5 of the Best Mughlai Restaurants in Delhi
Head to these Restaurants for an Authentic Mughlai Taste
The Best Mughlai Restaurants in Delhi by Simran Raju
India in the past has been ruled by many dynasties. Most powerful influence has been left by the Mughals. Their rule diminished by mid1800’s but their imprint remains. The Mughal influence still can be seen in clothes, handicrafts, embroidery etc. in north India, but if you have to pick one of the best things which the Mughal left India with, is their cuisine.
Mughlai cuisine is undoubtedly a delight for non-vegetarians. (vegetarians miss out a lot, trust you me). The Mughlai cuisine’s non-vegetarian menu is mostly mutton and chicken based. The cooking process includes repeated marination and repeated cooking, blending it nicely with the spices and masalas prepared separately by the chefs.
The vegetarian menu consists of lentils and vegetables. They have dry dishes, as well curries on their menu. The curries are eaten with roti/naan or bread, which is either prepared from wheat or refined flour.
Good quality Mughlai cuisine is very easily available in Delhi. With time many restaurants offering Mughlai cuisines have cropped up, however only a few stand out. Here we have handpicked five of our favourite Mughlai Restaurants in Delhi which lie in the heart of the city and have remained a foodie’s delight for like forever!
Header Image by The Food Ranger
Bukhara has repeatedly been in the No.1 spot among the best restaurants in India. It has also found a spot in the ‘Top 50 restaurants in Asia’. Extremely popular among the rich and famous, Bill Clinton ate here once.
The restaurant is situated on a five star property ‘ITC Maurya’ so rates are definitely not cheap. If you are a couple, it will set you back by around INR 5000.
‘Dal Bukhara’ is a highly recommended dish to go for. ‘Naan Bukhara’ is a signature roti of this restaurant which puts a smile on everyone’s faces as it reaches the table as it is huge: 36 inches in length and 30 inches in breadth! It’s a good choice to order if you are in a group.
Try to reach there a bit early if you don’t want to get in the queue which can easily go up to an hour. Car/taxi/auto is the recommended transport as the closest metro stations are a thirty minute walk away.
However at every metro station exit in Delhi, there are ample public transport options available.
Bukhara address: ITC Maurya, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi- 110021
The first word which comes to one’s mind when one says Karim’s is ‘authentic’. The forefathers of the present owners were royal chefs and served the kings in the royal kitchens. Karim’s was established way back in 1913 and has been serving delicious dishes to everybody since then.
The original Karim restaurant, now 110 years old, is a no-fuss restaurant, located in an extremely busy, dusty by-lane of Old Delhi. Old Delhi is the place which the Mughals chose as their home. The Red Fort (Emperor Shahjahan’s Palace) is in the vicinity along with Jama Masjid (the biggest mosque in Delhi).
Karim’s is a 1 min walk from the masjid. If you like to walk and up for some adventure, this is your restaurant. You might get a bit overwhelmed on seeing the menu, the chefs recommend ‘mutton nihari’ and ‘butter chicken’. Other popular dishes loved by people are different types of kormas, kebabs and biryanis.
Though now Karim’s has opened many branches around the world, nothing beats the original.
How to reach Karim’s: Travelling by Car/taxi is a strict no as the by-lanes of Old Delhi are extremely narrow and crowded. The closest metro station is ‘Chawri Bazaar Metro Station’. From here you can take a rickshaw or walk up to the restaurant. Reaching here can be a bit of hassle but totally worth it.
We recommend you plan a day out in Old Delhi and drop by this restaurant for lunch. If you are in Delhi in the holy month of Ramadan, then night time is good as the whole area is well lit up and decorated with fairy lights. Please check the metro timings at night.
Karim’s address: 16 Gali Kababian Jama Masjid, Old Delhi- 110006
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Situated in a quiet residential colony market stands ‘Gulati’, an eatery known for its buttery butter chicken, and highly recommended by the diners.
‘Gulati’ is known for serving the best butter chicken in town! They have won multiple awards for it. But then, Gulati is not only about butter chicken. The other dishes offered on the menu are equally sumptuous and delicious.
The list of dishes is endless (around 170). If you are not a curry person and like your meat dry, we recommend ‘Burrah Akbari’, ‘Kakori Kebab’and ‘Murg malai tikka’.
This restaurant does not disappoint vegetarians either. They have various types of vegetarian kebabs. Gulati is an extremely crowded joint and on weekends or special holidays, you might have to wait. Prior booking is recommended.
As for the price, it is a bit towards the pricier side compared to other eateries. Being right in the middle of a residential colony, the metro station is a bit far, travelling by your own transport or cab is recommended for this eatery.
Gulati Address: Shop no.6, Pandara Road Market, New Delhi- 110003
Nizam’s Kathi Kabab
If you have heard of Nizam’s, you have heard of its Kathi rolls. If you have heard of Kathi rolls you have heard of Nizam’s, they are that synonymous!
They introduced this amazing dish to Delhiites. Kathi rolls are basically meat kebabs roasted on an open charcoal pit, and rolled between a layer of egg and roti. You have the option of going for double egg layering also, but that is extremely heavy. The filling of each roll is different, you can go for mutton, chicken, paneer etc.
The yummy rolls they have to offer are to die for. These rolls make for a quick bite, if you don’t have time, this makes for a good option. They have other dishes also, similar to ones offered at Mughlai restaurants but the real deal is Kathi roll.
They have many branches including one at the Delhi Domestic Airport, but we recommend the original one. It is located in Connaught Place. Connaught Place has a parking options available. The Metro is equally convenient for tourists.
Address: PVR CInema Plaza H-5&6, PVR Cinema Rd, Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Moti Mahal Delux
Last but not the least is Moti Mahal, serving happy diners for the past five decades. Unlike other popular restaurants, which have opened branches all over India, this one is yet to expand.
‘Tikka Masala’, ‘Dal Makhni’, ‘Butter chicken’ and ‘Burrah kebab’ are the specialties here. It is a mid range restaurant, and the prices of dishes has hardly increased over the years. It is in the same area as Karim’s but attracts fewer, but loyal customers.
Moti Mahal Delux is one of a few restaurants in Delhi which has hosted the world famous chef, Gordon Ramsay, who loved it and praised the restaurant.
As you enter, the interiors are not too great, but don’t get disheartened. No parking is available, you will have to struggle a bit for it. Travelling by Cab or auto (tuk tuk) are the best options. The Metro station is just ten minutes away.
Address: 3703, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, Delhi-110002
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VerifiedStepping out into the old world charm of Daryaganj, Delhi .. the renown of its exquisite eatery – MOTI MAHAL ..!! and apparently still the same excellence ..
@moti_mahal_daryaganj has a ton of awards for butter chicken. Today, I realised why. Gordon Ramsay and Amitabh Bachchan approved.
It was absolutely delicious and the staff was super warm and welcoming. – Harsha Pakshi
Mughlai cuisine is not meant for the weak- hearted, it is loaded with calories and one tends to over eat mostly(read always;).
To get the right taste, the chefs of these Mughlai Restaurants in Delhi have to put in a lot of butter and fatty stuff. Being from Delhi, I would say it is totally worth it and Mughlai cuisine should definitely be on your bucket list, and a must try if you have Delhi marked on your itinerary and especially a taste of food in Mughlai Restaurants in Delhi.
Word of advice: Go with an empty stomach and drop your calorie calculator for a day! You won’t regret it!!!!
Simran Raju is a Delhi based writer. Simran’s love for travel makes her write about it.
“Travel is a wholesome experience and should be done right”, she feels. Her intensive research work about a destination or topic is reflected in her articles.
She has been to many countries and cities around the globe experiencing different cuisines and culture. As a guest writer, her work has been published across different blogs.
Say hello to her on firstname.lastname@example.org
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