We travel to so many cities and small towns in our country for different purposes such as to attend a wedding, to visit a relative or friend or just to spend a relaxing vacation. Wherever we go, we would like to eat the local cuisine apart from visiting restaurants that promise our home state’s food.
New Delhi is one big city that doesn’t seem to have anything to claim as its own cuisine. As it is the capital of India and landlocked between several states, the population itself comprises of people from all parts of India.
I think this happens to every country’s capital but India is special as every state in India is like a different country; the language, the food, the culture is almost unique from neighboring states.
If you ever go to New Delhi, you must try to eat:
- Afghan food
- Awadhi (Lucknow) food
- Kashmiri cuisine
- Mughlai food
I have tasted all f them and I can assure you that you will fall in love with all of them instantly. Oh, to like such a variety of cuisines in New Delhi, you should know which restaurants serve authentic food of each different cuisine.
I have done my research and compiled a small list of top restaurants in New Delhi that serve food from others states.
Food Travel: Afghan restaurants
The cuisine from India’s neighbor Afghanistan is unique because of usage of very special herbs and spices that are grown exclusively there. Surprisingly, the majority of Afghan food outlets are located in Saket, a large residential area in New Delhi.
Afghan Restaurant, Saket, New Delhi.
Address: 92, Hauz Rani, Opposite Modi Hospital, Press Enclave Road, Saket, New Delhi
The Afghan Restaurant opens at 10 am and stays open till 11 pm. You can try various kababs made with chicken and mutton. Other specialties of Afghan Restaurant are:
- Qabuli Uzbeki-basmati rice dish with mutton pieces and garnished with raisins and carrot. What a combination!
- Khameeri roti and rajma (Rajma is a type of kidney beans that is cultivated in Afghanistan.)
- Qorma-a gravy that accompanies Afghan flat-breads.
I suppose the same food menu will be available in all Afghan restaurants in New Delhi with different interiors and different prices.
Afghan Darbar Restaurant, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi.
Location: E-96, Lajpat Nagar 2, New Delhi
Phone: 011 49502058
It opens only at 12 noon and closes at 11 pm. Isn’t it odd that restaurants in the capital of India shut down their doors by 11 pm.?
The menu in Afghan restaurants in New Delhi is written both in English and Afghan languages.
The reviewers have voted the following Afghan dishes served in this restaurant.
- Banjani Botanical
- Chopan Kebab-mutton rubs
- Mutton Pulav
- Mutton tikka
- Firni-a dessert
Food Travel: Kashmiri restaurants, New Delhi
Kashmiri cuisines (Wazwan) have become very popular even in remote villages in South India because of the use of fruits in most of the main course food items. For example, the Kashmiri Pulav is basically a basmati rice dish that is cooked in orange juice and garnished liberally with cashew nuts and saffron shreddings. Similarly, the Kashmiri chana is an accompaniment to Indian flat-breads, that looks colorful and garnished with fruit crystals and dry fruits.
New Delhi is littered with several Kashmiri restaurants the popular among them are:
Address: 4/15 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi 110002, India (Chandni Chowk) +91 11 4366 3600
If something carries the name ‘Chandni Chowk’, it means an area in Old Delhi, the ultimate paradise for gourmets.
Gulfam Kashmiri Wazwan
Address: 3, Building 5, Basti, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Nizamuddin, New Delhi. Phone: 098991 10786
Sure, it is not a prominent Kashmiri restaurant but the food lovers of New Delhi patronize it with great admiration. The cuisine is 100% authentic Kashmiri and the best food that is recommended there is their Gushtaba and Rogan Josh.
Since this Kashmiri restaurant serves breakfast also, it remains open from 7 am to 11 pm. It has been in existence since 1970.
Food Travel: Mughlai Restaurants, New Delhi
Mughlai cuisine in India is as old as Punjabi roti or Calcutta rasagulla. It’s only my estimate folks, not as authentic as the Mughlai food served in Sufiaana and Nazeer Foods in New Delhi.
I too love Mughlai cuisine; there is something aristocratic and royal about the Mughal briyani and their mutton chops.
Sufiaana Mughlai restaurant, New Delhi
Address: TDI Mall, Vishal Cinema Rd, Shivaji Place, Vishal Enclave, Tagore Garden Extension, New Delhi, Delhi 110018 Phone: 078349 90000
Nazeer Foods, New Delhi
“Nazeer foods” falls under the Mughlai cuisine category and is located in several places in New Delhi.
The most polar among them is their Daryaganj branch located at 3622, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110006 Phone. 8882288822
Awadhi food, New Delhi
Well, the region of Lucknow, Kanpur, and surrounding areas were called Awadh in ancient India. Awadhi food specialties are tandoori chicken dishes. Their latest innovation in tandoori meat is the Chicken Lollipop. It is also the birthplace of roomali rotis and warqi parathas. I suppose you now recognize Lucknowi cuisine by roomali roti. Probably you may be eating the following chaats and ice creams without knowing they belong to the Awadh cuisine.
- Aloo dum
- Aloo papdi
- Kulfi Falooda
Lucknow Dastarkhwan Restaurant
Location: D5/9, Okhla Vihar, Near Halal Store, Okhla Road, Jamia Nagar Jasola Okhla, Jamia Nagar, Delhi – 110025
Lucknow Wale Tunday Kababi
Ground Floor C – 28 Near Idbi Bank Atm | Lajpat Nagar 4, Near IDBI Bank ATM, New Delhi 110024, India Phone: +91 99536 33330
The most recommended items are Galawati and Mutton kuruma. While I don’t personally recommend their range of flat-breads such as paratha, I think you should not hesitate to order their mutton kuruma.
I can mention several more Afghan and Kashmiri restaurants in New Delhi but I am sure the above 8 restaurants would give you an idea of other states’ cuisine in New Delhi.