Are you looking for the best non-vegetarian feast in Delhi? There is no better address than Jama Masjid street. Famous for its exceptionally delicious and mouth-watering Mughlai food, Jama Masjid Delhi foodwalk is on top of every foodie’s list. And, the place has an entirely different vibe to it throughout the month of Ramzan. Muslims from all over Delhi NCR make their way to their favourite restaurants in Jama Masjid to break their daily fast. Usually, they start with a single date and a glass of water, followed by a lavish Iftar spread.
As much as Ramzan is a time for fasting, it is also a time for feasting when the old city of Shahjahanabad unravels its gastronomical secrets. In the evening, the congested bylanes of Jama Masjid come alive with food stalls serving old heirloom recipes in dekchis and bhagonas simmering with flavours. The strong wafts of the kababs and biryanis won’t let you move ahead without looking at every stall. Even at midnight, you won’t find a single inch not occupied by people. Come empty stomach to enjoy the seekh kebabs, fried chicken, shahi tukda, kulfi falooda, Mughal-era sherbet-e-Mohabbat, and a lot more. The food options are never-ending, with some dishes available only at this time of the year, like keema samosa. If you plan to do a Jama Masjid Delhi Food Walk, this post is for you. Here is my experience of visiting Jama Masjid during Ramadan 2022.
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Reaching Jama Masjid
The best way to reach Jama Masjid is by taking the Delhi Metro, as parking is always an issue in the cramped streets of Old Delhi. During Ramzan, the entire area is decked up with streamers and festive lights. Although the road to the gate is barricaded, electric rickshaws ferry customers around. Even when the road opens on ordinary days, cars aren’t permitted beyond the gate, so touring the streets on foot remains your best bet. If you want to know more about Jama Masjid history or who built it, where is it located, this article could help.
The fast and the feasts of Ramadan
As soon as you cross the Jama Masjid Metro station, the food street will attract you like a beehive studded with restaurants, cart vendors, stalls and squatters. A multi-sensory food experience awaits you with the street offering an unparalleled array of choices, be it fruits and nuts, traditional bread, flower syrups and lassis and vegetarian spreads of chaats, savouries, confectionery, of course, an extensive non-vegetarian platter. From biryani and kebabs to Shahi Tukda, here are the best places to eat in Jama Masjid, Old Delhi:
10 best places to eat in Jama Masjid, Old Delhi
Seekh kebabs at Quereshi Kabab Corner
While there are a lot of Kabab shops in old Delhi, Qureshi kabab Jama Masjid serves one of the best kebabs in Delhi. Started by Abdul Ghani Qureshi, this shop offers an assortment of delectable buffalo meat kebabs. Over the years, the institution has split into two shops a few metres apart, both managed by Qureshi’s two sons. Still, the original remains unmatched, according to locals. These melt-in-mouth kebabs owe their delicateness to hours of pounding by hand and the right kind of marinades. The Mutton Kebabs will surprise you with their flavour and texture. The best way to eat is to bite into kebabs without Rumali roti and experience the juiciness of kababs in your mouth.
Location – Gate no. 1, Near Jama Masjid, Urdu Bazar, Chandani Chowk, Delhi
Famous for – mutton seekh rolls and buffalo kebabs
Sutli kebabs at Babu Bhai Ke Sutli Kebabs
Founded before 1947, Babu Bhai Ke Sutli Kebabs near Masjid Sayed Rafa at Bazar Chitli Qabar are so tender that a string is needed to hold them around a seekh. When the meat begins to fall off the skewer, you know kebabs are ready to be popped into your mouth.
Location – 1465-B, Near Masjid Sayed Rafa at Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid, Delhi
Famous for – Dora and sutli kabab
Laung churey kebabs
Although Jama Masjid food street is majorly known for the non-vegetarian fare, it’s not that vegetarians have no option here. A small hole in the wall stall outside the Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar sells something vegetarians like me absolutely love: Laung Churey Kebab, made from besan, atta and onion.
Location – Outside Hamdard shop in Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid, Chandani Chowk, Delhi
Famous for – veg kebabs
Butter Chicken at Rafiq Chicken Corner, Haji Mohammad and Aslam Butter Chicken
If you love tandoori chicken and fish, you must stop at Rafiq Chicken Corner. Famous for juicy fried chicken, chicken lollipops, fish Shami kabab, chicken tikka, malai biryani, and more. Definitely try their fried chicken and malai tikka served with rumali roti, onions and spicy, tangy chutney. It’s a must-try food item in Old Delhi this Ramadan or anytime you visit old Delhi.
Location – 4162, Meena Bazaar, Urdu Bazar Road, Jama Masjid, Delhi
Famous for – Tandoori chicken and tikka
Another popular place to try is Haji Mohammad Hussain Fried Chicken, serving heaven on the plate since 1975. Coated with chickpea flour and marinated in spices for hours, fried chicken at Haji Mohammad has given the same taste for the last 40 years. Talk about consistency. Forget KFC; it’s HFC that rules the roost at Old Delhi.
Location –113, Matia Mahal Road, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, Delhi
Famous for – fried chicken and keema goli
If Butter chicken brings a smile to your face, then it’s time to try the best Butter chicken in Delhi that will blow away your mind. In the true sense, Aslam Butter Chicken serves tandoori chicken tikka in a gravy of curd and chutney with plentiful melting butter on top of it. Chicken pieces literally swim in curd and butter. Delhiwallahs now call it Butter Chicken here, rather than chicken tikka or tandoori chicken. It is best enjoyed with rumali rotis and gulped down with cold drinks — no tomato purees here, only butter and chicken, as the name suggests.
Location – 982, Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, Delhi
Famous for – butter chicken
Nalli Nihari and Mutton delicacies at Bilal Hotel
Established in 1990 by Mohammed Bilal, the two-storeyed Bilal Hotel is the place for nalli nihari—a slow-cooked stew made from the shank. Here, the nihari is truly a labour of love – cooked in 65 spices for 12 hours. Head here in the morning or right after dusk for the freshest serving. Other dishes worth trying are Mutton Biryani, chicken korma and beef korma. Bilal Hotel is blissful for mutton lovers – serving great food at economical prices. So brace yourself to make your way through hordes of people scrambling for a bite and space here.
Location – Bilal, Matia Mahal lane, Urdu Bazaar, Jama Masjid, Chandani Chowk, Delhi
Biryani at Dilpasand Biryani Point, Rahmatullah and Pehelwan ki Biryani
Any feast at Jama Masjid is incomplete without trying the Biryani of old Delhi. Mohd Taufiq’s Dilpasand Biryani Point is a hole in the wall eatery that serves one of the best biryanis in the city. Unlike the Hyderabadi or Lucknowi biryani, biryani served in old Delhi is devoid of dry fruits and rich textures. Here you’ll get traditional lashkari biryani, which used to be made for the soldiers with golden sela rice instead of the usual basmati rice. Yellow chilli is balanced with a dose of ghee and complemented by tender chicken pieces.
Location – 735, Gali Haveli Azam Khan, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Famous for – Biryani
In addition to these, Mutton Biryani at Rahmatullah and Pehelwan ki Biryani are also recommended. Their Mirchi Masala Biryani is must try.
Chicken Jehangiri and Chicken Biryani at Jawahar Hotel or Al Jawahar
If you want to have all your main course items in one place, there can’t be a better place than Jawahar Hotel or Al Jawahar. Inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, the restaurant is named after him. It used to be one restaurant, but now it’s split into two. Cooking food in massive traditional vessels, the fantastic food taste here is something you would never forget. From their Mutton Stew to Kaleji Gurda to Karahi Chicken and Mutton Korma, this place is a gastronomic experience like no other. Al-Jawahar is considered one of the best places to eat in Delhi.
Location – Jama Masjid, Matia Mahal road opposite gate no.1, New Delhi
Famous for – Chicken Biryani and chicken Jehangir. Of course, Khameeri Roti is best
Keema Samosa, khoya samosa and paneer jalebis at Kallan Sweets and Ameer Sweets House
Starting at 7 am, Kallan Sweets, a 75-year-old traditional sweets shop, gets busy selling sweet and savoury items such as minced Keema Samosa, Khoya Samosa and Paneer Jalebis. Their melt-in-mouth samosas get out of stock in a flash.
Location – Shop No.4-5, Matia Mahal Road, Chandani Chowk, Delhi
Famous for – Keema samosa, Paneer pakora, Khoya Samosa, and Paneer ki Jalebi
Another equally popular shop – Ameer Sweets House – has been selling sweet and savoury items for more than 100 years.
Location: 958, Haveli Azam Khan, Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid
Shahi Tukda, Phirni, Badam Milk, Sheermal at Cool Point, Rehmatullah & Sheeren Bhawan
Once you have gulped down all the savouries and snacks, it’s time for some sweets. The most famous shop is Cool Point for shahi tukda, rabri, phirni, mango ice cream and Badam Milk.
Other evergreen shops are Rehmatullah Hotel for sheermal and Sheeren Bhawan in the Chitli Qabar area for some chilled ras malai. Come winter, the sweet shop starts selling centuries-old recipe of gajar ka halwa that is sought after by tourists and locals alike.
Sherbet E Mohabbat by Amir Malik in Matia Mahal
The best way to end the Jama Masjid food trail is by gulping down a glass of chilled Watermelon-Rooh Afza milk sherbet, a staple during Ramzan. This refreshing drink is called Mohabbat ka sharbat, prepared by mixing milk, water and Roohafza and topped with chunks of watermelon.
Location: 1149, Matia Mahal, near Jama Masjid
If you are interested in knowing the four hundred years of history and food gems packed into one long food trail, you must plan a Jama Masjid foodwalk soon.
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I hope you find this post helpful and that it inspires you to go to Jamia Masjid for a food walk soon.
Have you been to Jamia Masjid, or if you have any more suggestions for me to add? Let me know in the comments section below.