Nizamuddin a magnate for seekers and foodies alike
Situated in the heart of Lutyens Delhi, surrounded by chic and sought after residences is Nizamuddin basti, a labyrinthine ghetto made famous by the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya and of course its street food.
The twisting and networked lanes of Nizamuddin house many food craftsmen who have honed their art over decades, they don’t just peddle food but offer a piece of culinary history. Nizamuddin is an integral part of the Delhi Mughlai food troika, the other two being Jama Masjid and Zakir nagar in Jamia.
Must try in Nizamuddin
Nizamuddin offers a wide range to eat, it is comparable to Jama Masjid in the breadth of food dishes available and the number of establishments that one can visit.
Ghalib kebab corner
Located opposite the Markazi mosque Ghalib kebab corner has been peddling delicious fare since last 46 years, now run by the third generation. Though it has made a name for quality mutton and beef shami kebabs, seekh kebabs and mutton tikka, also on offer are chicken and mutton korma and biryani.
Mutton seekh kebab at Ghalib
I first ordered a plate of mutton seekh kebabs which looked toothsome. They appeared moist and glistening and hot fresh off the grill. I found the taste very agreeable, the texture was juicy and the spices mild. The spices were there to enhance the muttony goodness, not to over shadow it.
The accompanying mint chutney and onions provided the perfect foil to break the richness and heaviness of the kebabs.
I could not help but compare them with the beef seekh kebab experience in Jamia.
Mutton shami kebab at Ghalib
Next I ordered a plate of mutton shami kebabs. Unlike seekh kebabs which are grilled on skewers, these are shaped like a cutlet and fried on a flat surface.
I found the shami a bit dry to my liking, though it was flavourful. The mutton was ground to a fine paste, as it should be and the exterior was crispy and interiors juicy so no complains here, but over the shami could do with a little more moistness in my book.
I think I was still reeling under the influence of my Galawati kebab experience in Jamia.
Ghalib kebab corner offers choice in breads such as roomali roti and sheermal but I decided to skip both in my quest to taste as many dishes as possible. I must say that the mint chutney and onions were a big help.
sheermals and shami kebabs
Ghalib kebab should be on your bucket list if in Nizamuddin. I hope to return soon and find out how good are the mutton tikkas, kormas and biryani.
Menu and prices Ghalib Kebab Corner
As you come out of Ghalib kebab corner, you will find Hussaini Hotel on your left, another joint that should be on on your food itinerary in Nizamuddin. Hussaini hotel also has an extensive menu that includes kebabs, grilled meats like tikkas and a range of curries like kormas and niharis, not to mention biryanis too.
Given your likings or aversions you can opt for chicken, mutton or beef and in winters fish is also available.
On this particular visit I settled for a mutton korma without any breads. The look of the korma was very pleasing, chunks of meats floating in a curry of red hue with clear separation between curry body and oil, just as it should be.
If eating with your eyes the curry ticked all the boxes, but alas it failed to deliver when I tasted it. Like they say looks can be deceiving. Some how the curry lacked the muttony flavour and the pieces were a little chewy. Probably a one off day for Hussaini hotel.
I made a mental note to revisit the place on my next visit to Nizamuddin to either dispel or confirm my doubts. I could’nt help but remember the memorable korma in Jama Masjid.
No one really knows the origin of this biryani but it is ubiquitous in Delhi and very popular too. It is characterised by its light airy flavours and is a good fast meal on the go.
Nizamuddin is bustling with joints selling Moradabadi Biryani, each claiming to be the original and more popular than others. A first timer can get overwhelmed if trying to make a choice but having eaten in many of these joints I can safely say that most of them serve a good Moradabadi biryani.
A choice of chicken and beef is available and I decided to try both as you can ask for a quarter plate which is a good tasting snack if you are visiting alone.
The biryanis are served with a tangy tomato chutney that compliments the dish well. If I were to choose a winner between the chicken and beef version my vote is for the beef version, though honestly not much separates the two.
Its worth mentioning here that the beef version is available in Nizamuddin and a few other locations only. So if you are a beef fan then make the most of your visit to Nizamuddin.
After a bonanza of meats I decided to round off the proceedings and bring them to a fitting end with a sweet note. I went for a rice kheer and it did not disappoint.
It was thick and not runny, creamy goodness with a layer of desicatted coconut.
Nizamuddin Fried Chicken
I found the Ghalib street in Nizamuddin full of fried chicken places. The chicken looked fresh, plump and inviting. I added them to my to-do list for the next visit.
Giant Parantha and Halwa
There is another dish quite native to Nizamuddin, a wonderful sweet and savoury combination of parantha and halwa. The parantha is giant in size and is generally bought in pieces, along with sweet semolina halwa to complete a meal or a snack depending on your capacity.
Though my mind was willing the body was screaming no, hence I added this too to my to-do list.
Location and how to reach