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Delhi’s Afghan connect: A glimpse into Afghan culture and food

HT City lensman Shivam Saxena captures glimpses of Afghan culture and food in the bylanes of Delhi

more lifestyle Updated: Jan 05, 2017 09:11 IST
Shivam Saxena
A bread shop in Bhogal owned by Hassan Faizi, who migrated to India about 10 years ago, employs many Afghans and is popular for authentic Afghan breads.
A bread shop in Bhogal owned by Hassan Faizi, who migrated to India about 10 years ago, employs many Afghans and is popular for authentic Afghan breads.(Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)

A big part of India’s beauty comes from the different people that have made her their home. One such example is that of Afghan refugees — more than 14,000 — who have now settled in different parts of India. The exodus began when war broke out between USSR and Afghanistan in 1978, and gathered momentum when United States invaded the country in 2001.

Many of these migrants have settled in the Capital and reside in areas such as Lajpat Nagar, Bhogal and Saket, have made a prosperous life for themselves. They’ve opened Afghan departmental stores, clothing stores, restaurants and Afghan bakeries. Over the years, they have managed to make themselves a part of Delhi, and still maintain their uniqueness. This is their story.

The Tailoring Afghani shop run by Mohammad Waseem, 28, in Bhogal specialises in traditional Afghan wedding wear for both men and women. He’s been living in Delhi for three years. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
Kabul restaurant in Lajpat Nagar. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
Afghani Bakery in Bhogal that specialises in traditional pastry called Baghlava. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
This departmental store owned by an Afghan refugee in Lajpat Nagar, sees a large footfall from Afghans in the area. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
Balkh restaurant in Lajpat Nagar with its authentic Afghan food, is a hit among Afghans and Delhiites. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
Kabuli Pulao, Afghanistan’s national dish, is prepared with steamed rice and mixed with raisins, carrots and lamb. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
Mohammad Mussa Zahir, who hails from Kabul, enjoys tea at Pak-Afghan restaurant in Bhogal. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
Afghan kebabs at Balkh Delhi restaurant in Saket. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
The queen of Afghan sweets, Baghlava, is prepared with home-made dough and chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup and honey. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)
A migrant baking Afghan bread. (Shivam Saxena/ HT Photo)