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Mar 4, 2013 10:16 AM

Delhi - Dinner at the legendary 100-year-old Karim's

There is one place every foodie visiting Delhi should go to - the century-old Karim's in Old Delhi. Locals often refered to it as Karim Hotel - one should note that an old restaurant is often called a "hotel" in India - just don't go into one asking for a room, there's none.

Founded in 1913, Karim's has branched out with various outlets all over Delhi: Ashok Vihar, Malviya Nagar, and the high-tech satellite towns like Gurgaon and Noida. But its original mothership is *definitely* the must-visit foodie destination, located off a bustling, often chaotic narrow street of Old Delhi just opposite the 17th-century Jama Masjid, Delhi's largest mosque.

What we had this evening:

- Seekh kebabs: skewers of tender, fragrant minced lamb, expertly spiced (if slightly on the salty side).

- Mutton burra: spiced, barbecued mutton pieces which packed a bite and lots of flavors, definitely a must-order here.

- Karahi chicken: an oily, spicy North Indian/Pakistani stewed chicken. The flavors from the peppers gave the gravy a deep flavor, with a delayed heat effect. Delicious with the tandoor-baked rotis.

- We ordered two types of briyanis: the chicken briyani (which came topped with an egg, cut into halves) and a mutton briyani which had a more robust scent. Both briyanis did not contain any curried gravy, with only the seasoned chicken or mutton to provide the flavors, so one should order a dish with curry gravy to complement the briyani rice.

- Palak paneer: this dish was extremely well-executed. Best tasting paneer used here, whilst the pureed spinach was subtle and absolutely *delicious*!

Cost of the dinner for 4 persons (including some bottled water)? Less than INR1000 or USD18 - which worked out to USD4.50 per person!! Unbelievable value-for-money - for a true taste of Delhi's culinary history.

Address details
Karim Hotel
16, Near Jama Masjid (Gate No. 1)
Gali Kababian
Old Delhi 110006
Tel: +91 11 2326 4981

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  1. Just sharing - some of the atmospheric sights outside Gali Kababian, where one gets a feel of Old Delhi after dark.

    1. i'm homesick

      1. I notice you're eating around Delhi a lot;.Try and get to Andhra Bhavan on Sunday for lunch in the canteen. They make an Andhra style biryani and chettinad chicken. Only on Sunday and they run out fast

        1 Reply
        1. re: meatnveg

          Thanks, I'll have to check that out on my next trip to Delhi.

        2. Thanks for sharing! I'll be going to Delhi for me first time in September, and our hotel is near that same mosque.
          Lovely looking food!

          5 Replies
          1. re: alliegator

            Please report back if you can, alliegator. Would certainly love to hear your take on Karim's.

            1. re: klyeoh

              Sorry to say that I had to cancel my trip due to visa processing issues. There's a new system in place in the US, so India's still on my list, but on the backburner until things are running a little more smoothly. Maybe next year!

              1. re: alliegator

                Good luck, hope it'll go smoothly next year :-)

                1. re: klyeoh

                  All is not lost yet. I am headed to Delhi in 3 weeks

                  1. re: meatnveg

                    Hey, have a good trip, meatnveg - I'm envious!