The Taste is Hot Hot Hot
Published: 15th December 2013 06:00 AM |
Bhut Jolokia Chicken
Nestled in the diplomatic enclave of Chankyapuri, Jakoi is the canteen of Assam Bhavan, not to be confused with Assam House, which has a different eatery. Unlike most other “canteens”, Jakoi is a fine dining restaurant. True to its name—Jakoi (an ethnic fishing equipment made of cane)—serves delicious cuisine from the region. Northeast wears the tag of being home to one of the hottest chillies in the world, the bhut jolokia, and many come asking for a preparation with this chilli, says Jakoi owner Paparee Bezbaruah. So Jakoi serves Bhut Jolokia Chicken, and it is so fiery that it makes winter clothing feel stifling. The chicken is marinated with finely chopped onions, salt and ginger paste. A bit of bhut jolokia paste goes into the pan in the initial stages of frying and more can be added depending on personal taste. Staples rice and dal form the perfect accompaniment. Cool off with a bowl of ethnic Assamese kheer.
Jakoi, Assam Bhavan, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri.Ph: +919560306333
Mirchi ka Parantha
Paranthe Wali Gali is a vegetarian’s delight in Chandni Chowk. In the array of stuffed paranthes that are being dished out from the lane for the last 150 years, Mirchi ka Parantha is a fairly new entrant. Pt Kanhaiyalal Durga Prasad Dixit Parawthe Wala has been in business since 1875 and prides itself over the varieties it offers. Anand Tiwari, who manges the business today says that there is a special kind of green chilli that goes into making this parantha. It’s thin and pointed. The chopped chilli is mixed with paneer and a bunch of closely guarded secret spices. Unlike the regular method of cooking a parantha on a tava, the parantha in this gali is deep fried. The side dishes complete the spice quotient. The banana chutney, sabji and achar have a fire of their own. To douse the flames in your mouth you can always follow up with a rabri ka parantha.
Pt. Kankaiyalal Durga Prasad Dixit Parawthe Wala, 36, Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandni Chowk. Ph: +919971997140
Meen Masala Curry
One can savour this typical Kerala preparation at Zambar, the coastal Indian restaurant in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. The curry is tangy and spicy. The tangy bit comes from a regional berry called Kodampuli (Garcinia cambogia) and the spicy quotient comes from both green and red chillies. Kodampuli is an essential ingredient for seafood lovers in Kerala. “The fruit is sun dried, smoked and mixed with salt and oil to be preserved in earthen pots for years,” says Arun Kumar, cuisine and brand head, Zambar. Appam or rice serve as the best sides. A coconut jaggery pudding is a good coolant.
Zambar, 3rd floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. Ph: 0124 4665639
The spice trail halts by at Kashmiri Kitchen near Ghitorni Metro station on M G Road to sample a subtle but rich dish. An essential part of the Kashmiri wazwan, Mirchi Korma is not spicy on the palate, but creates a lot of heat inside the stomach. It’s the Kashmiri red chilli at work. Shallot is the primary ingredient which adds thickness to the gravy. Says owner Q N Khan, “Wazwan is prepared in the field over wood fire, and that enhances the flavour.” The restaurant sources most spices from Kashmir. The dish is served with sticky rice, walnut and onion chutney. Sign off with Zafran Phirni or Kahwah.
Kashmiri Kitchen, Pillar 109, MG Road, Gurgaon. Ph: 011 30146022 ext:862
A spice trail can never be complete without mentioning the famous mutton curry at Andhra Bhavan that has been firing the North Indian palate for decades. An efficient state canteen that functions like an assembly line operation, it offers delicious food at very reasonable price. The explosive combination of red chilli and black pepper fires up this dish. The curry leaves add the familiar south Indian flavour to it. It also comes with the thali.
Andhra Bhavan Canteen, Ashok Road, Connaught Place, Ph: 011 23382031