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One of my most treasured food memories is of a family vacation to Italy when I was a teenager. We spent a week in Florence, and every meal we had was a revelation. But the one that stands out most in... Read more
What: Mutton (usually goat, in India) is perhaps most memorable cooked as a burra kebab: marinated, skewered, roasted and charred in the tandoor, on the bone. When done well, it’s tender, spicy, smoky meat—an ideal component of a carnivorous Mughlai feast.
Where: Perhaps the most celebrated version of this dish is that found at one of Old Delhi’s most celebrated restaurants: Karim Hotel (Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid, map), dating to 1913. Its owners famously trace their family lineage back to the royal cooks of the Mughal emperors.
When: Daily, 9am-12:30am
Order: The mutton burra (230/440 rupees for half/full order) is a must here; the half order is a little pile of four mutton pieces, making a perfect appetizer. The tender meat is intensely flavored, well spiced and redolent of charcoal smoke; before you know it, you’re sucking on the bones, near-desperate for another bite. (For the goat averse, chicken burra is also available, for a few extra rupees.) Follow these up with more meat—mutton seekh kebabs, shami kebabs, maybe some tandoori chicken or mutton korma—and sweet kheer for dessert.
WATCH: A whirlwind one-minute trip through Delhi, Agra, and Udaipur in North India.
Alternatively: If not at Karim’s, try this dish at another place similarly known for its Mughlai specialties, like Al-Jawahar (2327-5987; Bazaar Matia Mahal, opposite Gate 1, Jama Masjid, map) next door or the original Moti Mahal (3704, Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj, approx. map), also in Old Delhi. In South Delhi,we recommend Purani Dilli (2698-3371; 371 Main Rd., Zakir Nagar, Jamia Nagar, map), inside Islamic enclave Zakir Nagar.
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