The Famous Kallu Nihari From Old Delhi Still Makes An Unbeatable Nihari
Walk down the lanes of Old Delhi and go to the tiny hidden corner behind Delite Cinema in Daryaganj, and you’re greeted by a whiff of kebabs cooking over smouldering charcoal. And then you turn to see the warm and fresh khameeri roti being baked in the coal-fired oven. There is a thin veil of smoke and steam in the air and the delicious aroma of spices pull you in. Kallu Nihari in Old Delhi has been serving at this spot for the last 27 years, and they do make the best plate of nihari you’ll ever have.
Kallu Nihari In Old Delhi
Kallu Mian, who originally owned this shop, passed away on the 18th of April in 2016. But his legendary nihari lives on and is served at this spot day after day, sharp at 5.15 pm. Apparently, that’s not the name he was born with, it is just what everyone has been addressing him as. But, the name stuck, and here we are, 27 years later, still drooling at the very thought of that delicious, hot nihari that we sometimes have had to wait in crowds for.
Kallu Mian was actually named Mohammad Rafiquddin. His father was another cook who used to make nihari, and his name was Mohammad Nazmuddin. Kallu Mian opened way back in the year 1990 when there still weren’t too many popular eating joints in Delhi, and he only served Nalli-Nihari. This gravy dish is cooked for hours until the meat is so tender, you practically have to look at it and it’ll fall apart. They serve this delicately flavoured dish topped with green chillies, thin juliennes of ginger, and a squeeze of lemon.
Representative Photo Courtesy Of: Flickr/Alpha
This dish is then served with steaming hot and fluffy khameeri rotis. Usually, one person can only finish about two of these, but even a person with a small appetite would not give up the chance to get more and more of this even after they feel so full that they could burst from eating the next morsel. The flavours explode in your mouth like fireworks, and one would be oblivious to the involuntary moans that escape from their mouth while eating this. This nihari, is the true embodiment of the word ‘foodgasm’.
For a few minutes, one can easily forget the problems of the world, the pollution and the dust that Delhi is choked with, and even that fight that has been simmering between you and your loved one. We wish we were just casually throwing these words around to make this piece flowery, but it is true. Anyone who’s had the Nalli Nihari at Kallu Nihari will tell you that.
LIVE: People Reading Now
So Why Should You Go?
Representative Photo Courtesy Of: Flickr/Wahid Khan
No matter what day of the week it is, you will always have to elbow your way in through a crowd or queue up to get this dish every evening. We won’t lie. It is hot and uncomfortable to have to stand and wait to get a plate or two of this ambrosial delicacy. So, in case you have plans of taking some of this home to share with family or friends, you should give your entire order at once.
Kallu Mian’s passing away has saddened many hearts, of course. You’d be surprised to know that he’s been dealing with diabetes, among other health problems, for many years. In the last few years before his death, he had to pass on his responsibilities over to his sons. But he would come in to check on the business for a little while every day, which also came to a halt when his health started deteriorating severely. He ended up having to be on a strict vegetarian diet, which is ironic. He’s still fondly remembered by regular patrons who visit this spot just to get a taste of Kallu’s Nihari, every single day.
Head to 180, Chhatta Lal Mian, Behind Delite Cinema, Daryaganj, New Delhi
Say hello at 098271 62910
Representative Photo Courtesy Of: Flickr/Charles Haynes