Potatoes a la Delhi

A mildly spiced vegetable side dish—served hot or cold—that is commonly cooked in both Delhi’s home and restaurant kitchens.


1 pound medium-sized potatoes
1 tablespoon ghee or peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 onions
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 small lime
Small bunch of coriander leaves


Pour just enough water to cover the potatoes, cook until tender, drain, and stand to cool. Peel and dice the cooled potatoes.

Heat the ghee/peanut oil then sauté the cumin seeds. Turn down the heat and fry the finely sliced onions until soft and golden brown. Stir in the turmeric and chili powder. Add the potatoes and salt. Gently toss until the ingredients are well mixed.

Squeeze lime to taste and garnish with coriander leaves.

Servings: Serves four.

Mughlai Chicken

Apart from its awesome monuments, the once-mighty Mughal dynasty also left Delhi with a rich culinary legacy known as Mughlai cuisine.


1 large (skinless) chicken
12 ounces ghee
2 onions
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
6 green cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
4 eggs
4 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons double cream
6 teaspoons ground almonds
Handful of blanched almond flakes


Cut the chicken into chunks and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the ghee over a moderate flame. Add the finely chopped onions and salt, and fry just until the onions are light brown. Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks into the pan and fry until the onions turn golden brown.

Toss in the chicken pieces and cook for around 15 minutes; however, don’t completely cook the chicken.

Whisk the cream to remove any lumps. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, ground almonds, and cream. Turn down the heat and add this mixture to the chicken, stirring well. Simmer for about five minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Garnish with blanched almond flakes.

Servings: Serves four.

Vegetable Pakoras

This classic savory snack is a Delhi favorite and can be found everywhere, from ramshackle street stalls to five-star restaurants.


Small bunch of spinach leaves
1 large potato
1 medium-size onion
1 green chili
1 small cauliflower
1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon powdered red pepper
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
Salt to taste
Cooking oil


Sliver the onion, chili, and spinach leaves. Dice the cauliflower and (peeled) potato into small chunks.

Blend the chickpea flour with one cup of water and toss in the vegetables. Add the powdered cumin and red pepper. Mix well, adding salt to taste.

Pour adequate oil (for deep-frying purposes) into a skillet. Heat the oil.

Generously fill a tablespoon with the vegetable mixture and drop into the hot oil. Turn the heat to low and deep-fry until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper towels.

Serve hot with mint chutney or tomato ketchup.

Servings: Serves four.


About Delhi and India

  • <p>Photo: Courtyard of Jama Masjid</p>


    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Delhi.

  • <p>Photo: Brightly attired Indian women clustered together</p>


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