Many a memorable bite

FOOD TO DIE FOR Shots from some of the eateries which scored with the food lovers Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

FOOD TO DIE FOR Shots from some of the eateries which scored with the food lovers Photo: Meeta Ahlawat  

Raising a toast to some of the happy food encounters of 2014

It’s the season to be jolly – and what could be jollier than a food trip down memory lane? So this week I shall raise a toast to some of the happy food encounters of 2014. It’s been a good year, with a great many meals that I recall with pleasure. From this treasure trove, I am going to pick up some of the gems.

One of my nicest meals was at the Ethiopian Cultural Centre in Chanakyapuri. You need to be a member or a member’s guest to go there, but getting membership to the centre is not difficult at all — and worth it, for the food at the restaurant there is delicious. I had a host of Ethiopian dishes, and still remember the soft injera bread which I dipped in doro wat, a chicken dish cooked with chillies and onion sauce, and the side dish of begg tibs, sliced mutton fried with garlic, onion and fresh chillies.

For me, it was the year of international cuisine. I had wonderful experiences in two other restaurants – La Bodega in Khan Market and Le Bistro du Parc at the Moolchand Market. The former serves Mexican food and the latter, French. I had an excellent meal at La Bodega some months ago and an equally exciting meal when three of my friends took us there for a birthday celebration last week. I am a man of habit, so I repeated the pork entrée that I had eaten on my visit there. Cochinita pibil is pulled pork cooked over slow heat in a banana leaf and served with refried beans and fresh tortillas. The pork was again soft and delicious, and the sauce nicely sweet-and-spicy.

The Bistro is turning into quite a favourite place of mine – for every meal there has been a delight. I always have the lamb confit with red onion jam and glazed vegetables – and it’s as good as always. The lamb is juicy and goes perfectly well with the sweet onion jam. The last time I was there, we were celebrating a friend’s birthday sitting across a long table, and it was one of the nicest evenings I have had in a long time. There’s live music (jazz or retro) on some days, and that adds to the ambience.

There were other exciting meals, too. I picked up some excellent nihari from Javed Nihariwallah in Zakir Nagar, near Jamia Millia Islamia, who had been introduced to me by my foodie comrade-in-arms, Amol. He opens his shop in the main market there in the evenings, and his huge degh with simmering nihari in it is a sight for sore eyes – and like ambrosia for a jaded palate. He cooks his shanks in desi ghee, which gives the dish its own unique flavour.

Another place that gave me pleasure was Abdul Muradabadi, a small biryani-qorma shop in Ganesh Nagar, opposite the Mother Dairy plant in the Patparganj area. His mutton biryani was superb -- soft-spicy mutton pieces in a bed of long-grained rice mildly flavoured with green chillies and lemon.

There’s more. The podi dosa at the Carnatic Café in New Friends’ Colony was delicious, as were the spare ribs and the Arunachali minced fish, burnt in a banana leaf, which I ate at Rosang Café in Green Park. I love Rosang, which offers dishes from all parts of the North East, for its lovely food and its wonderfully informal atmosphere.

All in all, it was a great year. Here’s to a happy 2015. Let food flow in and spread happiness.

Rahul Verma is a seasoned street food connoisseur

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:52:33 PM |

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