Following the aroma of neatly arranged skewers gearing up to serve seekh kebabs and fluffy rotis for an iftari feast we headed towards the food lane near Gate No 1, Jamma Masjid. The beautifully lit Jamma Masjid stands tall amidst the bylanes that turn into a feast(y) place during iftari. As a dear friend later tells me that families break their ramzan in Jamma Masjid premises and the place is quite a sight. Keeping Jamma Masjid towards our left, we took an iftari trail. As soon as we reached near our favourite and usual haunts (Al- Jawahar and Karims), we asked if Haleem was available and to our surprise we were told that Haleem is available around noon. It was suggested that we could walk down to Meena Bazaar where we could find some carts selling Haleem. We were suggested instead to try Nihari and Roti at Shabraati by an old gentleman managing his garments shop.
Slightly reluctant to try out this breakfast dish in the evening we thought we should give it a try since we had never been to Shabrati. As we made our way through the jostling street lined with vendors selling dry fruit, sewaiyan, phirni, lassi, kulfi – faluda we reached Haveli Azam Khan Chowk from where we took a left turn. Finally we reached the famed Haji Shabrati Nihariwala where you will find Nihari from 7am to 11pm. When we reached Shabrati the cooks and helpers were breaking their fast and we waited for another 20 min for them to offer Namaz so that we could have hot rotis.
As we waited there, people lined up at their favourite place for takeaways in their tiffin carriers. As we were guided to the two sitter bench nestled in the fag end of the shop, I peeped into the hot pot of Nihari sitting pretty on the clay oven. The buffalo shanks were neatly arranged on top of the lid of the nihari stew. The person responsible for serving used a long aluminium ladle to scoop a nice serving of the stew and finished it off with a handsome helping of the soft meat which was ready to glide into the plate/s from the shanks. We settled for a quarter helping of nihari with 3 rotis which costs us Rs 45.
As Vandana Verma in her article Nihari in Time out Magazine1 points that Nihari is the slow cooked meat (beef or lamb) porridge and originated in the Mughal kitchens of Delhi. According to Vanadana, you can find a mutton version of this dish in Al- Jawahar and Karims. She also lists some of the places where you will find this breakfast dish and they are Al- Jawahar, Karims, Kallu Nihari, Saeed Nihari Baradari and Haji Qader Nihariwala.
As we headed out from Shabrati we settled for a helping of freshly prepared sheekh kebabs before hitting a sweet trail in a sweet shop bank opposite to Al Jawahar Restaurant. We ordered a generous helping of Shahi tukra ( a sweet dish prepared from bread deep fried and then coated with generous helpings of cream and lots and lots of dry fruits). For those who want to try out making this dish you can try out the following blogger’s link.2 We finished off our iftari food trail with phirni ( a sweet dish prepared from rice and milk) and kulfi- faluda.
That’s a little glimpse of iftari feast from Delhi? What did you have this iftar? Do keep me posted about your iftari trails and hoping you had a lovely feast (y) Eid celebration.
1.Verma, Vandana http://www.timeoutdelhi.net/client_coverstory/client_coverstory_details.asp?code=744; Accessed on 21 August 2012.
2 See http://spicingyourlife.blogspot.in/2011/10/shahi-tukra-recipe-how-to-make-shahi.html; Accessed on 21 August 2012.