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Updated: June 24, 2012 18:17 IST

The serendipity of Suruchi

Rahul Verma
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A misunderstanding leads Rahul Verma to Pacific Mall, Kaushambi, where he discovers a delicious vegetarian fare at affordable prices

I have a motto that guides me through difficult times. If I find myself in hot waters, I take a hot bath. So, when an appointment went all wrong, I did what I could to salvage the situation — and ended up with a very nice meal indeed.

It started like this. I had made plans to meet a noted Italian chef and was told that he’d wait for me at his restaurant in the Pacific Mall. Now regular readers will know that I am a bit clueless about malls and avoid going there when I can. But the Pacific Mall, I knew, was somewhere in my neighbourhood. So I didn’t balk, and five minutes before our appointment, I landed up there.

I looked around, but couldn’t spot anything Italian – barring the omnipresent pizza counters. So I made a few phone calls and realised that there was another Pacific Mall in the city. And, of course, I was at the wrong one. Being a man with a kind heart, I didn’t blame anyone for the fiasco. Instead, I looked at the eateries in the food court to see if there was anything tempting. Of course there wasn’t — everything looked unappetizing. Then suddenly, in one corner, I spotted something familiar. It was a sign that said Suruchi.

If you remember, Suruchi is a great place for Gujarati and Rajasthani food. Their original outlet is in Karol Bagh, and when I last went there some six years ago, I remember I had a delicious vegetarian thali. I asked a few questions, and was told that it was a part of the same Suruchi chain. So, gently egged on by the most courteous gentleman at the counter outside the restaurant, I made my way in. A group of men in elaborate pagris politely ushered me to a table, and instantly a glass of chhaanch – butter milk – appeared like magic on the table.

I looked at the menu and found that they had four different kinds of thalis — Rajasthani, Gujarati, South Indian and Punjabi. I asked for the Rajasthani thali. Immediately, a server came with three kinds of chutneys – a sweet tamarind chutney, chilli-garlic chutney and green chutney. Then I was served two types of snacks – a sweet dhokla and a vegetable cutlet. Next came the dal bati churma – roasted, fried and crushed atta, covered with dal and served with churma, which is again roasted and crushed roti mixed with jaggery.

The main dishes followed. I was served, in individual bowls, helpings of karhi, dal, gobhi, gattey (chunks of besan in gravy), a sour raw mango dish and potato curry. From a platter of various kinds of rotis, I chose thick millet rotis and some soft rotis smeared with ghee. Then came some delicious khichri over which the kind server splashed a huge helping of ghee. And the meal ended with a gulab jamun and fruit custard.

The food was indeed delicious. The rotis were soft and the veggies were excellent, with the flavour of ghee making all the difference to the taste. The khichri was incredibly light, but most delightful. And the dal bati churma was the way it should be — rich and tasty.

I think what made the food even more appetising were the prices. On weekends, a thali costs Rs 250. And on weekdays (I was there on a Wednesday), it’s for Rs 225. And the food is unlimited — the moment a bowl empties out, somebody comes and pours something into it.

I have decided that I am going to conquer my distaste for malls and make another visit to Suruchi soon. This indeed is value for money.

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