A Delicious Contradiction: “Shahid Hotel Nihari Waale”

Abdul Muqhtadir for BeyondHeadlines

Contradiction, is it good or bad? I do not know but I meet one contradiction often since I came to Delhi. This meeting with supposed contradiction never awakes my sleepy brain nor stirs my thoughts. But it does one thing. As I approach its place my legs gather energy and gradually my mouth fills with water. The picture of it comes to me within a flash of second. The colour and texture of it increases my appetite. I indulge in imaginative eating. The aroma, brandishing of green chillies and sprinkle of lemon adds taste and brings me closer and closer to it.

I am talking about biggest contradiction of my Delhi days: Nihari. A morning dish, but I eat it at dinner in old Delhi. That is not my fault. Fault lies with hotel. Either Nihari has betrayed to itself or people have fallen for its sheer spiciness and taste, due to which they see nothing in its name: “naam may kya rakha hai.” It seems popularity has overshadowed its name.

The place is called Shahid Hotel. The hotel is in a bad shape but has old Delhi charm. There is no proper place for eating. One table is placed in between the road and the shutter of the hotel. I should not call it a hotel. It is a kitchen where people devour spicy Nihari.

The place wears a deceptive look, never judge it by the size. The place is small but chaotic. A large amount of dough is kept in a big utensil. Two people roll the dough and one person bakes it. This hot tandoori Roti compliments optimally with my contradictory Nihari.

You will regret starting with a morsel of it. The Nihari throws away all your etiquettes of slow eating. The gentle meat piece just melts as its placed on your tongue but you have the Tandoori Roti too, hence your stomach has to wait!

Go to Shahid (witness) hotel and witness one of the best Nihari at evening time.

How to get there:

Walk along legendary Karim Hotel lane that is also called Matia Mehal Road till Matia Mehal Chowk. Here take right to the Choori Walan Road and walk around 100 to 150 metres, and look for the Unchi Masjid, the ground floor of which is the Shahid Hotel Nihari Wale.


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