During summer, as the mercury rises, the iftar market in Zakaria Street comes alive with those observing fast in the holy month of Ramzan. Aside from this, it’s a melting pot of the city during this time of the year, which is not limited to only food bloggers and photography enthusiasts. Do keep in mind this labyrinth of alleys got delicacies prepared live round the corner. Winter is the second season to explore the food galore.
Few well-known SHOPs
As we start from Phears Lane, the first shop we encounter was the legendary and one of the oldest shops in the vicinity, Adam’s Kebab Shop. Established 150 years back! They specialize in Suta Kabab and Boti Kabab.
Suta Kabab is prepared with beef meat paste of meat and spices around iron skewers and then tied with a cotton thread or suta. Or else the meat will fall off while being barbecued on the flat laid charcoal bed. Boti Kababs are beef chunks tied in a skewer. This is the softest, juiciest kebabs you can have.
Do note that the permanent shops are operating all round the year.
Going a couple of steps ahead towards Colootala crossing, there is a new age shop Al Baik, who prepares mind-boggling Chicken Special Kabab and Chicken Malai Kabab. Both are similar preparation where the special kabab is grilled with skewers on flatbed charcoal. Malai kabab is a tikka cube version roasted inside a tandoor. Both ooze goodness of malai, with each bite melts inside the mouth. There is not much rush about this place as they are yet to get its legendary status.
Taking further steps ahead through the narrowest lane at the end of the tunnel is waiting for us Dilshad Laziz Kabab with the cheapest and popular Malai Kabab and Dahi Kabab. Dilshad Bhai is a customer-friendly person in the area with modesty at ground level, always smiling, and answering all our questions. While he prepares live beef delicacies in front of us, we witnessed how whitish cream-colored meat turns to golden brown through searing on fire charcoal bed.
Word of caution, the place is not for hygiene freak or fine diners; the visuals take you back in time to how we use to cook in a rustic way.
Behold, we set our foot at the famous Khau Galli corridor. The most popular and crowd puller Taskeen is waiting to welcome us with Murgh Changezi. Chicken breast or leg portion marinated in 50 plus spices before double fried in boiling oil and copped in pieces before serving. With every delightful bite of this crispy fried chicken, you will realize its exquisite taste and why this fuss and crowd all about. Chicken measured in weight and around 200 grams should be enough for a single person. Keep space for thick, creamy Falooda and Lassi. These are must to wash down the spice and keep your energy quotient high in this sultry weather.
Do you know that Taskeen is the trademark holder of Murgh Changezi? Well, that is what they claim.
Aside from this, for some mind-boggling Beef Boti Kababs and Beef Chaanp, one must not miss Bombay Hotel. The outlet prepares the best beef chaanp in the city.
Before calling it a day, if you still have space left inside, try some Phirni at Bombay Hotel. Do not forget the legendary Battisi Halwa from 100 years old Islamic sweet shop Haji Allauddin Sweets. The dark-colored halwa is prepared with 32 ingredients enriched with dry fruits and leaves a wonderful taste.
Few Lesser knowN shops
In Phears Lane, there is another shop Zaiqa-E-Dilli, a lesser-known but prepares some amazing Chicken Kathi Kabab. One has an option to stuff it inside lachcha paratha; it was pure bliss! Aside from this, for some Beef Boti Rolls, one must not miss New Lucknow Hotel. To keep it simple, stuff it inside paratha with chopped onions and green chili, and the world stops over there.
Beneath Albela Hotel sits a noble older man with a cart full of Beef Sutli Kababs. I wouldn’t say I liked it much due to the minced mix’s overpowering of garam masala. From Albela towards Taskeen, look for a roadside food cart deep frying rice flours balls called Anarsa. Rice flour mixed with khoya gives a sweet mushy texture. Deep-fried roundel provides a crispy texture compliments the nutty flavor of sesame seeds topping. Finally, drop in at Haji Liyaqat Sweets to dig into some crunchy and juicy Imarti.
The best time to visit is during Ramzan months 3 pm to 5 pm, for the photographers and those who only want to soak the atmosphere after 7 pm. No time bar for the foodies.
Suta Kabab from Adam Kabab Shop | Dahi & Malai Kabab from Dilshad Laziz Kabab | Chicken Special Kabab from Al Baik | Beef Boti Roll from New Lucknow Hotel | Beef Chaanp and Phirni from Bombay Hotel | Falooda and Lassi from Taskeen | Imarti from Haji Liyaqat Sweets | Battisi Halwa from Haji Allauddin Sweets | Anarsa from carts
How to Reach?
The food trail shall start from Phears Lane. Meet your gang beneath the Maharana Pratap Statue opposite the Central Metro Station and walk towards Phears Lane.