Rahul Verma discovers a place in East Delhi that can balance its livers with its mince

I have this young friend called Amol who is such a foodie that he’d turn Jughead into a nervous wreck. Ever since he was a young boy he has been fond of food. Not only does he like to eat, he also enjoys cooking (his tandoori chicken is quite awesome, he says) and is always on the lookout for new places. So when he told me that he had tried out a neighbourhood restaurant and enjoyed their keema kaleji, I took him seriously.

A few days after he had told me about it, I went and had a look at the place. Al Maroosh calls itself a chicken take-away but has some nice mutton dishes on the menu as well. The address is E 76 East Vinod Nagar, I.P. Extension. This part of East Delhi, also called Patparganj, has scores of high rise buildings. One such society – on the main Mother Dairy Road— is called Tarang. Take the lane opposite Tarang Apartments, and soon you’ll find Al Maroosh on your right. It’s a small place and acts mainly as a takeaway. So I took their menu card and went back home when I was told that they would deliver to my part of Mayur Vihar.

I was interested in their keema kaleji, for it’s quite a favourite dish of mine too. I asked for two plates of keema kaleji (Rs.140 a plate). Some folks at home wanted to eat some chicken, so we asked for a full Afghani chicken (Rs.240) and four khamiri rotis (Rs.15 each). Then, as I waited for two other young friends to drop by, I tried out a roti and the keema kaleji. It was, indeed, very good. It was hot— but mostly because of green chillies that were there in the curry, though I also suppose there was some red chilli powder in it too. The keema was spicy and the kalejis had been cooked well, which is not an easy feat when you are cooking liver with minced meat— it can get hard within minutes.

We ate the Afghani chicken with the young friends (who, incidentally, came with handis of mutton biryani, galauti kababs and varki parathas from Al Kausar). The chicken was rather nice too. I have had Afghani chicken in some other takeaways which had been steeped in masalas. This chicken had been lightly cooked, with just the basic spices adding to the flavours. My heart skips a beat when I see the artificial red food colouring that tandoori food often comes dressed in. This had a pleasant creamy colour and texture – and I enjoyed it.

Al Maroosh also sells mutton korma (Rs.150 for three pieces) which Amol recommends. I shall try that out one day, and also the mutton biryani (Rs.260 for a kilo with 6 pieces) and burra kababs (Rs.160 for 4 pieces). They even do a raan on order (Rs.550).

All in all, it is a nice place and should be tried out. I certainly had a good dinner, which ended with a bowl of kheer cooked at home with date palm gur. And that, indeed, was a sweet end to a hearty and meaty meal.