With its rich history and culture, Delhi is arguably one of the oldest and most fascinating cities in the country. As a result, the capital's food scene is bursting with some of the finest dishes in India. A visit to Delhi is incomplete without exploring the city's vibrant street food culture. If you are unsure of what to eat in Delhi, fret not, as we have the ultimate food guide to help you navigate the capital's street food scene.
Delhi, the bustling capital city of India, is renowned for its vibrant culture, historical landmarks, and mouth-watering street food. The city is a melting pot of diverse cultures and cuisines, and its street food scene offers a glimpse into the city's rich culinary heritage. From savoury snacks to sweet treats, Delhi's street food is a food lover's paradise. In this article, we will explore some of the classic street foods that you must try during your visit to Delhi. Whether you're a foodie or just looking to explore the local cuisine, these dishes are sure to tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
1. Matar Kulcha
Matar Kulcha is a popular street food in Delhi that is loved by locals and visitors alike. This dish consists of a flavorful and spicy matar (peas) curry served with soft and fluffy kulchas (leavened bread). The dish is usually accompanied by a tangy and spicy chutney made with tamarind and mint.
Matar Kulcha is commonly found in food carts and stalls across Delhi, especially in areas like Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, and Karol Bagh. It is a popular breakfast and lunch option, and many locals swear by it as a hangover cure.
The matar curry is made with a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala, and is cooked with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies to give it a rich and robust flavour. The kulchas are made with a mixture of flour, yeast, salt, and sugar, and are cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) to give them a smoky flavour and a soft texture.
2. Ram Laddoo
Ram Laddoo is a popular street food snack that can be found across Delhi, particularly in the northern parts of the city. These crispy, deep-fried lentil balls are a favourite among locals and visitors alike and are often served with a variety of tangy and spicy chutneys.
To make Ram Laddoo, yellow moong dal or chana dal is soaked overnight and then ground into a coarse paste. The paste is then seasoned with spices like red chilli powder, cumin seeds, and salt, and shaped into small balls. These balls are then deep-fried until golden and crispy, giving them a crunchy texture on the outside and a soft, fluffy interior.
Ram Laddoo is typically served with grated radish, chopped onions, and a generous drizzle of green chutney made with mint, coriander, and lemon juice. Some vendors also offer a tangy tamarind chutney and a spicy garlic chutney to add even more flavour to this beloved snack.
3. Daulat ki Chaat
Daulat ki Chaat, also known as Malai Makkhan, is a popular and unique street food of Delhi that is as light as a feather and as creamy as silk. It is a seasonal delicacy that is traditionally served during winters, especially during the festival of Diwali.
This exquisite dessert is made by churning a mixture of milk and cream under the open sky at night when the dew is at its highest. The mixture is then left to cool and set until it attains a fluffy, cloud-like texture. It is then garnished with saffron, pistachios, and silver varq before being served. The process of making Daulat ki Chaat is an art that has been passed down from generation to generation by the skilled vendors of Old Delhi. They have mastered the technique of churning the mixture in the right consistency, at the right temperature, and at the right time to create this delectable treat.
The taste of Daulat ki Chaat is unique and hard to describe. It is light and airy, with a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. The saffron adds a hint of sweetness, while the pistachios add a nutty flavour that complements the dish perfectly. The silver varq on top adds a touch of elegance and makes it a visual treat as well.
Shakarkandi, also known as sweet potato, is a popular street food in Delhi that has been enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for generations. This delicious snack is made by roasting sweet potatoes over hot coals, which gives them a smoky flavour and a crispy texture on the outside while remaining soft and juicy on the inside.
The popularity of shakarkandi in Delhi is due in part to its health benefits. Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious and satisfying snack. In addition, the dish is low in fat and calories, making it an excellent choice for health-conscious eaters.
Shakarkandi is typically enjoyed during the winter months in Delhi, as the warm and smoky flavour of the roasted sweet potatoes provides comfort and warmth during the chilly weather. It is a must-try street food for anyone visiting Delhi, offering a unique and delicious taste of the city's culinary traditions.
5. Soya Chaap
Soya chaap is a popular vegetarian street food in Delhi that has gained a massive following among locals and tourists alike. It is a protein-packed dish that is made from soybean chunks, which are marinated in a spicy mixture of yoghurt, ginger, garlic, and various Indian spices. The soybean chunks are then grilled to perfection, giving them a smoky and delicious flavour that is hard to resist.
Soya chaap is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. It is often eaten on its own as a snack or paired with other dishes like biryani or naan bread for a more filling meal. Some street vendors even serve soya chaap in a rich and creamy gravy, making it an excellent option for vegetarians who want a flavorful and satisfying meal.
Soya chaap is not only tasty but also a healthy option for those who are looking to add more plant-based proteins to their diet. It is a popular dish among fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals who want to indulge in street food without compromising on their health goals.
6. Chole Bhature
Chole Bhature is a quintessential street food of Delhi that has become a household name across the country. This popular dish consists of fluffy, deep-fried bread called bhature served with a spicy chickpea curry known as chole. It is often served with pickle, onion slices, and a tangy tamarind chutney that complements the dish perfectly.
The origins of chole bhature can be traced back to the Punjabi community in Delhi, who brought the recipe to the city many years ago. Today, it has become a ubiquitous street food that can be found in almost every corner of the city, from roadside vendors to popular eateries.
The perfect chole bhature is crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, with a spicy and flavorful chole that is slow-cooked to perfection. The dish is enjoyed by people of all ages and is a popular breakfast option among Delhiites.
Momos, a type of dumpling, have become a popular street food in Delhi over the years. Originally from Nepal, momos have become a staple of Delhi's street food scene, with vendors selling them in every nook and corner of the city. These steamed or fried dumplings are filled with a variety of fillings, such as minced meat, vegetables, or paneer (Indian cottage cheese), and are usually served with a spicy tomato-based chutney.
One of the best places to try momos in Delhi is in the bustling streets of the Tibetan colony in Majnu Ka Tilla. Here, you can find numerous momo vendors selling a wide variety of momos, from classic chicken and vegetable momos to more exotic fillings like pork and shrimp. You can also find momos stuffed with cheese or topped with sauces and spices.
Momos are a perfect street food snack that you can enjoy any time of the day, and they are often accompanied by a steaming cup of chai (tea) or a refreshing soft drink. With their delicious flavour and affordable price, it's no wonder that momos have become a beloved street food in Delhi and beyond.
Kebabs are an iconic street food of Delhi and a favourite among locals and tourists alike. These succulent pieces of meat or vegetables are marinated in a blend of spices and grilled to perfection over a charcoal flame, giving them a smoky flavour and tender texture that is hard to resist.
One of the most popular types of kebabs in Delhi is the Seekh Kebab, which is made with minced meat (usually lamb or chicken) mixed with spices, onions, and herbs. The mixture is then moulded onto skewers and grilled until golden brown. Another popular variation is the Galouti Kebab, which is made with finely minced meat (usually beef or lamb) and a unique blend of spices that give it a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Kebabs are often served with a side of mint chutney and sliced onions and can be enjoyed as a snack or a full meal with bread or rice. Whether you're a meat lover or a vegetarian, kebabs are a must-try street food when in Delhi.