The holy Muslim month of Ramadan takes place during June/July every year (the exact dates change. In 2017, Ramadan starts on May 27 and concludes with Eid-ul-Fitr on June 26). Delhi has a vibrant and substantial Muslim community, and if you're a hardcore non-vegetarian, the festival is a fantastic opportunity to feast on fresh street food.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast daily from sunrise until sunset.
In the evenings, the streets in traditional Muslim areas come alive with tantalizing aroma of delicacies to feed the famished. The meal, known as iftar, is the most important part of the day. People go all out to honor it by preparing delicious food items, which overflow into the streets. It's an all night affair, as devotees also come out for the morning meal, sehar. This ends with the call to morning prayer around an hour and a half before sunrise.
One of the most famous areas for Ramadan celebrations in Delhi is around the grand mosque Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. Freshly roasted kebabs and other meat dishes are a highlight. If you'd prefer to dine in a restaurant, rather than on the streets, there is Karim's.
Nizamuddin is another popular Ramadan location, as it's home to Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, the resting place of one of the world's most famous Sufi saints, Nizamuddin Auliya. It's renowned for the soulful sound of live qawwalis (Sufi devotional songs).
Special 2017 Ramadan Food Tours in Delhi
- Iftar Walk: 6 p.m. to 10p.m., every Saturday and Sunday from May 27 to June 25. Tickets: 1,200 rupees per person. As the sun sets, most parts of Old Delhi awaken to a profusion of heavenly aromas and crowded markets as enthusiastic Muslim families break their fast with a feast known as Iftar. It's the most important part of the day and people show its importance by preparing delicious food items. An astonishing array of food stalls line every street of Old Delhi. You'll get to enjoy the culinary delights on street corners while watching goings on. Tickets can be purchased online here.
- Sehri Walk: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., dates to be announced. Tickets: 1,200 rupees per person. As opposed to the Iftar tours, which start in the early evening and end at night, the Sehri walk commences late at night and ends at dawn. It will give you a chance to experience an altogether new dimension of Old Delhi, which can be experienced only during the holy month of Ramadan.
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Reality Tours and Travel is also running special Ramadan street food tours through Old Delhi from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday May 28, Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4. The cost is 1,500 rupees per person, including food. The tour also visits Jama Masjid.