Snapshots from India: Vegetarian Eats in Delhi

[Photographs: Chitra Agrawal]

Although my mother hails from Bangalore in South India, my father is from North India, and many of my relatives from that side of the family reside in Delhi. On our annual trips to India, I am spoiled silly with home cooking and the many restaurants and snack stalls the vast city has to offer.

Delhi has a rich history as India's capital, dating back centuries. The cuisine that is distinct to this region was developed during the Mughal Empire in the 1500s. The foods are strongly influenced by Persian cuisine and characterized by familiar dishes found in Indian restaurants all over the world like lassi, naan, chana masala, naan, and biryani. Many of these rich traditions are maintained in eateries throughout Delhi today. You may walk down an avenue and be offered a piping hot sweet jalebi dripping with hot sugar syrup, or be enticed by the intoxicating aroma of curries cooking in a back alley dhaba. Wherever you turn in this bustling city, there is a feast for your senses and your belly.

Click through the slideshow to see a sampling of some of my favorite vegetarian eats in Delhi, from the hole-in-the-wall chaat place to delectable Indian pickles you can smuggle back home.