The Ramzan food walks take city gastronomes on a journey of tastes and flavours in Old Delhi.
When the skies darken every evening in the month of Ramzan, the bazaars of Old Delhi come alive. There’s bustle and bonhomie, bright lights and colourful sherbets. Wafting in the air are swirls of smoke from roadside grills and a medley of delicious aromas. And people from around the city come here to participate in various food walks and experience the mood, ambience and essence of this holy month.
The food walks usually commence in the evening at Jama Masjid when the fast is broken for iftar. The sehri food walks begin at Chandni Chowk markets around 11pm and go on for the next 4-5 hours till people can eat no more.
“Our food and cultural walk aims to break down stereotypes, let people interact, mingle and really experience the essence of it while involving food as well,” says Ramit Mitra, co-founder of DelhiByFoot.
Besides the food, the participants also experience a brush with the culture and history of the Walled City. Food walks organised by Seek Sherpa are conducted by guides who are Old Delhi residents, and their first-hand knowledge of the area makes the walks more informative.
Anubhav Sapra, from Delhi Food Walks, says, “Our food walk focuses more on understanding the inner faith of people and enjoying the authentic delicacies of Ramzan. Some part of the money earned by Delhi Food Walks is donated to the homeless who cannot afford iftar.”
Eateries in places like Matia Mahal, Chatli Qabar, Ballimaran Bazar and Lal Kuan are famous for their keema samosa, haleem, mutton rezala and an array of kebabs right around every corner. For vegetarians, there are options like Kabuli pulao, mujadara, paneer jalebi and more. And to wash it all down, there are Ramzan special drinks such as imli sherbet, watermelon shake and faalsa sherbet.
“This was the first time I have been part of a Ramzan celebration. To see the fast-breaking ceremony and then start on a food trail where we ate non-stop to the point when we could eat no more was amazing.” said Suruchi, who recently attended a food walk by DelhiByFoot.
Vikas, who participated in a walk by Delhi Food Walks, loved the whole ambience and mood of the evening. He said, “I’d never been to Old Delhi much other than visiting the popular food joints. So, this food walk was a really good experience since I got to visit even the most obscure eateries of the area and the people being so welcoming made the whole experience very heart-warming.”