Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
New Delhi, India
March 1, 2011
The restaurant lies inside a tiny lane, Gali Kababiyaan (the `lane of kababs’- how appropriate!). Instead of a single large hall, Karim is divided into several separate rooms, each with about a dozen or so tables. It’s clean, but not fancy: Formica-topped tables, wooden chairs, pictures of Medina and the Qa’aba, brass vases with plastic flowers. But nobody goes to Karim for the ambience: everybody goes for the food, which is delicious and priced at a fraction of what you’d pay for similar food in south Delhi’s posh restaurants.
The menu is pretty heavily skewed towards meat and chicken (they do have a handful of vegetarian dishes, but these really aren’t Karim’s forte). Traditional curries cooked the Muslim way, with lots of unusual spices—but generally not chilly-hot—rule the roost. There are dopiazas, with loads and loads of slow-cooked onions; roghanjosh; qormas; gurda-kaleji (liver and kidneys); even the somewhat less common maghaz (brain curry). There are kababs, pulaos, and luscious rotis, ranging from silken roomalis to soft naans.
We usually order a curry—say, a qorma or a mutton stew—with crisp-fried shammi kababs, and a plateful of the sweetish, slightly chewy bread known as sheermal. This time, though, we were on a morning visit to Old Delhi—and Karim was still serving breakfast. Our waiter, a brisk young man in the Karim uniform of brown Pathan suit, asked us whether we’d have nahari or paaya. Nahari is lamb that’s been slow cooked for hours, till it’s falling off the bone and absolutely delicious. Paaya is similar, but made with trotters. Tarun and I don’t care for trotters, so nahari it was. Rich, beautifully flavoured (and with almost no chillies!), the meat succulent and with a garnish of thin juliennes of fresh ginger. On the side came a bread we weren’t able to identify—somewhere between a naan and a roti, crisp on the outside, soft inside, and perfect for mopping up the thick, delicious gravy of the nahari. Tarun had an aerated drink, and both of us decided we wanted dessert too. Karim only offers one dessert: the creamy, custard-like milk and rice pudding known as kheer. So kheer it was. Gorgeous.
Our bill came to only Rs 168; even with a tip, we’d spent less than a hundred bucks apiece. Now that’s what I call value for money!
From journal Delhi: A Culinary Heritage
May 2, 2010
by Nita Sharma
Palo Alto, California
January 14, 2008
New York City, New York
October 23, 2003
The decor is non-descript, and it was pretty hot and stuffy inside, although this was during the very hottest part of the year. The food was fine, but I didn't personally enjoy it as much as some of the others at my table did. Basically, it was a lot of meat-based stews and curries which all seemed extremely heavy and greasy to me, compared with the kind of Indian food I'm accustomed to in New York. It bore some resemblance to Indian food in NY (of which I am extremely fond!), but was just too heavy for my personal taste.
I learned later that I prefer South Indian cuisine and this was typical North Indian cuisine. I never knew the difference before! In any event, it was a nice place to sit for a few hours with friends, share some food and a few beers, and refresh our mouths afterward with those crunchy, sugary, candy-coated anise seeds at the end!
After dinner we walked the streets of Old Delhi for as long as we could stand it -- about 10 minutes! If we thought it was crazy and crowded and disconcerting during the daytime, we hadn't seen nothing yet. There were SO many people and street kids and animals and shopkeepers and rickshaws all colliding in these alleyways and teeny side streets, it was insane. Definitely worth checking out, but just be prepared; it is chaotic and a little overwhelming!
From journal Delhi, India: Exotic, Colorful, Fascinating & HOT!
new delhi, India
January 4, 2002
The restaurant has a bit of history behind it...the owners` great grandfather was the chef in the the Mughal emperors' royal kitchen... and the recipes have been passed on from those times.
From journal finding your feet in new delhi