter the zeal of the food lovers waiting patiently for a plate of the aromatic and heavenly ‘nihari’. The place also conforms to the timings of the ‘suhoor’ and ‘iftar’, thereby drawing a large crowd at the break of dawn and the advent of dusk.
The lack of embellishments in this famous restaurant is fulfilled by its elaborate and exquisite menu. Al Jawahar, near Jama Masjid, is the best place to go for the ‘iftar’ if one wants to break the fast with steaming bowls of Chicken Changezi and Chicken Jahangiri. The restaurant also takes pride in its delectable range of kebabs, brain curry and Biryani.
Most foodies who book tickets to arrive in India during Ramadan agree that the festive spirit and the culinary indulgences that surround it are best enjoyed in the streets of the quintessentially Indian city of Delhi.