Hubby and I did this photo-walk for the love of exploring food during iftar. We chose Delhi Metro as it is the most convenient way to reach Chawri Bazar (Chandni Chowk). Taking an exit from Gate number 5 we walked to the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib making our way to the Red Fort. I love going there. As advised by the locals, next we had a few turns to take before we reached Jama Masjid and the famous lane of Delhi 6 called Chitli Kabar Bazar (Matia Mahal Bazar) which smells of only food and feast in the holy month of Ramzan. No less, this street buzzes with food lovers all round the year because it houses some of the most ancient, authentic, delicious and famous food shops of Delhi.
The route I took to reach Matia Mahal Bazar
Gurudwara Road – > Red Fort -> Jain Temple -> Chor Bazaar -> Meena Bazaar -> Jama Masjid -> Matia Mahal Bazaar
The most important month in the Islamic calendar is running and Eid is just round the corner. We know that these 30 days of fasting during the month of Ramzaan or Ramadaan have a norm which means fasting community can eat only twice, once in the morning and other in the evening. The latter is called Iftar and everyday it is rejoiced over mouth watering dishes. In Old Delhi, especially Chandni Chowk, some of the dishes surface only during this festive month. Not only the eatery shops make the most of it, the shop owners who deal in currency and foreign exchange also rent a small portion of their shops to the food-vendors as the demand for Iftar delicacies is too high.
We reached there just when the fasting had come to end and it was a delight to get arrested in the heady aromas. Honestly I could not pounce on much because it was too crowded and also I was worried about the greasiness of each item. Well I am sure I am the last person to say this because thousands of people throng to Old Delhi to taste these delicacies. Yes, its a food paradise if you love non-vegetarian dishes. I found my treat in the sweet and special bakery items.
As I mentioned above, we started our walk from Red Fort and from there taking a big round we reached the entrance gate of Meena Bazar. This led us towards the Gate Number 2 of Jama Masjid. There were gatherings of people who were eating delightfully which convinced us that the fast had just ended and iftar time had begun. (Now was the real time to just eat and eat). The mosque looked beautiful in the twilight. Just then I looked opposite to the Gate and was mesmerized to see the twinkling market (picture below). It absolutely buzzed with people and festivity.
There we asked a police man and he gave us the directions to the Bazar Matia Mahal. We continued our stroll hand in hand. It was tough to make space through the crowd and also we were sweating due to humidity. I dint know this was less, the crowd would grow thicker with the fall of the dusk. We took a right turn and soon found ourselves standing before the glorious view of the beautiful Mosque, Jama Masjid.
Few friends were supposed to join us here too. They were coming here too to join the food treat. Since they were yet to join us, we started our walk right opposite to this gate. The lane was decked up with twinkling paper cut outs and I was quite fascinated with the whole setup. I was excited to actually see what really made this lane so famous. I had read claims where people had said it makes you heady with lovely aromas of kebabs, botis, sheermal, breads, sharbet, sheekhs, khazla, chicken biryani, mutton burra etc.
And right here we started the food walk… Are you hungry?
The owner proudly talked about the signature Champa bread, dry fruit bread and sheermal that his father had been selling since 1940. We bought all the three, each costed us Rs. 80
We walked till the Flora bakery which was at the far end of Bazaar Matia Mahal. After making our sweet buys we decided to head back as it was already nine. We had a long way back to Faridabad.
The return walk was far more crowded and we were sweating profusely. The jams in the narrow lanes made it a little more difficult to navigate easily.
And we made our way out
No doubt, it was a lovely walk. I would just say that I could not relish the non-veg delicacies because Karim’s and Al-jawahar were a packed house. Honestly, there were a dozen options but everything was kept in open. A lot of people were eating but I was not convinced on the hygiene part. Rather I loved hooking on to the sweet treats of the bakeries. We did not forget to pack ourselves different types of vermicilli as well.