Five Ramadan delicacies in Old Delhi

- March 31, 2024
| By : Yusra Nazim |

Here is a list of five foods available in Old Delhi during Ramadan that are not only delicious but also a must-try during this sacred month

SAVOURIES: Crispy fried snacks eaten with milk is common during this month PHOTO: GETTY

Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, is a time of spiritual reflection, fasting, and community gatherings. Alongside prayers and fasting from dawn till dusk, food plays a significant role in Ramadan, especially during Iftar (the evening meal to break the fast) and Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal). 

As Old Delhi is renowned for its diverse culinary heritage, it offers a rich variety of flavours and traditions cherished by its Muslim communities. Here is a list of five foods available in Old Delhi during Ramadan that are not only delicious but also a must-try during this sacred month.

Champa White Bread

Flora Bakery at Jama Masjid has been baking its signature white sweet bread exclusively during Ramadan since 1940. Known as Champa bread, it is a delicacy found only in the markets of Old Delhi during the holy month. This bread is highly favoured in Old Delhi households and is often enjoyed as a sweet dish during Sehri. Champa bread is traditionally eaten by dipping it in milk, offering a unique and delightful taste experience.

Keema Samosa

Keema Samosa holds a special place in Old Delhi’s culinary landscape, particularly during Ramadan. This popular iftar snack is made with flavorful minced meat and spices, creating a savoury delight. Originally crafted with red meat, Keema Samosa is now also available in chicken variants for the past few years. It has become a favourite among Old Delhi households during iftar, often prepared at home or sold at pakora shops alongside Keeme ki Goliya (Fried meatballs). While Aloo Samosa is a go-to snack across India, Keema Samosa stands out as a heavenly treat for non-vegetarian enthusiasts, offering a unique twist to traditional samosas.

Khajla and Pheni

With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, families who are fasting engage in preparing various types of dishes for Sehri and Iftar table spreads. One of the well-known dishes consumed around Old Delhi is Khajla and Pheni, without which Sehri is considered incomplete.

Pheni is a dish prepared from flour which is first kneaded into a dough and then made into patties using ghee before it is fried in ghee. Khajla is a kind of deep-fried bread that is also prepared from flour and fried in hot oil. It is considered almost essential to eat Pheni and Khajla for Sehri in Ramadan in Old Delhi. Shreen Bhawan is the most popular and trusted by Old Delhi people, famous for preparing everything in Desi Ghee.

Special Bakery Items

During Ramadan in Old Delhi, a variety of bakery items grace the tables, including special milk and fruit cakes, sweet kulchas, butter jam bread, and different types of Sehri parathas. These delectable treats are widely available in all bakeries across the area, with some establishments like Diamond, Al HAJ, and Flora in Jama Masjid gaining popularity and attracting customers from all over Delhi. One common feature among these bakeries is the special milk and fruit cake, made with eggs, milk, fruits, and nuts. This cake is often distributed by individuals who complete the Holy Quran in Taraweeh (Ramadan prayers) during the holy month.

Different Types of Pakora (Fritters)

During Ramadan, pakoras are ubiquitous, available in the lanes of Jama Masjid to every street of the city. The variety of pakoras increases significantly during Ramadan, with a corresponding rise in the number of shops selling them. Pakoras are a must-have for Iftar in Old Delhi and are considered one of the most important snacks of Ramadan.