So this is about this Ghee Roast Chicken that our chef got for us from Kundapur, a coastal town in Karnataka. He travelled one hour from Manipal to Shetty Lunch Home in Kundapur for just trying this amazingly delicious and flavourful chicken. Also, just to let you know that you need to order an hour in advance to actually eat it, I wonder why?! But we were quite lucky to get this in Bombay without going for that extra mile. So finally when he keeps the dish on the table, everyone just attacks (not the Satte-Pe-Satta types!) but quite hurried. By the way this happened after we all waited patiently for our chef to finish capturing that moment on his phone but its worth the wait. What you get here is this thick meetha-masaledar ghee dripping gravy which is bursting with flavours of cooked “piriyan-molaku”, a red paste used for its marination. You can also squeeze some lime juice to balance the sweetness. To accompany this we got some in-house sada dosas, flaky malabar paratha and onions. What a yummy team lunch it was!
Picture courtesy: Thomas Zacharias
Benjamin – A French Patisserie Chef
Early morning strolls in Banaras ghats and tiny streets can be quite daunting sometimes. However, we were lucky to find this thin guy named Benjamin in one of the rustic lanes behind Assi Ghat, sitting on a raised platform waiting for his bohni (first sale of the day). We stopped by for a little chat and happened to know that he is from France and has been wanting to open a small cafe in Banaras. At the moment, he is just gauging the response of his freshly baked raisin breads and butter croissants which he bakes every night is his small rented apartment. So we tried one of each and it was super fresh and flaky. How I wish I could capture the smell of these breads in a small bottle; could work as a decent idea for some sort of diffuser. So whenever you are in Banaras, visit Assi Ghat in the mornings and look for Benjamin for the perfect breakfast. Warning – please be careful of cows and bulls rushing in these tiny lanes. We witnessed an old lady who almost got hit by one.
Road trips in India are incomplete without trying the local brews along your route. The Kingfisher Gold came as a surprise to us as this beer was only available in UP. We tried this beer in a small dhabha at Kanpur Dehat and realised that this beer tastes very much like the regular Kingfisher Lager, the only difference was the reduced bitterness and less amount of carbonation.
In the same dhabha we also spotted Waves Premium Strong Beer. This is a super strong beer with ABV as high as 8% and one of the most popular beer in UP. Its passes of as a smooth beer and does not taste anything like a strong beer. We thoroughly enjoyed this one and we quite buzzed towards the end. When in UP one should definitely try this beer. Highly recommended!
When crossing the interiors of Bihar we had a difficult time spotting wine shops. When we finally found one, we learnt that in Bihar during winters no one believes in refrigeration and hence no chilled beer. Just cold beer is what you get, but seeing the limited supply we were quite happy with our purchase. The classic Cobra is strong beer which is super bitter, you can taste the alcohol coming through and the quality of barley and hops used is terrible. How we wished we got some wave on the way.
Talking about the next beer we tried was the Royal Brew Strong beer. There is absolutely nothing royal about this one and probably one of the worst beers I have ever tasted. The after taste is something very close to a Milk Bikis biscuit in a bad way. But when one is on Indian highways one can always gulp down such beers as you don’t have much choices.
By the time we arrived in Bhutan we were quite hungry and disturbed. We thought of grabbing some lunch at the nearest eatery. We entered this tiny restaurant and we happen to see big hoardings of Druk 11000, seems to us as the national beer of Bhutan. We called for a couple of them along with some pork and beef chilli. By the 3rd sip we were already quite happy and buzzed. This is a yellow coloured hoppy beer with a small head and sweet aroma. As per a strong beer the alcohol is very well balanced with a watery palate and a bitter finish. Personally this is the beer one should enjoy when visiting Bhutan.
This road side eatery on Linking Road (Bandra) has been serving Tandoori Chicken and Rawas Fry for the last 40 years. The jawans working at this place are full of life, funny and with that Punjabi accent which I absolutely love. The man posing on the right with a tiny tummy is Chef Ranjeet Singhji who has grilled this beautiful chicken for us. This place is only open for 6 hours till midnight before everything is over. One must try this when in Bandra.
The first time we ever tried sangria was at The Pali Village Cafe in Mumbai. It was perfect for Sunday afternoons, refreshing and gave us a good buzz! And not to forget the after Sangria naps which we all love. So I thought of trying this at home. And yes! it was very simple to make and turned out quite nice. Please make sure you do not muddle the fruits too much, otherwise the fruit’s skin would leave the wine to be sour. Let it rest overnight in the fridge and add some soda just before drinking to give it a bubbling texture.
The whiskey sour at The Daily is perfect. The yellowish mustard color of the drink makes it look so refreshing. This one typically had a blended taste of the bitter whiskey along with the lemon, sugar and egg white making up for the base of the drink. Every sip you take, tastes like your first sip!