Posted on

Sanjha Chulha Food Exhibition

Sanjha Chulha Food Exhibition

By Anubhav Sapra

IMG_20150329_180206

Years ago, Marshall McLuhan aptly remarked world as a ‘global village’. Quite evident, as it is today, the seamless exchanges of ideas, culture, people and of course food, across borders. People have migrated from one region to another for various reasons. With them, travelled the food culture. This has also lead to the heterogenisation of food culture. And offcourse, its evolution.  There seems to be no such thing as local food now, the food being eaten in one part of the globe is easily available in another part. South Asia is one region where eating habits in most of the countries shares a lot of commonality.

To promote the cross cultural collaborations between nine South Asian Countries, a movement titled “Sasian Journey”, has been led by the Asian Heritage Foundation and Self Employed Women’s Association, in collaboration with prominent NGOs of the region in engagement with the Smithsonian Institution, USA. They are hosting Lotus Bazar, the flagship market development package conceived for deserving artists, artisans, cooperatives and cultural enterprises through design let interventions. The Lotus Bazar has also on offer- South Asia’s first food festival- Sanjha Chulha, which literally means Common Kitchen. The festival has been curated by food critic and scholar Dr. Pushpesh Pant to promote the incredible variety of local and regional cuisines of South Asia showcasing the diversity of culinary art. The dishes are cooked by the in-house team of The Ashok Hotel led by the Executive Chef, Mr. Lumba.

The Menu from different countries are-

India:

  • Murgh Rehana with Naan/Parantha
  • Gulnar Biryani with Raita/Salad
  • Dum Gosht Biryani with Raita/Salad
  • Stuffed Gulab Jamun

Sri Lanka:

  • Kukul Mas Curry (Chicken flavored with coconut milk, curry leaves, black pepper & Gigi paste) with Kaha Bhaat  (Yellow Rice tempered with mustard seeds & curry leaves )
  • Kukul Mas Curry with Pol Roti(Coconut Flavoured grilled roti)

Pakistan:

  • Anda Keema Kaleji Naan/Parantha
  • Soya Keema Kaleji Naan/Parantha
  • Paneer Peshawari with Naan/Parantha

Afghanistan:

  • Afghani Shorva (Thin Mutton preparation) with Afgani Naan

Nepal / Bhutan:

  • Veg Thupka(Veg Stew topped with noodles)
  • Veg Momos with Dip(Chilli Garlic)
  • Chicken Momos with Dip(Chilli Garlic)

Bangladeshi:

  • Sarson Maach (Mustard Flavored fish curry)with steamed rice

Dessert Menu

  • Mishti Doi from Bangladesh
  • Stuffed Gulab Jamun from India
  • Tila Kufi from Indian Subcontinent
  • Phirni from Pakistan

In the Evening the festival has nice combination of snacks, from 3pm to 7pm

  • Samosa with Mint Chutney
  • Fried Vegetable Wontons
  • Chicken Momos with Dips
  • Vegetable Momos with Dips

The festival is on till 31st March at The Lilly Pool Lawn at The Ashok, Chanakyapuri and entry is free.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Woodbox Cafe

A BOHEMIAN ADVENTURE

By Prakriti Bhat

One is spoilt for choice at Hudson lane in GTB Nagar. It caters to every mood with an array of eating joints. From Korean to Italian, you get it all here. Since it is very close to the north campus of Delhi University, this area frequently hosts students who come here to slake their taste buds. The only way for an eatery to survive here is to be different from the others in every possible way. And Woodbox Café has managed to endure this wild race successfully. With its avant garde interiors and economical prices, Woodbox Café is a hit with the college crowd.

Manika Pahwa, an interior designer along with her brother, a budding architect, came up with the idea of establishing a restaurant where they could combine their individual skills to provide a culinary cum artistic experience to their customers. And this is how Woodbox Café was born in August 2013 in GTB Nagar. After an overwhelming response, another branch was opened up in Satyaniketan in March 2014, near Venkateshwara College. “We are consciously targeting the college crowd. They need not go far from their colleges to have a wholesome meal. Quality food and ambience are our forte. We aim to bring an offbeat food experience closer to the masses. In fact not only students but also families have visited and appreciated our outlets.”

cycleAt a walking distance from the GTB Nagar Metro station, Woodbox Café has something which many other restaurants lack-space. It has a rooftop and underground seating arrangement as well. The walls are designed in a very non conformist manner using pieces of cloth, forks, spoons, nuts and bolts, pins, etc. They add vibrancy to the whole décor. The hanging lanterns are made from strings, straws, playing cards and artificial foliage. The rooftop area is equally well decorated with broken glass bottles embedded in the wall. The wash basin is fixed upon a bicycle and over it is an old fashioned, rustic yet interesting “Victoria station” wall clock. In the evening, fairy lights adorn the canopy-like seating arrangement. With such striking interiors, it scores high on concept and designing. Another advantage that Woodbox Café has is its location. It is situated a little away from the main road and thus has a peaceful environment.

caesarEvery dish on their menu is presented well with appropriate condiments like breads, etc. Kitkat shake and Ferrero Rocher shake are lip smacking beverages which are widely popular amongst the regulars here. Their black currant soda is something to look out for. Neither very sweet nor very salty or fizzy, it is the perfect drink to quench your thirst. All drinks are served in Heineken or Grey Goose vodka bottles neatly cut to make glasses; an exceptionally innovative idea widely welcomed by the visitors. The Chicken Caesar Salad has a generous amount of chicken shreds along with a delicious dressing. It is much better than the nearby rival, Ricos’ Caesar Salad. For vegetarians, the Grilled Mushroom Sandwich is a blessing from the heavens. Each bite has a sumptuous filling of juicy mushrooms and cheese. For non vegetarians, Cheesy Grilled Chicken Sandwich wins my vote. The chicken is grilled to perfection with the requisite spices mixed with garlic, thyme and cheese. Sandwiches are served with crispy salted wafers and a dip.

The crispy honey potatoes fall flat with their not-so-appetizing flavor. The Picante Pizza is a specialty of this place. Topped with jalapenos and bell peppers it tingles your taste buds with its piquant flavour. The Indiano Chicken Tikka Pizza is a delight for the eyes and mouth. Biting into these thin crust pizzas will transport you to Italy and its rich legacy of pizzas. Penne Arabiatta is the usual white sauce pasta; tasty but nothing exquisite. Their Spaghetti Aglio Olio is a personal favourite. Laced with seasonings and chilli flakes, it is the best spaghetti I have had so far. It’s better than their other entrée, Roman Spaghetti. The pastas too are served with buttered garlic bread. Also, their Chicken Lasagna tops my list of best lasagnas. It is baked exceedingly well with a liberal topping of cheese and spicy minced chicken filling. I guarantee that this dish will leave you asking for more!

sandwichWoodbox Café is a one of its kind food chain as it works towards not just providing classy dining experience but also promotes a healthy environment. They have erected a big junk collector outside their restaurants and provide attractive discounts to people who bring in junk like papers, magazines and similar dry waste. They also have thematic menus served according to different festivals. “We are constantly re-innovating our menus and interiors and for that purpose constructive criticism is always welcome. We plan on taking the brand to other towns like Chandigarh and Dehradun”, says Manika. They recently opened ‘The Vintage Avenue’ in GTB Nagar which is fast becoming a rage with the students owing to its floral and old world interiors.

Woodbox Café is definitely the place to go if you want to have a holistic foodie experience replete with good music and prompt service.

Location- 1, DDA Market, Hudson line, Delhi University-GTB Nagar, New Delhi

Cost for 2-600 (approx)

Contact no.- 011-43090454, 9350507004

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Karim’s

A ROYAL AFFAIR

By Prakriti Bhat

karimsWalking through the serpentine lanes of Old Delhi, one comes across the hustle and bustle of life with people setting up their shops and getting ready for the day. Butchers, hardware shops, stationary stores, etc open their shutters to the world keeping up their promises of quality products at wholesale prices. Cars, rickshaws, autos, scooters, e-rickshaws, all try to squeeze their way through the narrow streets. The shouts of shopkeepers, the jingling of rickshaw bells, the chatter of people; they all have a music of their own and add to the charm of Old Delhi. But a trip to the walled city is simply incomplete without a visit to the famous Karim’s. Known worldwide for its Mughlai food and amiable service, Karim’s boasts of a rich cultural and culinary history.

Rewind to the Mughal era. The Mughal emperors would constantly go out on wars to secure their position in the sultanate. Since years, the royal cook would prepare meals under the aegis of the Mughal queens and kings but with the onset of British rule, the Mughal Empire came to an end. When the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled, the royal cook (whose descendants are now running Karim’s) had to leave the durbar and look elsewhere for a job. In 1911, at the time of coronation of King George V, Haji Karimuddin moved to Delhi with an idea to open a small dhaba to cater to the guests coming from all over the world. He set up a little stall outside the towering Jama Masjid and his menu only consisted of a humble combination of aloo ghosht and daal served with roti. In 1913, Haji Karimuddin set up the Karim’s Hotel in Gali Kababian, right opposite to Jama Masjid and today it is a prominent eatery in the capital city.

Bringing royal food to the common man’s plate at a nominal rate has been the main objective of Karim’s. The family continues to conjure up delectable dishes, each with a closely guarded secret. It is a 5 minute rickshaw ride from the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station. The rickshaw drops you right in front of Jama Masjid from where you have to enter one of the many alleyways. Meandering through the narrow lane, a whole new world opens up in the form of Karim’s. It’s hard to imagine how such a big place can exist at the end of such a constricted gali. They have 3-4 sections to serve the heavy crowd that starts pouring in from morning itself. The staff is dedicated and affable and the service is quite efficient. Going against the popular notion of Old Delhi being an unhygienic place, the restaurant also scores high on hygiene.

1395857_546954232055129_791945401_nI went to this place with some NRI relatives who had heard a lot about its culinary delights and rich history. The place works at its own rhythm as the cook stirs the steel pots at a steady pace over burning coal and not fire. We ordered Chicken Burra, Mutton Burrah, Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Mutton Kebabs, Sheermal and Mutton Korma. The Chicken and Mutton Burrah were well marinated and slightly charred on the surface. The Biryani was cooked in a typical Mughlai manner with less spice which worked well for my relatives. The meat was succulent. Mutton Korma was a dish of mutton served with a red curry which satiated our taste buds. This we ate with a flatbread called Sheermal which is a specialty here. The Mutton Kebabs were my favourites. Juicy and delicious, they took ‘yummy’ to another level altogether. Other popular dishes here are Badam Pasanda, Chicken Mughlai and an exclusive entrée called Tandoori Bakra which has to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Zaeemuddin Ahmed is the restaurant’s director and a representative of the family to have worked here. Numerous generations have come and gone but the standard of their food remains unchanged. Karim’s may have opened numerous branches all over Delhi like Gurgaon, Noida, Nizamuddin and Saket, placed in swanky malls and modern markets. But for the most genuine, best and truest experience one must visit its original branch near Jama Masjid, where the saga began. It has definitely put Old Delhi on the world map by offering a satisfying meal to people from all across the globe. People can experience the richness of Mughal Durbar by digging into their food. At the end of Gali Kababian awaits a magical world of gastronomic delights.

Location- 16, Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid

Cost for two- 850 (approx)

Contact no. – 01123264981

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Pizza Express

 

Real Italian comes to Gurgaon

By Priyali Prakash

It’s time for some authentic Italian food in Gurgaon. PizzaExpress is all set to open its second outlet of the Delhi- NCR region. Delhi Food Walks is offering you a sneak peek into what this restaurant has to offer. Read on to find out!

A word of caution: if you are too accustomed to the Indian palate with its generous share of spices, this might not be the best place for you. But, if you are adventurous enough to try some Italian food exactly the way how it should be, PizzaExpress is the place to be at!

Their signature starter dish, the Doughballs, is a personal favourite. Little balls of lightly seasoned dough, served with an assortment of dips including garlic butter, pesto and pesto rosso, are the best thing to start the meal with. The doughballs are light and fluffy and served hot- the perfect beginning for an Italian meal.

Other starters include Polpette, chicken meatballs in chicken Bolognese sauce and Ramiro Al Forno for the vegetarians, sweet red pepper stuffed with goat’s cheese, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Pizzaexpress 1The pizzas at PizzaExpress come with an extremely thin crust. The management puts it as, “Simple and authentic pizzas, always served in style. Just the way the Italians do.” While the Apollo pizza comes with Tandoori chicken, modified specially for Indians, the Padana Romana with spinach, goat’s cheese, mozzarella and red and caramelised onions, finished with a drizzle of garlic oil, might be the tastiest option for vegetarians.

Also on the menu is the Pomodoro Pesto Romana. As the name suggests, pesto sauce is the hero among the toppings here, accompanied by cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and baby mozzarella. Though, the final drizzle of garlic oil makes the pizza a little too oily.

The pastas in general seem to be a little undercooked, but according to one of the very sweet staff members, that’s how the Italians like it. The Tagliatelle Pollo Bolognese, classic chicken Bolognese sauce with a little twist stands out as the best pasta on the menu. The Penne Pollo Picante would have tasted a lot better had the sauce not been as dry.

As far as the desserts are concerned, Banoffee Pie wins hands down. The classic dessert, served with a dollop of mascarpone cheese on the side is a sure shot winner.

PizzaExpress is all beautified and lit up to welcome you. Pay them a visit to find out more about what they have to offer!

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Palate Mini: Satiating the taste buds of Delhiites

Palate Mini: Satiating the taste buds of Delhiites

By Priyali Prakash

11064344_950772831599975_1047692751_oThe Palate Food Festival organised in November 2014 by Aditi Kapoor and Ruchi Sibal, in association with NDMC, was a hugely successful event. The organisers followed it up with the ongoing ‘Palate Mini’, a miniature version of the original fest, as the name suggests.

Palate Mini has been running for two days and will end on March 15. The festival is being held in Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri, Delhi. The indecisive weather, fluctuating between sunny and cloudy and cool of winter winds and the warmth of summer, is the perfect time for an outdoor celebration of food. With the picturesque setting amidst vivid flowers that mark the season of spring, this festival is rightly being called the ‘Spring Fest’.

Palate Mini gives Delhiites a chance to taste some of the best desserts in town, ranging from cupcakes and fresh nitro ice creams to waffles and apple pies. The best thing about this fest is that not only it gives established restaurants a chance to showcase their products, market zone vendors are also given the opportunity to reach out to the general public and promote their delicacies.

We have the famous Elma’s pronouncing its superiority in the realm of desserts ‘like a boss’, but we also have the Sinful Bites selling very pretty looking mini cupcakes and brownies, which also taste as amazing as they look. Meanwhile, the Leela Palace is using this platform to launch their new bakery. The usual customer will definitely find himself spoilt for choice.

Apart from desserts, other parts of the meal in varying cuisines have also been taken care of.  Sakae Sushi is offering authentic sushi experience while Hyderabad House promises to take you on a journey of exquisite Hyderabadi experience through their delectable food. Fat Lulu’s is here with their pizzas and so is Royal China, aiming to give us a taste of authentic Chinese food.

Apart from a wide variety of options to choose from, this place also has organic fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, homemade dips and pickles and even crockery for sale. There is also an activity corner for little kids.

As the organisers call it, this festival aims to provide a ‘complete community experience’ and looking at the ever increasing crowd in this park, we can surely say that they are quite successful in their endeavour.

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

The Timeless Madras Coffee House

The Timeless Madras Coffee House

By: Shagun Nayar

MCH-www.zootout.com_The Madras Coffee house, located in the Outer circle of Cannaught Place is much more than what meets the eye. I say this because the Madras Coffee House has been able to successfully withstand money-making corporations and multi-national food chains and stand tall& proud as one of the oldest café’s/restaurants/hotels in the capital city. The offers keep coming, but the dedicated and loyal workforce of this humble and charming little café is true to its cause of protecting what seems to be, one of the very few remaining  haunts of Old Delhi.This coffee house is a legacy in itself because of its rich historical background and cultural importance. It emits a strong sense of pride and loyalty which is why the owner feels that in a couple of years, the Madras Coffee House will be considered as a heritage landmark.

It was initially a modest ice-cream parlour which was owned by the Hem Chand Jain family who moved from Punjab to Delhi. Like any farsighted business man, he expanded his shop into a restaurant and bar called the Shanghai Restaurant and bar which was a popular haunt for the British soldiers who brought over their lady friends, danced with them within the pasty white walls on band music, ordered Chinese food and sipped on their cocktails. Owing to the supremacy of the British crown and the strong pertinent racial bias, Indians were not allowed in this restaurant even though the owner was an Indian national. The owner frowns when he speaks of this, but that’s just how things were back in British India. Post-independence, the restaurant was changed once again into a pure vegetarian milk bar, called Respo Bar &once again, Indians were welcomed with open arms. Owing to its prime location and popularity, Jain transformed it into a fully functional coffee house in the 1950’s and that is how the Madras Coffee House came into being.

On entering this coffee house, you are immediately transported back in time. The windows are covered with plastic flowers hanging down, there is a temple with an idol at the entrance of this coffee house which is surrounded almost as if it is under guard, by a structure of bamboo. The ambience of this place is sure to make you nostalgic. The pale off-white walls running across the coffee house, covered with broad panels of metal engravings are met with dark orange tables and modest wooden chairs covered with an olive green fabric.  The entire place is exactly how it was in the 1950’s.  There is a huge backdrop of Kwality Walls Ice-cream posters behind the counter and an ice-cream parlour that is no longer functional. It’s a typical coffee house with music playing in the back, crowded with college students, middle aged professionals and the odd 1-2 foreigners.

11040258_818025618267079_1839288466_nThe menu is diverse with a wide array of dishes spread across Indian, Chinese and South Indian. The infamous filter coffee, the airy-light Idli’s and the delicious Special Masala Dosa were my favourites from the menu. The filter coffee was made just like any typical south Indian filter coffee served with a sugar pot. The Idli’s were soft and airy, accompanied by an authentic rendition of the coconut chutney & spicy Sambar, the special masala Dosa was a combination of well-boiled potatoes, curry leaves, cottage cheese, peanuts, fried onions and tomatoes.Dining in the Madras Coffee House was an experience in itself with soft, soothing music playing in the background, students and professions reading their books and the manager, waiters bringing in food with utmost simplicity and joy.

So, if you’re ever wandering the streets of Cannaught place or looking for a taste of real Delhi, don’t forget to check out the Madras Coffee House and be transported back into time with walls that tell stories of the glorious past and food that will make you come back for more.

Location: P 5/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi

Contact Number: 011 23363074

Approximate cost for two: Rs. 450

 

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Kebab Garh Festival @ Barbeque Nation

Kebab Garh Festival @ Barbeque Nation

By Anubhav Sapra

Being a kebab freak, I dare not miss any opportunity to be at any of the kebab festivals happening anywhere in Delhi. And this time it is Barbeque Nation hosting a Kebab Garh festival in all its outlets in Delhi till 8th March, where kebab lovers can savour a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs.

Bharwan Murg TangariBarbeque Nation has never disappointed me. I was there a few months back when they hosted Pat Chapman Grills, the world festival featuring amazing grills at their outlet in Noida. And this time, I was more than just overwhelmed to taste every kebab being served in the Kebab Garh festival. I started with the Bharwan Tangri – the leg of chicken stuffed with cheese, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. It was grilled to perfection. Next was Teen Mirchi Prawns – prawns with green chillies, black pepper, and red chilli flakes. This dish was simply delectable. Having three different kinds of chillies, it was not that hot and spicy and went well with the garlic mayonnaise. Another kebab, although named the Mughlai Tali Machi, was similar to Amritsari fish and had a nice flavor of ajwain in it.

In the vegetarian section, I tried the Hariyali Kebab – a mixture of all that was green – spinach, coriander, mint, green chillies. However, the best kebab in the vegetarian section was the karela kebab – small pieces of karela stuffed with cottage cheese, lentils, and cheese. This was just cooked the right way, peeled first, then boiled, and later kept in cold water. Before I could take out the karela kebab from the skewer, the chef warned saying, “It has a bitter taste.” Keeping aside the Chef’s warning, I ate them all straight from the skewers. It was delicious without much bitterness, crisp from the outside and soft on the inside. To cater to the momos eating generation, the festival also has tandoori momos with cheese balls, named Naye Nawab ki Pasand and is served with mint chutney.

The Diwan-e-Shakahari main course for vegetarians has Akbari Paneer, the Badshahi Baingan, and the Shahi Mattar Mushroom, etc. The Diwan-e-Mansahari main course for non-vegetarians consists of dishes like Murg Lababdaar, Mutton Shah Pasanda, Nizam Fish curry, etc.

BBQN 7th Nov14162Barbeque Nation has also launched Kulfi Nation. With a basic mix of six variants – four with sticks – figs, strawberry, mangoes, and paan, and two without sticks – malai, and kesar pista, one can create their favourite toppings. As the summer is approaching, it is indeed going to be a big relief for kebab lovers to savour the succulent kebabs on the table and end the meal with kulfi.

Meal for two: Rs 1600

Outlets: Janakpuri, Connaught Place and Jangpura

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Holi Celebrations @Zambar

Holi Celebrations @Zambar

With a Scrumptious Rainbow Holi Thali and Chocolate Bomb Ghujiya!

By Bhuvaneshwari Sivakumar

Date – 5th and 6th March 2015

Timings –12 noon to 11 pm

Outlets – Ambience Mall, Gurgaon and DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon

Zambar – The Coastal Kitchen has come up with a special thali to celebrate the festive occasion of Holi. After the wild and crazy holi celebrations, an afternoon meal at this famed south-Indian restaurant is the perfect choice!

WP_20150305_019

Our trip to Zambar on 5th March was filled with wonderful surprises. The afternoon started with a glassful of hot rasam – a soup that south-Indians are accustomed to eating with rice in between a three-course meal – and a basketful of appalams (Papad). To serve the rasam an appetizer was not a bad idea at all. It had the right amount of tanginess; just enough to whet your appetite. Plus, drinking it out of a glass is always fun!

What followed was a treat to the eyes and to the taste buds as well! The Rainbow Holi Thali (Non-Veg), with a Malabar parotta bang at the center surrounded by a host of delectable dishes from across the South, was a culinary delight.

WP_20150305_010

The sambhar tasted brilliant. It was exactly how one would prepare it at home – balanced flavors, and perfect consistency. The only downside was that there was nothing to eat it with. A bowl of white rice would have been perfect.

The parotta was as authentic as the sambhar. It would have been better if it was a little thinner. It was well-roasted otherwise.

There were three dishes that you could team with the parotta – Chettinad Mutton Curry, Nilgiri Korma and Paneer Curry. The Chettinad Mutton Curry was the best dish on the thali, followed by the Nilgiri Chicken Korma, which is a famous Hyderabadi cuisine. With its delicious curry and succulent paneer cubes, the Paneer Curry was a close competitor to these two Non-veg dishes.

The next amazing dish on the plate was the Vegetable Thoran. It is a stir fry dish from Kerala made of finely chopped vegetables, famous for its simplicity. This particular thoran was prepared with beans, carrots and grated coconut. We were bowled over by its minimal yet incredible taste.

The lemon rice was a stand-alone dish. It was neither lemony nor was the choice of rice used correct. Using basmati rice for preparing lemon rice is an absolute no. A bowl of white rice in its place would have worked wonders for the thali. The same goes for the Chicken 65 which was dry and unsavory. Both these dishes were the weak points of an otherwise brilliantly-prepared and wholesome thali.

 Our afternoon meal ended with a plate of delectable Chocolate Ghujiyas and a cup of filter coffee. After such a heavy meal, we were unsure if we would be able to eat the ghujiyas. But one bite was enough to put an end to our suspicions. They were absolutely light and left you feeling pleasant! We even got a few packed to take home with us. Well, we just finished eating one each in the course of writing this review. Get up and head straight to Zambar! Now!

     WP_20150305_014     WP_20150305_017 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Coffee House

Coffee House

By Prakriti Bhat

Hidden in the bylanes of the colourful Tibetian colony, Majnu Ka Tila is ‘Coffee House’. It is 15-20 minutes away from the students’ hub-North Campus. Tucked away from the rest of the market, it is a cozy little underground café frequently thronged by students and adults alike. One can also spot monks coming here for a quiet cup of tea or coffee. Since its not very far from the north campus of Delhi University, 90% of the crowd will be students coming in to have a cup of coffee or a muffin before they head back to be grilled in their lectures at college. The moment you enter the place, the aroma of fresh cakes will grip you to the place till you try atleast one o them.

unnamedThey have a simple menu consisting of different variants of teas, coffees, mocktails and scrumptious cakes to choose from. Their cakes and muffins are freshly baked and served hot. Their Mud Cake is the most frequently ordered dish. It is a soft and spongy chocolate cake served with a generous topping of chocolate syrup. Also, the rates are very pocket friendly. Their generous helping of marble cake is best when combined with Iced Mocha. They also serve delicious choco chip muffins and choco walnut brownies. Summers become more tolerable with a glass of green apple mojito or lemonade. The place also caters to conventional tastes by offering fresh lime soda, ice tea and canned drinks. For hot beverages, they have several drinks to choose from ranging from their special tibetian tea- bhoe ja to the more usual black coffee, herbal tea, etc..

unnamed (1)Coffee House offers a blend of Tibetian and the traditional café culture. Breakfast becomes a delight with a sumptuous combo of cheese omlette, porridge and bread along with tea. Also, one could go for their speciality-tibetan bread. The staff is very kind and friendly. When you enter the café, they hand over a piece of paper and pen to write your order on which they come and collect from your table. Every member of the staff serves you with a big smile.  The ambience is extremely warm and welcoming. You can sit there for as long as you want, nobody will disturb you. Good music plays in the background. The volume is just perfect, neither very loud nor very low. The walls are painted a subtle yellow and are adorned with beautiful posters. This is the perfect place to run away from the humdrum daily city life and just relax.

Address-39, Basement, Majnu Ka Tila

Timings- 8 AM-10 PM.

Cost for two- 200 (approx)

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
Posted on

Made in Punjab

Made in Punjab

By Anubhav Sapra

Cyber Hub is one place in Gurgaon which is constantly abuzz with corporate life. During lunch hours, corporate employees can be seen anywhere and everywhere in the cafes, restaurants, sharing meal with their colleagues. It shall only be apt that Cyber Hub should rename itself Food Hub as there are a wide array of options to choose from the list of restaurants to dine at. A sign board guides the way to different restaurants with discounts on offer. I was there the other day for lunch. Being a true Punjabi, I opted for ‘Made in Punjab’ situated on the ground floor of Cyber Hub, Gurgaon.

‘Made in Punjab’, a unit of Massive Restaurants, is owned by Mr. Zorawar Kalra, son of legendary Chef Jiggs Kalra. ‘Made in Punjab’ is one of the six restaurants that opened their outlets in 2013 when Cyber Hub started. Chef Pradeep Negi, Chef Moin Qureshi, Chef Mahavir, and Chef Mayank Bajaj have put their heart and soul in curating the dishes on the menu.

beetroot tikkiI tried all the dishes from the buffet menu which is priced at Rs 795/- (inclusive of taxes). I also tried a few from the a la carte menu as I wanted to taste some of their signature dishes. The buffet menu changes every day. There are different menus for different days. I went to Made in Punjab on a Wednesday. Customers are served starters on the table. First, there were gol guppas and papdi chaat on the table. The gol guppas were crispy, but seemed to have got soggy on their way from kitchen to the table. I was served mutton seekh kebab, mutton minced patty, murgh malai tikka, roasted chicken and fish tikka. All the starters were a bit dry for me except the seekh kebabs. They also brought the beetroot kebab and dahi kebab (not the part of buffet menu) to the table. These were very soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, which seems to me the perfect combination. Again, two other interesting dishes that need a special mention here are bhatti murgh and mutton chaap. The mutton chaap was simply excellent and a must try! An interesting part of the buffet menu is the variety of pickles that they serve – amla, shalgam, carrot, kathal and onion.

mutton 'made in punjab'In the main course, I tried the home style cooked chicken curry, rarah mutton and chicken biryani. Again, apart from the chicken biryani, the other dishes lacked texture and authentic taste. The Punjabi flavors were missing. However, I must admit that the taste is completely different, if one tries the same dish from the a la carte menu. In fact, it happens in all the restaurants. From the a la carte menu, I tried a few dishes which tasted excellent. One such dish was “Mutton Made in Punjab” which was cooked to simple perfection. It was so soft that the meat was almost falling off the bone. I enjoyed this dish to the core. The other dish was murgh makhani, boneless chicken made in the traditional Delhi style gravy. I liked its consistency. The chef revealed that they make this dish without the seeds of tomato which gives it a smooth texture. I relished it with garlic naan.

sarson da saagBut what came to be a surprise was the makke di roti and sarson da saag. Sarson da saag was served in a small clay pot, garnished with butter and small tomato slices. It had a nice, subtle texture. The aroma of the clay made it a dish worth trying. It went well with the buttered makke di roti. I enjoyed every bite of it.

The signature dessert of Made in Punjab is thin and finely made, crispy jalebis served with thick rabri. Phirni was equally a delight to the taste buds to round off the meal.

Made in Punjab also have discounted offers for people working in the corporate sector. Hungry souls there might find their refuge here. Also, people who hold American Express cards can dine with their membership rewards points not just at Made in Punjab, but at several other restaurants in Gurgaon such as Farzi, Zambar, Canton Spice, Sutra, and Imperfecto, to name a few. I think I should better hold its card, just for food.

 bhatti murgh dum ki chicken briyani pindi channa

Photos: Massive Restaurants

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.