Among Indias myriad sweets made with ghee or clarified butter and specifically those common in Delhi there are halwas and a variety of ladoo (in addition to the everpopular jalebi of course). Within those categories there are many types; halwas for instance are generally either soft and flourbased (such as the puddinglike moong dal halwa) or crunchy/crumbly and nutbased. To simplify well focus on a few local favorites: sohan halwa a nutty Punjabi sweet (made of sprouted wheat flour nuts ghee milk sugar) thats been satisfying Delhi sweet tooths for several centuries; Karachi halwa a soft chewy nutstudded halwa tasting of honey made from dry fruits and originally from Pakistan; and motichoor ladoo a sugarsyrupsoaked ball of fried gram flour ghee milk and cardamom powder hailing from nearby Uttar Pradesh one of the many sweet balls that are called ladoo.
2. Raj kachori :
This colorful chaat or snack is quite popular in Delhi and other parts of northern India. It consists of kachori small fried bready balls and a variety of other yummy things chickpeas potatoes tomatoes moong sprouts masalas yogurt coriander and tamarind chutneys pomegranate seeds crunchy sev stuffed inside and atop a thin and very crispyfried purilike hollow shell. The various chutneys and yogurt coat the whole affair making it a perfect mix of wet and crunchy sweet and tangy spicy and cooling. In other words: an ideal funtoeat chaat.
3. Kadhai paneer :
Another of the many vegetarian Punjabi dishes popular in Delhi kadhai paneer (sometimes called karahi) is paneer or Indian cheese cooked with bell peppers (a.k.a. capsicum) onion tomato garlic ginger lots of spices usually including dry fenugreek leaves ghee and some cream. Its name refers to the woklike pan in which its cooked: a kadhai known as karahi in Pakistan (that the Punjab region straddles both countries explains the two names showing up in Delhi). It might be red or brown in color dry or wet in texture but its always a solid satisfying dish.
4. Mutton burra :
Mutton (usually goat in India) is perhaps most memorable cooked as a burra kebab: marinated skewered roasted and charred in the tandoor on the bone. When done well its tender spicy smoky meat an ideal component of a carnivorous Mughlai feast.
5. Masala chai :
Masala chai is the milky spiced black tea thats found all over India thanks to the teacrazy British who set up plantations for export back in the 1830s and later worked to popularize tea drinking in India via the Indian Tea Association. Like much of north India and beyond tea stalls or chaiwallas (tea makers) are common sights on the streets of Delhi where they serve tea to passersby and local vendors. Its an integral part of life here especially in business matters: While shopping in the north you might be asked to sit and have tea which will be fetched from the nearest stall by a shop employee (or relative) and brought to you at no cost. Although chai generically means tea in much of India what you get will likely be a tiny glass of the milky spiced sweet drink thats more accurately called masala chai in which water black tea leaves (often Assam or Darjeeling) milk sugar and masala or spices are boiled together before straining. The pungency of the masala will vary by place but usually the mix counts cardamom cinnamon and black pepper among its ingredients. Chai is generally pretty safe to drink as the water is thoroughly boiled although its not a bad idea to request a plastic cup in case of suspect glasswashing.
Indian sweets are so numerous and dizzyingly varied the colors! the shapes! the textures! that one look at a typical counter might send a foreigner running to the nearest BaskinRobbins. But dont be intimidated: On this site weve attempted to organize Indias vast mithai (sweets) scene at least the tip of the iceberg by concentrating on two of its basic categories both of them common in Delhi: sweets made with ghee and those made with milk or khoya (also spelled khoa) a semidehydrated milk product. (To further complicate things most of the latter sweets likewise use some ghee but its the milk or khoya that really defines them.) Among others in the khoya corner theres the lovable gulab jamun of course but also the squareshaped barfi (or burfi) popular and tasty; the prevalent milk cake crumbly and well cakelike; and peda a soft doughy delicious ball of sweetness.
7. Chole kulche :
Delhiites are particularly fond of their curried chickpeas (chole) especially as seen in this popular street food and its sister chole bhature. While in the latter the chole is paired with puffy fried bread (bhature) kulche refers to the fluffy usually ovalshaped baked bread made from maida flour that acts as chole vehicle for this traditional Punjabi dish. To further confuse matters the chole in this case are often not chickpeas but yellow or green peas. But all you really need to know? The soft thick slightly sour kulcha plus tangy spicy chole is a match made in streetfood heaven.