Posted in bisi bele bath, butter masala dosa, buttermilk, chutney, coconut chutney, coriander chutney, delhi, dessert, dosa, food, food blogger, gluttonyguilts, gurgaon, gurgaon restaurants, home made icecream, ice cream, idli, indian, indian cuisine, indian food, mango icecream, masala dosa, masala idli, obattu, ratnagiri mango icecream, rawa dosa, rawa masala dosa, rice idli, rose icecream, sambhar, south indian, south indian cuisine, strawberry, strawberry icecream, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized, uttapam

Carnatic Café, Sector 15, Gurgaon

Let us please move over the likes of Sagar Ratnas, the Uddupis and the Bhawans when it comes to pure vegetarian South Indian cuisine. We, the Delhiites, the north Indians are least bit aware about the home made delicacies prepared in the Karnataka region. And that is where the sorcery of Carnatic café comes in.

Quick fact – water is served in bronze glasses here, thus reminding you of the older and simpler days. The interiors are classy and give a nostalgic feeling of the South Indian cafes of the 90’s. The servers and the manager are humble and know their cuisine well and are swift to suggest the specials.

Buttermilk: Freshly prepared and frothing gloriously to the brim, the classic and the masala buttermilk are the best way to begin an authentic South Indian meal. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Rice Idli: Fluffy and soft idlis with a prominent sour flavour served with piping hot sambhar; onion, coconut and coriander chutney. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Rawa coconut dosa: Loaded with desi ghee, crispy with embedded cumin and enclosing grated coconut – just how better it can get? The flavours are simple and not overpowering and when the dosa is served separately with mashed potatoes tempered in mustard seeds, onion and garlic, the taste is enhanced. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Malleshwaram 18th cross dosa: The air becomes redolent with the aroma of pure desi ghee when this dosa is brought to you. It is not a paper thin variety but a thick, crispy and fluffy one with the insides coated with white butter and podi or gunpowder mixture. HIGHYLY RECOMMENDED.

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Bombat dosa: This one is a bomb! Thick yet crispy variety with the insides layered with white butter, cinnamon and finely powdered onion garlic mixture. You can taste the prominent hotness of the cinnamon in this one – enough to ignite a small volcano inside your mouth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Bisi-bele-bath: A hot maelstrom of short rice, lentils, vegetables and spices served with a crispy pappad/poppadam and crunchy boondi, this one is a complete meal in itself. RECOMMENDED.

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Onion and Tomato Uttapam: A lovely soft pancake where the tomatoes are squished, thus imparting their tangy juicy flavour to the ensemble. The only drawback is its oiliness. RECOMMENDED.

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Obatto: You will have second thoughts of tasting this after having a hearty meal. But trust me, you won’t regret a bite. The crepe is oily yet crispy and encloses finely pulverised jaggery which is moderately sweet with aromatic green cardamom. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Home made ice-cream: I usually avoid ice creams because of my childhood over indulgence. But, each and every flavour here is prepared in house and extracted from its natural source. I happened to binge on the Ratnagiri mango one and the strawberry & rose one and both were light, subtle and out of this world. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Carnatic Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Posted in appam, calamari, chicken, chicken 65, chicken dosa, chutney, delhi, dosa, fish, mutton, mutton stew, paneer 65, pomfret, prawn, south indian, south indian cuisine, stew, Uncategorized

Coastal Reef, Galleria market, DLF phase 4, Gurgaon

With the spate of authentic regional cuisine based restaurants increasing, can the delicious coastal ones be far behind? Hell no! And since the famed Galleria market is bustling with new eateries now and then, expect a South Indian setup to show up there.

Costal Reef is located in the Galleria market and has a beautiful ambience which will take you to the lands of beaches and subtle vines. There are customized chandeliers with oval bulbs adorning the roof and some tendrils and vines circling the railing shaped interiors on the walls. The service is top notch and the attendants do know about the cuisine and will recommend you dishes according to your preferences.

Sea food platter: Fish, crab, calamari and prawn – you name it and they have it. And each item is so uniquely created that you will be amazed beyond imagination. The crab meat is finely minced and cooked with curry leaves and coarse spices – the resultant is a fine sweet chewy dish with the hotness of garlic, onion and black pepper. The calamari roundels are coated in turmeric based mixture and fried as it is; the resultant not so appealing to me because of extra salt. The fish is so darn soft and grilled well but could have had a little more crust. It is slightly spicy, thus having that extra edge. The prawns are sweet and cooked well in garlic, ginger and curry leaves – expect explosion of myriad flavours. RECOMMENDED.

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Chicken 65: This Andhra based dish is known for its fiery eruption on the palette and this was no different. The boneless pieces were hot, crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside and went well with the fried curry leaves. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Paneer 65: Honestly speaking, this was a subtle version of a real paneer 65. The cottage cheese cubes were soft and raw and fried in a spicy mixture – the fried crust was actually coming out of the cubes.

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Fry Pomfret: My first experience with pomfret was not as good as expected. The spices did not penetrate the fish at all and there was a need of salt in them.

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Chicken dosa: Let us get over our usual aloo dosa, because dosa is too delicious to resist! The finely minced chicken was full of spices, tangy and hot. The dosa was paper thin and crispier than any dosa you have ever had. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Mutton stew with Appam: The stew was hot, light and had vegetables in addition to the succulent mutton pieces. It should have been a bit denser though. The appam was again light, fresh and thin but could have been a little bit fluffy. RECOMMENDED.

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Coastal Reef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bhaat, chutney, coconut chutney, delhi, dosa, gurgaon, Healthy, iddiyappam, pesarattu, rawa dosa, rawa idli, rawa masala dosa, rawa masala idli, south indian, south indian cuisine, sweet, Uncategorized, upma

Madhuban, Cross Point Mall, DLF phase 4, Gurgaon

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Madhuban- Sattvic South Indian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in chutney, dahi bada, delhi, dessert, dosa, gurgaon, Healthy, italian cuisine, kebab, kheer, sambhar, south indian, south indian cuisine, spinach, Uncategorized

Prankster, Sector 29, Gurgaon

Idling away in college canteen, playing pranks and games with wonderful buddies, bunking classes to relish the latest movies are some of the activities which define our college life. And no matter how far we go in life, we will always reminisce our college days.

Prankster, Gurgaon is one such place which will take you back to those wonderful times when life was fun and free. They have a section which will remind you of your Chemistry lab – complete with petri dishes, flasks, jars and individual wash basins on each table, a library having tons of academic books and Oxford dictionaries, with small study lamps on each table, a class room with a black board as well as an amphitheater, a college hostel section with bunk beds, a college canteen section with the specials written and a parking lot with a Chinese van selling exclusively the Chinese delicacies where you can sit on vehicle-cum seating chairs and tables.

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The feel of this place is so amazing and the dishes – more amazing than you thought. The dishes are available at competitive prices, thereby not burning a hole in your pockets. Their house brewed beer is kickass in taste as well in price (no pun intended). And the staff delights you with its swift service.

Moving on to the delicacies available here, let us explore the “progressive nostalgic” cuisine served at Prankster :

Lotus root Fritters: Finger food has been evolving gradually and these crispy fritters made out of lotus root could be the next “it” food! The crunch you get while binging on them is inexplicable and the tangy and spicy flavours are like cherries on a cake. RECOMMENDED.

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Dahi Bhalla ice cream with roomali roti crisps: Fancy having the usual dah Bhalla in a reinvented avatar? Because the dahi halla served here is in the form of ice cream – yes, you read this correctly. The dahi Bhalla is grounded into a fine paste and made into ice creams and served with green and red chutneys, pomegranate seeds and finely fried crisps of roomali roti. The ice cream has a very delicate sweet and soft texture.

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Sambhar Cappuccino with air fried dosa: Could it get healthier? Our North Indian version of the sambhar is served steaming hot in coffee cup along with air fried dosa crisps. The dosa crisps are thin and present a picture of finesse in the dosa mixture. The sambhar is thick, frothy and healthy.

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Pav Bhaajhi Zinger: So the Marathi Pav Bhaajhi is presented as a game – each zinger is covered by a Rubic’s cube box and the one who picks up an empty box has to play truth or dare. Interesting? Moving on to the zinger, the patty is made from a well cooked hot bhaajhi, which is crispy from the outside and soft and mushy from the inside. They are sandwiched between fine slices of onion, tomato and cheese with soft, buttered buns enclosing them. The occasional bite of cumin seeds in the patty will give you a major food gasm. And the buns are made in house.

Classic honey chilli potato: The classic “chakhna” which goes with our drinks is remodeled here – potato mash is cut into fingers and deep fried. So while gorging on these boys, you get the characteristic crunchiness of the honey chilli potato and the softness of the potato mash inside the crispy exterior.

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Chicken Tikka Fattirs: This is the Indian take on an Egyptian Pizza called Fattirs. Fattir is a layered pizza which is flaky – textured like a puff pastry. The pizza is light and the warm melted cheese is spread on the former in a very thin layer. The chicken tikka is pretty prominent here and while having this, you feel you are having the actual chicken tikka.

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Imli glazed Kung Pao with imli goli: So initially, you gobble up the imli goli or balls and then you eat the pung pao chicken which is heavenly soft and chewy and has a slightly tangy flavour because of tamarind.

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Tender Tandoori Lamb Chops: This has to be the best one of the incredible dishes presented here. The lamb is slow cooked and has a fibrous, soft and chewy texture. It is so excellently cooked that the meat comes clean off from the bones. The crust is delicately crispy from the outside.

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Rampuri mutton: Rampur is a place near Lucknow, known for its spicy dishes and the Rampuri mutton was no different. The mutton is tender and juicy and is drenched in a thick gravy which reeks of garam masala.

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Hand pulled butter chicken: The myriad flavours presented in this dish will transform you to a wonderland. The tomato based gravy with prominence of cumin and yoghurt is lovely to have and the chicken is pretty chewy and juicy.

Paneer barrels makhni: The cottage cheese is made in the form of barrels which are topped on a thick makhni gravy with flavours of lemongrass and coconut. The paneer is divinely soft and the gravy is rich in flavours.

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Gutwa Palak: Spinach haters, rejoice! For there is a dish which will dissolve your hate for this awesome but bitter leafy vegetable. The cottage cheese cubes are fried and presented over a thick creamy mixture of boiled spinach and cottage cheese. The spinach and cottage cheese mixture is warm and melt in the mouth and the typical bitterness of spinach is absent here.

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Litchi Kebab: Man, are these the ultimate kebabs the vegetarians have been yearning for? Because these were legendary! The litchi skin was stuffed with khoya and topped with grounded pistachios. The kebabs were warm, lusciously soft and sweet.

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Rose Kheer: For a rose lover, this dessert will be paradisiacal. The usual kheer is garnished with finely sliced pistachios, almond flakes and two fresh red roses that are nitrogen cooled. The kheer has got a thick consistency with luxuriant malai enriching it. The addition of green cardamom appends further flavours to this wonderfully made dessert.

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Deconstructed Christmas Cake: Deconstruction of dishes is very much in these days and deconstructed desserts rule the roost. And with Christmas around the corner, who doesn’t want to eat the deconstructed rum cakes? So a cream flavoured with cinnamon is sprayed on a mixture of eggless brownies and grapes and garnished with tutti-frutti, choco chips, orange peel and cinnamon. This whole setup is done on an edible chocolate plate. Such myriad flavours and heavenly taste!

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Prankster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in butter masala dosa, chutney, coconut chutney, dahi bada, dosa, idli, masala dosa, masala idli, rasam, rawa dosa, rawa idli, rawa masala dosa, rawa masala idli, sambhar, south indian, south indian cuisine, Uncategorized

Tirupati Vrindavan, M-block market, Greater Kailash -1, New Delhi

We north Indians love the delicacies from the southern part of our country. Can we imagine our lives without the humble idli or the flavourful dosa? And can we imagine these dishes without their colourful and savoury chutneys/dips? No, not at all.

But when it comes to authenticity of the South Indian staples, there are only a handful restaurants which score high on it. Tirupati Vrindavan is one such fine dining place.

Situated at the famous M-block market, G.K. 1, Tirupati Vrindavan is easy to find. The place has minimalistic interiors and sophisticated and soothing ambience. South Indian restaurants should have enough walking space so that the servers can easily take huge dosas and this place, surprisingly, offers that.

The servers and the manager are polite, courteous and suggest you dishes based on your palatte. They are open to feedback and let you taste their improved versions. I was pretty impressed by this attitude.

Moving on to the lip smacking dishes I have had here :

Dahi Bada : One of the most ephemeral dishes I have had. So many elements imparting their uniqueness to give a dish that stands out from the rest. The softness of the badas, the smoothness and the sweetness of yoghurt, the bitterness of rai seeds and crushed curry leaves and the crunchiness of the boondi will leave you asking for more. The flavours are in perfect balance and none of the element overpowers the other. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Rawa Masala Dosa : Good but not excellent. The thing with rawa dosas is that once they get soft, you just can not enjoy them. So we gobbled up on this one before it got too late. The dosa was crunhy, fine in taste with the occasional bite of whole black cardomam and cumin seeds. The mashed potato mixture seemed more like our north Indian potato preparation and the amount of curry leaves and turmeric was less. Additionally, the potatoes were not mashed properly. Improvement needed.

Rasam : Piping hot rasam in Delhi winters is a must have. And this one was so flavourful and delicious. Indian food is known for its strong flavours and the strength is very well prominent here. The bitterness of rai seeds, the tanginess of tamarind, the hotness of red chillies and tomatoes and the pungency of whole ginger and garlic cloves provide a host of flavours to this one. RECOMMENDED.

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Rawa Masala idli : You know guys, it gets better with every dish. The rawa idlis are so soft that they maintain their sponginess even after an hour! And that too without heating. The addition of a spicy mixture of chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, curry leaves, rai seeds and spices leave your palate with a food gasmic moment. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Butter Masala Dosa : This is the speciality of Tirupati Vrindavan and is a must try. The crunchy masala dosa is lathered with a humongous quantity of butter – the taste of butter is pretty prominent here. And the potato mixture is well cooked – potatoes mashed to perfection with the lovely flavours of curry leaves and rai seeds. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Sambhar : This one definitely needs improvement. The sambhar is a bit sweet due to the presence of sweet tomatoes and cumin seeds. Traditionally cumin seeds are kept away from sambhar as rai seeds are already used. It is also a bit runny.

Chtuneys : What is a south Indian dish without the colourful cutneys? And these guys dish out some amazing and flavourful dips. The green one is sweet and is made with freshly crushed ginger and green chillies but it is not spicy at all. The orange one is tomato based and is again sweet yet savoury. The one with the coconut is subtle and good to taste.

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Tirupati Vrindavan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato