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Chandni Chowk Food Tour

Food is the quintessential element of every occasion in the country and Diwali is  just a few days away, I decided to get in the spirit of things and go for a food tour with Delhi Food Adventure in one of the craziest haunts for foodies in the country, Chandni Chowk.

Chandni Chowk is one place that intimidates first timers with its insane traffic, narrow lanes and incessant stream of beggars and street peddlers. Add to that the pungent smells wafting from every corner and the unmerciful weather and you are ready to get out before you even enter. However, our guide Prabhat made sure that we did no such thing; he was friendly and made sure everyone got used to their surroundings before we ventured ahead.

We started our walk next to one of the oldest Gurduwara in the city, Sis Ganj Sahib. Our first stop was at Haldiram’s where we tried some of the most popular North Indian snacks like golgappa, samosa and raj kachori. Although, Haldiram’s is not exclusive to Chandni Chowk, it is still one of the better options to get hygienic street food around and we were off to a great start.

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Our next stop was at Natraj Bhalla Corner, a hole-in-the-wall shop which has been in operation for over 70 years, and after tasting the food from there, we could see why that guy was still in business!
Our next stop was the much famed Paranthe Wali Gali, one of the most popular street in the area. They serve stuffed Indian bread, but instead of baking or grilling it, they deep fry it, and therefore it tasted so much better.

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After eating so much, we readily welcomed a walk through the lanes of Kinari bazaar. On our way, we came across houses whose architecture dated back to the late 1600?s and it felt as if time had stopped in its tracks. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the residents offer to let you take a walk inside their houses as well.

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Kinari Bazaar is the perfect place for shopping for weddings. One can walk through the endless lanes of small, specialized colourful shops selling all the one needs and more. Unfortunately, we went on a late Sunday evening and the market was shut barring a few shops.

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We next stopped at the jalebi walla, another shop that has been around for a long time, and needless to say, we had the best jalebis ever.

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Hop, skip and a Rickshaw ride later we tried another batch of Indian bread at Nirmal Resturant and landed at what has to be the biggest and most famous eating place of this area, the Karim’s. It has been listed among the top restaurants in Asia by the Time Magazine. Its speciality lies in Mughlai food.

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Our last destination was Al Jawahar, another restaurant which serves Mughlai cuisine, and we tried mutton korma, chengezi chicken along with Indian bread and finished off our tour with a delicious bowl of kheer.

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The experience might have left me with a few extra pounds, but after spending a few hours in the choc-a-block, narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, I now understand why people from all over the world flock here to try North-Indian food - because Chandni Chowk does it bigger and better (and yummier) than anywhere else

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