Mr. Dutt is still frying those Samosas

I shared an older post of mine on Facebook couple of days back, which was about an age old samosa maker in lanes of Karol Bagh, here is the one that was shared : Samosa from Karol Bagh
If you see, I added few lines at the end of it, and with in few hours I got a response saying that our old guy was still alive and kicking. However the post made Sandeep Rathore, a fellow FED, go a step further and actually visit the place, and he reports that out Mr. Dutt is doing fine, and still frying his samosas.  And the best part is, he shot few pictures, and very kindly shared the same with me to post them here.  I am sure these pics would bring a smile on many faces
 
Mr. Dutt

 

Quick RAID on Tamil Nadu Bhawan

Few years back, when I used to talk to my friends from down south, they always had this pet grouch, that we Dilliwalas club people from all southern states under title of South Indians, and their cuisines as South Indian food. And we literally believe that they live on Dosa, Sambhar and Idly. But now I know that is far from truth, and that is only the first step. I am trying to understand the differences, which can be quite subtle for someone who is not familiar with the region and  at-least I have stopped clubbing them all together.

On the Facebook page of FED, were discussing some Bhawans and Canteens, and it got hard to control for me, and I called for a RAID on Canteen of Tamil Nadu Bhawan in Chanakya Puri. Now first things first, lot of people have asked me that why did I not go to Andhra Bhawan Canteen rather than TN Bhawan ? My answer, because I wanted to go to Tamil Nadu Bhawan, and people with finer taste and understanding would be able to tell you how the two are different. For now, following Wikipedia link can be helpful:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Indian_cuisine.

Since it was called a day before I was not expecting a big turn out, however 7 guys managed to show up on time, and 3 much later, I am sure latecomers enjoyed their food nevertheless. Now begins the best part about being in a foodie group, the sheer range and amount you can order :D. 7 Parotas, 2 Veg Kurmas, Chicken Chettinad, a Mini Uthapam Platter, a Family Dosa and an Egg Dosa, am I missing something ? oh yes, for sure, then there was Paneer Uthapam, more Parotas, another Uthapam whose name I do not remember, Suji Halwa, Kheer and Filter Coffee.

Family Dosa
Chicken Chettinad and Vegetable Kurma
Parotas
Service was very prompt, rates were reasonable, and we liked almost everything. But again, our palette of South Indian food is not as refined as Varun Santosh, who is a FED and was with us on that Raid. He felt that Dosa had soda in excess and Sambhar, chutney were just average. I loved the Parotas with veg Kurma, while Harjeev Singh Chadha, as hardcore North Indian as a name could suggest, wiped out the plate of Chicken Chettinad sparkling clean. The most surprising order of the day was Paneer Uthapam, proving that we are Delhiites after all :P, but surprisingly, it was amongst the best Uthapams that evening.
Egg Dosa
Mini Uthapam Platter

Overall, the food and service was satisfactory, however the it was sheer fun of sharing and sampling food that made in fun, I would not say its the best place to get South Indian food in capital, however an interesting one for sure.

My Rating 3.5/5

PS : All pictures have been shot using my phone camera, so please pardon the quality.

Adding some more pictures from the RAID, courtesy fellow FED, Nikhil Garg.

Quite a ‘table’ full ..
Family Dosa, did you expect anything less ?
Gorgeous looking Mini Uthapam Platter
Suzi Halwa and Filter coffee to culminate the evening.
The Entire FED party..

 

Where do you get Sushi in Delhi ?

This is a question that has been often asked on more than one forum. Where to get Sushi in Delhi ?

Here I am trying to make a post with consolidated list of all Sushi serving places in Delhi / NCR, will try to keep it updated, and would appreciate your contribution to the list.

The list is in random order.

1. Sushiya – DLF Place, Saket

2. Asia 7 – Ambience Mall, Gurgaon

3. Izikaya, DLF Promenade Mall, Vasant Kunj

4. Wasabi, Taj Mahal Hotel, Mansingh Road, New Delhi

5. Yum Yum Tree, New Friends Colony, New Delhi

6. Mamagoto, Khan Market

7. Kylin, Vasant Vihar

8. Sakura, Time Tower. MG Road, Gurgaon

9. 360, The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi

10. Ai, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket,

11. Umami, Global Foyer Building, Sector 43,Gurgaon

12. SET’Z, DLF Emporio Mall, Vasant Kunj

13. Sakura, Hotel Metropolitan, Delhi (their site says, they are under renovation)

14. Zen, Connaught Place, New Delhi

I know this is not comprehensive, however would appreciate if you can post about more outlets in the comments section, I would be glad to add them to this post.

Tunday Kababi – From Lucknow to Delhi, with love…

I have always believed food at Old Delhi tastes much better when I’m either high or stoned, and last night it was double whammy. Last Friday me, Saurabh (who lost his phone) & Toshik (who gained some pounds and happiness) started on a journey which was nothing short of a Hangover + Kumar and Harold go to White Castle scenario, and finally we reached our Mecca – Tunday Kababi, Daryaganj.

Tunday Kababi, from outside

The sight (not the interiors) as you enter will surely make you salivate and tempt you beyond no return and all 3 of us (carnivore souls) are no immortals to not to give into the succumbing aromas of changezi chicken on XL Tawa, tunday kebabs on XXL Tawa and qormas in gigantic handis.

Chicken Changezi on a Giant Tawa

It was a packed Friday (Jumma) night and 10.30pm didn’t seem late for all the hordes around us waiting and sweating (no AC) patiently for their food. No server turned up on our table for 5mins (which seemed like 50) and we sweet talked one of them to please us to get pleased (reads corny ;))

The real deal – Legends in the making

Our order seemed big (we aren’t the Man Vs Food type eaters) to start with, 4 plate (each plate has 4 pieces) mutton kababs + 4 mughlai paranthas(size of a roomali roti), but we forgot we were on a different high today.

I must admit the sweet talk worked as our server got the order within minutes of our ordering, which earned us a lot of jealous stares. They were polished within secondss (no kidding) I don’t want to say the kababs are melt in your mouth (its clichéd) infact its melt in your finger category. If there is a rating to be awarded both scored a 5 on 5 stars all the way (seriously no words will ever justice their taste – its a eat it to believe it tale). The mughlai paranthas are very similar to their south cousins the malabari porotas – crispy and layeri.

We ordered another round of same order along with Chicken Biryani, Butter Chicken and Chicken Curry. Since it was late, about closing time (11.30p.m. they are mostly sold off on weekends) butter chicken and chicken curry were sold out, so we settled with biryani and chicken qorma. You get 3 portion sizes – quarter, half and full which in terms of portion sizes, can easily be translated to quarter – 1-2 persons, half – 2-3 persons and full – 4+. The qorma didn’t score too high but the pieces had the perfect texture, same as my previous visit and this is quiet commendable as even some of the high brow restaurants in Delhi fail to maintain a consistency.

The biryani ‘its different’ its not your usual ‘old Delhi style’ biryani. The rice was juicy and full of flavour, the pieces were spiced well. So yes, this one also is a must try.

Before we could realise we had cleaned 8 plates of kababs (32 pieces) + 10 paranthas + half biryani + half qorma, it reads BIG but surprisingly none of us felt heavy after this meal. The prices are modest, Tunday Kebabs at Rs.20 per piece, Mughlai Parantha at Rs.10 per piece, Biryani and Qorma, both were half plate for Rs.100 and full for Rs. 200.

All of us are going back to Tunday Kababi preferably on a week day and early on time to sample the full menu.

The place is not your usual restaurant set-up, the interiors aren’t high from any standards and its in an area where some Delhites think twice before venturing – but it matters where it should – FOOD.

All carnivores – needles to say its a must visit and sample. Sadly for the veggies, except the phirni everything is non-vegetarian at this joint.

Our trip (read: food trip) wasn’t over yet, we sampled some delightful stuff – Gundi (yes thats the name) Paan from the paan joint next to Odeon (now Big Odeon) Cinema at Connaught Place. These paans cost Rs. 20, are four small leaf rolls (joint like) filled with gulkand and regular paan spices and laced with chandan paste and have a super ‘cool’ after taste.

Gundi Paan

Disclaimer: With this post I’m not encouraging drinking or smoking 🙂 – the sole intention is to drive you to divinity – Tunday Kababi, 3778, Autar Bhavan, Main Road, Near Jama Masjid, Daryaganj, Delhi. Ph.: 9871595054

Drunk and non-tempting photography courtesy _TA and associates 

PS : You might read their name written as Tundey Kebab or Tund Kebabs elsewhere as well.

an evening in DLF Place, Saket

 Last night Ashish, Sakshi and me planned to visit Hard Rock Cafe to hear ‘Musafir’ play. However Sakshi did not want to eat at HRC and she was insistent on trying the food court at 2nd floor of DLF Place. And being the polite and courteous gentleman that I am, I obliged the lady (Ashish had no choice in the matter you see, he is married to her :D) and we were at the Food Court deciding on what to eat.
As stated earlier, I am not a fan of mall food, and have never appreciated it, unless of course it is a known outlet running a branch there. On the contrary, this court hardly has any brands, and whatever is recognizable is far from exciting (McDonald, Subway and Haldiram’s). So we went adventurous and shortlisted three different outlets from where we wanted to order. First was this ‘American’ joint, the person at helm of things there was quite convincing and we thought of giving a shot to their veg. combo and one of the Joes, something which was an omelette with stuffing. Next was Paneer Shashlik sizzler from Kobe’s Sizzler, and finally some Mid-eastern / Israeli food from a joint called Zaitoon.

assembly line Lasagna at the ‘American’ joint..
The time taken to serve and other service of all three joints was satisfactory; I wish I could have said the same about food. The veg. combo turned out quite sad, contained one sliver of a slice of garlic bread, lasagna, mashed potato and baked beans, along with some vegetables. Let us say, it was uninspired food at its best, with baked beans, which were probably packaged, being the best item of the lot. However the second item, called the ‘Joe’, with Black Olives, Mushroom and cheese was quite good, however there is only so much you can do wrong with an omelette.

Vegetarian Combo
Paneer Shashlik Sizzler from Kobe’s
Next up was the sizzler, which did not look appetizing to start with, and did not betray its looks as well. We ate it, because we put our money in it, we were hungry and it was just, mind you just edible. Now we came to food we ordered from Zaitoon, for those who are not aware, it is Hindi for Olive.  We ordered two items, one was Paneer Baghdadi Tikka with pita, and other was Falafel with Humus and Pita. And those two dishes were the saving grace of the evening. I have got limited experience of eating humus and falafel, and mostly in backpacker areas, so I am no authority to judge its authenticity, however whatever we had was fantastic, and I am definitely going back there for more. Paneer Tikka was marinated unlike anything else I have tasted before, and went very well with pita. The pricing was very decent, and portion sizes were VFM.

Baghdadi Paneer Tikka, with Pita
Falafel with Humus
Now it was time for dessert and having been lamented by Sakshi and Ashish previous night for not having visited The Big Chill Café till date, I decided to make amends. And while we settled and were looking at the menu, I was amazed to find Banoffee pie on it, as before this, I had only heard about and had it in my travels specifically in backpacker trail (Leh, Manali, Goa, Pushkar etc.). The second thing we ordered and I cannot thank Sakshi enough for it, was Double Chocolate Decadence Cake, which is her favorite dessert and now mine as well, at least favorite chocolate flavor.

Banoffee Pie @ The Big Chill Cafe
Double Chocolate Decadence Cake

 Oh, and what happened to the band playing at Hard Rock Café, well they had a cover charge of Rs.500 per person, and all three of us being non-drinkers and our bellies full of food, decided to give it a miss and went to our favorite open air lounging area of Mocha. A Paan Hookah (Sheesha) and some white tea from north eastern part of India facilitated further conversation.

Chilling out at Mocha

PS : All the pictures used in this post have been shot using my phone camera, kindly pardon the poor quality.

Not to be fooled by Tandoori Chaaps

These days Tandoori for vegetarians is picking up quite a lot. Lot of small outlets have sprung up, serving primarily soy based products. Masala Chaap, Stuffed Chaap, Malai Chaap, Soya Tikka, various types of Paneer Tikka, Stuffed Aloo, Mushrooms, Dal Kebabs are some of the more popular items. For vegetarians like me, these outlets were a blessing. Finally I thought I would have something ‘healthy’ to eat, without worrying too much about calories, with loads of proteins, we finally had the counter for Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Tikka. But is it true ?

Not at all, most of these outlets, fry their chaaps before putting them on a stick and making it ‘tandoori’, surprising but true. And after they are roasted in tandoor, they add generous amount of ghee / butter / cream along with masala and chutney. Though I do not mind masala, however the added fat just kills any chance of these things being good for health. Do they taste good? A big Yes, however we should not eat them thinking that they good for health.

So my advice, if you are mood for Tandoori Soy Chaaps, because you want to eat healthy, check if they have fried them or not, and ask them not to garnish them with Ghee or butter, or if you want, you can ask them to keep it at minimum.

Rajasthani Food Stall, Delhi Haat – A quick photolog

Couple of weeks back, I was at Delhi Haat for a photowalk with some friends. After sun went down, we decided to settle down to grad a quick bite. Even though we were at Rajasthani Stall, however we still managed to get some momos :P, here are some pics from that evening.

Aloo Tikki Chaat
Mirch Bada
Pyaz Kachori with Lassi
Momos, they seem to be getting everywhere
Moong Dal Halwa, I love this
Do I have to spell this out ? :D, yup Jalebi….

Even though the stall did not have lot of things that I tried to order, however whatever they managed to serve was quite good. We get almost everything else quite commonly, however my focus was on Pyaz Kachori and Mirch Bada and I must say that I was not disappointed. I would not recommend the Lassi though. Even though the mainstay of cuisine, Dal Baati Churma, is yet to be tested, however I can definitely go back there for Murch Bada and Pyaz Kachori.

My Rating – 3.5/5