Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Karim’s, dilli: how’s, why’s and where’s

Its mid – October or as dilli-wasi calls it, celebration time. And you thought only German’s love this time of the year? It’s that time of the year when winter starts knocking and suddenly streets are full of people roaming for their dose of parathe and lassi. The heat is off and the weather is pleasant (I know I am going to regret this statement come December but heck, better than getting the summer). The best thing about winter in northern India is the food that you can gorge without having to think about the heat ON THE ROAD. I have decided that weekends will be dedicated to eating at all such joints, which were a little tedious earlier because of the heat. This Sunday was dedicated to the mughlai cuisine by the descendants of the royal chef’s of the erstwhile Mughal empire, or so they claim to be.it was due for a really long time after my trip to ‘paranthe wali gali’ in January. Details HERE
Not for nothing has the Time Magazine and Lonely Planet listed karim's in the BEST restaurants of asia.details here and here, i would like to add that this place deserves every bit of praise.keep reading

So we take metro to chawari bazar (thank you mr Sreedharan, you are a SUPERMAN!) and the moment we get down a rickshaw guy shouts

“bhai kareems?” I see him and smile, my friend tells me its just walking distance.

And we start walking. Its Sunday so the regular shops are closed and the ‘footpath’ are taken over by ITA-lian saloon’s(its an inside joke), make shift chaat-walas and daily wagers enjoying their day of solace. When you start walking towards Jama masjid(that’s where karm’s is) there are a lot of card shops on both sides of the road, and the thing about shopkeepers in this area is they are sure that until they don’t ask each and every person if they want cards, may be they are going to cancel the wedding so shopkeepers keep shouting

“Bhai Saab cards? Kab hai shaadi?” I started laughing on his face and laughed so hard he thought may be our people don’t like cards in their weddings.

It was then that I saw the glimpse of the tomb, which I can recognize within a second, it was Jama masjid, images of the mosque flash into my head like a slideshow.

For the un-initiated, it’s the largest mosque in India and has history written all over it.

In case you need directions, ask anyone “bhaiya karim’s kidhar?” (prepare to be laughed at if you throw English in this area) people in the area are very sweet.do not go by their looks. When you find the ‘gali kabbaian’ (oh yes the whole gali is full of shops with kebab’s) take the first small left. That is the shop where country’s best ‘chicken tikka’ is served (let your nose guide you whenever in doubt)

I found a place to sit after some time because it was Sunday and crowded. Ordered my self chicken mughlai, chicken tikka and chicken seek kebab with rumali roti. Chicken biryani was FINISHED and I don’t eat mutton so didn’t try the elusive mutton dishes

A little word: the last time you ate chicken mughlai in that big-ass restaurant of yours, they ripped you off nicely. Don’t believe me? Try it at karim’s.

After 6 chicken seek kebab, half chicken tikka and half chicken mughlai (trust me 1 person cant eat full), I could barely walk. To say that the food is delicious would be an understatement so I am going to play it safe and let you guys find it out for yourself next time you are in dilli. For me it’s not over until I try out every item on that menu. Winter is here to stay and ITS ON.

That being said (how I love this phrase!), my next trip is going to be at Moti Mahal, daryaganj. What’s so special about this place you ask? Because these guys invented ‘Butter Chicken’. Yes the same dish, which your ‘multi-cuisine restaurant’ served you last time. Don’t, believe me?

Here, read about the discovery of butter chicken here

have you tried anything special in dilli?do share



  1. karims listed in LP & Time - wow that is quite something but of course not as much as your take on it :)

    my mouth was watering ...the sound of "mughlai" has that effect..

    you dont eat mutton? kyun bhai? taste ?

    "they are sweet, dont go by their looks" - liked that :)

  2. :) I am a veg however I am a foodie. I can imagine how you would have loved the food, yesterday I was thinking about Poori-Bhaaji that I used to eat at Anand in Bangalore :( so yeah, go on feast in winters :)

  3. Yes, thanks to Sreedharan Chawri Bazaar is closer home. I last went there twenty years ago with my dad for my wedding card..Purani Dilli is synonymous with finger licking food.




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