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The takeaway is taste

DELECTABLE DELIGHT A dish on offer at Evergreen EFC.

DELECTABLE DELIGHT A dish on offer at Evergreen EFC.  

RAHUL VERMA finds a cold weather friend in Mayur Vihar!

When we moved to Mayur Vihar 20 years ago, for a while I used to go all the way to The Meat Shop in Khan Market to buy meat and chicken. Then my two friends Robi Chatterjee and Sohail urged me try the lamb in Evergreen Meat Shop in my own neighbourhood market. I did, and found that it was as good as my friends had said it was.

The people at Evergreen are now my thick friends. They live in Old Delhi, near Chhatta Lal Mian, best known for Kallu Mian, whose nahari still brings a smile to my face. We always talk about food when I go there for my meat. Then one day they told me that they were opening a takeaway next door. I kept waiting for it to open. Some months ago, I saw that the shutters had been painted blue. But it still took a while for the takeaway – called Evergreen EFC (address: 55-A, Pocket A, Mayur Vihar Phase II, phone numbers: 011-22779198 and 9599763020) – to open. Two weeks ago, I saw some activity there. There were men carrying a shiny display counter. The next day, the shutters were up.

I have tried the food out on two occasions, and have been really happy with it. I am told that the eatery has poached two chefs from Old Delhi – one from Kallu’s establishment and the other from Hakim’s. They clearly know their job: the mutton nahari (Rs.300 for three pieces) and mutton biryani (Rs.350 for six pieces) that we ate were excellent. The mutton kabab (Rs.160 for four pieces) was superb. But before I get to that, let me tell you how to get there.

Mayur Vihar Phase II, as you may know, is on the right of the highway to Ghaziabad (NH-24), after you have crossed the Nizamuddin Bridge. After entering Phase II, turn right. On your left, you will find small shops. Evergreen is there.

The place is spic and span, and the food is cooked in the kitchen behind. I haven’t tried out the chicken, but it has various kinds of chicken dishes, as well as fish roast and boneless fish fry. The grills include kebabs, chicken roast, tikkas and tangris. The rotis come from Old Delhi. There is even a special EFC kheer. I haven’t had the stews, but intend to make amends shortly.

Now let me tell you about the food. In one word, it was excellent. The biryani had the aroma of nutmeg, the rice was long grained, and the meat had been cooked just right. It wasn’t excessively oily either. The nahari – soft mutton in a red gravy cooked over long hours - was simply delicious and reminded me of Kallu Mian. And the kebabs were the best I’d had in a very long time – soft, moist, flavourful and strangely light.

What I didn’t like was the korma, which was way too sour. I told Ustadji that, and he has assured me that they have changed the curd that they were using for the korma, and the result is promising. The other thing you have to keep in mind is that since the business is new, there are some glitches that you may have to ignore. The first day I ordered food from there, I asked them to drop it a little before 8 p.m., our dinner time. The enthusiastic cooks sent it across at 5.30 pm. The second time, they forgot about the order, and remembered only when I called them up. But all this doesn’t trouble me much – what’s an hour here and there between friends?

Evergreen is good news. I think this winter is going to be a good one.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:15:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/The-takeaway-is-taste/article16443725.ece

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