What do you write about a food joint which can easily claim the crown for Delhi’s most written about food joint?
A place frequented by anyone and everyone who calls himself a foodie atleast once. A place that boasts of holding on to the recipes of the Mughals long after they have vacated the throne of Delhi.
Well I guess the only thing to write about such a place is your own thoughts and experiences and memories since the fact that the food would be good is a given.
Karim’s opened in Dwarka some months ago and I believe they opened without much fanfare and started operations from a small outlet on the first floor of a cluttered market.
I had no idea about its existence at almost my doorstep till one day I drove past this market and spotted the signage. A close look to ascertain that it’s the real thing, for quite a few fakes also abound and I was jumping in glee. A Karims right in the center of Dwarka seemed too good to be true.
My first quick expedition was with a friend and after a wait of about twenty minutes shivering in the cold we found our seats. We chose to eat a simple meal with a kadhai gosht and naans & roomalis. The mutton was cooked so amazingly well that even leaving some gravy felt criminal but we were quite full and content.
Soon after I set a date with the partner and arrived at Karim’s again. The small eatery which seats about 30 people I realized always has a queue of people waiting to get inside. And we also settled down after having our names jotted down at the gate. After fifteen minutes our turn came and we got a small table. The partner had used the waiting time well and placed the order almost from memory.
The dilemma of visiting a beloved eatery is whether to order the all-time favorites or to try out new things. He however had chosen wisely, so we had crisp, hot shaami kebabs as starters.
Followed by a Murg tandoori which though nice paled in front of the kebabs. They also felt slightly under salted.
For mains we chose to order the forever favorite mutton nihari and the famed khameeri rotis followed by the baquarkhani that Karims does so well.
How good the meal was, how content we were sitting at the small table eating fast with happy smiles firmly in place. Reliving all those past memories of eating out at various Karims and best of all eating at the one near Jama Masjid. All that and more can best be summed in Karims tagline which though tacky really is true: the secret of good mood, Karim’s food.
More about Karim’s legend and history:
Karim's is a restaurant located in Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, Old Delhi. This restaurant has been described as "synonymous with this area" and "arguably the city's most famous culinary destination". In 1911, when Delhi Durbar was held for the coronation of the King George V, Haji Karimuddin opened a Dhaba to cater to the people coming from all over India to join the coronation. The Dhaba started with selling just two items of Alu Gosht and Daal served with Rumali Roti.
In 1913, Haji Karimuddin Established the Karim Hotel in Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid, Delhi saying, "I want to earn fame and money by serving the royal food to the common man". Today, the fourth generation is running the show. It’s said that the spices used at Karim’s are a closely guarded family secret and even the cooks are not aware of the exact mix.