Halwa-Nagori-Subzi – An Old Delhi Speciality

When I was a kid, we used to often hear about Nagori Halwa, infact my mom and nani used to make them at home too. But then modern life took its toll and such food got label of un-healthy and the fact that it was tough and time consuming dish to make for breakfast, ensured that it has not been made in my home for decades now. Besides that its a dish that is not available round the corner, which means its something you really have to make a trek to a certain part of Delhi to savor it, that too early in the morning. And I am sure not many would be surprised that its only available in lanes on Walled City, OId Delhi or our very own Purani Dilli, whatever name you prefer to call DIlli-6 by.. πŸ˜‰

To start of, what is Halwa Nagori? I am sure we all understand Halwa. Its suji (semolina) roatsed in Ghee with loads of sugar. Every Indian in any part of world would know about this one. Coming to Nagori, well to simplify the matters, lets call it a cross between a Suji ka Golgappa and a maide ki poori.

Halwa Nagori at Mahalakshmi Mishthaan Bhandar, Chandni Chowk

Confused? Well, its a bit larger than the Gol Gappa / Pani Puri, however is smaller than the puri as we know it. I guess it is made of Suji and Maida mixed with ghee, deep fried and is crispy, but not as crispy as a Gol gappa, but much crispier than your normal poori. Now you get it why I call it a cross?? πŸ˜›

Anyhow, keeping my limited writing skills in mind, I will end the description here and would hope that you would go savor the delicacy yourself and find your own explaination. Nagori is served with some Halwa and Subzi. Subzi can be a mix of Aloo and Chhole, in any proportion.

In Old Delhi I have tried this has 3-4 places – Shyam Sweets on Barshabulla Chowk, Shiv Mishthan Bhandaar in Chandni Chowk, A random street vendor in bylanes and the one I have loved the most : Mahalakshmi Mishtaan Bhandar near Fatefpuri Masjid in Chandni Chowk. That said it can be found at various small outlets all across the walled city, saw a few at Lal Kuan as well.
Halwa Nagori at Shyam Seets, Barshabulla Chowk, Chawri Bazaaar
Today was my third visit to Mahalakshi Mishthaan, today I managed to reach at 6:50 am and thus got my fill of those gorgeous Nagoris and an awesome bedmi too. However on one visit I got there at 8:45 am, they were out of stock already and then next time I was there at 8:00 am, and at that time managed to get hold of couple of pieces only. They start making it by 6:30 am, and I would really call it a redline beyond 8am. Though people have found them till 9 am as well.. πŸ˜›

Mahalakshmi makes the Desi Ghee version of it, you get 5 Nagoris, a bit of Halwa and some Subzi in Rs.40 and I feel that this would be the most expensive version too. The first bite early in the morning and it feels that some lubrication has been added to your parched and rusty soul, you can feel the desi ghee doing its magic and taking your sins away. Afterall it is not considered like amrit or Elixir in Ayurveda for nothing. The Halwa’s portion is too little for me, however you can always pay extra and get more Halwa for yourself.  
One of the random stalls selling Nagori amongst other goodies in Dariba Kalan
Besides that I have also enjoyed eating them at Shiv Mishthaan Bhandaar and couple of other hawkers on the street. The ones that I have had Shyam Sweets were too dry for me and just did not work for me. Though I like is Bedmi and Kachori a lot.

I have seen them being sold at few other places too, however I am sure there are lot of versions being sold which are made in vanaspati or vegetable ghee.

You can google for Mahalakshmi / Shiv / Shyam for exact addresses.

PS : Not sure about its origin, however it seems to be very Delhi delicacy and primarily a Baniya food item.

Updated – 16/03/2016 – here is another one I found at Ram Swarup Halwai in Sita Ram Bazaar, its worth taking a note.