Delhi’s authentic Nahariwallahs: A taste of the olden days

Speaking of the best of nahari selling outlets in Delhi a long list of many comes to mind. The historians believe that Nahari was developed in old Delhi way back in the 17th century

Delhi’s authentic Nahariwallahs: A taste of the olden days
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Syed Wajid

Nahari is an offshoot of Indo-Persian confluence, spread with its Persian nuances tempered with Indian tastes and flavours it spells magic. As the historians believe that Nahari was developed in old Delhi way back in the 17th century. Nahari was originally eaten by Nawabs in the Mughal empire as the first large meal for breakfast that sustained the day. As years went by, the Mughal army began to relish it and would consume Nahari for its energy-boosting properties that helped them wade through the chilly mornings of the city of Delhi. Speaking of the best of Nahari selling outlets in Delhi, a long list of many in the trade comes to mind.

Delhi’s authentic Nahariwallahs: A taste of the olden days

Zafar and Nikke in north east district's Jafrabad, Haji Noora in Bada Hindu Rao, Haji Shabrati in Chitli Qabar, Hilal and Kallu in walled city's Chhatta Lal Mian near Hotel Broadway and Jawed in south east district's Jamia are the frontrunners.

Haji Shabrati has been serving the best of flavours of the cuisine since 1957 in Jama Masjid’s Haveli Azam Khan (Chitli Qabar). It’s believed their great grandfather served the Mughal rulers and the recipe being used here these days has come straight from the royal kitchen. It takes at least six hours to cook Nahari in a copper made cauldron on a slow fire when the meat melts down almost completely and merges with the texture of the stew. It’s seasoned with butter or desi ghee and topped with green chillies and ginger juliennes and served steaming hot with Khameeri roti, steamed baked. Some prefer it with bone marrow and goat's brain too.

Shabrati boasts of its preparation and a hearty mélange of food known overseas as well. This wallet-friendly Nahari hotel felt the pinch of lockdown and had to wrap up the eatery. Mohammad Iliyas, the owner came up with a new grocery shop in its place selling spices and other essentials. Now, he has revived the food-joint at the same place from where the eatery ladled out the dish for more than six decades and this pause was unprecedented in its journey since its inception. Now, all is almost like before but with certain onditions like the social distancing protocol.

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