1. Jalebi :
Very popular throughout India for centuries jalebi are made from fermented batter which is fried in ghee into ropy pretzellike whorls and then soaked in a hot sugary syrup. While not unique to Delhi the orangey sweets are a very common sight on the street and in sweets shops across the city and youll soon learn why. When jalebi are hot and fresh every bite is crisp yet chewy warm with gooey sugary liquid. Deliciously sweet we like to think of them as a kind of sticky Indian funnel cake.
2. Aloo chaat :
For this very basic very delicious chaat boiled potatoes (aloo) are cubed fried and spiced up then served hot with toothpicks. These hunks of frying potato on large flat tawas manned by chaat walas are a common sight on Delhis streets.
3. Tandoori chicken :
Popular across North India and well beyond tandoori chicken is named for the cylindrical clay oven (tandoor) in which the bird is cooked. The generally accepted origin story attributes its invention to a Hindu Punjabi Kundan Lal Gujral who fled Pakistan following the 1947 partition and opened a stillexisting restaurant in Delhi Moti Mahal (see below) only to soon invent both tandoori and butter chicken. Of course its hard to say for sure where the recipe might have come from but its pretty safe to call this a typical Delhi food. The chicken is marinated in curd thoroughly spiced to achieve its trademark scarlet hue and cooked at a high temperature in the tandoor. Most often the meats served in pieces on the bone. If it seems kind of boring because of its familiarity to many of us in the West dont be fooled: When its good and properly spicy its blowyourmind delicious.
4. Chicken changezi :
A nonveg Delhi favorite chicken changezi is roasted chicken cooked with tomato ginger garlic onions green chilies fresh coriander (cilantro) spices and plenty of oil until its packed with spicy flavor and richly red in color. Its roots are Punjabi and its name possibly connected to Genghis (a.k.a. Changez) Khan though we can only guess how or why. Sure the Mughals were descended from a sect of Mongols going back a few centuries or maybe the dishs bright hue and strong spice profile is meant to evoke a ruthless conqueror with a redhot temper? Seems a bit of a stretch we know. But all you need to know is: Its absolutely delicious.
5. Kulfi faluda :
This popular dessert pairs kulfi Indias dense and creamy milkbased (eggless) ice cream with faluda or clear vermicelli noodles usually dipped in rose water. Like its distant cousin rabri faluda it seems an odd combo to foreign eyes but it somehow works.