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Market Café’s all-new Winter Menu

Market Café’s all-new Winter Menu

By Anubhav Sapra

 

Recently, I was invited to review the winter special menu of Market Café, a multi cuisine restaurant in Khan Market. Market Café is well known for its Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. It has a nice terrace where one can bask in the sun, and experience the incomparable view of the lush greenery around.

WP_20150123_14_12_09_ProI started my food journey with a hot piping roasted pumpkin and beetroot soup served with their in-house baked bread, lightly buttered and toasted. The soup was thick and had a nice texture with small pieces of roasted pumpkin in it. I also tasted the zesty chicken soup, which had the right tinge of lemon with some little chicken chunks.

WP_20150123_14_28_32_ProOn Mr. Ajay’s recommendation, the restaurant manager, I was served Asparagus Cigar Rolls and Mumbai Street Sandwich. The Mumbai Street Sandwich was stuffed with potatoes, peas, cucumber, onions, and tomatoes. The insides of both the breads were wrapped evenly with coriander and mint chutney. I loved the way the Mumbai Street Sandwich was made, with sweet and savory chutney, which was a nice combination indeed. It seemed that the chef made it the way I liked. The other starter, the Asparagus Cigar Rolls were a bit of a disappointment. The oil overpowered the crust and cheese seemed to have mixed itself well with the oil.

WP_20150123_15_25_18_ProIn the main course, I was served the London fish and chips, which consisted of crumbed fried fish fillet served with tartar sauce. Although fried, it was light and delicious, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The taste was simply awesome. Chicken parmesan was another dish. The sight of it was heavenly. It seemed to have a breaded base and a fried chicken breast layered with tomato sauce, further topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The chicken was juicy and soft with all the ingredients in right amount. Till the time I could taste another dish, I was quite full but could not resist my carnivore instinct and straightaway, asked for lamb chops with three pepper sauce. The grilled lamb chop was tossed with cayenne white pepper, paprika, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Yet another dish served was the Pesto Delight, a pizza with my favourite pesto sauce. The aroma of it was enough to feed my senses. Thin crust pizza was wrapped in pesto sauce, served with farm vegetables, and was topped with mozzarella cheese. However, the crust being thin was also crispier.

WP_20150123_15_49_00_ProI rounded off my food journey with the all the three signature desserts of Market Café – Tiramisu, Philadelphia Cheesecake, and Gooey Chocolate. It was indeed a great treat for my taste buds.

Also included in the winter menu is the barbeque on the terrace. The winter menu has a wide array of other delectable dishes and is available till March 31st, 2015, everyday from 12 noon to 12 midnight. Bask in the sun this winter. Go on to have a wonderful lunch on Market café’s terrace!

Address: 8, Khan Market

M-40, FF, GK-2, Main Market.

Cost of meal for 2 – Rs. 1400.

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Counter Walon ki Dukaan

Counter Walon ki Dukaan

By Anubhav Sapra

WP_20150121_14_39_14_ProI read an inspiring story in today’s newspaper about a 13 year-old, Shubham, who has recently launched a company to develop low cost machines to print Braille. He is Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneur. Coincidentally, I met another 10 year old, Sameer, in Nizamuddin today afternoon with a degh, selling biryani, chicken korma and kheeri. For the first few minutes, I just saw him diligently taking out biryani from the degh, adding red chutney to it and serving it to hungry souls. Every time, he removed the lid from the degh of the biryani, the aroma of the spices and kewra straightaway entered my nostrils. My taste buds could not resist for long and I asked Sameer for a plate of biryani. I sprinkled the masalas lying in a small plate over the biryani, mixed the red hot garlic chutney and had a small spoon of it. The biryani was delightful. I had my second spoon and started the conversation with him.

WP_20150121_14_11_04_ProThere were two deghs lying next to each other. In one of them was chicken korma and the other contained kheeri. The dish kheeri is made from small pieces of a buff’s udder, and was something I heard for the first time. The curry is changed on a rotational basis everyday and ranges from achari chicken, aloo keema, aloo gosht, to matar keema. On Wednesday nights, they make special paaya, and ande ka kofta. On Friday afternoon, biryani is served with haleem. A plate of biryani costs Rs. 50. Most of the curries are in the range of Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 per plate. Sameer briefed me on everything about the menu. He was not very confident about the cooking, though. He was there to take care of the shop while his father was away for some work. I then asked him to introduce me to any elder person of his family.

After a brief interval, his uncle Imran came and shared the journey of his shop from a small cart to counter wali dukaan. Seven years back, Sameer’s father, Shakir Alam and his brother Imran started selling biryani on a small cart outside the Markaz in Nizamuddin. The inhabitants of Nizamuddin appreciated his biryani so much that they set up the small counter and table outside his home, near Qureshi Masjid, Karim Wali Gali. The shop became famous as Counter Walon ki Dukaan. Alam’s wife, Sitara ji cooks these mouth savouring delicacies at home, not once, but twice in a day. Alam sells these dishes during the afternoons (1 p.m to 4 p.m) and evenings (7 p.m. – 11 p.m.). Their mobile numbers are 7503626266 and 9555000489.

Imran informed me that Sameer got admission in another school, the session will start next month in February. Indeed, he is an entrepreneur in the making, a few years down the line, he might open up a restaurant and takes the Counter Wali Dukaan to another new level altogether. Nobody knows!

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Spaghetti Kitchen – “Make Your Own Pasta” Festival

Spaghetti Kitchen – “Make Your Own Pasta” Festival

By Nikita Saxena

A few days ago I had the opportunity of paying a visit to Spaghetti Kitchen and trying out their latest offering to all Italian foodies alike, “Make Your Own Pasta” Festival. Situated in a plush corner of the Pacific Mall in the Tagore Garden locale, the restaurant and its other branches in the National Capital Territory region (such as Noida, Gurgaon Sector 29, and others) and the country are offering its clientele a chance to mix and match their pastas, right from the pasta type to the sauce and the choice of vegetables and meats to be added. Upon reaching my destination, Mr. Govind, the area manager for the North India zone, guided me graciously through the range of various culinary choices as provided in the new menu specially crafted for their festival, which aims to cater to all kinds of choices, and to avoid the miscommunication and consequent confusion between chefs and their customers. Thus, it also provides a much welcome break from the monotony presented by the standard pasta menu, and helps bring about new food innovations as well. The festival started on the 15th of December last year and is continuing well into the new year, till the 31st of January.

Spaghetti Kitchen has an open-air kitchen and bar, which is certainly an added bonus for the curious mind and the hygienic consumer. The restaurant certainly scores well on the ambience, with the semi-rustic Italian interiors, comfortable wooden decor, and the soft relaxed lighting all complementing each other. The music was neither too overwhelmingly loud nor exceedingly soft, and comprised mainly of upbeat Italian folk music and other lively global tunes. After much consideration, Mr. Govind suggested that I go about the festival by sampling random combinations, much in the fashion of a blind taste test, and then decide whether the experience was worth it. My pasta journey started off on a sumptuous note, with a complimentary basket of different types of breads fresh from the oven. They were deliciously moist, crisp, and whole wheat in their composition. In no time the meticulously put assortment of breadsticks, flavoured round breads, and soft miniature buns was over, along with some strawberry and kiwi flavoured margaritas, which were sweet, light, refreshing to the palate, and ample in their natural taste, with an ingenious sprinkling of sugar on the rim.

IMG-20150115-WA0009The servers were well-spoken and served me small but adequate portions of each combination to sample so as to minimize wastage, after describing to me the ingredients and the cooking methods used in making each dish. I first tried the penne pomodoro piquante, a classic red sauce pasta preparation cooked in balsamic, and topped with burnt dried chillies and capers. It was earthy and tangy in its aroma and taste, and was neither too hot nor too spicy. Next I had the blackened chicken alfredo fettucine, a white sauce pasta which was super cheesy, soft and easy. This dish came with a very liberal but proportionate serving of braised chicken, which was tender, juicy, and crispy, and was cooked and spiced to perfection, and is simply a delight for the non-vegetarian fine diner. I was served a marinara next, a red sauce pasta dish comprising of the whole wheat spaghetti, which was a much needed healthy twist in my Italian indulgence, and wholesome in flavour and pleasant in texture as well. The marinara, as the name suggests, comprises of calamari (a fried squid preparation) and other mixed seafood, and contains pickled onions, olives, and capers in addition to its non-vegetarian components. It was certainly a different kind of Italian delicacy, and added zest to my culinary experience in the city of Delhi where you mainly get vegetable or chicken variants of pasta. The seafood was wonderfully incorporated into the dish, and while none of the pungent smells that one associates with fish was present anywhere, its unique taste and aroma were intact.

IMG-20150115-WA0005I had the pesto feta next, a vegetarian pasta dish cooked in the classic Italian green basil and garlic infusion as the name indicates. It was rich and creamy, delightfully refreshing to the taste buds, and topped with chopped cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and melting chunks of feta cheese. The pasta type used in making the pesto feta was the farfalle, which literally means “butterflies” in Italian and is distinguished by its bow-tie shape. The classic carbonara followed after this, made with spirelli pasta cooked along with farm fresh ham and bacon in a thick egg and white cream sauce. In the meantime, I had a steaming hot cup of cafe mocha, which was light and frothy throughout, and abundant in its aroma and flavour. Since I am partial to extra milky and substantially sweetened caffeinated beverages, the cafe mocha was a light and nice accompaniment in the middle of my meal. I concluded my journey of pastas by thoroughly relishing the smoked vegetable white sauce pasta cooked with bell peppers, zucchini, and other vegetables along with penne pasta in alfredo sauce. I had another round of beverages, and enjoyed a virgin mojito and a cold coffee mocha with equal gusto. The mojito was served in a tall glass with a straw and diced lemon, and was minty, cool, and revitalizing after all the heavy eating. It was garnished with fresh mint leaves and crushed ice on the top which gave it a vibrant slushy zest. The cold coffee was much similar in its presentation, and was an easy-to-sip slush of milk chocolate and coffee blended together in perfection.

IMG-20150116-WA0028On Mr. Govind’s suggestion, I tried some other specialties off Spaghetti Kitchen’s standard menu. The all vegetable pizza proved to be something that I came back for second helpings. Staying true to the original Italian thin crust pizza, the slices were toasted to a nice light brown with plenty of mushrooms, herbs, corn, olives, sundried tomatoes, and bell peppers as topping and melted cheese. While it certainly differed from most deep dish and thick crust pizzas as made by commercial food chains such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s, it was a much better gastronomic experience with its crunchiness and earthy flavours. I was introduced to the brilliant head chef, Mr. Ajay Verma, and thanked him for his wonderful food creations. Much to any foodie’s delight, I made a grand finish with a sumptuous dessert course. The sizzling brownie satiated my sweet tooth with its marvellous presentation, rich flavours, and warm, gooey texture. It consisted of a soft chocolate brownie, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dried fruits and nuts on a hot iron pan. My server brought it on the table along with a small pot of chocolate sauce, and poured it all over the dish, and one can only eat the end result to believe it. I also had a small croissant, which was oven fresh crisp on the outside and buttery on the inside. Finally I tasted the tiramisu, which had a soft creamy consistency and a slightly milky and sweet taste all through. Staying true to the classic version, this tiramisu was also coffee flavoured, and was served in a huge glass with coffee powder sprinkled on the top.

Spaghetti Kitchen was a whole new eating out experience, and I highly recommend everyone to go and try out their pasta festival. It is a novel concept with a lot of potential, and an opportunity that should not be missed by any Italian food lover currently in the city. It is a fine culinary experience, one that will leave you and your taste buds comfortably warm and fully satisfied by the end of your visit. So go and visit your nearest Spaghetti Kitchen outlet now, and indulge yourself in some heavenly pasta goodness.

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Kala Burger Wala

Kala Burger Wala

By Simran Kaur Kainth

IMG_20150101_184047West Delhi is said to be the hub of amazing food joints .Every Street and corner is famous for one or the other food speciality of its own. One such fantastic street joint situated in Subhash Nagar is Kala Burger Wala. People who lives around this area has amazing memories attached to this place. KBW was started by Joginder Singh, a small vegetable seller back in 1990 who sold burger at Re 1.

Since then it has become the most well known joint in the locality. As the name suggest KBW is famous for its vegetarian burger. Priced at Rs.40, the burger served here is simple yet finger licking. As we all know, usually burger is prepared with fancy dressing and toppings but KBW likes to keep its burger authentic, rich ,tummy filling.

The round buns are fried on tawa untill crisp, a sizzling aloo tikki is stuffed in along with big slices of fresh paneer. Thinly sliced cucumber and onion is placed inside the bun and drizzled with generous amount of masala. Guess what ? your snack is ready to digg in. The moment you take the first bite, the soft paneer and aloo tikki dissolves in your mouth. The taste of veggies refreshes you and you actually forget about the calories !

The sour green chutney  prepared with anardana ,mint, green chillies and coriander is mixed with sweetness of red saunth and is served along with this snack which is  Singh’s wife’s own recipe. Entire joint is run by the team work of the family. One can see the family members rolling the doughs of tikkis and handling the kitchen and counters.

With time and stiff competition , KBW added vegetable rolls, spring roll, momos and noodles to its menu .But frankly , customers rarely order these dishes from the menu. The Tikki Burger is what people are fond of.

Thus, a great value for money, however, you may find parking problem but suits best as a takeaway joint. Definitely ,a great option for vegetarians that stumps you on your very first visit.

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Join the Olive Oil Revolution

Join the Olive Oil Revolution

It is a known fact that Olive Oils are one of the healthiest oils in the world. They are rich in antioxidants and beneficial substances and have high nutritional value. They even help prevent and fight against many diseases. To launch the revolution, celebrity chef Kunal Kapoor joined hands with Nutritionist Seema Singh and showcased the benefits of cooking with Olive oil.

Olive Oil is ideal for cooking, be it Indian or continental, and even in the preparation of salads and desserts. Its ability to resist high temperatures makes it easier to create a thin, golden and crunchy coating, which prevents the food from absorbing oil, keeping it juicy and appetizing. This feature makes it ideal for cooking Indian dishes without changing the taste and texture of the dish.

Chef Kunal Kapoor at Join the Olive Oil Revolution says “There are many reasons for joining the most delicious and the healthiest revolution in history! A revolution that began thousands of years ago and that has reached us today to give a new, delicious touch of flavor to all our favorite recipes will help us discover more such recipes.”

Nutritionist Seema Singh says “During a child’s first years, the energy requirement is very high. Some of the energy consumed comes from fat, either in milk, essential in childhood, or from other types of fat. Olive Oil is one of the most healthy Oils, it is rich in antioxidants and beneficial substances, it has a high nutritional value and helps prevent and fights against many diseases.

Olive Oil better withstands high temperatures and is very stable due to its Oleic Acid. Any oil, unless it has a very strong flavor is suitable for Indian food. And Olive Oils don’t have any distinct flavor of their own, so is ideal as a cooking medium for all kinds of Indian foods. It helps in retaining taste along with fresh. If used regularly, the consumption of monounsaturated fats that lowers cholesterol will help prevent cardiovascular diseases and may reduce the risk of some cancers. Therefore, it is recommended to use Olive Oil for Indian cooking.

Chef Kunal Kapoor with Nutritionist Seema Singh promoting Oilve Oil revolution Cooking session with chef kunal kapoor

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Bhaijaan Kebabs

Bhaijaan Kebabs

By Anubhav Sapra

Last Sunday, Delhi Food Walks conducted its first community food walk of 2015 – the Kebab and Biryani Trail in Old Delhi. The food walk started with galouti kebabs and ended with the famous sutli kebabs of Bazar Matia Mahal. The highlight of the kebab trail was Bhaijaan Kebabs. The name of the shop itself will arouse the curiosity of anyone visiting the shop. When I first visited the shop, I was expecting a well-built, husky fan of the Bollywood star Salman Khan. However, I met the rather gracious owner, Mohd. Shamim, who started selling kebabs three years back just out of his passion and love for kebabs. The shop is run by his son, Ubaid, and his cousins, Javed and Ameen.

WP_20150110_18_43_17_ProLet me tell you the location and directions to reach his shop. Keep walking straight in Bazar Matia Mahal until you reach Chitli Qabar Chowk, then take a right turn from there, and ask anyone the directions to the famous Flora Bakery. Bhaijaan Kebabs are right opposite Flora Bakery. The complete address is shop no. 2202, Bazar Chitli Qabar, Opp. Flora Bakery, Delhi-6. The shop is closed on Tuesdays. You can contact Bhaijaan Kebabs on the following numbers – 9811020272, 9899145777.

The shop is named Bhaijaan (literally, brother) Kebabs because the age difference among the siblings in Mohd. Shamim’s family was not much and everyone in the family started calling him “bhaijaan”. Bhaijaan, originally a contractor for painting work, used to invite his family and friends for daawat back at home. His kebabs were so delectable that the guests who tasted his kebabs in dawaats convinced him to take his passion of cooking to the next level and open a kebab shop. He opened a small shop selling chicken shami kebabs in a narrow alley in Chitli Qabar.

WP_20150110_18_31_22_ProAn interesting part of the most of food joints in Old Delhi is that they specialize in a particular dish and pass the recipes from one generation to the next without tweaking the recipes. Keeping alive the Old Delhi tradition, Bhaijaan Kebabs sells only one kind of kebabs – shami kebabs. The keema of shami kebabs are made with chane ki daal, dried red chillies, green chillies, and Bhaijaan’s secret spices. A piece of kebab costs Rs. 10 and a kg of keema for shami kebabs is Rs. 200. The kebabs are half fried and kept in a glass box. On order, the shami kebabs are deep fried, chaat masala is sprinkled over it, and is served with green chutney and onion in a dona. The kebabs are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The uniqueness of his kebabs are the fibres which one can experience in the first bite. The taste of the kebabs was delicious, and the spices and whole red chillies added to the interesting mix of flavours.

The kebab lovers moved in to another lane of Chitli Qabar for sutli kebabs after relishing the taste of Bhaijaan’s fibrous shami kebabs.

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Raju ke Himachali Chhole

Raju ke Himachali Chhole

By Anubhav Sapra

The first week of January has passed. I have eaten only vegetarian food and extreme vegetarian at it – saatvik food – without onion and garlic. Many food joints or restaurants serve saatvik food without onion and garlic. There is Savarna Bhawan in Connaught Place that serves Jain sambar and at the other end there are eateries in Kamla Nagar – Brijwasi Rasgule Wala and Trishul Chaat Bhandar, all dishes cooked without onion and garlic. Last week, I had two classic Delhi dishes – chhole kulche of Raju in Kamla Nagar and chhole bhature of Nand Di Hatti in Sadar Bazar that makes chhole without onion and garlic. They both were delectable in taste.

WP_20150107_15_56_37_ProRaju, a man of innovations, has set up his whole shop in his cycle – rajma, rice, kulche, raita, a pan to heat kulche, dustbin, small pots containing black salt and masalas, green chilli pickles, and boards mentioning the names of the dishes – all on his bicycle. He is from a nearby locality in Kamla Nagar, called Sora Kothi, where he started his career as a salesman in a shop in Kamla Nagar. He got married later and to meet his both ends, he started selling kachoris on his cycle. The kachori business did not do well. But soon he met his guru Kedar from whom he learned the art of cooking a special kind of chhole, in his words Himachali chhole, without oil, onion, and garlic from his guru. The shopkeepers and the salesman, who work in these shops in Kamla Nagar, liked the taste of chhole without onion and garlic garnished with mild spices. Although, chhole is cooked without onion and garlic but he adds fresh onion if anyone asks for it. For last 15 years he has been selling chhole kulche, rajma, and kadi chawal in F Block, Kamla Nagar, opposite Stylish Collection Shop between 12 noon to 3:30 p.m.

It was 3 p.m. when I met him. The rajma rice was over. I could taste the last plate of chhole kulche and leftover gravy of rajma. Both of them were cold, but the taste was amazing. It was made in the Himachali style, where chhole is boiled, the excess water is drained out and then masalas are added to it. He topped the chhole with green pudina chutney, fresh onion and served crisp kulche with butter. I had chhole and kulche without looking for water to cool down the spices. The leftover gravy with a few grains of rajma had great taste. The aroma of the spices was still there. I slurped the gravy with a resolve to visit Raju’s mobile shop again on time to taste rajma and kadi chawal.

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Eating Corner

Eating Corner

By Simran Kaur Kainth

Eating corner is the most crowded Chaat joint that serves impeccable variety of food on the busiest street of Model Town for over 5 decades.

Not just favourite of people living in this area, but foodies from all the corners of Delhi  love Eating corner for its yummy street food. Open on all the days of the week, it serves tempting pure vegetarian delicacies to its die heart lovers. You would love everything from Eating corner’s long menu list whether its chatpata Dahi Bhalla, crunchy Lachcha tokri, charcoaled Paneer Tikka, sizzling Aloo Tikki,  buttery Pao Bhaji or Soya based items.

JpegThis time on my visit to Eating corner, locally known as Matroo ki Dukaan, I tried Soya chaap and hot and sizzling Aloo Tikki which is my personal favourite in this chilly winter. 2 portions of  tikki is priced at Rs. 50 and is easily affordable by everyone. The chaat masala added to it, infuses a distinct taste along with the super spicy mint and tamarind chutney.

In special soya based menu, Pudina Soya Chaap is a show stealer. Soya is marinated with tangy mint sauce and kept overnight so that it fully absorbs all the flavours. Then the Soya is beautifully charcoaled and served fresh on the platter that consist of 10 pieces only for Rs 130. Apart from that, it also serves Masala Afghani, Stuffed Mashroom  and Kathal soya chaaps. You can also enjoy the chaaps with Rumali Roti or get it stuffed into a crispy roll.

Eating corner is best known for its innovative creations. Pineapple Tikka and Nacho corn chaat are its latest additions. These new creations are a big hit  because the people have always adored whatever item is served here ,as they are cooked to perfection and Eating corner has always maintained quality standards along with the twist of taste.

The fact that I appreciate the most about this joint is that all the dishes are prepared in olive oil and served in hygienic manner, one can notice clean plastic head covers and gloves in the hands of each and every worker.

However, it is bit hard to stand and enjoy your food as there is no seating arrangement; people usually sit outside the nearby shops. So, when you reach here, be prepared to face little difficulty in parking and seating arrangements.

Overall ,a great place to visit with family and friends.