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PHOTOS: Ramzan feasting in Delhi

Last updated on: July 21, 2013 15:21 IST

PHOTOS: Ramzan feasting in Delhi

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Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

With the holy month of Ramzan underway, Harnoor Channi-Tiwary lists out places to feast at in the capital.

Ramadan or Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is also known as the month of fasting. It is a month of personal introspection, spiritual reflection with the fast beginning at dawn everyday and ending at sunset. After the evening prayers, the fast is broken (usually a community affair) with Iftar (the evening meal). Traditionally, the fast is broken by eating three dates in emulation and respect of Prophet Muhammad who broke his fast in this manner. Alternatively, breaking the fast with water is also another popular norm.

After a long weary day without food and water, the community looks forward to the evening meal with gusto. Iftar, thus, is not just a meal. It is a celebration. And a celebration centred around food that entices people from all communities to join in and savour the delicacies prepared specially for this month.

Delhi is a great place to experience any festival. Ramadan too is celebrated with great earnestness, especially in the winding lanes of Old Delhi.

The streets, lethargic during the day, transform into a centre of buzzing activity come sunset. Here are three areas that you must visit if you have delicious food on your mind this month!

Reader invite: Send YOUR Ramzan pics!

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Delhi's Jama Masjid is THE place to visit during Ramzan
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com

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Jama Masjid

This one is a no brainer. Everyone and anyone knows that the best place to head this month is the Jama Masjid area in Delhi 6. Having said that, unless you are accompanied by someone who knows the area inside out, this can be quite a maze. With so much on offer, it is easy to get confused and head straight to the tried and tested Karim’s. But enroute there, we suggest you make a little detour.

The courtyard of the mosque itself is a sight to behold, come Iftar time. After the evening prayers, families lay out their mats and sheets and take out food lovingly prepared at home. But if you are here to try out the local dishes, head straight to Haji Mohd Hussain’s famous shop located 100mts from Gate No.1 of the mosque. You could try the Iftar special spicy keema golis or just order the special here – the fried chicken. The tender and spicy chicken will blow your minds and you may need a glass of sherbet (a rose coloured drink, similar to chabeel in Punjab, but a water based version) to wash it down.

For your next stop, head to Mota Pehalwan’s shop and order the Biryani, Korma and Chicken in a yogurt based curry (similar to the Kashmiri Goshtaba). On the side, you may want to try the Sutli kebabs from any vendor on the streets. Seekh kebabs made with tenderized buff meat so soft that it needs a thin thread to tie it to the seekh itself, these are unique and delicious.

If you still have any appetite left or if you just can not fathom not paying homage to the classics, a visit to Karim is highly recommended. Order the Nihari, Paaya and Sheermal, a popular Iftar order.

And ofcourse no meal is complete without sweets. You could head to Kallan Sweets or just pick up a plate of Shaahi Tukda or Paneer filled bright orange Jalebis from any street vendor. Sevaian are also sold on carts outside Al Jawahar and can be carried home to remind you of this foodie marathon meal!

Reader invite: Send YOUR Ramzan pics!

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Sevaian
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

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Jamia Nagar

A lesser known but equally interesting destination for foodies this Ramadan is the Jamia Nagar area near Sarita Vihar. This university neighbourhood is famous for its Nihari. Shahzad Dhaba, also known as Javed Nihari serves the most popular version at street food prices. For a more upscale version, you may want to visit the Purani Dilli Restaurant, famous for it’s Mutton Nihari, Chicken Changezi and fried Surmai. Not to be left behind, Al Umar is a must visit for their Butter Chicken too.

The lanes, much like Old Delhi, are lined with Kebab sellers and Sewai carts. But if you want to try something unique to this area, walk down the road from Purani Dilli Restaurant and try the Kuchha Kebab at the Moradabadi Pulao Corner. Muhammad Arif Moradabadi suggests that these melt-in-the-mouth kebabs that taste much like the Gilauti Kebab hail originally from Rampur.

Reader invite: Send YOUR Ramzan pics!

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Butter Chicken
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

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Nizamuddin

Rivalled only by their mother concern at Jama Masjid, the Karim’s at Nizamuddin is the second most popular haunt for Korma lovers in Delhi. Another popular mid-sized restaurant in this area is Lazeez Durbar. Located near the Nizamuddin railway station and Rajdoot Hotel, this place is popular for their Mutton Burra Kebabs served in a thick gravy, the Nihari and their Biryani.

Nizamuddin Basti may look fairly deserted during Iftar time. This is not due to lack of options to eat here but the durgah nearby doles out free food during the holy Ramzan month.

Reader invite: Send YOUR Ramzan pics!

Simply email your photographs to getahead@rediff.co.in (subject: Ramzan pics). Don't forget to mention where you've shot the photograph and a little write up describing the scene you've shot. We will publish the best ones right here on Rediff.com and India Abroad.


Image: Chicken delicacy at Karim's
Photographs: Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

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