A trip to Old Delhi is incomplete without the famous Daulat ki Chaat, a frothy and sublime sweet made from churned milk that was once served to the royals. Priyanka Chopra, who is currently in the city, couldn’t help but post a picture of the popular winter dessert on her Instagram after trying it.
It’s conventionally kept in moonlight under the winter sky to soak in dewdrops overnight and served along with khoya, saffron and freshly chopped fruits.
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In his latest Sunday Eye column, Kaushik Das Gupta writes, many food writers liken the Daulat ki chaat to Lucknow’s ‘nimish’. In The Lucknow Cookbook (2017), Chand Sur and Sunita Kohli write, “The basic preparation of nimish is when milk is poured into large flat pans and left in the open before dawn. When the early morning dew falls on the milk, it creates a froth which is as light as air. This is continuously collected and mixed with cream and other condiments. It’s a laborious and painstaking process.” Sur and Kohli, however, assert that the nimish of Lucknow is “very different” from Delhi’s Daulat ki chaat. But it does seem that the kinship between the two delicacies goes beyond their apparent blend of simplicity and sophistry.
Apart from the delicious dessert, here are some of the other street food delicacies of New Delhi.
Chole Bhature: Delhi is known for its chole bhature, and if you havn’t tasted the fluffy bhature and the accompanying chole cooked in ghee, then your street food experience is incomplete. There are quite a few places where you can enjoy a plate of delicious chole bhature in the city — Giani’s di Hatti in Chandni Chowk, Roshan’s at Karol Bagh, Sita Ram at Paharganj, Nand ke Chole Bhature in Sadar Bazaar, Baba Nagpal Corner in Lajpat Nagar and Chache di Hatti in Delhi University.
Paranthe Wali Gali: The historic Paranthe Wali Gali in Old Delhi is where you need to go to enjoy piping hot paranthas. The small gali (lane) is lined with shops that offer paranthas with every kind of stuffing that you can imagine, like rabdi, malai, chickpea, cottage cheese — you name it and they will have it. Stuffed aloo (potato) parantha, gobi (cauliflower) parantha, and matar (peas) parantha are the most popular.
Dahi Bhalla: Delhi’s street food variety has something for everyone, and serves as the perfect snack option during tea time. Dahi bhalla, which is essentially vadas or bhalla with a hearty serving of yoghurt, is the perfect snack option during summers. Yoghurt helps beat the heat and helps cool down your body. Try a delicious plate of dahi bhalla at Natraj in Chandni Chowk, Atul Chaat Bhandar in Rajouri Market, Shyam Ji Corner at Old Delhi Road and Dahi Bhalla Corner at Karol Bagh.
Seekh Kebab: If you enjoy eating non-vegetarian food and are a fan of kebabs and tikkas, then Jama Masjid in Old Delhi area is the place to be. Shops there serve delicious mutton burra kebab, seekh kebab, shammi kebab, biryani and many other delicacies, along with sweet dishes like gulab jamun and shahi tukda, making it a paradise for lovers of street food.
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