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In Delhi, Mama’s lemon chicken is irresistible

Sheer joy of eating: Chefs at work at the eatery

Sheer joy of eating: Chefs at work at the eatery   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Mama’s, the takeaway at Old Rajinder Nagar, has an interesting mix of chicken dishes with one being special

If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to put some flowers in your hair. If, on the other hand, you are going to Old Rajinder Nagar, do try out the lemon chicken while you are there. I know about it because I was in the neighbourhood, at a hospital there. In fact my friend, Raj, had been threatening to bring the dish sold at a small eatery in the vicinity to feed my visitors. He didn’t – there is after all only this much that a patient on a strict hospital diet can take, but I have had my share of the dish.

The place is called Mama’s (4A/60, Shankar Road, Rajinder Nagar, 2578 0230). If you approach Shankar Road from Connaught Place or Talkatora Road, you will find the eatery on the right side of Shankar Road. It is a takeaway place, but a lot of people like to drive up and have their food off the grill or the stove right there. Some of my friends did that recently, and said that it was a different kind of an experience – noisy but enjoyable.

Lemon chicken

Lemon chicken  

We all like our food, but nobody likes it more than the resident of West Delhi. And that explains why you have a plethora of small eateries in every colony. And some of the best food places are there, too.

Kalmi Kebab

Kalmi Kebab  

There was a time you got some of the best chholey bhatureys in Standard in the Shankar Road Market (they moved to Old Rajinder Nagar). You can’t get fish like the tandoori fare at Paramjeet’s in Moti Nagar, or fried fish at Ganesh’s machchli shop in Karol Bagh. The kharorey wallah at Pusa road has his legion of fans, as does the desi-ghee meat of Z Corner in Patel Nagar. My favourite is the garlic-infused tandoori lamb at Khalsa’s in Mayapuri.

Well, Mama’s is not in that category, but the lemon chicken is certainly something that you can recall even weeks after you’ve eaten it. The chicken was juicy, and the lime flavour perceptible, yet not overpowering. The sweetness of onions complemented the tart taste, and overall it was delicious. We also had kalmi chicken, which was again rather nice: the meat was succulent and the spices were sharp. Mama’s is also known for its chicken kali mirch — tender pieces of chicken marinated and then topped with the flavours of black pepper. The eatery offers Chinese dishes as well as the usual favourites: tandoori chicken, Afghani chicken, kababs and tikkas. The prices are reasonable, ranging between ₹80 (for fries) and ₹400 (fish Amritsari). So how was your hospital stay, I am asked. The lemon chicken wasn’t bad at all, I reply.

The writer is a seasoned food critic

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 6:43:33 AM |

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