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Butter chicken variety during the lockdown!

Happy plate: The Smoked Butter Chicken Royal Meal Photo credit: Special Arrangement  

With time — or it could be the lockdown — I find myself shedding old prejudices. Take butter chicken. I remember the time when I used to look at it with disdain, and I must confess I still shudder when I think of the butter chicken pasta that a friend served me some years ago.

There was a time when I had it almost every day. I used to often dine at my friend Raju’s house in my youth, and since that family loved the butter chicken from a place called TPO, next to Rivoli Theatre, it often formed a part of the dinner menu. I suppose familiarity bred contempt somewhere along the way. But I realised the dish had potential when, years later, I cooked it at home, balancing the cream with tomato ketchup and a nutty paste. Then, a couple of years ago, I had some great butter chicken delivered by a Rajasthani outlet called Roomaligarh, and decided that it was a dish that I could live with.

Last week, it featured in our dinner order. I had been reading the online menu of a place called Faasos with some interest. It delivers food in Delhi (and elsewhere, too). We decided to have the Smoked Butter Chicken Royal Meal (₹310), Bhuna Mutton Royal Meal (₹420) and Sabudana Khichdi (₹190). I ordered through Swiggy, but Faasos has its own app, too. The centralised phone number is 7700020020.

The meal came on a tray with compartments, which had been plastic wrapped and then boxed. The site tells us that they have a system of contactless delivery and temperature tracking of kitchen and delivery staff. I loved the way the bhuna gosht meal had been described. It consisted of succulent boneless mutton in thick tomato gravy, served with basmati rice, dal makhni, paratha and gulab jamun. The Smoked Butter Chicken Royal Platter had all the side dishes, too. The Sabudana Khichdi came with curd. But I don’t think that is a dish one should order, for it was rather dry by the time it reached our doorstep. I suppose sago khichdi has to be eaten when it is just off the stove.

I tried out a piece of the butter chicken, and liked it. It was, indeed, smoky, and the gravy was nicely tart (though I think it would have been perfect had it been just a wee bit sweeter). The rice was long-grained, and the dal was deliciously thick and creamy.

The bhuna gosht was almost like the Bengali kosha mangsho. I had the crispy and flaky parathas with the meat, and enjoyed the meal immensely.

What was disappointing was the gulab jamun — not the taste, for I had no complaints there, but the size. Each royal meal dish came with one gulab jamun, and we had to cut each into three pieces , so that the three-member household could have two slivers each. A small gulab jamun, further cut, was not much of a dessert. But, still, it did its tiny bit.

There is a lot more on the menu — including Chhola Kulcha Meal (₹145), Palak Chicken Meal (₹220), Rajma Masala Bowl (₹145) and various kinds of biryanis. There are wraps, too — Barbecue Chicken (₹230), American Smoky Sausage (₹230), Mutton Overload (₹290), and Cheese Melt Paneer Wrap (₹165).

There is a breakfast section which includes an Aloo Paratha and Omelette Combo (₹165) and Pancake with Honey and Chocolate Sauce (₹170).

I enjoyed my meal, the size of the gulab jamun notwithstanding. I am wondering if I should try out the wraps one day. Must find out just how overloaded the Mutton Overload Wrap is.

The writer is a seasoned food critic

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:18:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/butter-chicken-variety-during-the-lockdown/article31819866.ece

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