This Ramzan, Try These Vegetarian Snacks In Purani Dilli

Eat Street: This Ramzan, go for a food walk in Purani Dilli and try these vegetarian snacks!

4 min read

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(This video was first published in 2019. It has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the month of Ramzan.)

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Camera: Mukul Bhandari and Shiv Kumar Maurya


Yes, you read that right! Vegetarian delicacies.

Having kebabs and biryani during the holy month is just too cliché. But old Delhi has so much more to offer if you are ready to go beyond the beaten culinary path.

So The Quint’s Zijah Sherwani, a true-blue old Delhi girl, took her colleague Yagya Sachdev out on an exclusively vegetarian Ramzan food trail.

As they explored the galis of old Delhi for vegetarian delicacies, some myths around Ramzan were also busted. Like these, for example:

Non-veg food consumption increases during Ramzan as people hog biryani and kebabs all night.

First, iftaar food is mostly vegetarian. This includes fruit salad, pakodis, chana masala, dal masala, etc.

Second, no one hogs all night. Spicy and greasy food dehydrates and would make fasting the next day really difficult!

Third, Ramzan is about self-control and the whole purpose fails if one eats uncontrollably after breaking fast.

The first stop was this age-old shop, Shereen Bhawan, known for its Ramzan special ‘Khajla’.


Khajla: Prepared with Karigari

It is made in desi ghee and a zillion layers of wheat flour. Mildly salty and smooth in taste, once you bite into a crunchy ‘khalija’ the overwhelming taste of ghee takes over and then it’s hard to stop the munching!

Freshly fried Khajla.
(Photo: The Quint)
Crunchy, crispy khajla is like a cornflakes breakfast.
(Photo: The Quint)
Khajla is made of wheat flour and desi ghee.
(Photo: The Quint)
Khajla is made by karigars from UP and MP.
(Photo: The Quint)

Does swallowing saliva break your fast?

Swallowing your saliva doesn't break your fast, neither do other things such as street dust or toothpaste while brushing your teeth!

Pheni is quick to make siwai, perfect for ramzan. Soak it in the milk and it’s ready. Pheni is only available for the 30 days of Ramzan.
(Photo: The Quint)
Bland Jalebi is also a Ramzan exclusive. It soaked in milk before consumption.
(Photo: The Quint)

Next stop, Madina Bakery near Chitli Qabar. And on the menu was Coconut Parantha.

Coconut Parantha: North meets South

It is a baked not fried. Made of wheat flour and coconut. Tastes sweet.

The paratha can be washed down with lovingly named ‘Sharbat’ called ‘Mohabbat-e-Sharbat’. It’s a mixture of milk, roohafza, jaggery syrup and watermelon.

Controlling your desires also includes intimacy with your partner? No sex for 30 days?

Well, after breaking the fast couples can get intimate. The kind of things that need to be controlled is cussing, gossiping, lying, etc. After Ramzan gets over, ideally these things should continue to be avoided.


Sheermaal: Not Your Regular Sheermaal, This Is 'Yummy' Sheermaal

Sheermal is a common word for many kinds of breads, from dry fruit-filled to sweet and salty ones. Typically a sheermal is eaten with a curry. But the Ramzan exclusive sheermaal is basically a smattering of jam and butter on a beautifully baked bun.

In this case, the curry is replaced with with tea or milk. Flora Bakery serves one of the best sheermal of old Delhi.

On our way to the last snack, we halted to try other famous delicacies. Like, kala jamun, pakodis, dahi bhalla, black jalebi and shahi tukda. All these delicacies can be easily spotted on the street side.

Sheermaal being prepared. 
(Photo: The Quint)
The jam used in sheermaal is prepared at the bakery.
(Photo: The Quint)
Mouth-watering Kala Jamun.
(Photo: The Quint)
Most famous dessert in Jama Masjid, Shahi Tukda.
(Photo: The Quint)
Crispy and syrupy Black Jalebi.
(Photo: The Quint)

Yagya’s reward for trying out these vegetarian snacks was ‘keema samosa’. Since fried food grabs most space on the iftaar table, people fashioned keema samosa and noodle samosa. What amazing is its grand size and, of course, the heavenly taste.

Gujia looking Keema samosas.
(Photo: The Quint)
Fried food is consumed heavily during Ramzaan. Palak pakodi and potato pakodi are omnipresent.
(Photo: The Quint)
Keema goli is amongst other favorite fried food.
(Photo: The Quint)

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Topics:  Food   Myths   Vegetarian 

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