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Navneet Kalra’s Khan Chacha: of tikkas, kebabs, and an old-world charm

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Change is the law of the universe. And yet, some things manage to remain constant throughout our lives. In my life, one such constant has been my love for Khan Chacha restaurant, owned by Delhi restaurateur Navneet Kalra. But what makes me love this place even more is the fact that it loves me back equally.

Over the many decades of its operations, Khan Chacha has undergone a number of transformations. However, a cosy setup, the aroma of spices, and delectable food on plate – these are a few things that haven’t changed a bit in all this time. To me and other Mughlai street food connoisseurs, the food joint will always be a place to have your fill and yet yearn for more.

The way Khan Chacha manages to retain its old-world charm while adapting to modernization is remarkable. Perhaps that’s why the restaurant is a favourite among commoners and celebrities alike.

Restaurateur Navneet Kalra, who runs several other establishments in the Khan Market area, has turned this small food joint into an omnipresent name. With branches sprawling all across Delhi NCR, Khan Chacha is gradually expanding its horizon under the aegis of its owner.

However, despite the air of modernization, food at Khan Chacha remains a constant among many variables. It doesn’t matter whether you are a die-hard non-vegetarian or a pure vegetarian – the restaurant manages to captivate your tastebuds with its decades-old recipes.

I still remember the very first roll I had at Khan Chacha – a Chicken Tikka roll at that. The oozing flavours and the chicken melting in my mouth – it was an experience that I would never forget.

Fast forward to 15 years later. I still am a frequent visitor to the cosy little food outlet nestled in the narrow lanes of Khan Market. The consistency surprises me. Not just on my part, but on the part of the restaurant as well.

Every time I sit down to grab a bite of my all-time favourite Chicken Tikka roll, there’s a riot of flavours in my mouth that goes on to satiate my food-loving soul.

I believe many from my league will agree with me on this when I say that this Navneet Kalra restaurant is not just a place to eat; it is also a place to create memories.

I might not remember the specific details of each and every time I have visited Khan Chacha to grab a quick lunch, or to hang out with friends after work. But what I remember all too well is that the moment I step inside, it feels like I’ve returned to home.

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