Old Jawahar (Opposite Jama Masjid, Gate no. 1, beside Karim’s, Old Delhi)

In a nutshell:

Surely serves better curries than the legendary Karims, almost as good Kababs as Karims & some ordinary food that might not leave a mark. Situated in a small two storeyed setup where nothing seems to have changed in decades.


Address & other details: Enter the road perpendicular to Jama Masjid Gate no. 1, first shop is Al Jawahar, next is the lane that leads to Karims & the third one is Old Jawahar.

Meal for 2: Rs. 250 onwards

Cuisine type: vegetarian & predominantly nonvegetarian

Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:

Have been to this place several times by now & have tried a whole lot of things. What I have concluded is that the kababs r slightly better at Karims but the curries at Old Jawahar r surely better than that at Karim’s.

Lipsmacking good mutton stew at old Jawahar

Old Jawahar is the typical old Mughlai food shop where nothing has changed in decades. Crammed up seating, wooden furniture, old signboards & worn walls characterize this place. The members of staff seem to have been working here for long & they know well about the food that they serve but they might not necessarily b extra polite as in modern day restaurants. Good behaviour from us customers fetch good results – I have myself always managed to get good service.

At the right hand side of the entrance of the restaurant is a high slab on which different curries r kept & r constantly been heated on slow fire. The guy sitting there occasionally keeps stirring the contents. On the left side is a tandoor that is constantly belching out rotis. Right at the entrance is a wash basin for everyone who visits the restaurant – So, even if one is sitting upstairs or in one corner of the ground floor, he/she has to come to the entrance to wash hand!!!!

Phirni served in burnt clay bowl
Phirni served in burnt clay bowl

There is constant hustle bustle here – People just keep coming in & going out. Unlike in Karims where at lunch time almost half the tables r full with non Indian Tourists, not too many non Indians can b seen here at Old Jawahar.

Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:

Mutton sheekh kababs, Mutton Burrah & chicken sheekh r good items to order as snacks. I find the ones at Karim’s partially better. I rate these collectively at 3.5/5

We tried Keema Kaleji – Minced meat with Goat liver. This was rustic, robust & had very strong flavours & taste. If u ignore the gallons of oil floating in the plate, u will really njoy this dish. I rate this 4.25/5

Post this we had Mutton stew. As a kid I used to hate stew which supposedly was ‘almost boiled meat’ with some veggies. The Mughal Restaurant version of Stew is completely different. U can see a half cm layer of ghee atop the gravy. The way I see this is – I will eat all of it if it is tasty & then I might just increase my workout for the next week.:)

Closeup of mutton stew
Closeup of mutton stew

The taste of the stew is awesome & I find it one of the best curries in Old Jawahar. Thick light colored gravy not overspiced not hot but having a strong taste that is different from most usual mutton curries. The mutton pieces were cooked with the gavy & hence had the flavours of spices in them. They were also very soft & tasty. I rate this 4.5/5

Last side dish for the day was mutton korma. This was however a bit of a disappointment – It had a red hot spicy gravy that did not have a twist with respect to either flavour or taste. It was good on its own but cud stand nowhere in comparison to the Stew. The meat was soft & tasty. I wud rate this 3.5/5.

Mutton Korma at Old Jawahar
Mutton Korma at Old Jawahar

For dessert we had phirni that was set in a burnt clay bowl. I guess to keep the cost low, they added more water to milk. Result – Inspite of the phirni having a solid texture, the richness & creaminess of the milk was missing. I wud rate this 2.5/5.


Overall the rating for food at Old Jawahar adds up to 3.75/5.

Look forward to ur comments on this place.

15 thoughts on “Old Jawahar (Opposite Jama Masjid, Gate no. 1, beside Karim’s, Old Delhi)

  1. My dad used to go there in his student days for lunch. Folklore is that it came to be kniwn as Jawahar as Pt Nehru used to frequent this place.

  2. Hi Yummraj, read about this last evening before leaving office (sec-63 Noida), reached old jawaahar & asked for mutton stew, though i prefer chicken over mutton but inspired by your experience I went for mutton stew, it was really a foodie delight to taste their stuff, spices were so well blended that one can feel the aroma but none of the spices were overcoming the tongue. thanks

  3. Good review. I request yummraj team to find out the true Mutton Burra ustad named Bharku or Bhakru from Moti Khan area of Jhandewalan. Years ago I ate at his small jhuggi type shop in by-lanes of Motia khan till he disappeared . About an year ago he re-opened a small hole in a wall on main shadipur-patel road ( approx. 500 meters before near shadipur metro red-light coming from Patel Nagar) but closed his shop. Only one large tandoor and marinated mutton pieces in an utensil in his 2x 2 feet shop.

    Ive been searching this true genius who only dishes out Burra Kebabs which would even put Bukhara & Karims at shame. Any help guys????

  4. Need to check this place again, have only had the biryani(was a bit disappointing) and a mutton curry.

    Always just went for Shabrati/Gole kababs and the ‘butter’ chicken on the streets at diff places and a shami every now and then, but have always favoured Al Jawahar.

    Shall try to convince a few to join me up to Old Jawahar..again.

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