Understanding the Area
First things first, when people talk about Chandni Chowk, they often confuse it with all other parts of Old Delhi and vice versa is also true, that is when people talk about Old Delhi, they end up talking about Chandni Chowk itself. So Old Delhi or Walled City or Dilli 6 (Chhe) as it is fondly called in common parlance has multiple streets, areas and bazaars. And then there are Galis, Kuchas and Katras. Some of the popular areas besides Chandni Chowk being – Chawri Bazaar, Jama Masjid, Sitaram Bazaar, Nai Sarak, Lal Kuan, Khari Baoli, Balli Maran, Sadar Bazar etc.
So to rephrase the question or rather it can be rephrased in any form like :
* What to eat in Old Delhi / Walled City / Delhi 6 / Purani Dilli ??
* What to eat in Chandni Chowk / Chawri Bazaar / Any area of walled city ??
* How not be a tourist in Chandni Chowk / Old Delhi / Any other above mentioned area ??
These are the questions that are asked often enough and it is something which is impossible to sum up in a blog post for multiple reasons. First – the sheer variety and plethora of information that is required to cover it and second – till now I have not been able to sample everything that I have heard about and I doubt anyone else has been able to do that as well. But then I decided to take the first baby step and start documenting what I know about or at least of what I have pictures of. The information would be as indicative as possible and most of the locations and spots can be found using google and bit of common sense. So here I am trying to create a photolog and trying to answer ‘What to eat in Chandni Chowk?’
First of all we need to understand bit of social map of the area. There are pockets in walled city which are dominated by Muslim populace and then most of area is being populated by Hindu traders and is largely vegetarian. In my knowledge you get non-vegetarian food only in Jama Masjid (Matia Mahal) and Balli Maran (and Lal Kuan) area. All other areas being largely vegetarian food dominated.
What also needs to be shared is that the commuting between these areas can be daunting, though most can be reached in maximum 15-20 minutes of walk but human, vehicular and ‘other’ traffic makes it a chore. So if you are not going there only for a ‘Hog Session’ you better stick to your bazaar or area for eating. For Easy Navigating I have further divided the information in multiple posts.