Sunday, September 13, 2009

Old Delhi - The Food Scene - Part 1

Muslim Food Vendors selling various forms of what looks like pasta
Old Delhi Sweet Treats....the India version of Funnel Cakes
Close Up of the "spaghetti"
"Paan Walla".....Paan is made of various ingredients wrapped in a Betel Leaf.
Old Delhi version of BBQ Chicken

My first visit to Old Delhi was in August of 2008, during my first visit to India. While we did venture out and walk down one of the "gullys", narrow lanes or streets, lined with food vendors and small shops, the majority of my visit was by car.

A few weeks back, almost a year to the date of my first visit, Linda and I along with some friends, ventured into Old Delhi for some food at one of the most famous eateries in Delhi; Karims (see blog entry).

This was a true adventure.....and although we experienced a great deal on this visit, there is certainly much more to be seen....we just saw a sliver of what Old Delhi has to offer.

But I must warn you......if your adventurous spirit does not like crowds of people.....Old Delhi may not me your "cup of chai"!

The best and most efficient way to explore Old Delhi is by rickshaw..which allows you to view the sights slightly above the crowds and saves you from having to negotiate the massive movement of people.....however, you miss quite a bit this way as well. Walking the streets of the area....down through the gullys, one will experience Old Delhi as it was meant to be experienced. The sights, sounds and smells of the city become more alive as you become entangled in the maze. Every nook and cranny of the city has something to share......something to experience....a history all it's own ready for you to delve into.

Old Delhi, walled city of Delhi, was founded as Shahjahanabad by Indian Emperor Shahjahan in 1639. It remained the capital of the Mughals until the end of the Mughal dynasty.

It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi.

It is believed that the population of Old Delhi alone is home to almost 1 million of the 17 million that make up the population of greater Delhi. The walled city of Old Delhi sits on a mere 1500 acres of put the population in perspective as compared to the land size......this accounts for 2.95 people per square foot.

This crowd swells depending on what is taking place on any give day or on special religious holidays.

One of the first things you will notice on your first visit is the abundance of food offerings......shops, kiosks, street vendors and formal restaurants abound to serve the huge numbers of people in the area. The sites and smells are certainly going to tempt you to try something to eat.

I have included some photographs of just a few of the food sights you will see on a visit to this area......enjoy!

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