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5 Iconic Food Places in Delhi from Pre-Independent India

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Independence Day is celebrated on 15th August every year to commemorate the freedom we attained in the year 1947 from British colonisation. This year, it marks the 70th year of independence, so it gives us an even bigger reason to celebrate. How about revisiting some of the iconic eateries from pre-independent India that have stood the test of time? There’s no better place than Old Delhi to get a glimpse of the bygone era. Purani Dilli boasts of many such food joints that have witnessed an India before independence. The narrow and crowded gullies of Old Delhi speak of the olden times if you care enough to listen. Let us take you through some of the oldest yet iconic food places in Delhi –

1. United Coffee House, Connaught Place

A name that has been synonymous to Delhi’s Connaught Place, United Coffee House still remains special in the hearts of food lovers in the city. Founder, late Lala Hans Raj Kalra opened the doors of UCH in the year 1942 in the heart of the capital inviting the people to fine dining. It boasts of being among the first few restaurants that offered fine dining in Delhi. The current owner of the place, Aakash Kalra, proudly shares, “UCH is completing 75 years in August.” From classic European preparations, Mediterranean and Indian food to Oriental and Modern Asian, there are many delicacies for customers to try.

2. Sitaram Diwan Chand, Paharganj

Sitaram Diwan Chand has been the most favourite joint for Delhiites for more than 70 years. Selling nothing else but Chhole Bhature, Sitaram Diwan Chand has always focused on quality. A small place tucked away in Paharganj, it was founded by late Sitaram Kohri in the year 1945 when the price of a plate costed two paisa. Today they also offer lassi to let the customers cool down after a plate of masaledar Chhole Bhature.

sitaram diwan chand
Sitaram Diwan Chand has been the most favourite joint for Delhiites for more than 70 years

3. Wengers, Connaught Place

Talk about best bakeries and Wengers is the first place that comes to mind. This bakery was established by a Swiss couple in the year 1926 and ever since gained quite some popularity. The bakery was then taken over by the Tandons in the year 1945. The place has evolved to be at par with new trends but has also been able to preserve the essence of the pre-independence era. In order to serve authentic desserts, Wengers till date follows the same old recipes from the olden times. Paneer Rolls, Mushroom Rolls and Patties are the most recommended items apart from the 70 types of pastries that are served here.

wengers
This bakery was established by a Swiss couple in the year 1926

4. Kallan Sweets, Chawri Bazaar

Kallan Sweets in Chawri Bazaar was established in the year 1939. Initially, the shop had only dairy products that included milk, paneer, et al, before the owner Kallan started making ladoos, balushahi, habshi halwa, ras malai and other sweets. It is known for Habshi Halwa, which is a rich dessert made with milk, khoya, ghee, samnak (wheat extract). The shop-owner uses the same old recipe of Habshi Halwa that his grandfather used. No wonder Delhiites love to stop by to have some halwa here.

kallan sweets
Kallan Sweets in Chawri Bazaar was established in the year 1939

5. Chaina Ram Sweets, Chandni Chowk

Founder Chaina Ram opened this small shop called Chaina Ram in the year 1901 in a place called Anarkali in Lahore, Pakistan. However, he came in Delhi after partition in 1947. The owner says that the most popular dessert is Karachi Halwa, and there are also different variations of this halwa. Other mouthwatering desserts include ghewar, pinni, sainiyo ki barfi and patisa. All the desserts served here are prepared with desi ghee. More than 100 years old, this shop is a part of Delhi’s heritage and has a special place in the Indian history.

chaina ram
Founder Chaina Ram opened this small shop called Chaina Ram in the year 1901

Delhi is surely a rich place in terms of history. These food joints are our favourites and will always have a special place in our hearts. Happy Independence Day!

Source: NDTV

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