A little beyond Kallan Sweets is Haji Mohammad Hussain. This spot has made a name for its crispy fried chicken and fish, which is served with a fiery chutney and housemade seasoning. The meat is first marinated in spices, then fired twice for added crispiness. They also make keema goli (minced meat balls), which are available only during Ramzan.
Shop No 113, Matia Mahal Road, Bazar Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid
This joint serves butter chicken, but not the kind you’d think. First, the chicken is marinated in a mix of spices and topped with a spicy chutney, and then a load of molten Amul butter is poured all over it. Now, Aslam has also started making butter chicken biryani with the same preparation.
1129, Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Manohar Market, Jama Masjid
Karim Hotels Pvt Ltd
Karim’s was once a tiny stall on the street, and now commands a courtyard space in a haveli in Matia Mahal. Anas recommends trying the seekh kebabs here, which are as juicy as they come without any grease or butter.
16 Gali Kababian Jama Masjid, Old Delhi
This is the best bakery to taste sheermal at. They make a rich butter sheermal with Amul butter smeared on one side and mixed fruit jam on the other. The sweet bread is eaten with milk or a cup of steaming hot tea.
2448, Jama Masjid, Chitli Qabar, Pahari Bhojla
Cool Point has always been famous for the traditional shahi tukda, but now, they’ve introduced something that, in Anubhav’s experience, has never been served in the streets of Old Delhi. They are now making kesari shahi tukda, which uses actual saffron in the classic recipe of the bread and milk dessert. While the ingredient may be common in homes, it doesn’t always make it on the streets, which is reason enough to deem this little new addition worth a mention.
5, Matia Mahal Rd, Bazar Matia Mahal, Kalan Mehal
The best place around Jama Masjid to get pakoras during Ramzan is Sheeren Bhawan. They’re special because they too use only ghee for frying, unlike most other places that use oil. This is also the best place to get a fix of khajala (deep fried puri eaten during sehri) and pheni (sweet vermicelli).
Shop No 1466-67, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid
Hilal Hotel Special Nahari and Paya
Finding this hole in the wall can get tricky, for the joint stands deep inside the labyrinthine lanes of Matia Mahal. But don’t give up till you get here. “They serve thick, rich nalli nihari gravy with bone marrow that adds to the flavour of the dish,” says Anas. What’s interesting is that the nihari here is stewed for over 12 hours in 65 spices, yet some of the marrow is steeped in another, even spicier gravy which you can have as a complimentary topping, if you care for the fire.
Shop No 965, Matia Mahal Road, Bazar Matia Mahal, Kalan Mehal
Mohd Tofiq Dilpasand Biryani Point
Anas recommends Tofiq’s unique biryani mainly for its element of zing, lent by a tangy green chilli pickle. The joint serves lashkari biryani, which has all the juice of tender chicken minus the pomp of dry fruits and exaggerated spices. To top it all, the biryani here is served with a dollop of ghee.
Shop No 735, Gali Haveli Azam Khan, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Jama Masjid