Picture a setting where you can are enchanted by the aroma of incense and soothed by the calm ambience. Now imagine this place serving delectable vegetarian dishes sans onions and garlic. Will you pay a visit to this venue? I will, despite being a hard core non vegetarian.
Madhuban, a sattvic south Indian chain of restaurants has opened its gates to Gurgaon and we finally have a place to explore when we are on strict vegetarian diet. The USP of this outlet lies in its usage of fresh ingredients and home made ghee and pickles. And since this is an Andhra based chain, expect some fireworks when you eat.
Proceeding towards the dishes I tasted:
Poddi Idli: Soft idlis coated in ghee and gunpowder. The gunpowder masala is freshly prepared so the whole ensemble is a bit spicy. The consistency of the accompanying sambhar is perfect – not too runny with well cooked vegetables. There are four types of chutneys served with idlis : peanut based which is hot; tamarind based which is tangy and spicy and tomato based which is a bit sweet due to jaggery. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Pesarattu: A thin and soft dosa made out of moong dal and served with warm upma is a perfect breakfast. The pesarattu is slightly salty but has the richness of coriander and moong dal grounded into a fine paste. The upma is good and the presence of curry leaves and rai seeds make it pretty authentic. This is served with a ginger chutney which is a bit sweet (jaggery) and pungent. RECOMMENDED.
Semiyan Payesam: Move on over your slow cooked thick semiyan, because payesam semiyan is a light and delightful dessert. The vermicelli is just boiled and not ghee roasted and served in cold milk which is not cooked. RECOMMENDED.
Idiyappam: My favourite. So instead of the fried form, I ate the boiled one and I relished it. The rice noodles are steamed to perfection and formed in perfect roundels and served with spicy vegetable korma and fresh coconut oil and milk. The korma is fiery hot concocted out of tomatoes and ginger and the coconut milk is oh-so-sweet and light. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bissi bhele bhaat: Finally savoured the most talked about dish of Karnataka. A strong whiff of desi ghee accompanies the bhaat and when you behold it, the copious amounts used will entice you. The maelstrom of varied flavours : tanginess and spiciness accompanied with the richness of ghee, the nutty chewiness of peanuts and the pungency of rai seeds will leave you wanting for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cheese Dosa rolls: A fusion dish in their breakfast menu, this is worth trying. The presence of raw bell peppers compliments the crunchiness of the dosa. And the cheese, oh boy! The gooey cheese viscously pouring out of the dosa is overwhelming. But it is pretty salty – extra salt from cheese. RECOMMENDED.