Al Jawahar Restaurant: Where India’s First Prime Minister is Said to Have Dropped by for a Meal

After a fabulous lunch and dinner at this legendary restaurant, we decide to try out its neighbor, the Al Jawahar. It’s located almost opposite to Jama Masjid’s Gate 1, making it easier to locate. The entrance to the restaurant is wider and much cleaner than any restaurants in the area; there’s a tandoor area at one side and a reception counter at the other.

Sometime in the late 1940s, India’s first prime minister is said to have dropped by for a meal. This was a big deal, of course, and hence the restaurant was named after him. Nobody seems to know what this place was formerly called.


 As you can see from the picture above, the food (chicken karahai) is served with a generous amount of oil, just like any other restaurant that offers Mughlai cuisine; there’s no other way to enhance all those exotic spices. However, I feel that Al Jawahar’s gravy is milder on the masalas;  stomach linings not used to North India cuisine will be happy and acid-free.

There’s something else that’s special at Al Jawahar—its meat. You see, this place is owned by a family of butchers, and they cut the meat across the grain. Their lamb meat is melts-in-your-mouth tender yet does not separate from the bone. Seasoned cooks can actually differentiate every gravy dish from the next by the specific cut of meat used.

I wish I could order every recommended dish in a restaurant that I intend to review. When we entered Al Jawahar I knew I’ll be writing a post about this place, and I even planned on ordering biryani, their famous lamb ishtoo, roasted mutton leg, nihari, etc. But the fact is that I don’t really eat much. After munching on their awesomely-marinated and grilled lamb chops, I was already full.


Needless to say, Al Jawahar is a nice, clean place that serves mildly-spiced yet flavorful Mughlai cuisine. The place isn’t as packed as it’s neighboring restaurant, hence the attentive and smiling waiters. I’d definitely recommend this place.

  • Timings: 7 am-12 midnight
  • Cost for two: Rs. 500 (credit card not accepted)
  • Phone: 011 23264126, 011 23275987
  • Air-conditioned; no smoking area.
  • Alcohol is prohibited.


        1. San, it’s a crime to eat chicken karahai with rice 😀

          It should always be eaten with what we call tandoori roti or naan decked with sesame seeds.

  1. Does Indian restaurants usually serve “halal meat” food? or only specific ones do? Just curious to know.
    From photos, I am liking Karim’s food more.

    1. Raheel, not all Indian restaurants serve halal food. We’re picky in New Delhi and Mumbai, for example, eating meat only in Muslim restaurants, otherwise we prefer vegetarian meals. It’s much convenient in Hyderabad – halal food is everywhere. Also, I recently learned that all non-veg restaurants in Kerala serve halal meat.

  2. You are killing two birds with one stone here Nadia..! One is the awareness of good food in various locations in India and second – giving your readers advices on what to eat for iftaar now that Ramadan is less than a month away.. 🙂

    LAGE RAHO!! 🙂

    1. Hello, Behbood. Well, what can I say…Indian food deserves the publicity 🙂

      I didn’t think about the iftaar thing…but you’ve given me an idea. I’ll probably post about food the entire month of Ramadan 😀


  3. Mmmm….yum yum! Interesting talk about butching there 🙂 I wonder how much is Rs 500 rupees..mmm.Btw,i cooked your prawn dish and Husband and Sons Co. gave the thumbs up! Just when I tried posting the pics,my notebook is not coperating! I’ll put it up soon and thank you so much for the recipe! Of course my prawns were decapitated before cooking and still taste great 🙂 Thank God!

    1. Lat, Rs 500 is equivalent to SGD 13 or 14.

      I’m glad to know the prawns turned out great. But the main reason, I’m 100% sure, is that you are a good cook 🙂

      Looking forward to the pictures!

  4. Food : Very Bad {containing human hair}
    Service : Bad
    Ambiance : Bad

    Now a days I am trying new restaurants for their specialists so last night i went to Al Jawahar at Jama Masjid. We were 3 friends and ordered one mutton biryani, one Roghan Josh, and one Mutton Korma. We were exited at that time because we have heard about this restaurant, but our excitement went away when have to wait for half an hour for the food (and the restaurant was empty (at 9:30 PM)!!!) Ok, then our came to our table. Wow looking good, smelling good but when we started eating… mhmm what a waste!!! The food was total waste. Nor it was prepared with care (as food was containing human hair also cattle hair were their). The attitude of waiters was terrible. I would personally recommend to everyone never to visit this restaurant.

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment, Vikas. Sorry to hear about your bad experience at Al Jawahar. Did you notify the management and give them feedback about your unpleasant experience? If you did, I hope they take it seriously and improve themselves.

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