1. Haleem :
Its important to note that haleem a delicious meat stew is not really a Delhi food it has Persian roots is an official food in Hyderabad and is eaten in plenty of other parts of South Asia particularly by Muslims to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. But Delhi being a North Indian mishmash of different ethnic groups and religions including several prominent enclaves of Muslims (accounting for about 12% of the total population) its no surprise that haleem is beloved here during Ramadan and beyond. Its typically a slowcooked sticktoyourguts gruellike stew made with shredded or mashed boneless meat (often mutton/goat or buffalo) wheat barley lentils and spices.
One of Indias best oddball savorysweet pairings and a popular Delhi breakfast (especially in winter) bedmialoo and nagorihalwa are two distinct dishes eaten together. The former is the savory part: a puffy hefty deepfried purilike bread made of wheat flour spices and dal called bedmi which is served with a spicy aloo sabzi or potato curry. The latter is nagori a small crispy crumbly puri made with suji (semolina) and ghee paired with suji halwa kind of like a sweet dry porridge likewise cooked in ghee. So what do you do with this stuff? Take a savory bite; take a sweet bite. Some people like to stuff some halwa into a piece of nagori and then dunk that into the aloo before eating. Such mixandmatch flavor combos may challenge your notion of what constitutes a balanced breakfast but if youre like us youll welcome it with open arms.
3. Gol gappa :
This very popular chaat or snack encompasses some of chaats best qualities spicy crunchy saucy satisfying all in one explosive bitesize package. Also widely known as pani puri it consists of a round hollow crispyfried puri thats filled with potato chickpea onion spices and flavored water usually tamarind and/or mint and popped into ones mouth whole often while standing. The water part is whats tricky for foreigners as most of those tempting street gol gappa vendors use tap water (and often their bare fingers to stuff the puris). Luckily a few wellknown spots take care to use mineral water not quite as authentic maybe but you wont end up in bed for three days.
4. Dahi bhalla :
The perfect cooling chaat and stomach soother on a hot Delhi day dahi bhalla consists of creamy dahi or yogurt and bhalla bready fried lentil fritters (usually of urad dal). The peppery bhalla get soaked and smothered by the yogurt then topped with pink pomegranate seeds chewy yellow raisins and sweet tamarind chutney. The creamy result as with the best chaats is a spicy sweet tangy amalgam of flavors in a snacksize portion.
5. Moong dal halwa :
Halwas among Indias favorite gheebased sweets come in many shapes flavors and textures the latter most simply broken down (in our minds) as hard or soft (see also: bedmialoo nagori halwa). Moong dal halwa made from ground and sweetened mung beans (a type of lentil) cooked in ghee falls in the soft category and though it hails from nearby Rajasthan its super popular for dessert here in Delhi especially in winter.
6. Chole bhature :
Sort of the unofficial dish of New Delhi though its popular elsewhere in North India chole bhature is a Punjabi concoction of spicy curried chickpeas (chole) and puffy fried whiteflour bread (bhature) most often eaten together for breakfast (its also known as chana bhatura). Come mornings popular chole bhature spots are crowded with everyone from local rickshaw drivers and shopkeepers to university students all looking for a delicious cheap meal. Tell a local you ate this for breakfast and youll get the widest grin imaginable.
7. Saag chicken paneer :
A popular Punjabi preparation saag chicken or saag paneer combines a protein of choice with a wellspiced spinach curry made with lots of onion garlic ginger and spices. Its one of the classic North Indian curries with the bonus of feeling relatively healthy.