The festive vibe of Zakir Nagar in South Delhi during Ramzan was something we couldn’t afford to miss at any cost because, just like all other places, this locality comes alive with myriad hues of celebration, bonhomie, preparations, and last but not least scrumptious culinary options. This street food haven scores an edge among other counterparts across Delhi due to the variety, taste, and most importantly affordability. In this episode, we have set on a seemingly gluttonous journey to relish the delightful offerings at the place.
Our culinary journey began on a different note as we decided to have Iftar with Mehtab Bhai at the famous and iconic Nahari shop in the place, whose patrons are the locals and celebrities alike.
After buying some snacks for the Iftari, we arrived at the ‘Zaved Bhai Famous Nihari’ shop. Having Iftar with the genial and humble Mehtab Bhai was a lovely experience. We enjoyed the eclectic spread of Chole, Keema Samosa, Meetha Samosa, Keema Goli, Pakode, Malai Bread, etc. along with heartwarming and nostalgic conversations.
With snacks done, Zaved Bhai treated us with his famous Nahari, Khameeri Roti, and Nawabi Kheer. This soul-satisfying dish had perfectly cooked meat parts sitting in a rich and flavorsome gravy that is topped with a thick film of Ghee and Rogan. It’s these versatile fats that make it such an amazing and sought-after dish. The Nawabi Kheer was dense and luscious.
We were lucky to get a chance to witness the flurry of activities at Mehtab bhai’s kitchen. The enormity of the Deghs or utensils and that of the quantity of meat, fat (oil), and spices combined with the amazing human expertise and efforts made us squirm in wonder and praise.
From there we reached the decade-old Chacha Sharbat Wala to get cooled down with a glass of sweetened rose drink. It was utterly refreshing and satisfying.
The next stop was Shafiq Bhai’s Chicken Corner. The Butter Chicken Tikka with a copious amount of butter and cream was delectable not just as a whole dish but also in parts. The carom seed and fenugreek punch in it were simply magical. The Chicken Sheikh Kebab on the other hand was also perfectly done.
From there, we went to Gul Bahar Chicken Fry and tried their double-fried chicken legs which were quite good in taste and texture.
Having done with it we arrived at Madina Biryani Centre to try a novel sounding dish called the Daleem Biryani. It was a delicious combination of a well-cooked, aromatic Biryani and a lentil, wheat, meat and spices based, one-pot, slow-cooked gooey stuff similar to Haleem. Nonetheless, it was quite delicious and hearty.
Thereon we went to the celebrated kebab shop, the Talib Kebab Corner. One bite was enough to cement the glory of these succulent, meaty, and scrumptious kebabs in our memory. This iconic joint truly deserves the time and attention of all hardcore meat lovers.
With some more room available, in our stomach, for the gluttony, we devoured a delicious and pocket-friendly plate of Galawati kebab along with Ulte Tawa Ka Paratha and Aloo Katli (home-styled, simple, dry potato dish prepared in minimal spices) at Lucknowi Galawaati Kebab Restaurant. The Aloo Katli was indeed the star of the plate.
The Ashraf Kheer shop was our final stop in this super gratifying and festive culinary sojourn at Zakir Nagar. The smooth Shahi Kheer and chilled and luscious Rabri Faluda were sensational.
It was one of those blissfully contradictory experiences where we were full but our heart wasn't.